Friday, July 31, 2009

old Sunbeam mixer

One of the joys of my retro kitchen is this Sunbeam mixer, a gift from my cousin Bill when he came to town. I don't know where he finds these treasures, but I'm glad he shared this one with me.

Appropriately enough, the pot sitting next to it and holding kitchen knives was made by his brother Gregg, who is an awesome potter.

Tucked at the end of the baker's rack is a new kitchen towel, with embroidery on a flour sack with a Spanish hemstitch trim. It was one of my samples for a workshop last week and I'm happy it's come home.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 135

Friday Fill-in Time. Questions by Tonya.

1. It's time for peaches, watermelon, blueberries, tomatos, sweet corn. Yummm.

2. Elkmont in the Smokies; it's not a bad place for setting up a tent, sitting back, listening to the river, doing some hiking, going into town. Next month.

3. I must be crazy about sewing/embroidery. If I don't do it every day, I'm at least reading about it, getting ready for a new project.

4. Time with family is the best thing I have ever known. Especially birthday parties - they're the best. With white cake and candles. Aaron must love birthdays too - his eyes sparkle when he sings "happy birthday to you." He's happy to sing it every day, birthday or no.

5. My lifestyle is simply simple.

6. The last time I laughted really loudly was when I read Janet Evanovich's new book Finger 'Licken Fifteen. Her books always make me laugh. Babe.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having three days off, tomorrow my plans include going to Deveau Park with my friend Sandra - not - she broke her foot today, and Sunday I want to enjoy early August. Summer's flyin' by.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


These Celtic fairies from Embroidery Library caught my eye. The first one is on a premade canvas bag (great sale!) Really tight quarters for embroidery and I caught my needle threader and now it's way out of wack. There may be a new one in my future. In the meantime, I will thread my needle the old fashioned way and not whine about it.

This bag is handmade, with pockets inside and a large zippered pocket on the back. The bag's made from upholstery fabric. It's much easier to embroider on a flat surface, then make the bag.

I think there are more handmade bags in my future. Not tonight, though. I'm really, really tired and plan to go to bed with my book. Hidden Riches by Nora Roberts. Perfect easy summer reading.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quiet Spot

Yesterday after work, I met Steph and Mike at the Newport Aquarium. I don't know whether it was the earlier rain or just a July Saturday evening, but the place was packed.
Nora and I found the only quiet place, the sand excavation in the otter area. It's just before the entrance to the birds, which Nora wants nothing to do with.
She must not be the only one - there's an exit to by-pass the flying and screeching birds. We took that door and met up with the others outside.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 134

Friday Fill-ins. Gotta love 'em. Thanks for the questions, Tonya.

1. Running out of Diet Coke is not the end of the world, but I would be very sad. It's about the last of my no-real-food-value-but-I-love-it food vices. I'm always looking for a sale to keep my supply up.

2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I am being happy that I don't have to water the plants and the tree today. Yes, Bridget, I'm still watering the tree, but it doesn't look hopeful.

3. Diet Coke tastes so good. See # 1.

4. Sometimes, putting others first isn't the best idea. That's a hard lesson for me to learn, though, since I was always taught to think of others first.

5. Red River Gorge is breathtaking, really, a fabulous Kentucky treasure. I love the bumper sticker, "Lost in Red River Gorge, don't find me." Should I go camping this weekend?

6. Well, maybe there is a bigger front-yard garden in my future. Things grow so well there, there's so much sun. I'm thinking about putting a garden where the yard slopes down, then I won't have to mow the slope.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to coming home and sewing, tomorrow my plans include working and teaching a class, and Sunday I want to work on some projects - unless I go camping, hmmmm. Never made it last weekend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Trip to Graeter's

Tonight Nora and I went to Graeter's, which has some of the best ice cream in Cincinnati. Steph had a coloring contest sheet that we were able to trade for an ice cream cone. The cashier said she'd be sure Nora's picture got hung up with all the others. Did you ever see a better picture of a Kings Island roller coaster?
Vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate chip? Chocolate chip! (Actually, they have other flavors too, but why complicate things?

Good choice - Graeter's chocolate chip has some really big chocolate chunks.

True - Graeter's is irresistible - but so's the girl.

The pink on the cone is my raspberry sorbet - Nora wanted a bit on her cone.

It's been a cool, rainy day, but the place was packed. Cones were definitely the favorite.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Duck

For awhile now I've been eyeing the Duck, a converted World War II vehicle that travels on both land and water. Yesterday I decided to take the Duck tour, which starts at Newport on the Levee,

drives across the Taylor Southgate bridge into Cincinnati and enters the river there,

goes on the southern side of the river past Covington's Millionnaire's Row, where Steph and Mike had their wedding pictures taken,

goes under the Roebling bridge, down the river a little longer, turns around, and comes back on the Cincinnati side of the river, past these tents,

then goes by the Cincinnati skyline, leaves the river and travels through downtown Cincinnati past Fountain square,
and back across the bridge again into Newport. This was fun, totally relaxing. If you get a chance, do it. Tickets are $15, which is cheaper than at Duck rides in other cities.

Monday, July 20, 2009


This afternoon I stopped in at the aquarium for a quick look at their new jellyfish exhibit. I'd seen it, sort of, before, but spent most of the time watching Nora jumping up to touch pictures of jellyfish as they floated by, projected on a blue wall.
A trip to the aquarium is so different without kids in tow - ironically, it seems much more chaotic without them. I guess with them I'm just part of the chaos and don't notice it.

The jellyfish were floating peacefully by, seemingly oblivious of everything around them.

Their new digs are ever so nice, including towers of jellyfish that make it easier for more people to enjoy them.

Closed this time was the shark cage, which is a combination close-up movie and a floor that shakes. The sign said it was being repaired because the sharks got too rowdy. Hmmmm.

Glad I missed that.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aaron Brave and Royal

Brave at Tower Park in Fort Thomas and royal at home.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mall Trip

Mike installed a car seat in my truck last night, and today Nora and I took off for the mall.
This little girl, who has yet to touch a starfish at the Aquarium, much less a shark, is brave when it comes to Kings Island rides, or in this case bungee jumping. Her mom had told me she had done this before at a festival, so I let her do it. I'm sure if her mom hadn't told me, Nora would have.
After that, there was some down-to-earth merry-go-round riding.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 133

My answers for Friday Fillins are in bold.

1. Salad and whole wheat bread make a quick and easy dinner. Last night I waited too long for dinner to even want that, so I had a veggie burger.

2. Lancaster Brides by Wanda Brunstetter is the book I'm reading right now. Easy reading, slightly fluffy, four stories about Amish women. For the book I pick up and glance at, Creative Embellishments by Sherrill Kahn.

3. July brings back memories of family reunions, my dad's family coming from Indiana and the whole family of five siblings and their families getting together. Lots of older cousins to play with, homemade ice cream, happy adults.

4, It was obvious from the start that the bill for security for Michael Jackson's funeral would be enormous.

5, They say if you tell your dreams they'll never come true? I don't know what they say about that. Hope it's that they don't come true - night before last I dreamed that cats kept getting into my house and I had to keep tossing them out. And some of them weren't happy about it. I also dreamed that the trash truck came very early and I didn't have my trash out. Apparently there are unwanted things in my life that I need to get rid of.

6. I always need time to think it over. There are two extremes on the continuium - there are those people who want the decision to be made, not stopping to consider the options, they just want the decision made so they can move on. And there are those people who feel like they need more and more information so they can make a good choice and they can drag it on and on. You can really see this in teams. I fall on the second side, and fairly close to the end at that. Sometimes someone just has to say, "You just need to make up your mind."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to time with Nora and Aaron, tomorrow my plans include not sure, I may just go camping, it's been a heck of a week, and Sunday I want to just relax.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rose Bouquet

L . o . n . g work day today. Good thing I got my sewing in early.

Embossed Rose Bouqet from Embroidery Library

I did this on a really thick bath towel. Don't try it without your Q foot or equivalent. I actually did try once, around Christmas, and had to give up. This design has 50,000 stitches and the whole design stitched without incident with the Q foot.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Little Jacket

I needed a work sample for a new embroidery design pack, Husqvarna Yarn Fiesta. I decided to use a pattern I already had and make a jacket for Aaron's September birthday - that would give the sample plenty of store time.

I enlarged the pattern a little to accomodate his weight, but I forgot the height factor, and now I'm wondering whether it will be long enough. There was a quick try-on Sunday and it was quickly clear that the sleeves, which are supposed to be rolled up to reveal the lining, are just about right with no roll-up. In July.

Maybe, just maybe, it can be a waist-length jacket to be worn when he sails down the street on the back of his dad's bike. Or maybe, sigh, it will belong to some other little boy.

The jacket has a tuck-in scarf to show off a few more designs.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


After church, Welda, Patti, Carol, and I went to Essencha Tea Shop in Hyde Park. They'd all been there before, but it was my first time.

There were flowers on the tables,
sample sips of today's tea,

a gorgeous salad for me,

and half a sandwich with more salad.
And one more thing - a waiter with an Obama t-shirt.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Nora 'n Aaron

Here's Nora - just back from getting her hair cut in long layers. The purple balloon was a part of the experience. Sometimes she takes my breath away - she looks so much like her mom.

And here's Aaron - when you have a big sister, you learn the right style for doing somersaults. Tuck and roll.

But playing with blocks - he picked up that on his own. This kid looks so much like his dad.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 132

My Friday Fill-In answers are in bold.

1. The last thing I ate was a Chipotle veggie burrito and a strawberry. It wasn't in the plan, but it was late and I was driving by. The nice thing about Chipotle at 8:30 is that there was no wait. And now I have half the burrito for lunch.

2. A serger is something I recently bought. And used, and threaded several times. I also bought a good serger book at Barnes and Noble.

3. When it rains, it makes me happy. And, since Mike's fixed my gutters, there's no water in the basement even when it pours. Thanks, Mike.

4. No one was the last person I talked to today. Because it's early and I live by myself. I'm sure there will be much conversation before the day is over and I will be looking forward to some quiet.

5. Hugs are ever so nice. I got a lovely one from Aaron last night, along with his comment about my shirt - "that's Gran B's shirt" and his doctor visit - "I don't like the shots." I just knew he'd have something to say about that.

6. I could use some extra comfort. I think everyone can.

7. And as for the weekent, tonight I'm looking forward to embroidering another pair of animals for Aaron's quilt (I have alligators, armadillos, badgers, monkeys, and beavers,) tomorrow my plans include a visit with Sandra after work, and Sunday I want to have a nice lunch after church.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Alligators and Armadillos

Nora's asking for a Wizard of Oz quilt got me to thinking that I wanted to make a Noah's Ark quilt for Aaron. His birthday's in September, so it's time to get going on that.

I figured I could make one little creature every day, then realized that a pair a day would be better since I'd have design and threads out. These are applique and they go pretty fast. I haven't counted to see how many pairs there are, I just know there are lots.

It gives me so much joy to dig around in my fabrics to find just the right piece for these creatures. And I can just imagine Aaron touching each one and calling it by name. The green pique background fabric has just a little raised design to it, making it fun to touch.

And by the way, not my news, but the little guy is 36" tall and weighs 29 1/2 pounds. Ninty-seventh percentile for height and 54th for weight, much like his sister's always been.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Embossed Towel

I really love this - an angel fish design from Embroidery Library embossed on a thick towel. Lots of texture., very elegant.

Only thing is, when I was embroidering, a corner of the towel got caught under the hoop, about a three-inch triangle. The stitching on this design is very intense and there was NO WAY I could pick out those stitches. I cut off the bottom of the towel along the trim, losing about five inches of towel, and used my serger and sewing machine to finish the edge. Doesn't look all that bad, but there is still the matter of the corner of the towel under part of the design.

I had meant this as a gift, but it looks like I have a pretty new towel for myself. On the plus side, the Q foot worked wonderfully even on a thick towel, even with two thicknesses of the towel where it was caught on the bottom. Looks like I can go back and revisit a design I got for a towel that I just couldn't stitch out because the towel was too thick for the R foot.

I think that these misadventures are just part of the curve of learning, not happy but not terrible either. Next time, I'll hoop differently.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Snowflakes and Blue

I'm glad I decided to change the flowers from Dots and Daisies to snowflakes. The design on the right, three blocks down, was supposed to be a sun.

The snowman is from a design build into my sewing machine, with Warm 'n Natural batting for the applique'd body.
Lettering is from my software.

I used stitch in the ditch around the squares and sashing, then tied white knots on the sashing. It had been forever since I'd knotted a quilt, and I didn't have doll needles then to make it much easier. My mother and grandmother almost always knotted instead of quilting - I want to do more of it.
And I want to do more lettering. I was thinking about that today, how to make that work, other than with software.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wizard of Oz

I finished the quilting on Lisa's quilt yesterday - Dakota's Wizard of Oz
I showed the family when they were over for dinner yesterday and Nora right away asked if the quilt was for her. I told her no, it belonged to someone else, I was just working on it.

She reached up and hugged me and said, "Will you make one for me?"

I can see that there will be a Wizard of Oz quilt for Nora's birthday. I've never purchased a design collection before, should be fun. Besides the characters on this quilt, there is a lovely Glenda and numerous others.
I love Nora's confidence that I could make such a quilt, or any quilt, really, that her heart desires.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th

Happy 4th of July, everyone.