Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fabric Beads

Bright fabric, Wonder Under, fat barbecue skewers, iron (note the pretty new iron)
Iron the Wonder Under on the back of a piece of fabric, approx 6" x 12" and mark long triangles on the release paper. Cut the triangles apart and peel off the paper.

Starting at the wide end, wind a triangle on a skewer, wrong side up, touching with the iron frequently. When you're finished, slide off the bead.

The end. The holes in the beads are large enough to thread a cord through.

Other projects for the kids' workshop I'll be doing in a couple of weeks: felt organizer, hair scrunchy, pouch, and tote bag. I hope the kids enjoy the projects.

For you non-kids, the tote bag is McCalls 6130 and it's a fast sew. I added a water bottle pocket on the side, to replace the pocket in the front, which is sewn upside down (flap at the bottom) as a cute fashion statement. I didn't want that for the kids because everyone would think they accidentally sewed it upside down - not good for a class.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cincinnati to Asheville

When I'm giving sewing lessons, I often point out the reinforced straight stitch and tell people that it's good for making corn hole bags. Everyone around here seems to understand that. It was always kind of hypothetical with me, though, because I've never made them.

This weekend Sarah and Winnie are planning a party in Asheville and a request came for corn hole bags. Sarah is working on making the rest of the set. So . . . after a false start with fabric that was wonderfully on sale but most likely too light, I have some corn hole bags that seem to meet the criteria. I'm sending them empty with a little filling hole and Sarah will put in the corn and (gasp!) sew the hole shut. The "gasp!" is because Sarah doesn't often willingly pick up a needle.

On to you, Sarah. They're heading out this morning.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Can Fly

Flying's big around Steph's and Mike's house these days. Even Mike can do it.

My helping the kids fly is coming in for the landing. Not so good.

I've been wanting a new hair cut and this is how it came out. Not so much different in the front, much shorter in the back. Just like I asked for. It's short in the back, but not so short that there was shaving involved. I didn't want that. It's a birthday thing, a significant birthday begs for some changes. My stylist said the hair from her salon is being sent to the gulf to make hair nets to trap the oil. Hadn't heard of that.
Now for some new make-up. I've never had much luck with that, but I'm going to try.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Postcard Exchange

I was once in an internet postcard exchange and that was fun, but this is better. It's a postcard exchange from members in my quilt guild, and it's all the better getting postcards from people I know. We get cards in our birthday month, usually, and this month it was my turn.

I used to try making a postcard every day, when I wasn't working, and tried out lots of new techniques. It had been awhile, though. Awhile since I've tried new things, too. Time to start that again.

I've decided that while machine embroidery is enjoyable, it isn't my first passion in the sewing world. Art quilting is, followed by sewing little practical pretties. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that. Maybe it's because I love my embroidery machine so much and I really, really like software.
I've moved my regular sewing machine and computer downstairs during these hot days since the upstairs just heats up too much. Maybe if I were usually here in the daytime, I'd try to air condition upstairs but for now it's just easier to move things. Where I'm going with this is, it will be interesting to see what comes downstairs and stays. A little ironing board and an iron are already here.
It's an old iron, though, because I need to get a new iron with a non-stick soleplate. Four years seems to be my limit with them. And maybe no wonder since I turn them on and off numerous times throughout the day. Probably this weekend, I'll find a new one. It's got to have the nonstick sole plate though. Wonder Under and SteamASeam come right off, and I use lots of those. Also, things that accidentally melt are easy to remove. I'm not a fan of cleaning the iron bottom.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

How fun to start out a birthday with blueberry pancakes
and have a lovely cake

And two lovely grandchildren to enjoy it with.
It was a good day, nice to share the day with Mike (Happy Father's Day) and his family.
And now, the introspection. I'm 65 now, need to think about that, want to plan. You'd think I'd have done it by now, but this requires lots of thinking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Camping Pictures

I was just telling Aunt Sharon that I had pictures from the camping trip here - then realized that I really hadn't posted many. Here they are

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Oh, My

For the past week, I've been studying my back-yard flower bed, wondering why almost all the plants have been chomped. I've thought "deer" in the back of my mind, but I live in the city. I mean, I REALLY live in the city. I thought about squirrels, but thought that surely they couldn't do so thorough a job. Bugs? There would have to be a lot of them. Puzzling.

Tonight I turned the corner into my neighborhood and there was a probable culprit, lollygalling around, enjoying the evening, in no hurry at all to move on. And now I'm really thinking "deer."

As I turned the corner on to my street, the sight in the rear view mirror was of the deer, crossing the street and coming my way. Who would have thought?

I know that deer in the neighboring town are such a nusiance that bow-and-arrow hunting is permitted at certain times. But I live on the downtown side of that community and a couple of miles from the river at that. Not sure that there are flowers in my future in that backyard bed. The interesting thing is that the front yard flowers are untouched. Guess the back yard is more sheltered and delicious.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fil-In # 181

Happy Friday, everyone. Here are the Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold.

1. It isn't quite 6:58 yet, but I've already had a shower and baked a loaf of cinnamon bread. Washed dishes. And felt grateful for this day.

2. It was the reason, of course, why the ice cream tasted so good. Talking about Graeter's method of making ice cream 2 1/2 gallons at a time. Took the kids last night. Strawberry for Aaron and chocolate chip for Nora. I wonder whether good ice cream is wasted on kids, but I don't think so. Even little ones should be exposed to really good tastes. There was quite a crowd at Graeter's last night.

3. Shopping for fun is something I no longer feel the need to do. I'd rather be at home making something.

4. I have another errand to run (laundry) then I'll get to work on the apron I'm making. I'm not following the directions, exactly, they're kind of vague anyway, but this apron is going to be pretty. All of a sudden, patterns for pretty aprons are everywhere.

5. I know that organization is kicking around here somewhere - I need to just go find it. Things in logical places. A schedule for doing things. Yesterday I was in line at Kroger's behind someone who had her coupons in a binder - and she used lots of them. That kind of organization eludes me - I wouldn't know where to start. And there's always the fear that if I was that organized I'd sacrifice my creativity.

6. What were once vices have largely disappeared from my town. Gambling, dancing girls, prostitutes, after-hours liquor sales. One of these weekends I want to to on the walking tour of places where these things happened.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to picking up a veggie sandwich from the Newport Pizza Company then dyeing the fabric to finish Helen's quilt, tomorrow my plans include working, then stopping at the bookstore and coming home to put the borders on the quilt, and Sunday I want to celebrate with family.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Home Again, Day Three

Back at work today, and tonight I am beyond tired.
But, I am reminded

that there are lots of gems in this world

and the secret is to look for them

and identify them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back Home Again, Day Two

Back again, day two.
- The traffic sounds are too loud.
- My stuffy house is cooling down.
- Enjoying using moisturizers. I take them camping but don't use them much. My excuse is that they might attract bugs.
- Kudos to Steph and to Bridget, who realize that kids need time in the woods, hikes on trails, splashing in creeks, and sleeping in tents.
- Helen will be coming to town in about a month and her quilt will be ready. Enough of not knowing how to do it. I'm putting Jack in place today. Fuse. Use a glue stick. Let the thread work its magic. Just show up.
- More rain this morning. No watering necessary.
- My goal was to take too many clothes since last year it rained and rained and I didn't have enough. I brought half of them home unworn. Only a few sprinkles.
- I can't figure out what to take to the quilt guild potluck tonight. I like to cook, but I'm not a fancy cook and so many of those women make really nice things. Should I look at a magazine?
- Aaron spent much bike-riding time stopping at each post and measuring himself, like he might do at Kings Island. Nora spent much bike-riding time saying, "Aaron, you don't have to stop at every one." Nora is fast, fast on her bike with training wheels. Aaron is coasting on the Stryder, lifting up his feet and learning to negotiate curves. Another Aunt Sarah in the making.

- What not to take next time? Hard to say. What to take next time? Three tarps are just right. Pump soap to leave in the bathroom is lovely. One pair of water shoes got lots of use. One two-year-old's are unworn because he insisted on wearing Crocs in the water, and they stayed on his feet. Somewhere there is a place with lots of Crocs that floated down the river, but a Sponge Bob Croc in size 9 isn't one of them today.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Home Again

Home again, and musing that
- the van breakdown in Knoxville had a safe ending, the tow truck was prompt and the drivers mechanical, we were back on the road in two hours and the repair bill was $16.38. Honest.
- the Ibuprofin and bandaids in the camp box came home unused.
- someone I know really does play those arcade games in Gatlinburg.
- my teeth feel fabulous after two brushings and one flossing.
- two year old conversation is amazing. "We don't poop in our diaper. We don't. We poop in the potty. I just pooped in my diaper. There isn't a potty here."
- my new plantings got lots of rain while I was gone. And my basement got wet because it rained so hard and fast that debris covered the drain at the bottom on my driveway and water came into the basement. I think it's one of the design flaws of a Cape Cod. And I really did make sure that the drain was clear before I left.
-the synchronized fireflies at Elkmont really put on a beautiful show.
- Nora is learning to read.
-one of the happiest parts of the trip was seeing Sarah, Winnie, and Helen.
- I'm grateful that Steph is a good driver.
- waiting at home was a birthday postcard from my postcard exchange.

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Time and This Place

(This time and this place - taken from my church's covenant: this time and this place are God's gifts to us.)

I love the feeling when I walk into my office now. The quilt is hung behind the desk, just like I wanted when I was working on it way back in February. There are new pictures hanging. There is no longer Medicare information everywhere because the decision has been made. I have two new binders for the sewing information that accumulates and that helps contain the clutter. This time and this place - I am content.

And, also in the office is a new fan for blowing out the hot air on summer afternoons. With exhaust fans in both upstairs windows the house is so much more comfortable. So much so that I've been puzzling - I thought the house faced west, figuring that from the position to the stadium downtown, which I thought was north. But the house is too comfortable for a western orientation. Today when I got out my camping lantern I checked with the compas on top and the house is actually southwest, much more south than west.

All this time I've been feeling a little guilty for not looking harder for a south facing house, which saves ten percent on utility bills just by virtue of its orientation. Although I did look and look. And all this time that's what I had. I forgot to take into account that the river curves several times as it goes through Cincinnati and I can't judge direction just by a landmark.

And now, finished is this sweet little backpack with metal zipper piping. I put off doing it because I knew I wouldn't like it, but, you know, I do. Viking Embroidery Club. Their picture showed a black and white zebra print and it was very trendy but harsh looking. I like the floral better.

Also complete - this little trivet, which was fun and is something I'll do again. I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to sew through the thickness of the cording, but the double welt cord foot makes it easy.

This is Monday. Two days from now, Steph's van will be heading for the Smokies. And I'll be in it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 179

Friday Fill-Ins on a sunny Friday morning.

1. The Smokies is my favorite place to travel to. Lots of hiking trails, beautiful scenery, sun-dappled roads. Waterfalls. Roaring creeks. Trips to down for supplies or shopping. Campfires. And next week I'll be there.

2. When I think about my childhood I often remember when my siblings were born. I'm the oldest, my older brother is five years younger than me, my sister is ten years younger, my younger brother was twelve years younger. Back in the day, having a baby meant a long hospital stay even for a normal delivery. I think my mother stayed ten days for me, seven days for the others. Followed by help at home by my grandmother. Different times.

3. Common interests and shared times makes for a good friend. A generous spirit. A happy disposition. A willingness to try new things. Creativity doesn't hurt either.

4. The wind in the trees, the rain on my skin, is a nice feeling on a hot day. During the winter, with a cold rain, not so much.

5. A night at the ball park is so exciting. Even if it's a slow game, there's lots going on off the field. A few home runs by the home team followed by some fireworks doesn't hurt either.

6. My best friend knows that sometimes I need time by myself to recharge my energy stores. I'm a classic introvert.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to more gardening (it's starting to look good,) tomorrow my plans include working with maybe a stop at the bookstore on my way home, and Sunday I want to swap out the banners at church then get my camping things ready.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cotton Candy

Cotton candy at the Great American Ball Park - one grandbabe likes it, namely Aaron.

And Nora doesn't. Never has. But everyone had a fine time last Friday night.

All those fans in red went home happy since the Reds scored 16 runs. Lots of fireworks, both during the game and after.

One of my resolutions for this year is to go to more games. After all, I live RIGHT HERE. It's an easy ride down to Newport parking and an easy walk across the bridge. Or, as happened this time, the bus came along at the same time that I did.

Not tonight, though, the Reds are out of town.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lemons, Tomatoes, and Roses

The lemons are on a work project, Martha Pullen designs, napkin on the left, placemat on the right. Wonderfully easy mitered corners.

Finally, finally, I've got my front yard flower/vegetable bed laid out. I'm a fan of the mulch over topsoil over cardboard way of making beds, so much easier. Only thing is, it takes about six months for the sod to break down and get soft, so only the little portion of my bed that I laid out last fall is actually usable now. Even as is, though, it's an improvement and I now longer have to mow so much of the slope which is a nice bonus. I'm very excited.

In another bed, an heirloom tomato that reseeded. I always leave a few tomatoes on the ground and hope for the best. It's either Black Karim or Sungold, we'll wait and see.

And in yet another bed, a new yellow rose bush. I love rose bushes, not the hybrid teas but the sprawling ones, and want to plant lots.

In case you're wondering, it wasn't misty in my neighborhood this morning. I think I had a two-year-old fingerprint on the lens. If you're going to have a fingerprint on the lens, that's the very best kind to have.