Sunday, November 30, 2014

Last Asheville Pictures

This is the last batch of Asheville pictures, then we're on to other things.  Sarah has always been able to spot a good bike at a hundred yards, and she spotted this Cannondale Hooligan in front of a second hand sporting good store.  It's going to be a Christmas gift from Winnie and me.

This is the first year for Winter Lights at the Arboretum and the reason for choosing that particular weekend for my visit.  Pretty spectacular - this is just the parking lot.

We saw lots of Christmas trees here and there.  The one above was at the Arboretum.

And this one was at the Grove Park Inn.  Winnie's dad, Winnie, Sarah, and me.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Holiday Trains at Behringer Crawford

We always love the Behringer Crawford Museum in Covington, and all the more so at holiday time.  Their holiday train display is up close and personal and not crowded.  Of course there is also their year-round train display to enjoy too.

A scavenger hunt for the kids has well-placed little items and they always enjoy spotting them and checking them off the list.

The river boat is always fun for kids.  There are dress-up clothes available and the second level of the boat has a speaking tube and various whistles.

Here's Nora beside the river boat.

There is a refreshment and craft room for members, and membership is very reasonable.

Later there will be Polar Express readings, Grinch plays, and Santa visits.  Bell choir in December and daytime New Year's Eve party.  This place is truly a little gem.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Eating and Drinking

We had the most wonderful things to eat and drink on the Asheville trip.  Above is Sarah's yogurt at Biscuit Head, although you can't really see the yogurt.  They have the most wonderful choices of butters and jams for their biscuits.

Can you believe that this is from a food truck?  The Smash Box truck was at the art fair we visited.  This dish has thin slices of fried Mexican cheese, plus all these veggies.  Amazing.

I didn't get a picture of the pizza here, I was too fixated on the Cold Mountain beer, which has a very limited production.  The coaster is Sierra Nevada, but the beer is from Highland Brewing.

We also went to the Highland Brewery.  I had a chocolate stout, very nice.

At the Wicked Weed Brewery.  Sarah and I shared fish and chips and brussel sprouts.  I had an Old Fashioned bourbon style beer.

At Buffalo Nickel in West Asheville there was the most delicious macaroni and cheese.  Cauliflower was also on the menu, an interesting bar choice.

Just so you know, we had four days to do all this eating and drinking.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Newest Sewing Machine

I had been wanting a lamp table to put beside my front door but couldn't find just what I wanted.  Turns out that what I wanted was a sewing machine cabinet with the sewing machine inside.  Sarah and I found this little gem at in indoor flea market in Asheville.

This little 99K is about 3/4 size and was manufactured between 1911 and 1962.  The earliest ones weren't electric but had a hand crank on the flywheel.  Since mine was manufactured toward the end of the run, it is electric AND it has a top drop bobbin.

One of the fun things about the older Singers is finding out where and when they were made.  The serial number tells me that it was made in Scotland, Great Britain, in 1957.  I think that this is what my 1950's house has been waiting for.  Maybe it's not even the first time the house has had one. It is in wonderful condition, not at all worn, and very clean.  It has the manual and all the attachments.

Will I use it?  Probably not much, although it sews a wonderful straight stitch (and that's its only stitch.)  Did I get a great bargain?  No, not really, I probably paid about what it's worth, which isn't much because Singer sold a boatload of these machines.    

But do I love it?  YES!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gingerbread at Grove Park Inn

One of the highlights of my trip to Asheville was visiting the Grove Park Inn for their Gingerbread Competition.  People brought their creations from far and wide to be judged, with the winners displayed.

Reindeer Dash

The grand prize winner is displayed on a rotating turntable, behind glass.

Trojan Horse.

Not According to Plan

Sleigh and skaters.

Part of the joy of the gingerbread creations is, of course, marveling at them.  And part is the joy of being in that wonderful space and enjoying the two huge fireplaces and the beautiful lobby and the views out of every window.  And imagining, just a little, actually staying there and being outside in that huge hot tub on a cold day. And seeing the art and the Christmas trees and the valets hurrying by.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Feeling Grateful

The past few days have been spent making lined curtains and cushions for a friend's kitchen.  I have to admit that I'm pleased with the way they turned out.  I used a walking foot for the curtains, which was a good call.  Much easier to keep things squared and straight.  And I love, love, love my piping foot.  Of course, you know that I love whatever foot is on my sewing machine.

And now, oh joy, I have the rest of the afternoon free of sewing jobs.  I'm totally caught up.  Well, except for little curtains for my sister, but so far I've not been able to find the little vintage homespun checks that she needs for the museum where she works. Oh, and a couple of work projects, but there is time for those.

I've promised myself a little white Christmas tree in my office that's turned into half office, half overflow sewing room.  I think this afternoon will be the time for that.  And for making some banana bread.  Finishing up the tiny dab of laundry that's left, then that will be all caught up too.

On this week before Thanksgiving, I'm feeling very grateful.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Looking Out

Snow today, but sunny this afternoon for a few minutes.  I keep hearing that it will be a long winter, and it's certainly started early.

Probably because I have a "big" sewing project, I keep finding other things to do between project tasks.  I think of it as my planning time, but it may be my procrastination time too.

And, it's the strangest things.  Like getting out my Christmas dishes and running them through the dishwasher.  Like clearing out the metal shelves in my office.  They will be going down to the basement, eventually.  Some things that I thought I once needed . . . I don't need any more.

Like making an appointment for an oil change for my car.  That isn't strange, and it's something I wish I'd done last week.  Going to the dealership tomorrow morning when the temperature is supposed to be eleven degrees doesn't make me happy.  Love the heated seats in my car, though.

Like reminding myself what's actually in the bottom of my Hoosier cabinet.  The one that was my grandmother's.  I keep telling myself that I'm not a pack rat, but I really have to work at not being one.

Time to go back to work.  

Saturday, November 8, 2014

New Project

The free Viking design this month is a cd case, with pockets for seven cd's.  The houndstooth and red polka dot pockets alternate.  You can download the embroidery design and instructions here :

Steph cooked a pre-Thanksgiving turkey last night and Aaron called me to let me know that the dog ate the heart and the gizzard.  Big news.

I am thinking that one more yard cleaning will do it - the leaves are almost gone now.  One of my goals for the year was to have the yard and beds clean at the end of the season - put to bed as Joanne says.  I know it will make things much easier in the spring and I'll be able to plant earlier.

Someone said to me this week that she is looking forward to the winter months when she can be in her studio and just SEW.  No yard work or other outside distractions.  I'm a little conflicted about that, but I can feel the attraction.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

With Apologies

With apologies to somebody, somewhere . . .

Friends saw this wall hanging in a hospital, the message spoke to them, and they really wanted it for their new home.  I tired sleuthing around to find the artist so I could get permission to redo it or purchase the pattern, without success.  I went ahead and did my own version for my friends, and it's pretty close to the original. If anyone recognizes it as their own, I'll still ask permission after the fact, and I hope you'll be gracious.

Embroidery design from Embroidery Library.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Last Day

This was the last Kings Island day for the season.  Because we re-uped for next year, we had Fast Pass wristbands for the day.  That was a fun thing, but we really didn't need them because there weren't lines for anything.  Bengals game, and chilly weather, plus I would guess that most people were just done with all that fun for this year.

Aaron was about as close as you can be to being tall enough to ride the Diamondback, but he had to wait in the pen.  He agonized about whether to ride the Banshee, finally opted out.  I did ride it and have to admit that about half way through I was ready to quit.  I'm just not good at the corkscrew stuff.  I'll probably give it another try, though, another year

So now, to warm up before bed.  I'm just cold all over.  And yet, I'm considering a pumpkin beer, when what would really be good would be one of the winter warmers.  I can't believe that I rode the coasters in November.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Figured It Out

I figured out the pictures, just needed to use a different browser.  I need to remember to be more like the generations after me - just push buttons until something works.  

So, above, Steph, Nora, and Aaron scooping out the seeds in preparation for carving.

And then, I went with my neighbor to a pumpkin walk at a park in nearby Fort Thomas.  The trail was lined with lit pumpkins, real ones that people carved plus pumpkin lumineria plus plastic pumpkins.  Above are two of the judged winners.  At the end were two figures who were counting - they said 2900 people had come before us.  It was so worth the wait.

Some snow this morning, as predicted.  I remember dressing my daughter for Trick or Treat when we lived in Detroit, always winter clothes.  Here, we're kinda spoiled, don't think it should be that way. Steph said that Aaron was under the weather, had to give up early.  She and Nora very nicely took his pumpkin and people were nice about that.

I need to find my gloves.