Friday, January 23, 2015

Paczki Donuts

I wish I had a picture, but it's too late!  Maybe next year!

I had an errand in Clifton this morning and stopped at Graeter's on the way back.  They have wonderful daily soups, posted on the door.  Broccoli cheddar, yum!, was on for today.

I got that, but there was also one Black Raspberry Paczki donut left.  These are a seasonal thing, and by Lent they will be gone until next year.  I've been doing great with cutting down on sugar and carbs, but these feel like a once-a-year celebration so I got one and enjoyed most of it.  Every bit as good as last year.

And, they are taking orders for King Cakes.  If King Cakes are coming, spring can't be all that far behind.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where Was I?

I went to the Selma matinee today and was the only one in the theatre.  Not so unusual at the early matinees, but I did expect at least a few other people.  It was a great movie, hard to watch but I know I'll watch it again later.  I think some folks were right - it would have been nice to see an Oscar nomination for David Oyelowo, as well as the director.

The Selma march was in my young adult lifetime but I don't remember it.  I was a sophomore in college and at that time there were no tv's in rooms and I rarely watched.  During the Kennedy assination and funeral we gathered in an upstairs lounge and watched as often as we could, but I don't remember watching Selma at all.  I rarely saw a newspaper.

It's discouraging to me now to think that I missed this part of history because I had my head down in books and class and work.  I don't remember that we discussed it in classes.  I know I was taking French and probably intro to journalism and a photography class.  Probably English of some sort.  

And the next year I was in off-campus housing and probably missed all current events.  I hope that today's college students are better informed.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hotel Picnic

On this January weekend, Steph and the kids and I went to Bluffton to visit relatives and to have some mid-winter hotel swimming for the kids.  The kids swam like they were starved for it, two long sessions.  After last night's session they put their tired bodies in pajamas and opted for some carry-in instead of going out.  There was an Applebee's right next to the hotel, how nice was that?

I loved just sitting in the warm pool area, watching them and looking at the snow outside the window.  Yep, it's a little farther north, and about half way there we started seeing snow on the ground. 

There had been gray skies further north, but the longer we drove toward home this afternoon, the more blue appeared.  And the more the temperature rose.  After some grocery and TJ Maxx shopping in Cincinnati, it was sunset when I was driving home.  When I pulled off at my exit, the sky was gorgeous.  

It was a great visit, and so lovely to have a January break.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Off

Today was an in-service day at school, so the grands and I went to Newport on the Levee.  We saw the movie Paddington, which just came out today, then spent some time at the Aquarium.  The kids spent quite a bit of time admiring the fish, which usually get a passing glance on the way to the alligators or turtles or sharks.

Then we ate lunch at Dewey's Pizza, which has a window into the kitchen for watching the dough being stretched and thrown.  Nora, bless her heart, worked her way through a large salad before moving on to a slice of pizza.  Even Aaron ate a little salad, but probably more because he was really hungry than anything else.

Back at my house, they played Chopped with play dough.  Aaron insisted that I had to choose a winner, even though I said it was a tie.  Nora whispered to me to choose him, it was ok, but she still had kind of a sad look on her face when Aaron was announced as the winner.  Really, her veggie burger was lovely, with sesame seeds and a lettuce leaf.  Aaron was very original, choosing a lobster leg sandwich.  I think he was a little influenced by the aquarium.

Don't you love Nora's name on the hood of her hoodie?  It was a hand-me-down with another kid's name in that spot.  Since it was a satin stitch, it wasn't hard to pick out the embroidery and replace it with her name.  It was the first time I'd seen a name done on the hood.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Purple Bag

This make-up bag has the seams and the triangular shaping at the bottom sewn with the lining facing out.  I really like the way that adds extra color.  The idea is from the 2014 Quilting Arts Holiday.

I am reading the book Achieve Anything in Just One Year.  There is a page of reading and an exercise for every day.  I'm a sucker for self help books and goals, so I look forward to the day's reading.  Today's exercise is to try something new.  This one requires some thinking.  Just what is it that I want to try?  Screen printing?  A real yoga class?  Obviously I won't get it done today because the day is almost through.

Oops, I did do a real yoga class once, in grad school.  The instructor really liked yoga and we got extra credit for going.  So, that one won't work.  I do want to take a yoga class, though.  There is a studio here in town that looks worth trying.  They have a gentle yoga class, that sounds about right.  One thing I've learned from my yoga DVD's:  there is a BIG difference in what different people consider beginner yoga.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Zippered Bag

This zippered bag is the Viking January project.  It is fully lined, plus it has three zippered pockets.  I chose zippers of different colors to match the braided strap and linings.

You can find the bag directions on the Viking website.  If you don't have an embroidery machine, try it anyway, leaving the bottom plain or using a matching fabric.  Putting in the zippers is a breeze and doesn't even require a zipper foot, so don't let those zippers stop you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bright Baby Quilt

For my January donation baby quilt, I used part of a Quiltologie kit that I picked up at Hancock during November.  It was 50% off and I had an additional coupon, so I decided to try it.  As I was piecing, I wasn't really fond of the bright chevrons, but I changed my mind once the quilting was complete.

The back is a rabbit print that someone gave me.  Very cute, and it has some of the colors of the front.  Thanks to you, if you gave it to me.

At baby quilt day on Monday, I plan to piece some of the leftover half-square blocks together in a pinwheel pattern and use them with blocks from a gray solid.

Last night I couldn't watch the collegiate national championship football game, since I don't have cable and didn't want to go out.  So, I did some furniture rearranging in three rooms, moving beds and the dining room table against walls to open up some floor space.  Yesterday morning I had packed the Christmas things away in my nice little attic and suddenly I just wanted to change things around.  There may be a little more of that going on tonight.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Coiled Trivet

I'm going through a dry spell, creativity and sewing wise, so I decided to try one of my many goals for the year.  I have to add that I had trouble coming up with goals for creativity, so that segment of my goal list is pretty short.  That's ok with me, not all my goals have to be in place the first week of the year.  I think that sometimes you don't have to look for things, sometimes if you relax, they come to you.

I've been attracted to the coiled trivets for a long time and enjoyed watching Ann make one at a quilting retreat, so on the list it went.  I'd always imagined that they would be hard to do, that the cord would be stiff and that I'd have to fight to get it under the pressure foot.  Turns out that isn't the case at all, at least not with the 3/16" cord that I used.  The machine didn't stitch the cord, just the fabric.

I used 1" wide strips, mostly width of fabric, since shorter ones would have a much scrappier look.  I used a zigzag stitch, 2.5 length and 2.0 width.  I started coiling the fabric a couple of inches from the end of the strip, then twisted the end fabric for the center.  I stitched a cross over that center part, then started stitching around the coils.  When I needed to change fabrics, I just wrapped the new piece over the end of the previous one.  At the end, I left a little fabric and tried to tuck it in.

This took longer than I thought it might, but it was mindless and enjoyable.  And it's really my type of thing, using up some fabric scraps to make something functional.  Who knew? 

I used cording from the drapery section of the fabric store and it was pretty soft, which was nice.  I know that some people use clothesline.  I had some clothesline for just that purpose, but I have a feeling that I sent it to Goodwill in a purging time.  It would be less expensive than the cording and would be a little more rigid.  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

In My House

I love to see people's homes, see the pretty treasures and bright things that make their homes shine.  So, I thought that this month I'd show you a few of those things in my own home.  Things that make me happy, things that help make my days brighter.

I'll start with this little bird tree in my office, because one of these days I'll be packing it away for another year.  Not yet, though.  

My mother loved little antique birds with feather tails, and while my birds aren't antiques, I enjoy the feathered tails and the clips for fastening them on the branches.

This is my first year for this little white tree, purchased, I'm sure, at a 75% off sale a year or so ago.  Around the base is a piece of turquoise fabric with medium-sized white dots.  And what makes it all the better is that it faces a side window and I know that my urban neighbor is enjoying the lights from his kitchen window.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Steph and Nora and Silas House

Above are Steph and Nora at Golden Corral, with Nora acting just a little silly.  The hat was a Christmas gift from one of Nora's aunts.

Silas House is one of my favorite authors.  If you like good Appalachian fiction, or just good stories, give him a try.  You won't be sorry.  I hope you like these suggestions from his facebook page:

This year:
Find a creek, river, lake, or ocean, and be still beside it for a time. Sit by an open fire and watch the flames. Sit on the porch and lie on the grass. Light candles. Take a deep breath. Write a handwritten letter to someone.
Discover something new everyday. Learn. Tell stories. Listen to old people. Ask them questions.
Do something nice for others when you can and don't hesitate to be kind to yourself.
Read actual, real books and newspapers.
Spend an entire day without looking at your phone. If you feel the urge to post a selfie everyday, take a picture of some other beautiful thing instead. Remember that there is power in moderation.
Learn to cook or bake something new. Enjoy every meal. Savor your food. Drink water.
Be completely quiet. Turn your favorite song up as long as it will go.
If someone makes you feel bad all the time, get away from them. Laugh with others. Laugh while you're alone.
Spend time with animals. They make us better people.
Spray someone with the kitchen sink sprayer. Sing while washing dishes. Dance.
Don't judge. Think this: "There but for the grace of God go I" or "Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Forgive others. Forgive yourself.
--Silas House, from "What I Know: a Prayer Essay"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everybody.  Hoping 2015 is the year the Bengals do well in the playoff's.  (That's their Paul Brown stadium beside the river.)