Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Is Almost Here

At this time each year, many people choose a word for the upcoming year.  This year I have chosen the word 

I really am the Queen of Unorganized.  It's a curse, to be sure.  When I worked, my desk was always the most neat in the office.  But at home, that's another story.  I wish I could explain it, but I can't.  Remember the photos of my sewing room that I posted a few months ago.  Well, I started sewing for Christmas, did no further work for organization, and now it looks worse than before.    Yesterday I ordered some baskets from Walmart.com.  I'm planning on putting my fabric in them, sorted by color.  The fabric is stacked on shelves right now, but when you pull one piece out, well, you end up with a mess.  So, this is one of my planned improvements.  Also, I have some fabrics that were given to me that I will never use in a million years.  It needs to go, I'm just not sure of how to get rid of it.  I hate to just throw it out, but what would I (basically a country girl) do with toille?  And it's brown, black and rust!  If you're interested, let me know.  

And if I don't talk to you before, Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tis the Day After Christmas. . .

And I love the fact that Rod got today as a holiday.  I will really miss him when he goes back to work tomorrow.  He had Friday as his Christmas Eve holiday and today as Christmas Day.  Our Christmas was wonderful.  Rod and I opened our gifts Christmas morning before we started preparing the food for Christmas dinner.  I knew I was getting my Santas of the world, but had no idea I would be getting the other things.  I had wanted a new, small purse - one that was big enough for my phone and my cards.  I had picked one out and emailed him the link, but he told me he hadn't been able to get it.  But when I opened my first gift, there was my little purse.

Isn't it cute?  And it has a ton of pockets both inside and out.  I will probably take the shoulder strap off and use the wrist strap only.  It's so funny.  When we got married, I used a really small purse.  And as the kids came along and I needed the carry more "stuff", the size of my purse grew considerably.  Now, I hate the oversized bag and am returning to the little purse. This little gem is only 7.5" x 4.5".





I love Jim Shore's work since he combines my love of folk are with my love of quilting.  Rod also got me this figurine since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies.

And how about this Goofy Marionette, also Jim Shore, that Kristin and her family gave me.  Isn't he just the cutest?!!  There's a little hook on the top that you can hang him with.



Enough about the presents, now about the rest of the day.  Rod and I decided we didn't want to spend the entire day in the kitchen, so we decided to make use of the 5 crock pots that we own.  The ham went into the big one, the cheesy hash brown potatoes went in the medium one, and then in the set of three we put the baked pineapple, the picnic beans and the turkey left over from Thanksgiving that we took out of the freezer and added some turkey broth to so we could warm it up. The cake was already baked, so we capped, sliced, and mashed the strawberries, and cut the veggies for the salad.  We were set to go whenever the kids arrived.  It worked out really well, and dinner was ready when the presents were all opened.



The greatest part of the day, however, was that my Mom was well for Christmas this year.  The past few years she has either been in the hospital or has just gotten out.  But this year she looked and felt great.  And not bad for her 83rd birthday.  Her favorite part of the day was when she got to pose for pictures with the four great grandchildren.  They all love her so much, and all give her hugs and kisses whenever they see her.  The four of them went to Build-a-Bear and made her a pink angel bear for Christmas.  Grandma loves angels, and the kids each recorded an "I Love You" message to put inside the angel's paw.  (Jake made some noises that were close to I Love You).  It was a truly great Christmas and I thank God for my wonderful family and all the other blessings he has bestowed on me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For Unto You is Born this Day

 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

May you all have a blessed and safe holiday.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Gift Idea


This year we decided to buy gift cards for the daughters and sons-in-law.  I made cute little pouches with key holders attached to slip the girls' gift cards into, but hadn't found a way to give the ones for the guys.  In an email from Connecting Threads, they offered a free download of a gift card sleeve that I think will be perfect.  It looks to be simple and I should be able to whip two of them out in no time.  By using carpenter fabric for Jimmy and some John Deere fabric for Georgie, I can really make them personal.  Thanks to Connecting Thread for this little goodie.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa made a surprise visit to Mary's house last night, and all my kids and grand kids just happened to be there.

Bubs and Santa

Krissy and Santa

Izzy and Santa

Jake and Santa

Kris and family with Santa

Mary and family with Santa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Get Out of the Rut" Tuesday

Here it is, another GOTR Tuesday.  And believe me, this is not the way I planned to get out of any rut.  I have this horrible habit of planning what needs to be done before Christmas and then wearing myself out trying to do all that I've planned.  And again this year, I over planned what I would be able to accomplish.  I never figure into those plans that I babysit the two little ones, and that Kristin's schedule changes when least expected.  Last week, I decided that the covered composition books that I had planned to do for the kids needed to be pushed back to Valentine's Day.  And now, I find that I have to push something else back.  There is absolutely no way in Hades that I can finish both of those princess dresses in less than 5 days.  Never mind that I've lost one pattern piece, forget that they aren't even cut out yet.  The bottom line is that I want these dresses to be so special for my granddaughters, and I had forgotten that bridal satin is so miserable to work with.  And so to get out of the rut, the rut of overdoing things and ending up tired and frustrated, I am NOT worrying about finishing these dresses before Christmas!!  There - I have said it! And now it can be done!

Now here's my dilemma - I bought these beautiful sparkle-y shoes to go with the princess dresses.  Do I save the shoes for when I give the dresses?  Do I give the shoes now with a picture of the dresses and an IOU?  Or do I just give the shoes and not worry about saying anything about the dresses?  Kristin is on vacation next week, so I should have plenty of time to finish the dresses then.  I have already bought UGG boots to go with the jeans and fleece pullovers.  I have bought rolling pins to go with the aprons, and have bought undies and tights to put into the trunks.  It's not like they will miss the shoes.  But Izzy wanted pink sparkly shoes for Christmas.  I'm leaning toward saving them and giving them later.  I think the dresses and shoes will be more special if they have their own day.  What do you think?

Monday, December 19, 2011

HELP!!!!!!!!!

Have you ever prayed to St. Anthony?  My mother-in-law taught us to pray to St. Anthony whenever we had lost something.  And believe me, I've been praying!  I started to cut out the princess dresses for the girls' dolls yesterday.  While I was flipping the fabric around (because it kept slipping off the table), one little pattern piece blew off the table, and has yet to be found.  And I do mean little.  It's a piece for  the strap for Tinkerbell's little suit.  This stupid cold and cough still have me down, and this missing piece has just sent me into tears.  I think it was a piece that is about 1" by 3", but I'm not sure of the size.  Rod tells me just to fudge it -- but fudge has never been one of my strong points.

This is the photo of the pattern, and the little strap can be seen here.  I'm sure I will eventually figure it out, but right now I just didn't need the frustration.  The pattern said to use crinoline for the stiffener for the wings.  Mary was going to Joann for some craft supplies, so she picked me up crinoline -- that's what it said on the end of the bolt.  Now that I get into the pattern, they keep talking about the "net" which goes inside the wings.  Just more frustration.  Hopefully the fairy police won't sure up to check on this outfit.  

On the good news front, I ordered and downloaded some embroidery patterns over the weekend.  They were from glowproduct, about 200 Sesame Street design.  Each design includes a copyright from Henson.  However, there was no file that showed the color photos or stitch charts for these designs.  The only way I could see the designs was to put them on a memory stick and put them into the sewing machine.  So, Saturday afternoon I emailed them and asked if they had any color charts available.  And in just a matter of hours, I had the color charts in my hand.  Great service, and the designs sew up beautifully.  Makes me want to buy from them again.

We did finally get our tree up, and do some decorating over the weekend.  About time, right?  See you later in the week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You Gotta Try These. . .

Daughter Pat was off today.  She went shopping this morning, and then came down to bake cookies.  We wanted a peanut butter cookie, but wanted to try something new.  A few years ago, Rod and I stayed at a honeymoon cottage at Donna's Premier Lodging in Berlin, OH.  When we arrived, there was a small plate of goodies waiting for us.  One of the cookies on the tray was a peanut butter sandwich cookie that was so good it left me speechless.  Donna has the recipe on her site, and so today we tried making them.  You really need to try these.  Even if you don't fill them, the peanut butter is the best I've ever tasted.  I've added the recipe to the recipe page here on my blog.

Where Was I?

Wow, I completely missed Get out of the Rut Tuesday.  Where was I, you ask.  I was busy like an elf trying to get the Christmas shirts done for the kids.

Krissy had asked for this Minnie Mouse gingerbread girl.  I think she turned out pretty cute, and I again embellished her with some crystals.  The shirt is red, although it looks more like an orange.  That's one.





 This is the applique that Bubby chose -- the Grinch.  Whether you love Christmas or hate it, you have to love the Grinch.  His shirt is a bright blue, and I love the way it turned out.  That's two!

Kristin has requested Santa Claus for her kids.  I have a really cute pattern, and that will be done tomorrow.  Pat wants a snowman, and Pam wants the Grinch.  Mary is getting a snowman that is Minnie Mouse.

On Sunday, I did two shirts for my Mom -- a Santa and a really cute penguin holding a candy cane.

For "Get out of the Rut Tuesday" I decided to make German Potato Soup.  I hadn't made it for quite some time because the twins don't care for it.  But since they weren't coming for dinner and I have a nasty cold, I made the soup.  I didn't have any ham, but I figured I could use bacon.  Kristin was going to Walmart and I had the kids, so she picked me up some ham.  Who knew that you could buy pre-diced ham in the grocery store.  Not Me! But she brought me a pack and it was big enough that I could put half of it in the freezer.  The  soup was so warming, and I swear that when you don't feel well, soup makes you feel a little better.

I've decided to make biscotti to give to my friends and neighbors for Christmas.  I've not made it before, but all the comments on the recipes I've chosen say it's very simple.  I love orange cranberry bread, so I will definitely be making cranberry orange biscotti.  Mary has been buying gingerbread biscotti in the market, but now they don't seem to have it.  Gingerbread is another type on my list.  And then expresso and possibly one with dried apricots and pistachios.  I'm hungry now, looks like I better go and get breakfast.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Secret Santa Soiree

Last week I promised photos of my presents from my Secret Santa.  And here they are:

Here's all my goodies.  Aren't the bees just too cute?!!  I love the Steeler pens - I will have to hide them from the grandkids.  Sorry about the glare on the CD.









This  close up is the bottom level of the top photo.  You can see that the CD cover is personalized with my name,a toy train, and a nutcracker (which I collect).  And the label was also customized.  I was so honored to think that someone spent so much time in carefully choosing gifts for me.

Thank you my sweet Secret Santa.  And Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

And the Day Got Brighter. . .

As yesterday marched on, it got brighter.  You can see from the sidebar that I am participating in a Secret Santa Soiree.  Last week I got a letter from Kris Kringle advising me that I would be receiving a special gift for being so good.  It was postmarked from "Santa Claus Station" and from the zip code I determined that it was from Santa Claus Indiana. Curious! And yesterday, a package came.  And it was postmarked from "Rudolph, Ohio", which I didn't even know existed.  More Curious!  The package didn't say not to open, and so I opened it.  Inside was a beautiful quilter's Christmas ornament from Bronner's in Michigan - one of my favorite Christmas stores.  I know this elf has been following my blog - she told me so.  But somehow she seems to have gotten into my head and heart.  There was a pack of Steeler pens, so cool.  And a pumpkin spice pillar candle.  I love any of the fall spices, and pumpkin spice is probably my favorite.  There was a poinsettia plate which will look great under the candle, and a tin of homemade cookies.  Since it was close to dinner, I fought off the urge to try them. But, there's more.  There was a CD of holiday favorites made especially for me, and don't ask me how this elf knew so many of my favorite songs.  And with my love of music, it was a generous and thoughtful gift.  But my favorite gift of all is a set of shelf sitters that are . . . bumblebees!!!!  And you know how I love bumblebees.  They will be flanking the TV in the sewing room so that I will be able to see them when I sew.  I have to get my package for my Secret Santa packed up and mailed on Saturday.  Hope she is as happy with her gifts as I am.

And to Elf Avonna - as she called herself.  Thank you so much for all the wonderful gifts.  I was truly blessed that you were given my name.  I wanted to post photos, but it's so dark this morning that I couldn't get any good shots.  I will get some this weekend, and post them on Sunday.  I promise.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You Know What They Say . . .

Yep, they say that the night is always darkest before the dawn.  And so it was yesterday.  I was so bummed, and sat and did absolutely nothing.  Well, not really nothing, I did cry a little.  The kids all knew how frustrated I was, and being the good kids they are, tried to find a solution.  When Pam came down to help with dinner, she got my laptop and took it to the kitchen.  And started surfing.  We have requested information from a dental insurance company - from what we saw online, we can get a plan for just a little over $100/month.  Not bad.  So there's a twinkle of hope on the horizon.

The bad thing about sitting and doing nothing is that I still have so much left to do.  I have finished the girls' pullover shirts, hats, and jeans for the dolls.  I have also finished the aprons and chef toques for the dolls.  I used gingerbread man fabric to highlight the white, made a small gingerbread man of felt to stick in one pocket, and ordered mini rolling pins to hide in another pocket.  I have ordered snow boots, sparkly shoes, tights and gutchies all to put into the wooden doll cases we bought for them.  But I just felt that every little girl should have a fancy dress to go with her sparkly shoes.  I found a pattern on eBay for Disney princess dresses for the 18" dolls and could go to Simplicity's sight and check the back of the pattern for yardage and fabric recommendations.  So, I ordered the pattern and the fabrics to make Izzy a Sleeping Beauty dress to go with her pink shoes, and to make Krissy a Tinkerbell outfit to go with her silver shoes.  Now, I'm just waiting for them to arrive.  I think the girls are going to be so delighted with their doll clothes and case.

I did, however, forget that I have Christmas shirts to make for my girls and the grand kids.  So, today I am getting my designs ready and put on the memory stick for my embroidery machine. And this weekend, the machine will hum quite loudly.  Rod's company Christmas party is Saturday night, but with no Steeler game on Sunday, I should get a lot accomplished.  I can't believe that we are down to 17 days.  I think the fact that the weather has been in the 50's and 60's makes it seem like Christmas isn't so near.  But it will come right on time, and if I'm going to be ready, I'd better get a wiggle on (as my granny would say).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Feeling Down - Need a Little Boost

Today is a dark and dreary day, and for sure it matches my mood.  I've been suffering with a bad tooth for quite a few months, and finally decided it was time to do something about it.  My family doctor gave me an antibiotic to take in preparation for the extraction.  Ok, so far.  This morning was my appointment with a dentist.  He was a very nice, kind man and the office staff was great.  However, he said he could not take care of the tooth today, because I have been on an aspirin regimen as part of my diabetic program.  He did take X-rays, and then formulated a "plan of action"  complete with 4 options.  When I saw the proposed cost, I feel weak and thought I would pass out - he would pull three teeth, do root canal and crown on 2 and make two partial plates for the piddly sum of $4000.  I can't afford that, I told him.  So, showed me three other options and not one of them is under $2000.  And then the office call and the X-rays cost me $140 today.  So, I'm feeling like I wasted $140 and have nothing but pain to show for it.  And now I don't quite know where to go from here.  The bad part of it is that I need new glasses, and although my hospital insurance covers the exam, it doesn't pay for the glasses.  Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that we have hospitalization and it's a wonderful plan. And Rod's employer pays for it - truly a blessing in today's world.    But how, in today's economy, do people afford dental work?  If I liked the taste of alcohol, I would probably have a drink right now.  But I don't!  I could really go for a piece of chocolate (I am a choco-holic), but I would never stop at one piece and more than that isn't good for a diabetic!  I thought about having a good cry, but that would just give me a headache and make my eyes hurt.  So, I guess I'll just go to the sewing room and shut the rest of the world out.

Since today is "Climb out of the Rut" Tuesday, I need something to shake up my world a little.  So, when I came home from the dentist and went to change out of my good clothes, I put my bathrobe on instead.  Nothing earth shattering, but my chub is certainly all shaking!!  So much for climbing out of the rut.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Climb Out of the Rut

I have officially declared Tuesday to be "Climb Out of the Rut Day".  As the days become shorter and more gloomy, I am beginning to feel like I'm stuck in a rut.  I need to "use it up"  rather than throw it out; and so to spice things up a little, I'm going to try new ideas to help me climb out of the rut.  I don't know about you, but it seems that I cook the same things over and over again.  Last night, we were having pork chops (not turkey!)  but I wanted something different from the old barbequed chops.  So, I looked around the kitchen and found some apples that were a little past their prime.  So I searched on Allrecipes.com for a recipe that used apples and pork chops.  I found one that sounded really good, but modified it a little to save on dirty dishes.  Maybe give it a try.
APPLE PORK CHOPS
Ingredients:
2 T oil                                                             2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup chopped onionn                                  2 T brown sugar
4 (1/2 in. thick) pork chops                             1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt                                                     1/8 tsp. ground cloves
ground pepper to taste                                    3/4 c. hot water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat oil in large skillet.  Add pork chops and brown on both sides.  Remove and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add onion to skillet and saute for 1 minute, or until tender.  Cover the pork chops with apples and cooked onions. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard, cloves, and water.  Pour over the pork chops.  Cover and bake in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes.  

I used the leftover mashed potatoes and made homemade gnocchi and after boiling them, added them to melted butter.  Before serving, I sprinkled them with parsley and parmesan cheese.  It was something different, very delicious, and is therefore termed a success.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to Work

The extended Thanksgiving weekend has passed, and now it's back to work.  I just can't believe that we have so few days left until Christmas.  And there's so much to be done.  I continue to work on Christmas gifts, although at this point, it's doubtful that I will finished everything I wanted to do.  I've got a few of the doll outfits cut out.  It seems to work better for me to cut a couple and then spend the time to sew them.  I have a little plastic box that I'm putting them in as I cut them, and so it's less likely that I will lose any of the pieces.  I know, it seems too organized for me.  But I'm trying to change.

All the shopping that I planned to do is finished.  I did not battle the crowds on Black Friday - I did all of it from the comfort of my living room, feet propped up.  I got some really good deals, including some free shipping.  So, I'm pleased.

Thanksgiving was planned for my house, but on Wednesday I was viciously attacked by a flu bug.  There's no way I could cook dinner (not sure if it would have been healthy for everyone else, either), so we rescheduled our family dinner for Saturday.  Thursday morning, the twins showed up here with a frozen turkey to replace the thawed one that was in the refrigerator, and all the fixin's for a simple Thanksgiving meal.  I was still not quite myself, and so Rod and the girls made the stuffing, stuffed the bird (21-1/2 lbs.), and put it into the oven.  Later in the afternoon, they came back with pies, and prepared the rest of the meal.  It was so good, but there were a lot of leftovers.  We thawed the other turkey (22-1/2 lbs.) in preparation for our official Thanksgiving meal with the family.  For this meal, I made cornbread sausage stuffing in addition to the routine sage stuffing.  Mary brought baked corn pudding and a pumpkin roll.  Kristin brought deviled eggs - she makes the best, they taste just like Rod's mother's.  And the twins brought the pumpkin pies and whipped cream.  I had bought whipped cream, and according to Rod, we had 114 cans of whipped cream in the frig.  But he is prone to exaggeration!  It was so warm that the kids were able to pose for a picture in their turkey shirts on the back deck.  Hope your holiday was a safe and happy one.

Well, it's time to go back work.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Being Scotch CAN Be a Good Thing!


I've told you before that I never throw anything out.  But, being part Scotch, I also try to save money whenever and wherever I can.  The ornaments for my
Advent calendar are quite small, and it just killed me to put only one on each piece of stabilizer.  So, I fiddled around with the buttons on my machine, and discovered that by moving the center to each of the four corners, I could put FOUR ornaments on each piece of stabilizer.  I was doing a happy dance.  And here's a photo of the first four ornaments still in the hoop.  It was a good day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Am I a Glutton for Punishment?

Just 43 days til Christmas, and I don't have half of what I wanted to do finished.  And yet what do I do?  Take on another project!  As a German major in college, I became enthralled with the tradition of the Advent Calendar.  My German professor brought calendars back from Germany for the students in her classes, and I was hooked.  I've always had an Advent of one sort or another (the ones with chocolate in them are cute, but the chocolate is horrible), and so when I got an email from Designs by JuJu  about her new Advent calendar, I had to check it out.

It's an adorable design, the ornaments are completely finished "in the hoop".  The pockets, likewise are made "in the hoop", and are made from felt.  Each ornament is made complete with a buttonhole for hanging, and you put the buttons on the tree.  Each pocket is large enough to hold the ornament and a little treat.  And so, the design has been downloaded, the instructions have been printed and put into page protectors in a report cover, the tree pattern has been printed and is ready to "cut and paste", and I've made a list of things I need from the fabric store.  I know, I know, it's a large undertaking at this point in the year, but I just couldn't help myself.  So I guess the answer is Oh Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting It Done

 Yesterday I didn't have the kids at all, and boy did I get things done.  I've been working on Christmas gifts, and had purchased the pattern for a 1 yard apron.  I have quite a stash of 30's repro fabrics, and decided to use those for these aprons.  This is the first one, done in blue puppy dog with light blue and plaid pockets complete with eyelet lace trim.


This apron was probably my favorite of all the aprons.  Green and orange are my two favorite colors, and this apron showcases both of them.  Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of the orange gingham to do the waistband, but I liked the yellow.  And the pocket is trimmed with an ivory and brown lace.

 
I really liked the floral in this apron.  I pulled the lime green and orchid from the print and used them for the pocket, ties and waistband.  The orchid plaid trim is some homemade binding left over from a quilt.  As I always say, I don't throw anything away.








And last, but not least is the peach apron.  I pulled peach fabrics from my stash and trimmed the pocket with some double layer lace.  Now that these are done, they can be put away for use as Christmas gifts.  Now I need to decide what to work on next.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Monday

Yes it's a happy Monday.  The kids should arrive in about 1/2 hour, and I haven't seen them in almost a week.  Not a big deal for most grandparents who live a distance from their grandkids, but when you're accustomed to seeing them nearly every day, it's a big hole in your life not to see them.

Last week, I had planned on selling embroidered neckties to earn a little extra money.  I found some beautiful ties at a really great price on the internet, and ordered 4 to try.  This is my first attempt, and I'm not really thrilled with it.  You can see that it puckered, and I'm hoping it will iron out.  I do think that I figured out what I did wrong.  The needle in my machine is the same one that I used for applique embroidery and heat and bond, and I think it probably wasn't sharp enough.  So before I try the next tie, I'm planning on changing the needle to a new ball point needle.  Hopefully that will make the difference.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Man Wears Many Hats

As many of you know, my hubby is my best friend.  Over the years, he has worn many hats -- husband, father, caster of ceramics, maker of furniture, train collector, cook, gardener, laundry man, and comedian.  But on Friday he took on a new hat - that of an arbitrator.  He had an extra 1/2 day vacation time which he decided to take on Friday afternoon.  He called Kris and went to her house to talk.  Then he came and talked to me.  He was a great arbitrator, and the bottom line is that the kids come back to my care on Monday.  Gosh, how I've missed them.  The kisses, the giggles, the kid's programming - I'll be glad to have them back.  So now, many of the new plans that I had in progress will fall by the wayside.  There will be no selling on Etsy or anywhere else.  But my intent to to something healthy for myself will proceed.

This morning, daughter Mary turned me onto Bento Box lunches.  A completely new concept for me, but one I can really live with.  She linked me to this Easy Lunch Box page, and now the mental wheels are turning (yes that's the smoke you're smelling) to come up with good lunches for Izzy and I.  Jake will be a year old on the 14th of this month and it won't be long until he will also be needing a lunch.  Lunch time always seems like a busy time for me, and I end up grabbing whatever is handy.  This will, hopefully, eliminate that rush.  I've ordered a set of containers, and will start packing my easy lunches as soon as they arrive.  Today, the sun is shining and I am smiling once again.  Here's looking forward to a bright future and Happy Holidays once again.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Unhappy Ending

Today it appears that my days of providing day care for my grandkids has come to an end.  It's what I have done for the past eleven years, and I've always been good at it.  But this week, an argument, words spoken in anger, and a botched effort to solve the problems are the reasons that Izzy and Jake have been removed from my care and put into a structured day care program.   I am deeply saddened, and feel that my life has come crashing down around my ankles. I miss my grandkids,  and would give almost anything to have Izzy run in here and give me a big hug and a kiss.  But I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. I know what effect this is having on me and I worry about what it will do to them.   The holidays are so near, and I don't know how to bring my family back together for what have always been family times.

My wonderful MIL always said that God doesn't close a door without opening a window.  I searching for that window.  I've never been a quitter, I've always been a survivor, and I'm sure that this time will be no exception.  But I need to find something to do with my time.  I will go stark raving mad if I have to sit here all day with nothing to do. And you can only use so many quilts.  We only have one car and Rod uses it for work.  Physically, I am not able to work at a full time job.  I used to sell crafts in stores and stopped that when Bubby came into our lives.  Yet, these years later, that isn't a realistic solution.  I'm debating on selling items on Etsy, and am currently researching that possibility.

Maybe this is the time to concentrate on myself and my health.  I'm not an exerciser, but a little movement would be a start.  Menu planning and cooking healthy meals are now more of a possibility.  For now, I will continue to pray and meditate on what life holds for me as the next act of my life begins.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Krissy

Meet Hines Nerd - not really, it's granddaughter Krissy.  She is a big, and I mean BIG Hines Ward fan.  Here she is in her Halloween costume - she calls herself Hines Nerd.  And today she turns eleven years old.  I keep wondering where those years went.  Most days she seems so grown up, and yet every once in a while we still glimpse that little girl.  Last night when they came to trick or treat, she asked her Pappy in her little girl voice to make her some "noodle soup" (Ramen noodles).

Krissy and I have been special buddies - it's more than just Grammy and granddaughter.  When Bubby was born and in the hospital for so long, Krissy spent most of her time away from her parents with Pappy and I. When Bubby had seizures and needed to be taken to the hospital, Krissy stayed with me.  It saddened me that when he needed the shunt replacement, Krissy chose to stay with her best friend and not her Grammy.  It was a sign that she was growing up, and I understood.



Krissy, like her Mom, feels that Disney is the happiest place on earth.  She has loved meeting all the characters, but Chip and Dale are her favorites.  Here is a photo of Krissy with Dale during our 2009 trip.  Such a happy little girl!


 And, dressing as the characters is really special for her, too.  Here she is from our 2010 trip dressed up like Mary Poppins.  Mary took her by the hand and took her to some other tables to introduce her as "my twin".

And this photo is from our most recent trip in September 2011.  Look how grown up she looks in just one year.  She is totally devoted to her brother, and last year declined to participate in the Lion King show at Disney because her brother couldn't go with her.  Jimmy had taken his wheelchair out, and didn't have time to go get it.






But there is a happy ending.  This past trip, Krissy got to participate in the show, and then took her brother for the final parade march at the end of the kids' participation.

I'm so impressed with her.  She's sweet, kind, loving, happy and well adjusted.  She has fun with her friends and yet is so devoted to her family.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds for her. Happy birthday Krissy, and  I love you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday

Saturday when we had a birthday dinner for Rod and I, the grandkids donned their Halloween shirts and sat for a picture.  They love their shirts, and I love them.

It didn't seem that this week had been to profitable, didn't seem that I had accomplished too much.  And there's so much to do with less than 60 days until  Christmas.  Monday, I worked in the sewing room for only an hour and got the sewing cabinet cleaned off and put my embroidery machine and the embroidery thread boxes on top. I had re-positioned the sewing cabinet and now there's an outlet behind it.  I don't have to move the embroidery machine to use it now.  I think it will be a big plus.  Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment and didn't accomplish much.  I did get all the remaining fabric pieces folded and sorted.  And I started to clean off the sewing table.  This morning I woke up with some energy for a change (to see why, check the Chubby Bee blog) and after a good breakfast, went to work in the room.  I finished cleaning off the table, picked some scraps up off the floor and deposited them into the trash, and then decided I needed to do something constructive.  I hunted up some leftover fleece from quilt backs and cut out two pullovers and a hat for the baby dolls.  I broke for lunch, and debated what I should do next.  Since the table was still empty, I went back and cut out 4 aprons for Christmas gifts.  I was using the 1 yard apron pattern that I have mentioned in previous posts.  Not bad for one day's work.  I have other things to do yet today, so my time in the sewing room for today has come to an end.  Hope your day was as constructive.

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Winner Is. . .

Jake's Shirt
ME! All weekend I worked on Halloween shirts for the grandkids. Jake's was pretty quick, Izzy's was easy. And then I started on Bubba's. My goal was to finish all 4 shirts br Sunday night. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. . . I had only 6 minutes to sew on Bubba's design, and the thread broke. I rethreaded and restarted. 4 stitches and the machine stopped and told me to rethread and restart. I did, sewed 4 more stitches, and it stopped. Rethread and restart. Ugggg I was getting angry. That machine needed a time out! I turned it off and we went to get some dinner. I had taken it apart and cleaned it. I had rethreaded about a dozen times. This morning, I changed the needle and when I rethreaded a piece of frayed thread came out of the take-up arm. And voila, it sewed. I always tell the grandkids they can fight all they want, but Grammy always wins! And now the embroidery machine knows it, too.


This is Izzy's shirt.  She loves cats.  When I did the applique embroidery this time, I used heat n bond light on the back on the pieces.  I used my Clover mini-iron while the shirt was in the hoop and fused it before doing the final zig zag stitching.  Nothing pulled loose and it lays nice and flat.





This is the shirt I did for Bubba.  The design looks crooked in the photo, but I think it's the photographer.  I bought and downloaded these designs from Planet Applique.  They have some really cute designs, and they are very inexpensive.  I buy my tee shirts from Jiffy Shirts.  They have a great selection of shirts in all sizes and colors, and they are very good quality (and inexpensive).  Usually I have my order in 1 or two days.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Yes, today it's my birthday.  I am officially 61 years old.  Does that make me a "senior citizen"?  Can I get senior discounts now?  Or am I just one year older?  Aren't birthdays supposed to be great?  I thought so, but so far my day as been pretty disappointing.  I woke up with a leg cramp at 12:15 this morning.  I got out of bed and walked the cramp out, but this morning the leg is still sore.  This morning is gloomy, it's raining, The leaf color hasn't reached peak yet, but with all the rain, I'm afraid they will fall before achieving full color.

I've been working on Halloween shirts for the kids.  Jake's is done.  This morning, I went back to the sewing room to work on Izzy's shirt, and discovered that I hadn't transferred her design to my zip drive.  So that went right out the window.  I have now transferred that design, so I'm good to go.  Except that George will be bringing the kids soon.  So the shirts will have to wait til tomorrow.  No cheese, please.  I just prefer my whine alone!  NO MORE WHINE,  promise!

And here comes my happy face!  After all, the day can only get better - right.  Tonight Rod and I are going to dinner with Kris and family, and Pat and Pam.  We're going to Harmony Inn, a restaurant that we've always wanted to try, but never have.  They have quite an extensive menu, so deciding what to have will be a tough decision.  And hopefully, the weekend will be full of sewing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Secret Santa Soiree

While reading Pat's Blog this morning, I saw that she is participating in a Secret Santa Soiree.  It sounded interesting, so I clicked on the Santa photo and read all about it.  And, I've decided to participate.  If you're interested in learning more about it, click on the Secret Santa button.

I worked the last two mornings on the quilt that I'm making for the Vet Clinic to raffle for their free care fund.  I decided to use the "Simply Charming" pattern, and the blocks are well under way.  Will post photos later this week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Monday

How is it that weekends go so fast, and the week doesn't?  We're here at another Monday.  The weekend was sort of constructive.  I finished the little purses I was working on.  And will post a picture sometime this week.  I hunted out patterns for other items I want to make.  And that made me realize how much I need to get the organization of my sewing room finished.  I found patterns that I didn't know I had.  I have 4 patterns for fleece hats - for all ages.  And they're so cute.  I had a great idea for embellishments, and so went to Clotilde's site and ordered a book on making embellishments from zippers. I also ordered the zippers.  And then I went to Joann's site and ordered fleece and elastic -- yea about $100 worth.  So, maybe I didn't accomplish a lot, but boy did I spend money.  Rod's only comment was, "It's OK we'll make more tomorrow."    Don't you just love that attitude!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Wasted Friday?

There are so many things that I could be doing, should be doing, but I'm sitting on the back deck doing nothing. It's a beautiful day - bright, sunny, and warm. I don't know how many more of these days we will have. One neighbor is cutting hay, probably his last cutting for the year. Rod is on our tractor cutting grass, hopefully for the final time this season. And I love the smell of freshly cut grass almost as much as I love watching my hubby on the tractor. Call me a pervert if you want, but I like watching him and it makes me feel young again, like 35 years ago when we moved into this house. We were so young then and had no idea what life held in store - probably a good thing. Life hasn't always been kind to us, but we've survived all it tossed our way and been stronger for it. When I married this man nearly 37 years ago, I thought I knew everything about him, loved him as much as possible, and had all the answers to life's questions. Boy was I mistaken! I didn't have any idea what the questions were, knew very little about Rod, and didn't love him nearly as much as I do now. I haven't accomplished anything today, but I have spent the afternoon appreciating what I have in life, being thankful for all God has granted me, and anticipating what the future holds. To some, it might be a waste Friday, but to me it was a much needed day of reflection.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Bits and Pieces

I'm a little put out this morning.  Normally I don't turn on the heat until late October or early November.  It's a big attempt to save money.  But with daily highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's and 40's combining with a cold rain for the past few days, the house took on a chill.  Rod took out the window air conditioners over the weekend, which helped some, but last night he got the heaters ready to turn on.  I haven't done it yet, every time I go the the thermostat, my hand just won't turn the dial.  It's not too bad in here this morning.  And by the weekend, it will be back in the 70's.

Isn't it funny how one simple word can make a difference.  Yesterday I worked on some little purses.  I know the room isn't finished, but I had an itch to sew.  And since I'm the boss . . . Any way, I decided to finish one completely before finishing the other 8 that I had started.  Good decision.  It's all done, and I hate the way it looks.  Zippers have never been my strong suit, and this was no exception.  However, the pouch just looked wimpy.  I reread the directions, and discovered I missed one simple word - interfaced.  According to About.com, the definition for interfacing is:  a usually unseen interior addition to various parts of a garment which adds body that the fabric alone would not add.   Yep, makes a big difference.  So now I have to tear the zippers out of the 8 that I didn't finish completely.  And add the all-important interfacing.  I guess it could be worse.  I'm off to rip!  Have a good day.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Still Cleaning

Each and every box of fabric has now been emptied.  How did I buy so much that I haven't used???  It's a sickness, I'm sure.  All this fabric has been folded neatly (the key word here) and sorted by color.  I have one stack left to put away on the shelves.  Finally, I can see the light.  I found some quilt tops that I had forgotten about, and they have also been noted, folded and put into a case where I won't forget them again.  I swear I could sew for the next ten years on projects, kits and quilt beginnings that haven't been finished, and not have to buy a thing!  It's a sickness, I know.  I cleaned out a shelf behind the large door in the sideboard, and I put my fusible batting and my insulated batting in there.  Out of sight and yet well within reach.

I downloaded four books of doll clothes last week.  It was a great bargain purchase, but that meant that I had to print them out.  That is done, all the pages have been put into plastic page protectors and then into vinyl report covers.  You would be so impressed!  I took some fabric which resembles interfacing that I had purchased to trace patterns.  I have the patterns from one book traced, cut out, and put into an extra page protector that I stuck in the back.  One down and three to go.  This morning while I was folding fabric, I surveyed the fabric stacks to try and decide which fabrics would look cute for the doll clothes I'm planning to make. I have to make a trip to Walmart this weekend, and am planning on buying a clear vinyl shoe bag to hang on the back of my door.  I have a good size plastic box of trims that was given to me by a friend when she moved.  The box is cracked and barely holding together.  And I have no idea what all is in there.  I figure by sorting all my trims into clear pockets, I can see what I have and where best to use it.

My next job will be to sort out my patterns, which are in another plastic container.  I can use my label maker and label the hanging folders (which I do still have) and categorize them by subject - aprons, purses, wallets, potholders, doll clothes, baby clothes, and hats.  I love hats, have a number of patterns for them, but have never made one for myself.  That will change.  And so, I continue to muddle through.  It's nearly time for a photo!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Making Progress

Sunday, I put my nose to the grindstone and started the cleaning and organization of the sewing room.  My first project was to clean off the table that we brought in to hold the overflow.  I folded fabrics, separated them by color and put them neatly away.  All my Disney fabrics went into a plastic container, and the fruit and veggie fabrics went into another container.  And soon the table was ready to take down.  The serger and the Brother embroidery machine that I rarely use went into the closet.  And Rod swung the sewing cabinet into position in front of the closet.  I have two of these art bin cubes that are stacked and on casters.  They hold thread, notions, and projects in progress.  We moved them into place under the side window, and Rod moved the filing cabinet into position vacated by the stacked cubes.  He made a base for the filing cabinet, complete with casters, so that it can be moved to access the luggage stored in the corner of the room. One of the racks for my GO dies fit into the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, as I had hoped.  There were quite a number of dies that wouldn't fit into the drawer, so the other rack is on top of the filing cabinet and the dies fit there quite nicely.  So far, so good.  It all came off without a hitch.

Next, I have to clean off the top of the sewing cabinet.  My case of embroidery threads will sit on there, along with the Janome embroidery machine.  There's an electrical outlet close by and I will be able to use that machine right from there.  All the patterns that I ordered for Christmas gifts have arrived, and I'm hoping to start sewing some time tomorrow.  I will continue to work an hour or so each week on organization, but the room is finally taking shape.  And now, as I stand in front of you with my right hand raised, I say,  "On my honor, I will try to clean up and put things away when I finish a project and before I start another.  So help me God."  I certainly don't want another mess like this one!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Wrap Up

Although my thoughts have been on Christmas gifts, I have not forgotten about my need for organization.  Yesterday, I found the cutest doll clothes patterns at  https://www.youcanmakethis.com/.  I had been following the blog of "The Scientific Seamstress" and noticed on the sidebar that she had directions for making princess dresses.  I downloaded the patterns and now have to print them out.  My plan is to put them in brightly colored report covers by use of plastic page protectors.  I ordered them online from Walmart.com and paid minimal shipping.  Not worth using the gas, and eliminating the temptation to spend more money.  I haven't done much physically with the organization, but have been spending a lot of time thinking about it.  Hopefully I can get started this weekend.  Saturday is Izzy's 4th birthday party and I've been elected to make German potato salad, but I hope to get started on Sunday since the Steelers don't play until Sunday night.  I have been organizing the fabric into "piles by type".  Some of the piles will go into plastic boxes and others will be put on the shelves.  I had looked online for filing cabinets, then learned that my "old" filing cabinet is in the twins' basement -- still in good shape and not being used.  So, it's coming back home.  I think all the hanging folders are still in the cabinet, which will make it nice for organizing my papers and thin books.  Today, while the kids are here, I plan to start printing the doll clothes downloads and maybe tracing the patterns onto some pattern-making fabrics that I have.  I have to start doing something besides Facebook and I Phone games.

On the Christmas Challenge front, Nancy posted this site for "pouches"  There are some really good tutorials here for some pretty cool items.  I'm bookmarking it for sure.  Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Challenge

As I contemplate making gifts for Christmas, I thought it might be a good time to issue a challenge.  Nancy, made a few suggestions in the comment section of my last blog post  for things I could think about making as gifts. This posted comment got me to thinking that maybe we could share ideas with each other.   You know  kind of a "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours"  thing.  So, here's my challenge.  Over the next week, search out some things you think might make great gifts, and post in the comment section with a link to these items.  If anyone has ideas for guys, it would sure be appreciated.

My first few items are as follows:  A great tomato pincushion for your sewing friends from Bee in My Bonnet;  I had told you about the 1 yard apron, but how about this idea also from Bee in My Bonnet - put the apron kit into a jar.  It would also be a great gift for a grab bag or guild gift.  I love pot holders, and here's some of the patterns that I've purchased and hope to make soon:  the owl pot holder; the cupcake pot holder, and here's a tutorial for a heart-shaped pot holder.

Well, here's a start.  How about adding your two-cents worth??!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back to the Real Life . . . almost

I promised you a picture of Bubby's "Goofy" hat and here it is.  Also, a great photo of Krissy with another pair of her "ears".  These ones are black sequined with a red bow and go just perfectly with her Minnie Mouse shirt.  Mary's family is so photogenic, and the pictures of Disney still make me smile.  But vacation is over, and now it's back to the real world.

With having spent so much money on a vacation, there's not a lot for Christmas this year.  So, I've been mentally sorting through the bazillion dozens of patterns that I've purchased and done nothing with and trying to figure out what I can make for Christmas.  I've got a huge stash of fabrics which I'd like to whittle down, so why not now.  Mmmm, what should I make???  Pot holders - I've got cupcakes, owls, and just very sensible pot holders.  Perhaps aprons?? - I just ordered a pattern for a one yard apron.  If you haven't seen this one, click on the link.  Bee in my Bonnet has some incredible photos of this apron pattern on her blog.  I hunted out my pattern for the Simply  Charming Quilt.  It makes use of 5" squares and some sashings.  It's a great little scrappy quilt and I can use up a lot of smaller pieces.  And then there are the doll clothes patterns.  They make great little gifts for the granddaughters.  Kris and Izzy still play dolls with each other.  And I've promised daughter Kristin a "doggy quilt" for a raffle at the open house at the veterinarian office where she works.  So, I'm gonna be busy.  I'll post photos of the finished projects.  Have a good week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Blog for Me

Check out my new blog http://lindabee-thechubbybee.blogspot.com/.  It's not replacing this one, just adding to it.

Wishes Fireworks Cruise

This year as a special treat, I booked us a cruise for the Wishes fireworks.  Our cruise left from the Polynesian at about 8:00 pm.  The boat is a 26' pontoon with seating for 10.  Since we were only 8, we were quite comfortable.  Bagged snacks, bottled water and cans of soda pop are provided.  I had heard mixed reviews about the cruise, and was hoping for the best.  Our driver, Juan Carlos, was a very personable and well-informed young man.  I had requested that the boat be decorated for Bubby's and Krissy's birthdays, and it was complete with a banner and balloons.  We boarded the boat, and settled in for our cruise.  After a short cruise around the lake during which Juan gave us the history of several of the small islands, he moved us to a point on the lake where we were directly in front of the train station with the castle in the background.  Since I had booked the deluxe cruise, the sound was piped onto the boat.  And then the fireworks began.  They were more impressive than you can imagine.  Just beautiful.  We were so sad when they ended.

 Then Juan Carlos informed us that we were heading for the Grand Floridian.  He showed us the Wedding Pavilion and talked about the cost of a "Disney Wedding".  And then positioned the boat so that we could see the Electric Boat Parade.  We had heard of the boat parade, but had never seen it.  The Parade consists of 7 barges with screens of lights.  There is a fire breathing dragon, a whale, a turtle, a dinosaur, dolphins, and King Neptune complete with his carriage being pulled by sea horses.  Suddenly the music stops, the lights go out, and when the lights come back on,  some of the barges are American flags and others are multicolored stars.  And a medley of patriotic music plays in the background.  It was a wonderful evening.

What was the cost?  I was $346.00, which seems like a lot for a two hour cruise.  But we all agreed that it was worth every penny.  Juan Carlos was a fantastic captain, with a great sense of humor.  He teased all the girls, winking with every tease.  He regaled us with stories about Disney, its history, showed us some "hidden" animals in some of the resort lights, and made the time pass so quickly.  I had heard that you captain could make or break your cruise.  And we had the best!  Last year we had done the Wishes Dessert Party.  It was about $26 per person.  The eight of us were crammed at a table designed for four, the desserts left a little to be desired, and you couldn't see the fireworks unless you stood up.  We swore that we'd never do that again.  The cruise was a little more expensive, but we got our moneys worth.  It's an evening I will never forget.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ooops!

 I guess that I should have added that Rod figured out what is wrong with the scooter.  Seems that there is a wire  broken, and he had no tools to fix it.  When he "jiggled" (and that is the technical term) the wires the scooter would work.  So, now it's just a matter of fixing it.

EMERGENCY!! CALL 911

My scooter is busted!  Yep, busted!  It happened at the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, Sept. 11.  I hit a big bump, and suddenly it stopped and wouldn't go again. And I was devastated.   As a special treat for all of us, I had booked a Wishes Fireworks Cruise for Sunday evening, and without my scooter I had no way of making that cruise or dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Kona.  I began to cry, and got off the scooter.  One of the kids walked me over to a bench so I could suit down.  And then my emergency crew sprung into action.  Jimmy sat Bubby on the bench with me, and went to get him some popcorn.  Rod and the twins unloaded the scooter and turned it up on it's end to see if they could find out what was wrong, and Mary began making phone calls.  Bubby sat there munching his popcorn and telling me not to cry cause it was making him sad.

And then the popcorn spilled.  Great, another emergency.  Clean up in AdventureLand.  And suddenly, the clean up crew arrived and began to clean up the popcorn mess.  Bubby and I sat there and watched as this couple made the sidewalk look "just ducky" again.  It seemed like an eternity until someone came to talk to me.

Pat came over and said, "OK here's the plan.  I'm going to get a wheelchair for you and we're taking you to the car.  Daddy and Pam are going to push the scooter to the car.  Mary has all the information to reserve a scooter for you.  It will only be $120 for the rest of the trip and they will deliver it to the resort within an hour."  What they didn't tell me is that we were only allowed to take the wheelchair to the front entrance of the Magic Kingdom.  And we were parked at the Transportation Center.  I'm glad I didn't know.  When we got to the front of the park, Pat went over the the young lady working the wheelchair rental, and explained the situation.  Ashlee, that wonderful young lady, told Pat to take me to the Transportation Center by way of the ferry, and leave the wheelchair there.  Someone from Guest Services would bring it back to the Magic Kingdom.  Disney really does provide the best customer service I've ever experienced.  The ferry boat ride was incredible.  Mary and her family also took the ferry, and when we arrived at the TTC (Transportation center), Rod and Pam were there to meet us.  So far, so good.  I called Apple Scooter Company and gave them our room number and my credit card number and we were all set.

The scooter arrived in plenty of time for us to make our dinner reservations for Kona, and the cruise afterward.  So, what seemed to be a major disaster was just a hiccup.   I'll tell you about the cruise another day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Back, With a Hat or Two

Yes, I'm back from Disney, and normally I would be sad.  But  not this time.  I was more than ready to come home.  We had a wonderful time, but it was so hot that I felt like I was melting.  Unfortunately, that is not the case - I don't think I lost a pound.  But it was so hot and humid that I think my sweat was sweating!!!  This photo was taken on our first full day at the parks.  This was at Animal Kingdom, and you can see my "sexy" hat.  It probably would have looked better had I turned it inside-out.  But if you think it looks funny here, you should have seen it after I got caught in a cloudburst later that afternoon and then sat on the hat.  No really. . . not only did it knock the hat out of kilter, but I had a wet bum to boot!

So, I bought a new hat.  Not sure it looks any better, but it was cooler.  My only worry was that it I got sunburned in this hat would I look like a leopard???!!!  No worry -- didn't happen!  I'm not sure why I am a sucker for hats.  Maybe in a former life, I was a British Royal.  But whatever the reason,   I love hats. . .  big hats, little hats, and, at Disney, there are hundreds to choose from.  I know what you're thinking.  Surely she could have picked one that was a little more complimentary.  Hey, Rod thought I looked good??!!






Kris prefers "Ears".  And she has lots!  This is the leopard pair she wore in Animal Kingdom, and and Bubby is sporting his "Safari Ears".  Kris also had silver sequined ears and black ears with a red and white polka dot bow.  During this trip, Bubba bought a huge green hat with Goofy's ears attached.  He looked hysterical in it, and loved it.





Mary bought a Disney bucket hat, which she thought looked ridiculous.  I, however, thought it was adorable.


There are other photos of our hats,  Rod's, Jimmy's, and Bubby's Goofy Hat, but I don't have them at my fingertips at the moment.  More on the Disney trip tomorrow.  Still, it's good to be home.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gettin' There




Remember the wheelchair cover??  This is the wheel chair that I was making the cover for.  Not very impressive, huh?  But it folds, and that's a big plus because his brand new shiny chair doesn't.  So, if you recall, I was given the task of making a new cover.  And after much thinking, sketching, and remaking, I came up with a cover that everyone seems to love. Here's the before. . . . .



And here's the after!!!  Bubby loves it, Jimmy loves it, and suddenly I'm SuperGrammy.  And it's a nice feeling.

The chair is ready. . .   the neck coolers are finished and bagged. . . . I have gotten my makeover. . .  Rod has cleaned (I guess the new term is "detailed") my scooter. . .  and now we're getting ready to pack.  So, this probably good bye until I return from a much needed vacation.  Of course, if I get bored, I may be able to do some blog posts from my new best friend, my I Phone.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Great Stash

Sometimes it's great to have a great stash.  Oh, yea, sometimes I have trouble finding a place to put everything; but when push comes to shove, I generally have what I need.

Bubby has a brand spankin' new, shiny wheelchair, but unfortunately it doesn't fold and that makes it difficult to take it anywhere.  Someone had given them a wheelchair that folds, and that was very kind and generous.  This wheelchair is an older one, not shiny and has a very "unattractive" cover.  I'm not sure if son-in-law Jimmy thinks I'm Wonder Woman, or if he just doesn't realize what's involved, but he asked me if I could make a cover for the chair.  Bubby wanted purple -- Daddy gave that a very adamant NO!  So Grammy hunted out her Steeler fabric.  I have black and white.  Knowing that the black would be too hot for Florida, I chose the white.  Rod helped me take the measurements, and I sat down with pencil and paper to make my sketches.  Yesterday, I put my sketches to use, and came up with this cover for the back of the chair.

The cover folds over the top of the chair so that the front and back of the chair back are covered.  The flaps on the sides have velcro on them. and will be turned to the back and fastened around the side of the chair.  My sketches were pretty accurate and the back cover fits pretty well.  The seat cover is another matter.  I had the seat cover put together, and decided to fit it before doing the quilting.  It's a good thing I did.  I had planned for it to wrap around the seat at the back and fasten in the front.  Unfortunately, I didn't sketch that the back of the seat isn't open.  Hmmmmm...  I sat and looked at the seat.  Pam came down and helped me decide the best way to proceed, and when Rod got home, he added his designer expertise.  I needed to re-use the fabric I had already cut, since there wasn't a lot left.  So I made another sketch or two and then cut the seat cover in half on the fold.  Rod had suggested adding "flaps" on the sides of the seat cover like I had used on the back cover.  We measured how long they needed to be and where they should be attached to leave room for the arms.  And still another sketch.  The way I have designed the new seat cover, it will velcro to the back cover to join the seat to the back.  Then it will wrap from the front, under the seat and velcro to the back cover under the chair.  Nothing will be loose or dragging, and it should be quite soft and comfy for Bubs.  I probably won't get a chance to finish it until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, but will post photos of the before and after when it's done.