Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mug Rugs

Nearly everywhere I look I see "mug rugs".  And I wondered what they were.  According to wikipedia, a mug rug is:   "A coaster, drink coaster, beverage coaster, or beermat, is an article used to rest beverages upon. The main purpose is to protect the surface of a table or any other surface where the user might place their beverage.

I've always had "coasters"  to protect my furniture, and I wondered if a mug rug is the same thing.  The wikipedia definition leads me to believe that yes, they are.  I researched a little more, and found this site. I think that they would make a great gift, stocking stuffer, or a "just because" gift.  From what I've seen, you can make a mug rug for whatever theme you desire.  I've found some with a cup of tea or coffee on them, some with elephants, some in a Christmas theme, some with other holidays.  I guess you can make them any size that you like.  

If you want to see some wonderful mug rugs, just "google" mug rugs and click on images.  You will be amazed at what you find.   The one above caught my eye.
And look at this one.  Wouldn't it be great for Valentine's Day?

I know I don't have time to make any for Christmas; but after the first of the year, I may have to give making some mug rugs a try.  I have a die cutter that I rarely use, and think that some of the applique shapes would make great mug rugs.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Anniversary Is Rapidly Approaching

Two weeks ago, we celebrated my birthday.  Yesterday, we celebrated Rod's birthday.  Now in just 12 days, we celebrate our anniversary.  Is it any wonder that 13 is our lucky number?  It will be our 39th.  We wanted to do something special.  Since we both sleep better in our own bed and we have a trip to Disney coming up in December, we decided to make it a one-day trip.  But where to go???  We wanted somewhere close to home.  And after talking, we wanted something we hadn't done before.  

I was a German major in college, and love most everything German (Hitler and the Nazis excepted).  I love the food, the crafts, and I have a pretty large nutcracker collection.  So when we learned about the German Christmas Market at Historic Harmony will be taking place on our anniversary, we decided that was the destination we were looking for!  According to their website, 

       "More than 40 artisans and specialty vendors provide the market part of WeihnachtsMarkt. Museum quilters and weavers demonstrate their work. There are model railroad displays in the museum’s Wagner House annex.This year’s entertainment includes Alpen Schuhplattlers (pictured above), Augsburg Band, Burke’s Bavarian Brass, Pittsburgh Swiss Singers and the Acme Tunes hammered dulcimer ensemble.  German foods and refreshments include soup, bratwurst and sauerbraten sandwiches, German potato salad, baked goods and mulled cider. A winery offers tastings and salesAt nightfall Saturday, visitors join in caroling at the lighting of a live Christmas tree."  

So, now I'm really looking forward to this "trip", since Historic Harmony is less than 1/2 hour away.     

Friday, October 25, 2013

Funny Friday

Frozen Turkey
A short time after Rod and I were married, a local supermarket offered a great deal on frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving.  His sister, Kathy, and I headed to the store to pick up our Thanksgiving bird.  I had wanted a large one, so I asked the butcher if they had any over 20 pounds.  He returned with a 23 pound bird, and handed it over the counter to me.

It really should have come with a caution sign!  The next thing I knew, that bird was shooting out of my hands and skating across the floor.  I ran after it. (I could still run then)  I picked it up and started back to my shopping cart.  Like a bar of wet soap, it popped out of my hands again and slid across the floor.  Three more times I tried to pick it up, twice more it skidded across the floor.  Finally I got hold of that bird and, while cradling it in my arms like a sleeping baby, I approached the meat counter.  The people standing at the counter were looking somewhat horrified.  They weren't sure if it was appropriate or not  to laugh .  As I looked at the butcher, I calmly said, "Could I have a different one, please?  I don't think this one's dead yet."  At that point, everyone broke into laughter - with me, not at me.  And to this day, I won't touch a frozen turkey.

Have a funny weekend, and never be afraid to laugh at yourself!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Lesson In Frustration

That's the kind of week I've had - and it's only Wednesday!  I started working on some new plush key chains, using patterns that I designed myself.  I had them on the kitchen table, and Pat accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee.  The patterns were soaked, but with her quick action, Pat was able to save them and they dried overnight.  Memo to self - always make a second copy of new designs.   Over the weekend, I made four of them and put them on some black hooks that I had.  I hated the way they looked.  The hooks were way to big and dark, so I had to order some new ones.  Not expensive, but shipping from China so that project was put on hold.

Then I decided to finish some pot pinchers I had started.  These mixed nuts pinchers turned out great. I started the rest, but soon discovered that I had been sent extra wide bias quilt binding instead of double fold bias binding.  It's been a while and so I doubt that I can return it.  I figured I'd try to use it, but the difference in the width makes the pot pinchers too small for the average hand.  I ordered the correct binding, and now that project is also on hold.

I did manage to get some scarves finished, and still have more to go, so that's the project that I'm working on currently. Krissy wore one of the leopard print scarves to her chorus concert.  She looks more like her mom every day.

And as if I haven't had enough frustration for one day, I decided to start tearing out the stitching on the Belle embroidery design I did two weeks ago.  This was so horrible.  I hated it, and didn't want it on my sweatshirt.  So as badly as I didn't want to rip out another design, I'm doing it.  I'll pick another design and start again.  It's for sure that I'm not redoing this one.

But hey, at least the rest of the week has to be better - right?

Monday, October 14, 2013

How Do I Love Thee??

I really have an amazing husband.  In less than a month, we will celebrate our 39th anniversary.  It's been an amazing trip, and although some years were really tough, I'm not sure I would have changed any of it because it made me who I am.

Today is my birthday.  I won't tell you how old I am, but I recently attended my 45th high school reunion!  Rod has been asking me what I wanted for my birthday, and I could not think of anything.  I had been looking at  dreaming of a Koala Cabinets for sewing, but at nearly $1,000 they are waaayyy out of my price range.  It's truly beautiful and a quilter's dream, but not in my budget.  I have been sewing in the living room, because it's so convenient when I have Jake.  He is just fascinated with all the mess treasures in the sewing room, and, in the living room I can keep an eye on him and he can watch his favorite TV shows.  I had been using a folding table with a plastic top.  I loved that table because it was so light, but the legs buckled under the weight of the sewing machine while the table was being slid into the corner of the living room.  My wonderful husband caught the sewing machine and left the table fall.  Then he brought me up a wooden table that he had made from banquet table legs and a wooden top.  It was a little high, but worked pretty well until it also weakened from the weight being moved from one place to another.

Saturday, I didn't see Rod much until time to get ready for Izzy's birthday party.  Yesterday, after he had made two trips to Trader Horn and been out of sight for a while, he presented me with this wonderful table on casters.  It's not a Koala Cabinet, to be sure.  But it's the perfect height for me, it moves easily, and most importantly it was made with love.  You can see there are some narrow shelves under the top, and (if  I can locate them) I think I have some narrow thread holders that will fit there.  He will eventually stain and varnich it, but right now I just need to use it. It's one of the most thoughtful, wonderful gifts that I've ever received.  And that's just one of the reasons that I love him.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Feels So Good to Finish a Project; But They Don't Always Look Great

It is a great feeling to finish project that I started years ago.  This is the batik quilt that I started as a BOM in the nineties (I can't remember what year).  From the time I started putting the blocks together, Mary insisted she wanted this quilt.  I'm not a big fan of batiks, so I agreed.  Last month I finally finished the top, and started looking for someone to quilt it.  Believe it or not, I found a person on eBay whose prices were really reasonable.  Her eBay seller name is jeano 1961.  Mary chose an all-over daisy design and I left color up to Lori, the quilter.  The quilt arrived here on Saturday, and I can't tell you how beautiful it is.  Her work is top notch, and she will definitely be getting more business from me.  I had the binding ready to go, so I put it on while Mary was at a wedding on Saturday.  Pappy and I were keeping Bubby, and so when Mary got here to pick him up, the quilt was ready for her to take home.  She was so pleased and it went directly onto her bed.

But not all projects turn out great.  I decided to take a hooded sweatshirt and embroider Disney designs onto it for our December trip.  I unstitched the pockets so that they would be easier to embroider.  I unsewed the arm seams to that I could do a better job.  It was a noble undertaking.  It was a great idea.  NOT!!!  Goofy turned out great.  He's on one pocket.

The Genie turned out great - he's on the other pocket. 
I was so pleased, so decided to try putting Mufasa and Simba on one of the sleeves.  It's a very complicated design - takes 60 minutes to stitch.  Didn't understand why orange and tangerine were listed as colors on the chart, but OK,  I'd give it a try.
Now, do I need to take the time and try to rip out all this stitching???  Embroidery threads are a B*&^h to tear out.  I think I'll leave it alone and hope that if I roll up my sleeve it won't show.  I think I just wasted an entire morning, and ruined my sweatshirt.  Hope the afternoon goes better!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mmmm Good

Just finished my morning protein shake.  8 oz. 1% milk, 1 container Dannon Lite Strawberry Banana Yogurt, and 1 scoop of strawberry protein powder.  It was wonderful.

Disappointed, But Determined

Well, another disappointing weigh-in.  It was another weight gain.  Not a lot, but still a gain.  Two bumpy weeks in a row, but I am more determined.  When I plugged my numbers into my weight tracker, the message said to review my tracker and see what changes I had made.  And that's exactly what I did!  Here's what I found.  The first few weeks when I had a significant loss, I had made a protein shake for breakfast.  It was quick and I didn't feel hungry before lunchtime.  For some reason, I have been eating cereal these last two weeks.  I noticed a rise in my mid morning blood sugar readings, and perhaps that cereal also contributed to my weight gain.  For lunch, I had been eating tomatoes with sandwiches or soup.  Our tomato season has ended, and store bought tomatoes just don't taste like our home-grown.  I had been eating one slice of thick sliced bologna on my sandwich.  Perhaps, this next week I will try thick sliced turkey with mustard and pickles, and drink a tomato juice (Mmm).  There were no significant changes in dinner, but I had changed my evening snacks.  Also, I found that I had not been eating my yogurt.  That will change!  This morning, I am making a protein shake, but I don't have any fresh strawberries.  I have strawberry protein powder which I haven't tried yet, so I'm going to add a container of strawberry yogurt to my milk and use the strawberry powder.  And, I will start pushing the water.  Go, Me!