Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's projects

No sewing(yet)today, unless you count changing the thread and needles on the Evolve to start sewing the red corduroy print jumper as sewing. Maybe I will have a late night sewfest if I feel like it after work, maybe not. I have been busy today thought in the crafty sense. I made 5 bracelets for gifts for co-workers. I really enjoy jewelry making, even though stringing the beads is difficult if the light isn't right. Hopefully after the cataract is removed and a new lens is implanted this won't be an issue. I also whipped up a batch of squirrel chow. We had been buying the ready made mix, which is really quite expensive and those squirrels are gluttonous! I bought a 50 pound bag of whole corn, 10 pounds of sunflower seeds and 2 pounds of peanuts. Mix together and serve. The cost breakdown figures out to 39 cents per pound, vs. $1.00 a pound for the pre-made. This should keep them going for awhile. The bluejays and chipmunks enjoy the whole corn feed too. I love my critters (but I'm not ever going to feed the crows Mom!) I finished knitting my wool scarf and need to felt it. I'm in the mood for something quick and easy to sew up. December Burda will be here soon...maybe something in there will inspire.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dude! You're Getting a Dell!

I told my husband that was going to be the title of my next blog entry while we were on our way to pick up our new Dell processor from Best Buy yesterday. He just shook his head...he thinks I'm crazy! Actually I was quite proud of all the research he did before we purchased it. It could not have been simpler ordering it on line and then driving to the store to pick up. None of this driving around to be told that the model we wanted was at another store. We also purchased Microsoft Office for a ridiculously low Black Friday price (also ordered online). Monday I am going to go order our high speed...ah, Merry Christmas to us!!! We also popped into JoAnn's to pick up some supplies for the harness bag I am making for my friend Kim. She actually asked me to make one a long time ago and I had decided to come through for her Christmas present. I designed the bag to her specs...she wanted a special poop bag dispenser on the front (my friend Kim is a Guide Dog user for those of you wondering why anyone would need a bag with a poop bag dispenser...LOL). It is always fun to design something new, but can be tedious as you figure things out. I had laid awake for a couple nights figuring before I cut into my muslin. After a rough prototype, I decided to just go for it and cut into the purple ripstop (another request...Kim is a purple girl) It actually went together pretty well, but when I got to the harness attachment piece, I realized I was out of black webbing. I have limited sewing supplies in the small town I live in and there was no black webbing to be had yesterday, so to JoAnn's it was. I decided to get some 2" stetch belting and velcro rather than use the buckles I have used in the past. My dear husband offered to stand in the long cutting line to allow me some time to shop the sale. He joined other well seasoned husbands, who nod and understand what it's like...they are kindred brothers in the cloth! I checked out the beads, which were pretty picked over by late afternoon, so I headed to the patterns because Butterick was on sale for 99 cents. I had hoped to get in and out before my Hunny caught up with me, but he caught me with my hand in the pattern drawer. "Don't have enough patterns?" I looked sheepish..."It's a new design", I stammered. He likes to give me shit! I was good, I only purchased one that really caught my eye. I could have gotten more, but why be greedy and truth be told, I have many patterns that have not been sewn yet. (But still we want more!) The chosen one is Butterick 5277 . I plan to sew view C in a nice plaid I bought from Trendy Fabrics last Spring...maybe with some piping around the collar. I may try view B in a knit and omit the zipper depending on how it fits. I just liked the lines and the raglan sleeves. I also see altering the bodice to add some soft pleats at the neck line maybe for a Spring dress. Anyway...I digress...the harness bag. We get home and I am excited to finish this project so I excuse myself to the studio because it's going to take maybe 1/2 hour to complete? Well, maybe if you sew the straps to the right side it might. I got all done (I thought) to discover I had made a rookie mistake. I could have cried had it not been so stupid. So my knight in shining armor came to my rescue once again and finished dinner while I ripped what I had sewn! The project is now complete save for a little fray check on the belting. To put an exclamation point on the day, I went upstairs to get towels for a trip to the hot tub and when I went to undress I noticed my T-shirt looked kind of funny..I had worn it backwards all work. Some days you just have to laugh...or CRY!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Shopping Anyone???

Not for this girl! I have to work, but even so, nothing in the ads could entice me out on a cold morning (or night...the news reported people started camping out Wednesday night!)...crazy! I'll wait for "Cyber Monday" when I can shop in the comfort of my pajamas! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mary

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whoo-hoo! I'm gonna be a Grandma!!!

Sometime in the near future...not just yet, but my DD called this morning to tell me that they had decided that once she finishes her Master's (a year and a half at the current pace) they plan to start their family. So while they are not expecting just yet, at least they have a definite plan about it and Sara thought I might want to know so I can start making baby things (like I haven't been squirreling away grandbaby stuff???) I have a hope chest of sorts. I'm pretty jazzed about this. We had a good chat and talked about the crazy names Bryce comes up with for a boy...Shenanigans O'Toole is not going to cut it and Taj, while we all think that is a cool name, does not go well with their last name of McCall!!! Anyway, it is fun to dream about grandbabies and the circle of life and all that happy hoo-ha. Speaking of Happy hoo-ha...Ann is having a fabulous sale at Gorgeous Fabrics...this Kitten is smitten and may have to go shopping. I was just reading about all the glorious goodies that Karen and company purchased at JoMar, et al and I am jealous! I did do some stash reduction this morning using some Mary Engelbreit fabric to make a bird cage cover for those crazy tiels of mine...I took some pictures but the camera is not readily available right now for downloading. Tomorrow is the start of my days much to do. My eye surgery is scheduled for the end of December...guess Tom will get to lead me around sighted guide...wonder if I could take a dog home for the week to help me out...funny...not, but I am trying to be a brave little soldier and not freak out. Funny, I work with people with eye problems, but I hate anyone messing with my eyes...I don't even do eye drops unless absolutely necessary. I remember as a child needing eye drops and being such a stinker about it I got a spanking...guess that would not be acceptable these days. Did I tell you I'm gonna be a Grandma one day??? There will be no spanking for my little precious!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Just waiting for the email to all download. In this age of technology we are still on dial up in the booneys (or maybe it's because we're cheap? I'm not sure?) Anyway, the slowness of our ancient computer is driving the old man crazy, so maybe Santa will be bringing on the High Speed for Christmas. Also a new computer. We have a nice new-to-us monitor (thanks Kidz!) but I am ashamed to say how old our CPU is (also a Sara cast off from an upgrade). The mouse port died about a month ago...there is only one USB port that we have the mouse plugged into, so if you want to download pictures or use a stick...well, let's just say you have to be creative. It's called Macgyver computing. We are waiting on the mad Christmas sales to pick up a good buy on a computer that should last us another 8 to 10 years (quit snickering Kittens!) Last night we went out to dinner with some friends. I had some amazing fish tacos (mmmm, my doggy bag is in the it bad to eat fish tacos for breakfast?) I sewed the fabric covered snaps on my coat last night while we watched Criminal Minds, and it is good. (the coat that is). I will probably wear it to work today since I won't have to get on the bus with all the dogs today. Everything gets covered in dog hair when we ride the bus. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I love the dogs, I just don't want their hair all over my new fabulous coat. I'm eager to get sewing on some new things, but am trying to be quiet as my Hunny is still trying to sleep, which may not be happening since Peaches is being a little punk and screeching for me to come back into the dining room...crazy bird! They are restless this morning...trying to dump their freshly filled seed cups and who keeps pooping in the water dish? Come on...fess up! They have a couple of water dishes and a Lik-it, but every morning there are two piles in this particular dish. I moved it today to see if I can deter this nasty habit. I think super glue is made from the components of bird dung, because it forms a bond like you can't believe. Sorry for the randomosity of this's that download coming? Ughh...we're on 53 of 67 emails and it's slowed again...must be some cute, picture laden email. it comes. Maybe I'll head over to Craigslist for awhile and stop torturing you Kittens...later...Mary

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Stockings were hung...

Well, laid across the chair really. The kid's Advent stockings are filled and waiting for December. They always take them home on Thanksgiving and then start opening gifts on December 1st. My boss/friend thought it was a cool idea, so she started it with her grandkids last year. Now she curses me because it means wrapping almost 100 little presents for her (hehehe!!!) Only 50 for me (yeah, they get a bonus gift on Christmas morning because Mom loves Christmas! In sewing news...the coat is done!!!! I may add the optional snaps on the lower portion...not sure yet, but I love it! Makes me wonder why I dilly-dallied so! Actually I enjoyed sewing at a slower pace than my usual frenetic "gotta git-R-done" mode. Enjoyed the process. So without further ado: I really like the lining which was an after cut out find from JoAnn's clearance fabric. The green/blue plaid matched perfectly and was a much better choice than the plain green I had already cut out. I did use the plain green for the pocket, but who's looking at that? Here is the lining, that looks puckery in the picture, but I assure you it is lying flat (sorry, the perfectionist in me is seeping out) So now I need to get busy and have a cutting session to line up some more sewing projects. I do have 5 towels to embroider for Chrismas gifts, but that won't take much time. So what are you all working on?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't feel like sewing...

You don't hear that come out of my mouth very often, but I feel that way today. It's a shame too...the coat is almost done. I did the hem and the sleeve hems last night. This morning I did the button holes before I went to my eye appointment because I knew my focus would be off after my eyes were dilated. All I have left to do is sew in the sleeve linings, finish the main body lining, cover and sew on the snaps for the lower half of the coat and sew on the buttons. I did find the perfect yarn for a scarf to match the coat today. Maybe a little knitting would be good for the soul. I'm kind of bummed. I found out that new glasses wouldn't improve my vision. I have cataracts in both eyes and did not realize the left was affecting my sight so much. I know threading a needle had become increasingly more difficult, but my newer machines have a threader. Looks like I will be having cataract surgery. I didn't expect to be so freaked out by the prospect. I am a nurse for God's sake, and currently work with the visually impaired. Big sigh!!! Think I'll go dig out the needles and knit awhile. The coat will wait.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pattern Giveaway

Hurry! Head on over to StacySews to enter her pattern giveaway. Who can't use more patterns? Mary


Nothing new on the sewing front, but I did finish the advent stockings for the kids last night. We went shopping to pick up a few last items for Bryce's stocking and had a wonderful meal at Applebee's. Then we came home, built a fire in the firepit and enjoyed the glow from the hot tub. We have lived in this house for almost 7 years and for some dumb reason have only rarely enjoyed the firepit. We agreed that a firepit needs to be placed at the old folks home...especially as we start to clear the land and develop it, because it gets darn cold in LaPine!!! I can hardly wait!!! In other thoughts, I am so done with Grey's Anatomy. They have really jumped the shark now with the whole Denny coming back ploy. Really, enough already...he's dead. A nice flashback once in awhile, maybe, but come on!!! Most medical shows use some creative license to make the drama move in a timely fashion and I can accept that. I started to get disheartened with the whole Meredith code after she drowned. Seriously...when a person is basically asystole for that long, they don't just automatically convert to a sinus rhythm without deficits. I started my nursing career in the hospital and there is a certain amount of shenanigans that does go on in the hospital, just like any workplace. But the whole practicing on unclaimed cadavers and then interns cutting each other to practice sutures? Even when I worked in the hospital (which was many moons ago), there was an accounting system for supplies and certainly injectable drugs that would have alerted the powers that be that there was something weird going on. I was really excited to see the return of Anthony Edwards to ER, but was afraid they had jumped the shark too, since Dr. Green had died of a brain tumor. I was pleasantly surprised. I was a loyal ER fan back in the day of Dr. Mark Green (Anthony Edwards), Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney, the original McDreamy, imho) and Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies). As time passed, it became increasingly more difficult for me to stay up late enough to watch the show and so it fell by the wayside. ER also over dramatized a bit, but at least it was more believable. Anyway, back to Dr. Green's was tastefully done as a flashback to tell the story of what happened to Dr. Cate Banfield (Angela Bassett). I like Anthony Edwards...always have. My favorite character of his was his portrayal of Goose in Top Gun. Top Gun is one of those classics I can watch over and over again. Especially the volleyball scene...can I get a witness??? Enough about fiction...back to our regularly scheduled topic...sewing. Tom is on duty today, so I will most likely get some quality time in on the coat...maybe even finish it tonight. Time to start cutting again...oh, the places we'll go!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I got a lot accomplished on my days off. The super secret Christmas gift was completed in good time and I actually am getting somewhere with the green coat. I think I will really like it when it is done. I am taking my time, as the instructions are a little sketchy and I already have had to rip a few seams to get it right. I really need to think more when sewing then just blindly follow the directions verbatim, because sometimes...they are just plain wrong!!! Has anyone else experienced that? I also repaired Tom's bedroll (easy fix). I only have one other project cut out...a red corduroy print jumper. I really need to work on pants. Don't know why I am so hung up on Tom pointed out..."It's almost winter, woman...shouldn't you be making pants???" Yes, dear...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Squirrel Wars

Just taking a little lunch break out of my delightfully ME day and thought I would document the morning's entertainment, so I can reread this one day and laugh my @$$ off. I spent the morning in the dining room cutting out Christmas presents (which I am dying to blog about, but somebody might read this and figure out what they are getting. (and No,Punkin...this ain't about no secret snakes!) The dining room has big picture windows so I can watch the critters partake of the daily offering I leave them. The morning started with one squirrel, then two squirrels and so on until there were five of those little rodents swinging from the branches. We have a tall fence along the back and these two crazy squirrels faced off, ran straight at each other and wrestled until one got thrown off the fence. It was better than wrestling on TV...I'm telling you!!! This went on for some time until the cat decided he wanted to go out. It's all fun and games 'til the big fat cat arrives on scene. Not that he could win. You know, it might be kind of entertaining to watch Figaro square off with a squirrel. Wonder who would get launched off the fence? Enough the bat cave to sew!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm a Weiner!!!

Oops...a winner that is. Last week I entered a contest over at In the Bag and I checked back tonight and I won her new lunchbag pattern! Go check it out. Pretty cool, huh? That doesn't happen all the time. I was betting on's Fashionista Fantasy prize, but they haven't called yet, so obviously some other Fashionista is enjoying the prize...sniff, sniff!!! I'm happy that karma has awarded me this pattern and will happily accept it! Has anyone headed out to JoAnn's Veteran's day sale? I went today before work. DH had a repair project for me that required some rivets, so I said "Oh darn, I will have to go to JoAnn's for that". I actually am glad that I went today rather than wait for tomorrow because I had a time limit. I could have spent way more time and way more money if I went shopping on my day off. The only fabric I bought was for a Christmas present for DH (Punkin, if you are reading this, don't tell your Father!) He is working a 48 starting tomorrow, so I should get it all done and wrapped before he gets home on Thursday. Wednesday will not be very productive on the sewing frontier because I will have the little monkey all day, but I may be able to get some things cut out while he naps. The coat is coming along nicely. It had been so long since I looked at it, I didn't even remember how much I had done. I bought some shoulder pads to put in. I truly could have made them, but for 2 bucks...I thought my time would be better spent doing something else. While I'm working on the repair project, the Christmas present and my coat, the embroidery machine will be humming tomorrow to finish up some girl sock monkey blocks. I promised my MIL I would send her some to stitch up for my SIL who is pregnant with her first girl. Ma feels ready to sew now that she is recovering from her stroke, and a baby quilt is a quick easy project for her. She is a wonderful seamstress and sewed a lot of clothes over the years. I am really looking forward to a day to myself to sew. The rain is scheduled to return, so working outside is out and I like having quiet time to myself. Yesterday I didn't even turn the TV or music on while I made the SCD (seed containment device). Just me and the hum of the sewing machine. That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh! There you go...Music Monday has returned! Rock on!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Family

Here are the first photos of the new bird family

There is Peaches
And Angel
Here is the seed containment device I made this morning in an effort to minimize the seed mess I don't think it will solve all the problem, but it will cut down a little of the scatter. Theo likes to throw seed at me. I currently have them right next to the computer in the family room. We are getting the stand for the cage and then they will be moving to the dining room where they will have big windows to watch the wild birds and critters we feed. Next up I will make them a hanging bird teepee and a corner snuggle. I made those for Peaches and Darla years ago, but neither one of them were down with that. The new guys seem a little more open, so we will give it a go. Besides, it will give them a haven if somebody wants a little private time. We all need that now and again! I finished a paying embroidery job yesterday and have some pants coming in to hem...easy money. I will get enough off the hat to cover what I bought at Embroidery Library's Wishful Thinking sale. They always have such great sales. I also want to get busy with Christmas embroidery. I have the pooping reindeer and snowmen from Julie of Sew Weird that should make great gag gifts for some of the people I work with. Who wouldn't want a pooping reindeer? Guess I better get off the computer and ready for work...please God, let me retire before I die!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

An Officer and a Gentleman

This post is to honor my brilliant son-in-law who was sworn into the USAF recently. With his degree and all the other good things he has going for him he may be able to become an officer within a year. We are so proud of him. We took the kids out to dinner last night at Sweet Tomatoes (I had a coupon) I always have Sweet Tomatoes coupons in my purse. You never know when an opportunity to visit may arise. We also went to check out the new Trader Joe's that is within striking distance now. I love Trader Joe's! We got the most amazing mandarin orange chicken there (mmm, dinner tonight) and their fresh basil can't be topped (unless it is fresh out of the garden). Their dried cranberries beat the socks off of Ocean Spray (Sorry OS, I know you grow in my beloved Oregon, but TJ's taste better) As for sewing news, I finished the dress the other day down to the hem and decided to whip up the seams on the fleece jacket so I could spare changing back and forth between serging and coverstitch. Stitched up the back seam...doing well. Stitched up the front princess seams and WTH!!! There were big old flaws in the fleece that I obviously overlooked when cutting out. Unfortunately I did not have more fabric to replace those pieces. It was some fabric that was given to me, so it wasn't like I had bought bad fabric, but just confirms the fact that I need to wear my glasses...ALL THE TIME! Actually I have an eye appointment scheduled as I probably need a new Rx and the cataracts need checked. Dang, it's hard to grow old!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rainy Days and Thursdays...

Always bring me up...okay, so I did a poorly written knock off from the Carpenters' song. I was sitting here thinking about my day and all the possibilities. Tom is on duty today, so he won't be returning until tomorrow. It is my "Sunday" in regards to my work week and with the exception of the big mound of laundry I have sorted out to wash, my day is pretty much mine! Who cares if it is raining? It's cozy and warm in the sewing studio! I have a knit dress almost finished and a fleece jacket that has been cut out for months waiting to be stitched up. I think it is time to put some effort into the green coat as well, since I cut the new lining out for that about a month ago. Does anyone else have that problem? You cut something out and then lose interest? I get blinded by new fabrics coming in and want to sew them up quick, so they go to the head of the queue. I have some fabric right now that is mocking me. Trendy Fabrics had a good sale last week and I got some killer stuff. Since the reorg, all my fabric is fitting in the closet, so if I keep to that standard, I can buy fabric when something comes out of the closet, right??? Fashionista logic!!! In other news, I read that the Spring PR weekend is going to be here in Portland!!! I am sew excited! I definitely plan on getting the weekend off so I can participate in that. I was really excited when I read Deepika was planning a get together in Seattle, especially when I saw it was not on a weekend. I got really jazzed when I realized it was a week we didn't have students, but then my hopes were dashed when I realized I had made medical appointments that day that I couldn't reschedule. Life is a roller coaster, isn't it! Well, off to enjoy the day. I hope you all have a great day too!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bird Report

The new babes are settling in fine. They still are not eagerly jumping on my finger, but birds are cautious by nature anyway and they are just learning to trust their new environment. Theo gladly helped me eat my toast this morning. I had Peaches on my shoulder as I checked on my blogs and she trailed my arm over to the new birds' cage and sat on top of it for awhile. Angel climbed up to be near Peaches, so I think they will be great friends soon. They did some harmonizing today and the new birds were mimicking my whistle. I also spent some time on my outside (wild) birds. Tom found some old feeders in the storage shed that I had at my Lakeside house, so I cleaned those up to put out with the others. Three squirrels dominated the feeders for a little over an hour before I chased their bushy little tails out so the birds could have some time. The bluejays were hilarious. I set some peanuts out for them and it didn't take them long to cart that booty away! No sewing yet today (yet being the operative word), but I did do some ironing (Blah!!!) Anyway, my final word for this election eve...VOTE!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Babies...

I am such a sucker! I know where I got it. My Mother was a sucker too! She taught me to love all animals and to take them in when they need a home. My friend called this morning to talk to me about these 2 cockatiels that she aquired yesterday when another mutual friend's sister passed away. I could tell that she was not digging the whole seeds being thrown out of the cage routine, which anyone who has had birds can testify...they are messy creatures. So when she asked me to take them, I stalled by saying I had to check with Tom. Fair enough, I check in with him before bringing in any living creatures, otherwise I would become my Mother...enough said. I figured he would say "Really...we don't need any more animals!" To my surprise he thought it would be a good idea since Peaches has been so lonely since Darla died. So off I ran to pick up the newest addition to the menagerie. Their names are Theo and Angel and they are both yellow Pied cockatiels. Peaches was so happy to meet them. I have their cages side by side in the family room and everyone seems pretty happy, so I think it will be a good thing. I will take some pictures in a few days when they are more settled. It's been a rough week for them. Moving Peaches out of the sewing studio means I have more room for sewing and craft stuff!!! Whoo-Hoo! yeah, right!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Daylight's Savings Time

Whoo-hoo! Love the "Fall back" version of this little conspiracy. I love getting an extra hour to sleep, sew, whatever I want to do. Not so happy when March rolls around and they take my hour back, but for now, I will revel in the moment because who knows how long we have on this earth? I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween. I was treated with a visit from one of my favorite little monkeys and he brought his new friend Wyatt, who I had not seen since his recent birth. That is the great thing about having young friends...they have kids and I get to be a surrogate aunty/grandma type. Hayden was in rare form (probably jacked up from the candy!) and kept his parents running. He knows where all the fun stuff is in our house, so he was making the rounds. Wyatt is adorable...lots of dark hair just like his Daddy. I didn't do too much in the sewing room yesterday after work. I did a scan of my vintage patterns for options for Lisa's wedding dress that we are going to start planning this afternoon. I made some repairs on a vintage Cabbage Patch Doll I picked up the other day at the thrift store for 50 cents. I picked up the nicest girl and boy dolls in the bin. I probably could have bought more, but a boy and a girl for my toybox is plenty. No need to be greedy. In other news, my friend Charmaine purchased her first embroidery machine...a Viking Designer SE. I am sew excited for her (she is the one with the first grandbaby on the way)! Now I have an embroidery buddy who lives close. She took her first class yesterday. I remember when I got my first embroidery machine...I had been sewing since I was like 7 and I had such problems in the beginning with it...I thought I was retarded! Definitely there were some lessons to be learned, but after five years I feel pretty comfortable with machine embroidery. Can't wait to see what Charmaine makes! My hunny will be home either tonight or tomorrow for sure. Elk hunting has not been good this year...good thing the freezer is still full of good stuff to eat. We are always pretty well prepared in the food department...I think we could eat for sometime without going to the store (except for fresh things like milk...can't live without the cow juice) I do have powdered milk, but I'm sure Tom would revolt if I tried to serve that up! It works just fine in baked goods, etc... Enough rambling about powdered milk! I am holding my breath for the elections to be over. Our Son-in-Law enlisted in the Air Force and we are so proud of him, but I am waiting to exhale pending the outcome of the election. I fear what will happen in Iraq if McCain gets elected. Go Barack!!!

Project Dress a Girl

For the past couple of years, I have made dresses for Project Dress a Girl Around the World, in part thanks to the campaign launched by Mari...