Monday, August 30, 2010

UK or Bust...

Tomorrow is the day we start out on our great adventure! I'm not excited or anything like, not me...cough, cough!!! I am feeling all kinds of overwhelmed at the moment. So many firsts...we are embarking on a long journey to a place we've never been before to see our daughter and son-in-law, who are embarking on a long journey to a place they've never been before...parenthood! I am so proud and happy for my daughter, and scared for her health and well being and the health of our new grandson.  Being a nurse I know that even the best of circumstances can change and while the odds are in our favor, I will feel much better once the blessed event has occured and I know everyone is fine.  My first L&D clinical in nursing school was assisting on a C-section as nursery support and we had to rescusitate the baby because he wasn't breathing when he came out...that was pretty intense for me...I kind of fell out of L&D love after that experience.  Not that things can't go awry with big people...they do...I have dealt with many emergencies in my career, but babies, that's tough! Enough worrying about the what ifs Grandma...lets focus on the positive! We are going to England! I never dreamed I would travel to Europe and look how Sara has pulled me out of my box. Cue Circle of Life music here...we tentatively have plans to visit the Norwich castle on Friday...we'll see what Colt has in mind.  I better get back to business post should be from across the pond...cheerio Mates!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nervous Energy...

I have been so amped preparing for our trip, I think I have over prepared.  The To-Do list is basicly done with the exception of minor little last minute details, i.e. charge the Ipod, throw the toothbrushes in, etc. I took both my Espire and Evolve in for maintenance, thinking that I wouldn't be jonesing for them while I was gone, and lo and behold the shop had them back to me in a week. I actually feel pretty good about that! My glasses that turned out to have horribly warped lenses were replaced stat (for no charge) and returned to me yesterday, well before we left. Also really happy about that because I thought my eyesight was really taking a turn for the worse until I realized there was something wrong with the glasses! Caron did a great job with my haircut and I could probably stand to color it, but I think I'm just going to let it go.  Tom thought I had gotten it colored..."No dear, that's just the grey coming out!" I guess grey is a color...
So to do something with my nervous energy I visited a couple garage sales yesterday and really scored!  The first garage sale I hit had been going on for a few weeks and I knew she had sewing stuff, but this is the final weekend and she advertised everything 50% off. I like the sound of that, so I picked up a big bag of laces and elastic for $3.00 and some fabric and other notions.  She had a Sew-Rite Pro electric rotary cutter that I looked at and passed, but when I got home I started thinking that I really needed it, so I went back.  It is a rechargeable cutter that she barely used and I got it for the paltry sum of $5.00! I nearly ran from the house like a bandit before she changed her mind! Charged it up and it cut through thick fleece like butter! It has a continuous self sharpener on it, so the blade should be good for a long time.  I can't wait to use it big time! At another yard sale I picked up more fabric for a quarter a piece...3 yards of a really nice white shirting, a natural linen piece and a really interesting celestial print that will make an absolute rocking lining for something.  I'm thinking either a jacket or bag (or both).  I also couldn't pass up some VHS movies, especially when they had a triple feature Chuck Norris video.  Who doesn't love Chuck Norris?  and Charles Bronson? Ultimate tough guys! Anyway, shopping helped discharge some of my nervous energy and now 3 shifts and a wakeup and we'll be on our way! We visited some friends and their 4 month old son last night...OMG what a little lovie! I got to hold him and put him to sleep (I have that effect on people)...makes me so excited to be holding our grandson soon! Pictures to follow...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Busy as a ...

Fill in the blank with your own word...I have been BUSY with a capital "B".  Lots of preparation for the upcoming trip, work, last minute embroidery and sewing projects.  Even though I took my Espire and Evolve to the shop for a tune up while we are away, I still have the EMP6 and other backups to keep me stitching.  We had a couple Guide Dog family pet dogs pass on this month and I embroider prayer flags in there honor.  I had some of Grady McCracken's tail fur to sew onto his flag when he died, and so when Amber died Cyndi brought me some of her "fuzz" to include on her flag...that was a challenge...let me tell you!  Darby was a no fur flag, so that was pretty straightforward.  I spent some time cleaning my sewing space, and although I know once we return it will be a total mess when I get the sweat shop back up to speed, it's sure nice to be in it doing light projects.  More packing, cleaning, getting Jo microchipped and taking my glasses back to the optical place because the lenses are about to pop out! I ran them up to the little optical place we use at work to see if it was an adjustment issue and they said they were not made right! Great!!! I ramble...anyway...this is how it will probably be for oh, the next month or so as I slip into grandmotherhood.  I plan to do some good old fashioned journal writing about the experience and you can bet there are beautiful baby pictures to come...more later...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What I did on my last day off...

Does the picture give it away? We always try to make it to at least one fair during the season and sometimes more if we have the time.  I love to check out the sewing and art entries and of course, the animals! Is it just around here, or are county fairs declining? It seems there are less animals, garden, and craft entries every year.  I always get inspired by seeing other's work and think "I should really enter my stuff".  Then a year rolls by and I forget about it.  Maybe that's part of the decline.

Anyhoodle, we walked around the small vendor hall and for whatever reason I became interested in mattresses.  We have a waterbed that we bought when our backs were acting up and it had been good for a number of years in easing our pain.  Not so much any more...waking up with a backache that forces you to get out of bed is not a good thing!  So here we are and I drag Tom over to the first booth and he is not really into it. "Nothing to compare it too", he says. Except the 4 other booths!!! He spied a TempurPedic booth and I'm thinking "oh, why did I start this?" because you all know how pricey those mattresses are!  We laid on one and it was like heaven (I didn't say they weren't worth it!)  The owner had another knockoff brand there as well and had us try it.  That mattress felt even better! And the price was better! He offered us a special deal (don't they always?), so we ended up buying a new mattress that day.  It won't go into service until after we return from Europe, but it will be so nice!!! The fair is such a good place for spontaneous shopping! :) Maybe it was the lack of farm animals.  And only one sewing machine booth (Pfaff)...Montavilla wasn't even there!

For entertainment we enjoyed the Dock Dog competition.  Here are a few shots from the afternoon...
And here as a parting shot is a picture of my new, well part of it...I was sitting in the car with camera in hand waiting for Tom and was bored...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still No BS

I am so disappointed. I was hoping my August BurdaStyle would be in the mail today, but I'm sad to report it was not.  I know some gals in the states received their copy today, so there's always tomorrow... I consoled myself with a look at the preview for September (could it possibly come early or even on time? I would love to have it before I leave for England!) It was hard to tell what the styles looked like from Burda's artsy fashion photo shoots, but a couple of things jumped out at me.  I love the structure of this dress:
And this looks like the same design made into a skirt:
I can definitely see those pieces in my wardrobe.  Before work I whipped out a few more hats. A little excessive, but there is another baby boy being born on base and I told my daughter she could share the hats with them if I bring too many.  My family is used to me going over the top...when I start sewing it's hard to stop!  I'm thinking of opening an Etsy store when I return...any Etsy folks out there with advice???

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mad as a Hatter

As mad as a hatter
Completely mad. This is now commonly understood to mean crazy, although the original meaning is unclear and may have meant annoyed.
Mercury used to be used in the making of hats. This was known to have affected the nervous systems of hatters, causing them to tremble and appear insane. A neurotoxicologist correspondent informs me that "Mercury exposure can cause aggressiveness, mood swings, and anti-social behaviour.", so that derivation is certainly plausible - although there's only that circumstantial evidence to support it.

The use of mercury compounds in 19th century hat making and the resulting effects are well-established - mercury poisoning is still known today as 'Mad Hatter's disease'. That could be enough to convince us that this is the source of the phrase. The circumstantial evidence is rather against the millinery origin though and, beyond the fact that hatters often suffered trembling fits, there's little to link hat making to the coining of 'as mad as a hatter'.
information cited from Phrases, Sayings and Idioms
No, I haven't been playing with mercury, but I did spend some time yesterday in the baby hat factory.  Sara sounded the cry that she felt she didn't have enough hats for our little man (you know a lot of heat escapes through our cranium), so Gma went to work.  I was given full reign in the embroidery department, so I had some fun with embellishment.  Here are some of the hat designs:

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Hepburn/Hepburn Project and a Giveaway

Sarah over at Rhinestones and Telephones is starting a wonderful fall/winter sewing project featuring both of the lovely Ms. Hepburns and in honor of that is having a pattern giveaway! Hop on over there to check it out.  I think this is a splendid idea and think I will join along.  I need a new wardrobe for the upcoming season.  Katherine and Audrey's style is timeless in my humble opinion and will work for me.  Being on the tall side, most of my pants will tend to be more to Katherine's (I love high waisted trousers)  More on my specific plans as I figure them out.  Sounds like a fun project...please join the revolution.  Think I'll go watch Breakfast at Tiffany's while I sew for inspiration!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let's Kick it into Overdrive!!!

It just hit me that in less than a month we will be leaving to welcome our new grandson into the world! I don't know about Momma, but this 9 months has flown by for Grandma!!!  I still have a few sheets and burpies to finish and I can't believe I haven't crocheted a thing for this dear boy! Oh well, guess the world is not going to stop turning because I haven't crocheted something! Am trying to get super organized as I have to work the night before the long flight and we have never taken such a long trip or even more than a week or 10 days away!  Any travel tips to share, dear readers?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Oregon Jamboree (and my new dress)

Another Jamboree weekend has come and gone...a good time was had by all! I completed one new dress for the event, which turned out to be enough because this year was pretty cold compared to years past.  Of course we were all prepared for the heat with the Tidy Cat mister system Tom rigged up, but we did get it out and use it a little (just because we could!) Here's the dress Burda 7/2010 #113: It was very comfortable to wear when it warmed up and the knit fabric makes it very packable. I may take it to England with me (of course it will probably be a cool Fall)
And now to the concert rundown...
My absolute favorite has to be Blake Shelton! He brought it the whole concert from his duet with Miranda on Michael Buble's "Home" to "Hillbilly Bone", his duet with my man Trace! Of course Trace wasn't there, but Miranda joined him on stage to do Trace's part...Her first entry into the song they dubbed Trace and that was pretty funny because she's an itty-bitty thing.  She was sporting a pretty nice rock from her fiance Blake! No pictures of that though!  Here is a shot of Blake:
Keith Urban was a close that guy can play guitar!
He came back through the crowd to sing to the folks in the non reserve seats...I went back and was super close, but couldn't get a good picture because the man was like a flea on a dog's back...constantly in motion!
Another all time favorite is Neil McCoy.  This is my third time to see him and he always does something different every time.  Except for his closing song "I'm your Biggest Fan"  He can use a little foul language, but that is not a detractor for me (Hey, I hang around with firemen and worked in prison for 10 years! A little swearing doesn't phase me).  He gave Blake and Miranda (who were watching from the wings) a ton of crap and said "You know, singing Michael Buble's song Home really helped Blake's career...maybe if I do a Michael Buble song it will boost mine".  He sang "I Just Haven't Met You Yet" and it was amazing!  He did a lot of different genres, from Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson.  And of course, all the great songs that Neil has...Love that man and I would pay money to see him again!

Of course I had to take some pictures for the guys, so here's Julianne Hough:
And how about that Travis Tritt?
Any Oakridge Boys fans out there?
The show ended with Miranda Lambert. What a cutie! Dig that pink guitar!
All in all it was a fun weekend with friends...can't wait for next year and please Bocephus, if you're reading my humble blog...come play for us at the Oregon Jamboree...I love you man!!!

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...