Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012...A Year in Review

Nah, I'm not doing one of those posts! By the looks of my closet I have not been very productive at the machine this year. Tom made the comment that I might be surprised if I really put a count to it, but I'm not that into counting. The mojo has returned and I have added some wearable garments recently, but most of 2012 was spent working on our property, our new house (okay, there has been a bunch of home dec sewing around the new house) and just working!

I did sit down after dinner and turned that darn heel the first go round. Sometimes when a project is whipping you distance is the best remedy to the problem. Now it's smooth sailing to the toe. I love my Chia Goo needles because the yarn just glides off of them...I hate my Chia Goo needles because the yarn just glides off of them...see my dilemma???

Today is another football day for sure. It appears that Tom did not sleep well again last night as evidenced by the computer monitor turned off. Poor guy. I got a solid 6 hours thanks to Tylenol PM. I used to think my Mom was addicted to the stuff...turns out you just don't sleep as well when you get older and sometimes you need a little help! The things they don't tell you...well, I think I'm done with the computer...time to fire up the sew machine and go. Later Kittens...

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Also Beaver.Fail, but we won't talk about that. I decided to work on my socks during the football game. I was at the turn of the heel. I got about halfway in and had to rip it back because I made a mistake. Okay, no happens. I get back to knitting and the stitches fall off the needles! When the heel was almost done! Seriously! After that I had a few more mishaps so I stopped to cook dinner.  My joints are hurting now anyway, so I think I'll just read tonight. Freaking sock! I shall conquer you tomorrow!

Jack Reacher

Tom had been housebound long enough so today we took in a matinee. We saw Jack Reacher which was based on the Lee Child novel "One Shot" starring Tom Cruise. Best Tom Cruise since Top Gun! I admit I once had a little obsession with the volleyball scene, but I was more of a Goose fan or in Val Kilmer's camp before he let himself go...hehehe! How the times have changed! Lee Child actually has a cameo role in the movie, so watch for it! Now back to sewing!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Winner...not a Wadder

I don't know why I waited so long to sew up Sewaholic's Renfrew top. I bought it when it first came out and traced it out and then...nothing. I didn't even cut out the traced pattern until yesterday. Today I pulled out a remnant ITY from a dress I made a couple years ago (still love that dress...a Maggy London) to try out the Renfrew. Not the best knit for this pattern, but it turned out great! I see this becoming a go to tee pattern along with my Jalies. Those Canadian gals know how to draft a pattern!!! :) Now off to watch High Plains Drifter with my's been a quiet holiday here, but we did get to FaceTime with the kids this morning and see Colt in his Christmas glory! Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

A quiet Christmas Eve here. Watching movies and football, sewing pillows and cooking pheasant (per Pop's request). The dogs are all slabbed out in their usual spots. Missing our kids...hoping Sara, Bryce and Colt are having a nice holiday and looking forward to when they come home! Merry Christmas to you all. May you be blessed with peace and happiness this holiday season!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Radio Silence

Last post in September? I think this is the longest stretch I have ever went without posting to my blog. Part of it was business, part of it was I couldn't figure out how to post a pic with my iPad and the rest was just apathy! Wasn't feeling like writing about anything. As I sit here in the quiet morning (okay, quiet except for the tattletale pomeranian who has to report back when Kodi moves!), I realized that I miss journaling and should make an effort to check in with myself more often.

Progress has been made on the LaPine house. The great room has been painted and the window seat cushions recovered. The guest room has fresh paint and the fireplace stove replacement is underway. Tom had surgery, so things have slowed in the renovations, but as soon as he is able I'm sure he'll be chomping at the bit.

Sewing has been happening too. I made a Halloween bag for Colt and did some embroidery projects for him. Of course sewing for hire jobs have came in and I am grateful for those. I have made a few garments for me, which were sorely needed (and I need to make some more). Only one wadder in the bunch, so that's not too bad. I made another Jalie cardigan in a super soft brown knit that I love. I thrifted a bunch of pillows at my favorite thrift store and embroidered 8 wildlife themed pillow tops for the window seat in LaPine. In other crafty news, I finished a crocheted "Calm Cowl" (I kid you not...that was the name of the pattern) that I started while waiting on Tom's surgery. I started a pair of socks the other day that I think are going to be luscious.

A whole lot of reading has been going on here too. I loaded the Kindle up with books for Tom and I have been using the Kindle app on my iPad for my reading. Notable recent reads are Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" and Mitch Albom's "The Time Keeper". I also read "Overdressed..." by Elizabeth Cline which really confirmed what I already knew. One of my most favorite jobs was working in a sewing factory. It's a sad fact that those jobs went away. I try to balance my serious reading with some fluff and have been enjoying Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I know, I'm a little late to the party, but I like having a whole series of fun quick reads that I can pick up after I read something heavy. I am on Goodreads and enjoy following what my friends are reading. They also have a giveaway section and I have been lucky winning a few books to read as well.

Music. Many moons ago Tom sold a gun to buy me a guitar. For those who know Tom, that was a sincere act of love. I had not played with said guitar in a long time. A really, really, really long time! Well I pulled it out and have been learning. Songs beyond "What do you do with a Drunken Sailor?" Okay, the bulk of my current repertoire is America's "Horse with no Name" and Lynard Skinner's "Sweet Home Alabama". I've missed a few days practice because Tom just had surgery and I didn't want to subject him to me playing poorly, but today is the day to get back on the horse. So if you hear the dogs a howlin''ll know why!!! Happy Holidays!

And just because every post needs a's Colt:

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Don't know why the song "Proud Mary" is stuck in my head, but life does seem to be rolling on. It's been another busy week. I didn't get a chance to snap a pic of my special dress. The day was long and I was busy at work. By the time I got home it was a quick change and down to the firehouse for dinner. I helped a friend move on my first day off and then had a pleasant visit with another on my "Sunday", which actually is a Wednesday for all you Monday through Friday workers! Add to that taking care of my sweet Baboo and getting things ready for hunting camp, not alot of extra curricular sewing going on! I did manage to cover the cushions for the LaPine window box seats last night (they were just foam covered with batting under their covers...the horrors!) and plan to work on the zip off upholstery covers today before I head to work. I have been drying tomatoes and plums. The tomatoes are still ripening but soon the frost will come put an end to the summer bounty. I am starting to clear out the garden beds that are done and button up the garden for the winter. I am reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and have my Kindle loaded with lots of interesting books for winter. I downloaded Calibre yesterday to manage my e-book library. What a great little program! Don't know why I never did that sooner! You can arrange all your books by whatever category suits your fancy and there is a conversion feature. Technology is amazing when it's not being annoying! Well better get back at it because work will come soon enough. Happy Sunday/Thursday to you all!

Friday, September 21, 2012


I stitched the hems in last night and the dress is ready with time to spare! I will try to get some pictures tomorrow when I'm all prettied up. Today you would get the I'm tired from getting up at the butt crack of dawn for work look, which is never attractive! Tonight I am teaching CPR with my beloved and I am jazzed for sewing a Fall into Winter collection.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pride Goeth...

Before a fall...blah, blah, blah...the fit of the dress was not as great as I thought. I made a bunch of adjustments to the pattern based on my measurements. I don't know where the error was made, but the dress ended up too big! Guess that beats too small! I ended up cutting out everything I added plus redrafting the bodice to eliminate the excess in the armscye. The invisible zipper turned out fabulous and I think the fit is as good as it gets, so maybe tomorrow is the day. We have a few errands to run and I have a quickie fire department job coming in tonight. NCIS repeat of the season finale...can't wait for the new season to start!

Monday, September 17, 2012


The graduation dress is coming along fabulously! I am makIng OOP  Butterick 5277 with a teal color embroidered stretch satin. The embroidery is thin little vertical vines with little flowers scattered. I decided to use the matte side, which makes the flowers satiny, which gives an elegant look. Fitting has been going well and zipper goes in tomorrow, so hopefully by days end tomorrow I will have a dress to show. It feels so good to be sewing for me again. I have several other projects in the works. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Whoo-Hoo!!! Guess who turned 2?

Yep...our little man is growing up. Look at that happy boy!
He is really talking well and is a little parrot! Sara was telling me a story and exclaimed "Oh my God..."in the background I heard this sweet little voice repeat "Oh my God!!!" with perfect inflection! Gotta be careful what you say around that guy!
In sewing news...the fabric and pattern have been picked for my make it work challenge. I did pattern adjustments last night and will cut it out today before heading to work, Maybe I'll even get some sewing done. Did any of you see the BMV sale? Vogues are even cheaper than you can buy at the best JoAnn's sale. I have been on a pattern fast, but that might cause me to fall off the wagon! It's not even worth it to get in the car to drive to JoAnn's! Later Kittens...the fabric is calling my name!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sew for Me!

I did it! I sewed something just for me! It's a beautiful ironing board cover! And then the phone rang. With another Fire Department job! Started on it last night and BAM! Finished it after a 10 hour shift today! I have a special event to go to in a little over a week...maybe I'll impose a PR make it work challenge and whip up something fabulous! In other news, today is Colt's 2nd birthday! Happy birthday little man! Gram loves you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

There's always tomorrow post script.. replace a zipper in some Nomex fire pants...DOH!!!! Maybe I can cut something out for me after that!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


Though not for me...shortened a top for a friend and altered some leather riding chaps
There's always tomorrow

Because a picture says a thousand words...

You're never too young to learn about fitness! Here's Colt pushing the Prowler with Mama!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sewjo Rising...

The term "Sewjo" has been floating around the blogosphere lately and I think that the impending Fall weather has sparked my Sewjo! I have had strong yearnings to make some new things for my wardrobe and there has not been a lot of time to sew for me. One of our new students was talking about having time to do things now that he is retired and admitted that he probably had time to do what he wanted while he was still working, but just didn't make the time! So his advice was to make the time to do what you want to do. Pretty simple, right?
I haven't been a very faithful blogger lately either. Most of the time I am accessing the blog on the iPad and I've had trouble posting pictures. Just an excuse of course...I should just do it!  My grandson Colt turns 2 next week. How time flies! We sent him a "motorcycle" for his birthday. Last year it was a fire truck...Sara sensed a trend..she said "I guess you'll be buying him his first car when he turns 16!"   The LaPine house is coming and painting...I love the favorite place to hang least til the sewing room gets done!
One more work day and then my weekend is here. Starting to harvest and button up the garden, a few sewing jobs and then some sewing for me! I am crocheting a new shrug in a nice brown. I love Fall! What is your favorite season?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Drive By

Wow! What a busy summer this has been! Friday we closed on the retirement home , aka T & M's Sportsmens Lodge (dubbed by Dad and Jim). The garden is producing like crazy, so lots of canning going on right now. Getting ready for the Jamboree next excited to see Rascal Flatts. They were on my concert bucket list! We are working on home improvements here and hey, the Olympics are on! It is so fun to watch them and recognize places we have visited. All this means no sewing has been going! I did finish a quickie knit dress a week or so ago, but there's not even anything cut out in the queue! I'll have to remedy that tonight during the Olympics! More later...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

In my spare time...

I like to garden. Thanks to the return of the sun (and the rain we like to curse), my garden is flourishing. Cabbage and tomatoes anyone?
Or green beans and broccoli?

Or how about some squash?

The potatoes have gone wild!

We have already ate radishes, broccoli, lettuce, spinach and had the first few beans (I threw them in the Rice-a-Roni). Today was devoted to weeding the bank on the west side of the house. Ugh, it was hot! I started about 7:30 this morning and stopped about 4:00. There is still more work to do, but I waged a valiant fight against the blackberries. My arms are all scratched and puffy (I'm allergic to blackberries) and  Benadryl is on board. No sewing though...not a great idea while medicated. I'm itching to stitch up something (and Benadryl doesn't help that itch!) Maybe tomorrow...

Friday, July 6, 2012

First House/Last House

Wow, what a whirlwind summer this has been so far! It looks like it will continue to be hectic, but life is pretty exciting right now, so I'll just roll with it. I took two weeks off at the end of June to work on the LaPine property. We had a memorial service to go to near Medford mid vacation, so since we were close to Klamath Falls, Tom took me for a trip down memory lane. We lived there during the first year of our marriage and actually bought our first house there. We had to plug it into the GPS because it had been that long (30+ years). We traveled past the tire store we used to work at (now a plywood store), past Kingsley field which had grown up considerably and when we rounded the corner to Old Midland road I squealed with delight to see the old house still standing. There were some white picket fence was gone, but it still was painted white and I swear the front door is still the same. It needed replacing when we lived there! Here she is circa 2012:

I was almost giddy to see my little mini farm again. We had a lot of good times there...takes me back!
So what about the last house you ask? An opportunity arose for us to purchase the house next to our LaPine lot and it looks like it is all going to work. I loved this house from the moment I saw it, but never thought we would be able to afford it. Thanks to our sagging economy my dream house is within reach and although she need some work, we are doubling our acreage and have our retirement home now. Here she is:

She has great character and high ceilings for Grandpa Louis' elk and Tom's other trophys. I'm super excited about my beautiful new kitchen:
Not much sewing going on...just the usual business jobs...nothing for me. I hope to rectify that soon. Mama needs a new dress!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

No Way in Hell???

Yeah, I talk tough, but then I love a challenge, so guess what I finished yesterday at 5:00 pm? You got it...the last minute, under pressure, down to the wire embroidery job. Tom knew I'd do it. Me, I wasn't so sure. Here's the bow case:
I digitized the Portland Fire logo with my Embird software. I have to say I was pretty impressed with myself. Digitizing can be a struggle sometimes, but this project while time consuming, went pretty smoothly. Here's a closeup of the logo:
I was thrilled to find that NetFlix now has Magnum PI, so a young Tom Selleck kept me company while I worked. How could I not be inspired???
My serger is behaving more like it should and of course the ITY top from hell actually is kind of cute. The construction is not my best work, but I should get some wear out of it, if only for the summer. I skipped out of Zumba tonight as it is my Monday, it was a 10 hour shift and I'm tired! I almost fell asleep on the ride back to campus from Portland...good thing I wasn't driving! Besides, as one darling little man in an Italian garden showed have to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

We bought a Zoo!

I wanted to title this post "We bought a House", but sadly we were outbid on our dream house. Hence I thought buying a zoo might be fun! Since the Pippa dress. my plan to sew some quick and easy knits has been a bust. The Evolve is really rebelling against the ITY knit and I need to work with that, but first I have to tend to the last minute rush embroidery job that dropped on me yesterday. Originally we spoke about this project a month ago. It was a little unusual (which I guess is my usual) and required some advance digitizing, so I said send me the PDF right away so I can get going on it. Nothing happened, so I figured he moved on to another idea (his usual). Oh no! He pulled the "Can I get it by Thursday?" On Tuesday? I said "There's no way in Hell" and came home and started digitizing. I may or may not have it done this afternoon. Depends on how much I hang out in blogland...LOL!!! Okay, break over...back to digitizing!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Finish Line!

Have you ever had a project that has just drug on for months til your almost sick of it? That's how I was beginning to feel about my Pippa dress. It fought me every step of the way from fit, to fabric, even inserting the lining proved challenging. WTH??? Yesterday I knuckled down and finished it and I feel the mojo returning. No pictures's hanging in the bedroom and my beloved is asleep. Besides, it's not a throw on, snap a few pics kind of dress. It needs heels, makeup, the right bra (even bringing the neckline up, it's what Tom calls a "Burda dress") Those of you who sew with BWOF know what I mean. Next up is another Minoru jacket that has been cut out for ages and a couple of knit pieces that I cut out a week or so ago.

Speaking of BWOF...let's talk about pattern buying. I found a great link at Pattern review that had the technical drawings from the magazines. I don't know about you, but I have several years worth of BWOF nicesly organized by year, but not a great index system for reviewing the designs. I printed out the technical design sheets and made a binder. Now I can see the styles at a glance and go pluck the magazine to trace the pattern. I have some clear binder cover sheets that I think would be great to slip the traced patterns into, along with notes, swatches, etc... But I digress...back to pattern buying. I am a sucker for all the pattern sales. Simplicity 5 for $5.00? Yes please! BMV Sale? Sure, I'm in! But truly, will I ever sew every single pattern I have squirreled away? No. Do I have the skills to alter patterns to copy current trends? Yes. So why do I salivate when I see "Patterns for Sale"?

Which brings me to saving money. We have an opportunity to buy the house neighboring our retirement property in LaPine. It is priced way below it's value...I've admired, okay lusted after this house since the first day I saw it. When we were property shopping I told Tom "I'd like that house please." His response was "In your dreams..." I'm almost vibrating with anticipation. I know there are other people who will jump at this opportunity too. Sometimes dreams do come true! I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high so I'm not disappointed if we don't get it, but if we do...SQEAAAALLLLL!!! I'll keep you posted!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Is it Just Me?

I've been thinking about my blog lately and how little I post anymore. Tom even commented "You used to blog all the time, now hardly ever". He's right. I reviewed my stats and there was a time I posted 3 or 4 times a week. I have noticed a trend in many of my blogging friends too that they seem to post less as well. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) Are we busier than we used to be? Is there less to blog about? Or is the bloom off the rose?

I don't know if I am particularly busier. I've always got something going on. I work full time; I have many hobbies that I pursue (and would like to pursue if I had more free time) I have a small sewing & embroidery business I do on the side. All of that was true when I blogged like a mad fool.

Less to blog about? Don't think that is true either. There are tons of interesting things going on in my, fur babies, retirement planning, the garden, a little sewing...that theory doesn't hold water.

The thrill is gone? Maybe...I used to compose blog posts in real time when things were happening. People would that going to make it on the blog? My blog is written solely for me to document my life, and if other folks care to peak in, that's fine, however the intention was never meant to be more than a slice of my life. Give up on blogging? No way! I imagine like other things, blogging will return in it's time. For now, it is what it is.

I continue to follow my favorite peeps when I have the time. It is much easier now that I've arrived in the 21st century and have a smart phone and an iPad. Who'd a thunk it??? There's a post right there on all the cool inventions I've witnessed over my lifetime so far! Mmmm, feel the blogging wheels start turning...
I get inspired (or depressed) over how prolific some folks are. They churn out beautiful garments and I look at my sad little closet and think "I need to whip up something new". Then somebody brings me a stack of shorts to alter, or a dog crate to fix or some other project and it sucks my sewing time. By the time I'm finished with that, it's time to move on to other tasks that need attention. And what does good work get you? More work!!! I need to learn how to say "No" more to other people and "Yes" more to me. There's another post! 

Wow, I guess the key to blogging is just start writing and the ideas will come. Think I'll go apply that theory to sewing. And just because pictures bring more life into my's one of my favorite peeps!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Because a post without a picture is boring...

I don't have any pictures of completed sewing projects, or my gardening efforts, or the super fun Zumba party I went to last night (although Pam and Cheryl posted pictures on FB), but I did take a picture of one of my latest thrifty finds...a Kate Spade purse that I paid $1.00 for! Yep, that's right...Kate Spade for a buck. She has the optional shoulder strap and  is in perfect condition. She's super cute and pink and I think super is my word of the day! The sun came out today and it was even warm enough to wear capris and a sheer blouse with a cami! I got a lot accomplished in the garden and flower beds before heading to work. Spring has been a long time coming to Oregon this year, but we are delighted it seems to have arrived! I hope the good weather holds for my's almost here!!! SUPER!!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Funeral for a Friend...

This has been a tough week. A good friend's guide dog had some health issues and is now retired. The good news is that she will recover, but it's sad for my friend who has worked with July for over 10 years. To make matters worse, her husband's retired guide Disney (who has been a featured guest on Mary is Sewfast) has passed over the Rainbow Bridge. RIP big D...I shall miss you my friend...til we meet again...
As for sewing, I have made progress on the Pippa dress. Since the rain is making a return this week I should get some sewing time on my days off. I hurried up this morning before work and tilled my garden beds while it was still dry. Beans and brocolli in the ground! Yay for me!!! Just enjoying a spot of tea and then it's off to bed...later

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just a drive by...

Wow, blogging has definitely taken a backseat lately in this game called LIFE! I'm happy to report the Mojo is rising and there shall be personal sewing going on. I'm down to a couple of paying jobs and one is waiting for the fabric to come, so Mama needs a new Spring wardrobe. I really love to make dresses, but separates, i.e. tops and pants are really a more practical choice for my lifestyle. Since we exercise every morning before beginning work (a benefit in my opinion), wearing a dress might make it a little challenging. I pulled 4 fabrics and patterns last night and will most likely have a cutting session tonight. I may even take my gear down to the fire station and cut there on the big long tables. Tom is on a 48, so that way I can spend some time with him (barring any emergencies of course) after dinner. Dinner, ugh! Looking for inspiration there. I received Ree Drummond's new cookbook for my birthday recently. I made the roasted cauliflower last night...wonder what the Pioneer Woman would recommend for tonight? Guess I better get myself in gear to get through this day...I'll worry about dinner later!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Devil is in the Details...

Another busy week has flown by. Still no sewing for me, but I am making headway. Except for the tote of LightSong embroidery Sioux brought me. The work flows out...the work flows in... Tom has been sick, but felt well enough today to go to work, so once I get off the computer it's time to rock. Lots of chores to do, schedules to rearrange (someone made multiple appointments for the same time...wasn't me!!!). 
Yesterday we took a little day trip to Vernonia to check out a log home open house. Hank has been courting us because he would like us to build our retirement home with his company. The home was beautiful except it was located in a really odd location midst some really dumpy homes. Oh well, we were not there to check out the 'hood. It was great to see the flat log interior inside, I think that is how I would like to go, but I've never been inside one with the natural round long interior, so we will go check that out next. We did find a floor plan that is close to what we have in mind, so that's a start.
I'm still running with the Iknitarod. The back is finished and the first front piece is going well. It has a fairly easy 14 row cable repeat that is actually ingrained in my head now. I think maybe I need to make some socks next...something quick and easy, but Knitty did have a cute cardi that I may have to make. We'll see how I feel when the race is over!
Well, it's almost 7:30...time to get rolling. Catch you all on the flip side...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello it's me...

I've thought about us for a long, long time...Wow! I think this has been my longest stretch of not posting anything to my blog! I miss it, although I have been checking in with my peeps! Peeps! Easter is right around the corner!!! I was actually born on Easter Sunday. My 5th birthday was on Easter. Won't happen again until 2043 when I turn 84. Guess I'll have a party if I make it to 84. You're all invited!
I have been sewing. Just not for me! Boo!!! Seems like I get one job done and another one rolls right on in. Oh well, guess I'm popular with the sewing impaired crowd. I have been knitting as much as possible, but have been suffering from a bit of knitting ADD as of late...flitting from project to project. I finally settled on a project for the Iknitarod group on Ravelry. Having a concrete goal should keep me on task. I am creating a button down cape from the Winter Vogue Knitting magazine. It's going pretty well except when Mr. Man asks me if I've ripped out anything lately. I always seem to mess up after that question and get caught ripping it out! Because of work demands I was unable to do the Rose City Yarn Crawl. I did manage to hoof it up to Knit/Purl on my lunch break yesterday and was rewarded with a beautiful tomato red sample sweater they had on sale for $20.00. I know I should DIY, but I can't even buy the yarn for that and it was the perfect color. The only bad thing was that it had these huge butt ugly buttons that needed additional snaps to keep it closed. YUK! I removed the snaps and the buttons this morning and replaced them with buttons I like. Here is the sweater:
Here is a close up of the vintage buttons I added:
I like these much better. I also purchased a copy of the Knitter, a UK knitting magazine. There were several projects I would like to make out of it. Maybe when the cape is done...
The sun is actually out this afternoon. Big improvement over the sloppy snow we have had lately. Rain is predicted to come back next week. So much to do to get the garden ready...maybe I will chance planting the beans in the cold frame next week...must talk to Mr. Man for feedback.
In food news, we have been really into cooking with good olive oil and balsamic vinegars from the Oil & Vinegar store. My new favorite is Elderberry, Apple & Lime vinegar. It's a sweet citrusy blend. Tom cooked some Tilapia the other night and then grilled some pineapple rings. He deglazed the pan with raspberry BV and topped the fish with the pineapple/vinegar sauce...oh my gosh! Heavenly! So then last night he surprised me with some trout he smoked, so I made a super salad with it with an Elderberry, Apple & Lime vinaigrette I made...mmmm Makes me hungry thinking about it!
The poms have all been bathed and nails trimmed. Seems like I always quick Jo no matter what method I use to do his nails. Poor little Diva dog. Sam is a dream to groom. So well behaved. Well, guess I better get off the computer and get busy. Hopefully it won't be such a long time til I post again.l

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leap into February!

Where has January gone? I don't know, but we are on the verge of February and it's a leap year! Did you know? I didn't realize it either until Sara was telling me about a friend who is expecting and her predicted due date is February 29th. I have a cousin who was born on that day. Not sure how I would feel about that...young perhaps??? We had to take the BMP6 in for service. Since the Gold standard warranty has expired, this service is on my dime. The sales clerk quoted me $239.00 with an apologetic face. Do you know how much this sucker cost? You think that amount is going to scare me??? Hard to believe I have had it for almost 6 years! I got it right after Tom bought his new truck (see how that works??? LOL!!!) We hustled out of Montavilla before I could go check out the Enterprise. Probably a good thing.  Anything named after a Star Trek space ship has to be expensive! I have been keeping myself busy in the interim with little sewing jobs and knitting. The resources for learning are amazing online and I am happily learning new knitting techniques. I'm a cable Queen now and have designs on lace. I just started the Shalom cardigan (pattern courtesy of Ravelry) and it is going super fast! Working straight day shift at work has been interesting...didn't realize how my body had gotten into an evening routine, but it's okay. Except for the part when the dogs get me up at 4:45 on my days off! That kinda sucks! But the good news is more knitting time! Speaking of dogs...Sam is fitting in beautifully. He is gaining confidence and has found his voice. He still is a little skiddish at times around that man that comes and goes, yet he warms up really quick and sits with Tom in the recliner. They'll figure it out. Well, guess I'd best scoot up to the studio and knock out those paying jobs and see what the rest of the day might bring. Here's a picture my childhood friend sent me yesterday...just to leave you with something to look at...who is that girl????

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sam I Am

I sound like a Dr. Seuss book, don't I? I haven't been a very faithful blogger lately, although I have been keeping up with my blog reading. Part of the reason I have not been blogging is that we have a new baby in the house! Not a grandbaby, mind you, but we adopted a black and white pomeranian named Sam a couple weeks ago. My friend Nancy dropped by my office one afternoon and said "You should check out this pom they just got in to the shelter...they're looking for someone to foster him!" Yeah, I'm going to bring him into my home for 2 weeks, love him and turn him back? It was hard enough when we did foster children! So we pretty much knew that unless he grew a second head or was as vicious as Kujo, he would become a part of our family. We enjoyed a nice walk to the dam for lunch on a rare afternoon of sunshine and blue skies. It was a welcome reprieve after last weeks weather! Do you know how many pictures it takes to get two dogs to look at you at the same time? Here are the boys...
They are sufficiently tuckered out now, so I am going to do some vacuuming and fire up the embroidery machine. My favorite thrift store reopened last week after their building was restored. This morning I dropped by to take some items I had cleaned out of my closet and to look around. I scored on some yarn and a great bag to carry my knitting around. Need to spruce it up a bit and make it mine!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Clean-a-thon Continues

Sewing Studio Edition! I pulled everything out of the fabric closet tonight. Many happy surprises of fabric I forgot about that got hidden and remnants of stuff that really needs to go! I have one box filled for thrift. I'm going to call it a night and get after again tomorrow after work. Maybe by my day off I'll have a tidy organized space to work in. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Make Way for the New...

I read an interesting blog post on Flipboard (a free app I found for my phone that you can customize with newsfeeds, google reader, Facebook, etc.) about a gal who spends New Year's Eve cleaning. It started out as just New Year's Eve, but as her life and family grew she had to start a few days earlier to complete everything. Now I will never get that wild and crazy about cleaning, but I have started cleaning out a cupboard or two when I have a little spare time (starting with the cookbooks) and it has been very good. I am learning new things about the stuff I already have. Like the grinder attachment for the Kitchenaid mixer is also a pasta maker with several dies to make different pastas, such as lasagne. How many times have we used that thing and I did not see the big bold letters that said "Pasta Maker" on it? Crazy! I reorganized my storage containers the other day and am quite happy with how nice the cupboard looks and that the lids are stored with the containers. I previously had prescribed to the containers in the cupboard with a drawer of lids, but that had morphed into a Tupperware nightmare! I thought it would take up more space, but through nesting the smaller containers in the bigger ones and getting rid of the dead wood with no lids, I actually have more room! And an empty drawer! Who knew I had 3 sifters (2 full sized and 1 mini)? How often do I use 1 sifter? Did I really think I needed that many, or did I just forget I had one already? I'm currently waiting for the clean cupboard to dry before I put back the items that are staying. I may even tackle the junk drawer this morning before I have to go to work!
In sewing news, I cut out a muslin for McCall's 6513 yesterday. I say muslin because I am using the knit from that came with a huge seam through the middle of the cut and I had to be a little creative to get all the pieces out. I'm sure this pattern will become a TNT. Yesterday we gorged ourselves on holiday football and cheered madly for our Oregon Ducks...the 2011 Rose Bowl Champions!!!! It was a great game and Wisconsin was a worthy opponent. It could have gone either way, but I'm happy for our Ducks! All the football time really gave my 2 socks at a time project a shot in the arm and I am now on the home stretch of knitting the foot. The heel turn on the pattern I am using did not make sense. It only had decreases on one side of the gusset and maybe I just don't understand what it was telling me to do, but I have made enough socks that I just did it my way and the heel looks great. Guess I know more about knitting than I give myself credit for! Anywho, it's off to get some stuff done before work. Time to get back on that horse and ride!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012! Put a Bird On It!

Welcome 2012! I hope everyone had a happy and safe 2012! Tom was working so our celebration consisted of a nice dinner of rib steaks, rosemary garlic roasted red potatoes and salad, topped off with cocoa apple cake. I was really excited about the cake. Cocoa apple cake was a staple dessert in our house growing up, and somehow through life's twists and turns, I lost Mom's recipe. Tragic. I'm not even sure where it originated from...maybe one of the Scott Paper ladies that my Dad worked with. I had done an internet search before, but nothing had come close to the original, which had chocolate chips in it. Flash forward to 2011. My cookbook cupboard had overflowed to the ridiculous. I made the decision that some serious culling needed to be done, and so one morning I went through my cookbooks and donated a bunch to the Book Nook, which supports our local library. In this day and age, most any recipe is a click away and so I reduced my cookbook collection to a fraction of it's previous size. I felt good about it. To test out my recipe accessibility theory, I did one last search for the Cocoa Apple cake. The first recipe that popped up was it! Of course it was a little shy on the chocolate chips, but I always added more anyway, so that told me it was the one! Anyway, enough about cake!
Jo and I went home shortly after dinner to avoid the drunken craziness that usually accampanies New Year's Eve. Good thing...I heard the boys go out a short time after we got home. We did our chores, got in our PJs and settled in for some telly and sock knitting. 100+ channels and nothing on to watch prompted me to see if there was anything new on NetFlix to hold my attention. What? The first season of Portlandia had been added! Since we don't get the IFC channel, I thought it would be fun to watch the show that sheds a light on our big city.
I ended up watching the whole first season (6 episodes in all). Kyle Maclachlan is hilarious as the mayor and Sam Adams (the actual mayor of Portland) has cameos as his assistant. The show is a series of skits with recurring characters that feature different locales here in Portland. Portlan's motto is "Keep Portland Wierd" and you definitely catch that vibe in Portlandia. The knitting of 2 socks at a time is going fabulously...knitting heel flaps and will be turing the heel soon. I hope to have this pair off the needles by the time my new ChiaoGoos arrive, so I can start on another pair with a lace pattern perhaps. Or maybe toe up 2 at a timeMight as well complicate it more! I did venture out yesterday to JoAnn's to take advantage of the 99 cent McCall's pattern sale. The main pattern that drove me there was McCall's 6513, a new Palmer/Pletsch knit top offering.
This is so the type of top I like to wear and I can't wait to take it for a spin. Unfortunately Tom had a job waiting for me when I was heading home from town so I couldn't dive right in. The good news is I knocked the job out in the afternoon and it paid for my little trip to JoAnn's! I picked up several other patterns and some more sock yarn. I won't rest until all my socks are handmade!
I have to go to work today, so I had best get off the computer and give Jo a bath. I like him to start off fresh with a new class. I'm sure he will be thrilled! Usually he runs and hides when I say the "B" word. Enjoy the rest of the holiday if you have it off. I am off tomorrow and will be watching the Rose Bowl. GO DUCKS!

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...