Monday, July 30, 2007
Norbit - an Eddie Murphy comedy that I knew nothing about before I saw it. Let's just say that if I had known what it was about I probably would not have watched... maybe if I was drunk and befuddled I would have but not stone cold sober. I will say the special effects are incredible as Eddie, once again, plays multiple characters and, in the case of one female character, is completely believable. Definately a pass if you are over 18.
Premonitions - Sandra Bullock plays a wife who has learned her husband has died but wakes up the next day with him next to her in bed. The premise is pretty good and well executed though the ending seemed a little bit of a bummer. I liked it and, at least, it made me speculate about the ending until the last 15 minutes.
Flags of our Fathers - A war film by Clint Eastwood about the men who were photographed while raising the American flag on Iwo Jimo. Good acting, well done character studies and incredible battle scenes but it really didn't go any where. One of the surprises is that Clint Eastwood composed one of the more interesting pieces of background music. A pass unless you really like the genre.
The Shooter - This movie is about an expert marksman and an attempt on the President's life. I really enjoyed it, learned a lot about marksmanship and was fully engaged in the plot. Although the ending was satisfying to me, others may not agree. A film worth checking out.
On another note - I have been invited into a new swap. This one is for doll quilts themed for the four seasons so it would be a year long committment. I know the moderator is looking for participants so if you would like to join the details are here: http://quiltsoflove.blogspot.com/ With such a small format it should not be too much of a pain. Check it out.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
And here is some detail on what I am talking about. I'm sure there is some way for me to figure out how to fix it without tearing out all that knitting but I don't have a clue as yet what that could be. I am not gong to tear it out as the yarn is a cotton/microfiber blend that really clings to itself. You can see it at elann.com as Austerman Bubble yarn with the pattern I used.
Maybe I should interface the whole thing with a fusible knit of some sort and use the 'yardage' in some other projects? It may be worth a try as I really liked this knitting before I messed up the shoulders. Any ideas?
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
BUT the most interesting news came in an e-mail today from the folk at Sew Stylish magazine. Babylock is having a contest called 'Take this craft and sew it'. Entrants are to go to their local Babylock dealer and get a free package of materials to make either an MP3 player case or a clutch style purse. Entries are due by the end of August and winners get a Babylock sewing machine. This contest should yield some interesting results if they can generate some enthusiasm. The rules and entry form are at www.takethiscraftandsewit.com.
I will now go and build my ark as I have heard that the weatherman is expecting another 5 - 10 inches of rain over the next three days ... on top of the 12 inches we have already had this month in my backyard. Maybe I should have put off retirement and moved to Columbus, Ohio, when the bank offered to move me, as they have not had any rain in almost two weeks. Just kidding!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
- Keep your kitchen sink clean - I have tried to follow this one - not that I do a lot of cooking or that my kitchen is a hive of family activity but the kitchen sink was becoming a bit of a toxic waste dump. Now, most days , my sink is clean and my kitchen is ready for company. It does reduce my stress to have at least one area of the house that's company ready. Of course there is this great big honking sewing machine on the table, until my classes are finished, which greatly reduces the amount of surface area that needs cleaning.
- Get dressed down to your shoes every morning - I do get dressed to my shoes every morning.... just not ready to go out in public with the sun above the horizon. My initial getting dressed has to do with dog feeding and walking. I have moved my dressing for the public to later in the morning. I don't think my solution completly embraces the FLY Lady spirit but it works for me.
- De-cutter 15 minutes a day - I like this one as I seem to have papers that are breeding while I sleep. I try to toss, file or give away for 15 minutes at a time every day. My piles of stuff are a little smaller than a month ago. I have used ths method for culling the bookcases in the dining room and de-junking the junk drawer. I really need to get to my closets in this manner because I know I don't need or want the number of garments I seem to be keeping.
- Swish and Swipe - this is the rule that says you should do a quick bathroom clean-up every morning. I can't seem to get my head around this one though I can see the value of having a clean bathroom every day. I think I will work on this one.
- Do a load of laundry every day and put it away - I don't generate enough laundry to do a load a day and with all the felting I've been doing I find myself searching for the right things to put into a hot wash with the knitting. The doggy blankets and beds seem to be getting a lot of attention lately! I am failing at this one because even when I do a load for felting, I don't get everything put away for a few days as I want to work with what I've just created.
- Prepare for the next day by having a bedtime routine - My bedtime routine is to lock up the dogs, set the alarm and snuggle down with my most recent book. Works for me but does not meet all the criteria... like I should be laying out the next day's clothing, cleaning up my most annoying clutter gatherers etc. etc. etc. I don't think I will ever be organized enough to acually lay out clothes for the next day on any regular basis
All in all my month with the FLY Lady has been good but I don't see myself becoming a true FLY Lady. I would much rather be sewing or knitting or walking the dogs or meeting with others who like the things I do or reading or embroidering or any of a hundred other things, to spend more time than I do now on house work... after all there is always a cleaning service if things get too out of hand!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Why am I so angry? This is not an earth shattering event. The tutorial may not even be read by more than one or two people, so why does it bug me? When did I become such a stickler for precision? Maybe I've just had too much lazy writing today reading the latest Harry Potter and this tutorial broke my patience? I don't know if anyone reading this really wants the best information on French Knots. If you do, I suggest you find the old Sew Beautiful magazine that I used to learn them or, alternatively, let me know and I can walk you through the process.
On the other hand, I may just be irritated because earlier today I was given a senior citizens discount at a restaurant when I didn't ask for it and didn't meet the posted criteria. Must have been all my grey hair that prompted the clerk to key it into the system. LOL
Tomorrow will be a better day as it is not expected to rain for the first time is almost two weeks. Yeah!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
I thnk I better put these into some project soon or the house will be full of machine embroidery experiments. On the other hand I could stash them with the hand embroidery pieces I have waiting for just the right project. Works for me!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Medical update - saw the doctor yesterday and she says my vocal cords are as smooth as a baby's bottom. I think that's good.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
I was pretty excited about the purchase because I had already seen some of the projects on Flickr and they looked great. I was particularly impressed with the number of baby bibs that posters had made... it seemed like any one who made one started churning them out like candy. Another project that had many postings was the Charming Handbag. There were several different sizes and they loooked like fun. Most of the comments were of the nature that they would change the bag in some way to make it useful but those semi-warm comments did not deter me.
Part 1 of the book concentrates on what you need to actually sew these projects. Amy has extensive instructions on which notions are needed, how to use them and why you should use them. She talks about using her patterns, appropriate fabrics and even how to sew on a button and make bias binding. Part 1 should be reproduced and given to anyone thinking about taking up sewing for fun or profit as it contains excellent instructions, humorous descriptions and good advice. I was particularly glad to read that she recommends having more than one pin cushion as I seem to scatter them all over the house to catch errant pins.
Part 2 contains the projects. They are pretty standard but Amy puts her own mark on them. A standard tote bag becomes interesting when one handle is shortened into a loop for the standard sized handle to slip into for carrying. An apron becomes a fashion accessory when embellished with an unusual pocket. A plain old expanse of fabric becomes a scalloped edge baby blanket in Amy's hands. I have a couple of bones to pick with the patterns. They require the sewer to execute teeny tiny fold overs of raw edges and top stitching by machine to get an adequate result. Even now I sometimes have trouble turning an 1/8" fold over of a raw edge and top stitching can run off the edge when you are working so close to it. Another tiny complaint is that with all the turning required I don't remember that she ever has anyone clipping corners for smoother turning and sharper corners.
This book is not for the experienced sewer unless you want to see what the newer sewers are doing. The patterns require a copy machine as most need to be increased in size for good results. I would give this to anyone wanting to sew something unique for themselves, their friends and family as it has such a good introduction to the equipment needed and how to use it. I am off to try a couple of the projects and I will post the results. Wish me luck.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
The rain chances tomorrow are 60% so it looks like the mushrooms in the yard will have a nice layer of mold before too long.
Update - I forgot all about the little tykes around here that just have to set off fire crackers. Everything is so water logged I don't see how any fires could be started BUT the dogs are hating it. Lady Jane was always so calm about fireworks. She would check them out but no barking or other carrying on - the girls have to bark and run from the dining room at the front of the house to the back yard several times for each pop that they hear. Alex is a little afraid of them and between running around and barking he is firmly attached to my hip.
Will this day never end!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
- postcards made from old game boards by chickeney.etsy.com,
- a cut little heart pin from abelstudio.etsy.com,
- a full kit to make a dish cloth of cotton and wool yarn by craftleftovers.blogspot.com,
- a knitting pattern that makes up into wrist warmers with big red lips on them as an extract from a new knitting book called pretty in punk from chroniclebooks.com,
- a cute card from Jedidiahsnovelities.com,
- a sample of some absolutely wonderful walnut dyed super wash merino sock yarn from greenprairiefibers.etsy.com,
- cute gift tags from littletilegnome.com,
- a book mark with some lovely ribbon from twinkletextiles.etsy.com,
- a pair of sodalite hoop earrings that I would actually wear from moderndharma.com,
- a botlecap magnet from manictrout.com,
- a set of spa basics from shebassecret.com,
- a Nom pin from littledear.etsy.com and
- a soy candle from Sheba's Secret as well.
I regularly look at the craft leftovers blog but was hesitant to purchase. After all, I have lots of leftovers but this kit is very clever and I can't wait to make it up. The Sheba's Secrets items will also warrent another look as the products seem wonderful and the scents appear to be under control.
On another note - it rained most of yesterday so it was tough to get the dogs to go out. I have a little sun shade outside and I tried to encourage them to come out and join me out there to do their business. The girls would not take the bait hence the picture on the left of Kimora testing the air througth the doggy door. The picture on the right is of Alex standing in the middle of a downpour. He had a great time out in the yard as long as I stayed outside with him. I was dry under the sun shade while he got thoroughly soaked. What a life!
Monday, July 2, 2007
I then tried to line a couple of experiments in felting that I had completed last week. First the orange and black little purse. I tried to line it so that the lining would cover the rough edges at the opening as I had trimmed it down a little. This lining experiment worked well. The actual yarn was a ball of a Lion Brand yarn that looked like wool roving. The final size was about 4" x 6" with a rounded bottom. I added velcro as a fastener which also helped to hold the lining in place. I love the way the yarn was mostly black and gray but the orange is what stands out. The second experiment had to do with me adding piping to a similar purse and leaving the raw edge exposed. This effort really failed which is too bad as I like the way the pink yarn felted. The problem was that the purse had such a small opening that it did not even fit on the arm of my sewing machine which meant a lot of slippage when attaching the lining. I probably should have attached the piping and lining by hand but I was too lazy.