Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Then they become teenagers.
You still want the best for them but you can't wait for them to take their whiny, hormonal selves out of your home and into their own homes. You still love them and cherish them and want nothing bad to ever happen to them but, one more slammed door or temper tantrum and you will be changing the locks on the doors or moving without a forwarding address.
Finally comes that big day when they step out on their own. They get that job they have always wanted, rented or bought their own place and they are finally out of your hair... and you want them back... just for a little while.
But you have prepared them well and can be a little smug that they are settled.
Then they turn your smugness upside down.
All that security you though they were looking for is out the window and they come to you with what they really want to do and its a shocker.
While you were thinking they were settling into a nice middle class life, they were thinking about OPENING A RESTAURANT!
Yup - Paul, my sweet, gentle boy is opening a restaurant in a few days. This has been in the works for so long that I really thought it would be another few months before it would happen.
I know it will be a great success, that he knows what he is doing, that the food will be great and that he and his partners will make a ton of money. I can provide book keepng services and lots of moral support but I really don't know how restaurants work except that I like to eat.
If you are around Spears Road and T.C. Jester on and after September 2, stop into Sweet Sadie's for some barbeque and wings. I know you will not be disappointed.
I will be the nervous wreck in the corner... like I was when he first stepped off the plane in America, when he went to his first day at school, when he played his first baseball game, had his first wrestling match, got his driver's license and all the other milestones we have shared together.
There will be many more milestones, I'm just lucky that they have been spaced out a bit.
Wish him luck!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I know, I know... I did take my temperature just to be sure that I wasn't running a fever or something.
My accomplishments have been few but have been dramatic.. at least to my way of thinking.
In one case I took down and washed all the washable curtains in the house and hung them back up. The last part is remarkable as it took me two weeks to get the bedroom curtains back up the last time I did them.
In another case, I cleared out and reloaded the coat closet. In the process I found that I had accumulated seven softsided brief cases over my career (like this) and innumerable so-called over-night bags that I have never used for overnight trips. I know someone, somewhere will enjoy most of these.
I also cleared off the top shelf of the laundry room that had become a dumping spot for things that I was sure I would need someday like.... 15 various sized small zipper cases from toiletries purchases and giveaways and some very badly made make-up sized bags. Most of these will also go the way of excess briefcases and overnight bags.
One thing I did find that surprised me was a couple of bags I made years ago in a mini-workshop with the Dallas/Forth Worth American Sewing Guild. At the workshop we made generic tote bags with Hex Frames from Ghee's. The cool part about this project was that the frames could be removed from the tote bag and used with other tote bags. I was intrigued by this project back then and made three different covers. Today they are not something I would use but I have ideas for other covers.
I wonder what else my nesting urge will uncover before this weird urge wears off?
I hope your week is going well and that you don't get caught up in nesting! It can lead to lots of dust in the air and new projects for the UFO pile!
Friday, August 21, 2009
They were very ,very stale... hard as hockey pucks....useful as components of Improvised Explosive Devices...suitable for long lasting chew toys. I think you get the point.
I love glazed donuts so instead of tossing them out or providing them to the dogs as a snack food I decided to dig out my Joy of Cooking and see what I could do with them.
After discovering that Irma Rombauer did not produce a recipe that used stale donuts as a key recipe ingredient I took her bread pudding recipe, made a couple of changes and came up with the following.
5 - 6 stale glazed yeast donuts
3 cups warm milk
3 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
sugar - to taste ( I used about 1/4 cup)
ground cinnamon (optional to spinkle on top)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Take your stale donuts and slice them up into nice chunks. Place in an oven proof dish.
Pour warm milk over the donuts and let the donuts soak it all up.( I still had a little milk left over but that didn't seem to matter)
Beat the eggs with the vanilla, nutmeg and sugar. Stir the egg mixture into the soaked donuts.
Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Place pudding dish in another dish with about one inch of hot water in it.
Place both in the oven and cook about 45 minutes or until almost firm. (mine could have done with another five minutes but I was getting very hungry.)
Cool in the fridge and serve.
I like mine with a little warm maple syrup. YUM!
DO NOT EAT IT ALL IN ONE SITTING!
Variations - Substitue various juices or liquors for some of the milk, add nuts, raisins or dired fruit, serve with jam, fresh cream or other things Irma suggests.
Lesson learned - when you are down to the last sixteenth of an inch of your nutmeg nut, start on another one rather than start grinding off your finger tips. If you put the last little bit of your nut through the food disposer in your sink your house will smell like nutmeg for a least an hour.
Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So I'm early by one day, for once. Don't know how that happened but the stars were aligned correctly in the sky and I just had to share this before I accidently erased the pics from my camera.
Once a year Alex and the Girls go to the Vet for their annual shots and examinations. Alex goes in June and the Girls in August.
They actually all go to the appointmemts but just the scheduled ones get the full treatment. The Girls had theirs last week and passed with flying colors. Because of thier sensitivities vis-a-vis the many vaccines they are required to have, the rabies shots has been postponed for three weeks. Both the Girls have had muscle and skin damage from previous Rabies shots and I hope we can avoid that by spacing them out from the other shots.
Any way, I like for them all to get new colllars concurrent with their annual exams. As I am fed up with Alex's inability to enter a pet store without making a grab for a toy that he will destroy in about 20 mintues I decided to go on my own to find new collars. In two out of three cases I think I made good choices.
Monday, August 17, 2009
This is not a quick sew and your sewing area can get a bit messy with about 50 different pieces of fabric and other necessities. It is very important that you follow the 71 sewing steps exactly in order or you can get thoroughly messed up in the construction process. Let's just say I had a lot of bits of thread littering the floor around my chair by the time I was finished from all the ripping out I had to do when I mistakenly skipped a step or did something out of order.
Here's how mine came out:
As you can see I will not have any trouble filling it up, it even holds my Kindle nicely, and it will make changing purses a whole heck of a lot easier in the future. My only concern about the whole thing is that the chosen fabrics (the pale, pinky, girlie prints) will get soiled and I don't think this insert will go into the washing machine and come out of the dryer in tact.
I did make a couple of changes from the printed pattern. The middle zippered pocket was to be made of the floral fabric on the exterior. I did not have enough of it so I made it completely out of the interior, spotted fabirc. Also, there is large pocket on the exterior that calls for two zippers to meet in the middle. I substituted a purse zipper (tan zipper above) which made the construction a little easier.
As I said, not a quick sew but an incredibly useful product. I can aslo see this as useful to carrry sewing or other crafting tools to classes or retreats. The site also suggests it as holder for tools that get scattered on your cutting table. Heck, it's pretty enough to use as a clutch all on its own.
BTW - if you like the idea of a purse zipper but don't want to spend the extra time, effort and money on one, there is a clever tutorial here on how to make one of your own. I have not tried this out but it certainly looks doable.
UPDATE - I have used this thing for two days now and have found it very annoying. I keep my purse contents cotained in separate containers... money stuff in a wallet, Kindle in a case, lip gloss, pens and other bits in another case, coupons in another and wipes in another case. With everything on one container I had to literally pull out the whole thing everytime I wanted to find what I needed. I think I am going back to my old way of doing things and putting this in the Fish Pond for 2011 unless you let me know that you'd like it and I'll send it on. Just thought you'd like to know.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I chose to try a pair knitted from the toes up rather than from the cuffs down to the toes. The pattern included lots of things I hadn't tried before like unusual stitch patterns, multiple color changes and, just to keep things interesting, instead of knitting the heel while working the rest of the sock, the heel is knitted after the sock body is completed by opening a hole in the sock where you want the heel to be worked.
Just to make things interesting I decided not to use the recommended size of yarn or needles which meant I needed to re-work the pattern a little so I had at least a prayer of them even coming close to fitting.
Here is how they came out:
The yarn is a self-striping super wash wool from the Hen House and included extra yarn for reinforcing the toes and heels. I did not use the extra yarn to reinforce the toes because I had enough trouble trying to start the socks at the toes. I did use it to reinforce one heel (the left one above) but I forgot to use it on the second heel. I can't find the label for the yarn so I can't give you the name of it but it is really soft and feels great. I did not attempt to match the stripes between the two sock so these will definitely be worn under my longest jeans.
These are a little snug in the fit but that means they should fit nicely in my loafers... at least I hope they will when I replace my old loafers.
I hope your week went well. I am planning on joining some friends tomorrow for a day of playing with the French Braid quilt piecing technique. I have a Moda Jelly Roll that I bought a while ago and it resurfaced from the clutter pile just in time for this class. Unlike previous gatherings when we have had a volunteer who has done the technique before and has a completed sample, we are winging this one with no samples and a couple of books for guidance. Wish us luck!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Good Old Golden Rule Days.
Not sure about that but with less than two weeks before school starts in my area, the Once Upon Time Bee of the KAQG had a sew-in to make pencil cases for kids in the area. The incomparable Ms. M. came up with the idea and we got lots of supplies from many members of the guild.
We were able to make over 30 pencil cases in an evening of wackiness. Wacky because we actually ran out of fabric to make these cases (we were using recycled denim) and there was more food than we have ever had at one of these events. I stuffed myself on fried chicken, hummus, water crackers, sushi, cheesecake, mango salsa, sweet potato chips, chicken salad, lemon pie and the list just goes on and on.
I did not take even one picture of our output but here are the instructions we used to make the pencil cases.
Supplies needed -
4 – 1 ½” x 1 ½” pieces of fabric for the zipper tabs
1 – 18” x 20” piece of denim for the pencil case body
1 -18” zipper - any style but separating is easiest
1 – 5” piece of ribbon – zipper pull
Sewing machine or serger
Zipper foot – optional
Using two of the 1 ½” square zipper tabs for each end of the zipper, sandwich the end of the zipper between the right sides of the tabs. Sew securely about ¼” from each end of the zipper. Flip over the tabs, right sides out and re-sew about 1/8” from the fold.
Attach the zipper to the 20” sides of the fabric using your favorite method.
For example: place one long edge of the zipper, right sides together, on the denim with the zipper mostly open. Sew the long sides together about ¼” from the raw edge. At some point the zipper pull will need to be moved to sew around it. To do this easily, stop sewing in the needle down positon, turn the zipper and fabric sideways under the sewing machine foot, pull the zipper towards the previously sewn area, turn the whole thing back to where it can be sewn and continue sewing. Fold the fabric, right side up and top stitch about 1/8” from the zipper teeth. Repeat for the second side… just be aware that the top stitching can be a pain for the second side… just take it slowly and it will work out just fine.
Turn the case wrong side out lining up the zipper to the middle of bag, not the top.
Keeping the zipper mostly open, sew a ¼” seam along the open ends. Fold the sewn seam against the top edge and sew another seam across the triangle you have made, about 2 ½” from the top of the triangle. Repeat until all four sides are done.
Turn ride side out, attach ribbon to the zipper pull and you are done.
Website illustrating this technique:
We may not agree or follow all the rules but I can point to many, many female friends who still strive to meet these rules. We all worry about whether the kids and house are clean, the table tops dusted, school supplies organized, dinner ready and that a calm atmosphere permeates our homes. We may feel our place has changed over time but we still believe that the women of a household are the home makers even if we don't wear pearls, stockings and pretty shirt waisted dresses.
If you would like a copy of the original e-mail (which is definitely more legible) send me a note at anjoae at msn dot com (substituting the at and dot with @ and .!).
Thanks to the lovely Judith for this eye opening e-mail.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I decided that instead of doing all the things that needed to be done I would make an effort to work through some of my UnFinished Objects (UFOs). I'm proud to say that the pile is almost manageable after a day of working on it.
Here's what happened on my free day:
- finished up and labeled two wheel chair bags
- put binding and labels on four charity quilts
- made six identical blocks for a lottery block exchange
- made a block for another lottery block exchange
- made another block for another lottery block exchange
- made a block for a quilt for a friend's grandchild
- made a denim pencil case as a sample for a charity project
- wrote the instructions for the pencil case
- finished quilting a biggish quilt for a chairty quilting group
- put mitered borders on a finished quilt top
- pieced a backing for the quilt top above
- labeled 11 other wheelchair bags
- made the sock #1 bag
- finished knitting another pair of socks
I think I need to do this more often... ignore the household tasks that can just eat up my days and work on many small UFOs. I certainly went to bed with a smug look on my face knowing that the UFO pile would be quite a bit smaller the next day even though those necessary tasks were still there. The necessary tasks were completed over the next couple of days and I still had a smug look on my face from reducing the UFO pile.
I hope your weekend is going well and that your UFO pile has not grown. Now back to that pile of clutter... this could take a while!