Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

I love Black Friday! The getting up early and sneaking out of the house without waking up the dogs, the extra heavy duty coffee bought from the gas station to get my eyes open and then there is the wait in a crowd of like minded wackos in front of the chosen store for the deeply discounted thing you have been yearning to purchase.

Yup, I love it all.

This Black Frday there wasn't all that much I was excited about in most of the ads but JoAnn's, once again, was selling what I needed.

This is when I stock up on needed items... like batting for quilts at $4.40 a yard rather than the $10.99 regular price (I bought the whole bolt) or interfacing for garments and bags at $0.30 a yard or flannel for one yard hugs at $1.19 a yard. Love it, love it, love it!

I was also able to put together children's art kits at Michaels for under $10.00 each. These will be going to a local charity once I get some tote bags made to hold each set.

I'm almost sorry that its over. There is one toy I was looking for but did not get. I am now searching on-line to see if I can find it before they are all sold out or the store's servers crash (JoAnn's are down for the count.).

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 27, 2009

I'm thankful....

I’m Thankful for You
Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energyto those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I'm thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Poem By Joanna Fuchs
Thanks to Dachshund Rescue of Houston for sending out this on the day before Thanksgiving as a thank you to the many people who have made it possible for them to rescue over 100 Dachshunds this year.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


One of the projects that had to be done before the end of the year that is not a legitimate UFO is that I needed to make a needle case for an exchange at the KAQG holiday party next week. This was not a MUST do but, as a member of the board, I felt that I should participate.

Anyway, tonight I took a wonderful piece of fabric that had been around here for a while and turned it ito a needle case for this exchange.

Here is the fabric:

I got it at the International Quilt Festival a few years ago and fell in love with this and other bleach discharged indigo fabrics the vendor had avilable for sale. I don't remember the vendor but every time I've seen this bit of fabric since then I have kicked myslef for not getting more.

Here is how the needlecase came out:

At 3 1/2" by 7 " it is more of a travel sewing case than just a needlecase. To the interior I added a small pocket in which I placed a couple of silk thread wound reporduction thread savers, a bit of white felt with a couple of needles stuck in it and another little pocket to hold a small pair of scissors. I like the way this turned out and I hope that whom ever gets it will use it in good health for a very long time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


As part of cleaning up old projects I (finally!) finished a small wall quilt called 'Bootiful' based on a pattern by the Big Fork Bay Cotton Company. I won this pattern with some fabric as a door prize at a KAQG meeting earlier this year.

I used this project as practice piece for raw edge applique plus as a piece to try out some fabric painting to try to add dimension to the piece.

I'm pretty sure the applique was okay but the painting will take some more practice.

What do you think?

Good, bad or indifferent, it is now done and hung on the wall.

One project done... 756 still to go.

Wish me luck!

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative was founded by quilter Ami Sims three years ago to raise funds for Alzheimers research. This is an unusual charty in that you can contrbute in two ways to this project. One is by contributing small art quilts to the project which are sold to other contributors. The other is by buying the quilts or by direct donation.

I love this charity as I have been able to purchase small art quilts that I never would had the opportunity to have in any other way.

At the Quilt Festival this year this one particularly caught my eye:

The picture does not do it justice as the colors and shapes are more subtle than the photo indicates.

The quilt is titled 'Breakthrough' and it was made by Mary Jo Schroeder of Port Angeles, WA. I think that the pink coming through the black perfectly illustrates how Alzheimer patients can have moments of clarity while this illness increasingly fogs their minds.

If you are looking for a unique gift for yourself or someone else please consider this project.

I do not think you will be disappointed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

For Your Wish List

I just got a wonderful book in the mail that I think you will want on your wish list especially if you are a Jane Austen fan..

It's called 'Jane Austen's Sewing Box'. Subtitled 'Craft Projects & Stories From Jane Austen's Novels', the author, Jennifer Forrest, takes fourteen projects referenced in Jane Austen's novels and gives you a historical perspective on the project, excerpts from the novels relating to the project and then gives you instructions on how to reproduce the project.

Projects include a 'huswife', a bonnet, a needlepoint pillow, a knitted miser bag and nine more for you to try out.

I love this book.

It is a joy to read each section with the mix of historical information and the bits from the novels.

The projects are interesting and the illustrations are lavish.

Just browsing through it for a bit this afternoon I was taken back to the Regency Period and kept imagining myself the clothing of the period sitting in the rooms pictured working on paper flowers for the coming holidays.

Although this book does not have a U.S. publisher, it is available through Amazon from several sellers. Mine came from The Book Depository in Gloucester, U.K. It only took a week to get here and I am so looking forward to cuddling up in bed with Alex and the Girls to read it this evening.

For those who watch the movies based on Austen's novels and get distracted from the action by the clothing, accessories and home decorations, this is the book for their library.

From the files

One of the things that have been hanging over my head is clearing out some of my files from work. You know those old benefits folders and stuff that used to hang on your cubicle walls... all of it needs to be dealt with and I seem to have a lot of it. While going through one of those old files I came across this poem. I don't know where it came from but I can see why it used to hang on my bulletin board.



If you can start the day without caffeine and pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these thing,
Then you are probably the family dog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Year-end Resolutions

Yup, that's right, year end resolutuons.

I don't seem to do well with New Year resolutions. I usually fail to follow those for more than a month or so but my short attention span works great for shorter periods.. like about 39 days instead of 365.

So here goes... no new projects unless they have to be done for giving this holiday season.

All other activity will be focussed on getting projects done that have been started already... like the little quilt I started back in September or another one from October or the fabric collage from two years ago or the class project from a year ago or on and on and on.

I had a similar resolution a couple of years ago and it really worked in cleaning up my sewing space.

I hope this plan works again this year or I will have to move houses just to find space for all the unfinished projects around here.

Wish me luck!

In the Mail

I got a surprise in the mail the other day that truly made my day. A dear friend sent me these:

I will admit I have not worn them yet because I have been debating whether to make them part of the Dachshund things I have been collecting or to wear them around. I know if I wear them they will make me smile every time I wear them... on the other hand, they would make me smile if I display them.

I guess its a struggle between keeping them pristine in the house and making me smile everyday of wearing them and having smiles all over town.

Put that way and given that I am such a sourpuss, I think smiles all over town is the better solution.

Watch out world, a happy Dachshund lady may be coming to your neighborhood.

I hope your weekend is going well. I seem to have hurt my back a little the other day so naps with pain meds have been on my agenda for the past couple of days. So sad that I have been spending time napping with three hot little bodies snuggled up to where my back hurts. Such a tough life I live!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Knitting, Knitting and more Knitting...

but not a lot accomplished.

On Thursday Evening KNOT (Knitting North of Town) had their holiday party. We had some great food and some great show and tell. I took a sweater I have been working on for a while and got about two inches done on one of the sleeves. Of course, this sleeve is all I have worked on for about two months and I still have many inches to go before even that sleeve is done. I am working on this pattern from Knit Picks. Since it uses lace weight yarn its probably going to take the rest of the winter to get it finished at this rate.

On Friday morning I met with the little group of knitters we have that meets at a local Starbucks. I probably only got another one or two inches done again even though I worked pretty continuousely for about an hour.

On Saturday morning the Kingwood Library group met and I must admit that I spent more time seeing what every body else was doing rather than working on my sleeve.

Why is it that during the summer I got lots of socks done as well a heavy weight sweater but now that it is getting colder(40's in the morning, low 60's during the day) I seem to be unable to find any time to work on a simple sweater?

If you figure it out, let me know... please!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Sharing

Although there were a lot of wonderful projects showcased at the Saturday ASG Neighborhood Group I attended today, this fabirc takes the prize as the most fabulous... at least in my book.

The sample I saw was in black and white. I can't seem to find a lot of this on-line but I definitely need about three yards or so of it to satusfy this fabric lust. BTW it's by Alexander Henry and it is not part of their current catalog.
While I do some more internet cruising I hope your weekend is going well and that you do not get bitten by the fabric lust bug like me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

That's Sew Wrong (continued)

Over a year ago (more like two years ago, but who's counting!) I picked up some fabric made by Michael Miller called That's Sew Wrong!. At that time I used it to recover a utilitarian IKEA secretary's chair. Here's that original post and I'll wait while you go take a look.

I then used the same fabric to recover an old sleeve board that I had picked up at a garage sale many years ago. Here's that post.

In that second post I mentioned that I had a table top sized ironing board that needed a makeover as well and this past weekend I finally got it recovered as well. Here's how it turned out.

Even after these three projects I still had fabric left over from that original three yards. I was inspired by the 101 One Yard Wonders book to make a roll-up sewing kit to take to simple, out-of the house sewing sessions.

There is an elasticized strip for holding spools of thread, a zippered pocket for scissors, bobbins and such, plus a couple of pockets for needle books and other little bits.

I wish I knew why I bought all that trim! I still have tons of it. Want some?

I am now down to the tiny bits that I can in all honesty put in the dog bed stuffing bag.

Not a one yard wonder by any stretch of the imagination but definitely well-used fabric.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

101 One Yard Wonders

There's a new sewing book out there that you might want to take a look at when you have that stray yard of fabric begging to be used.

This is a book that will not teach you how to sew but it does have some great projects. I will admit that some are pretty lame... like how to recover a small ironng board using the old cover as the pattern (duh!) but there are many, many more that will stretch your imagination and give you some great results.

I decided to try out one of the projects this weekend just to test of the instructions. Each of the projects are designed by different internet based sewers but the instructions are all written by the editorial team. The one I chose is a cat bed that looks like a big floppy bowl. I was intrigued by it as the design is based on trapezoid walls that lean out from a small bottom.

Here's how it came out:

Doesn't Kelis look mad to be woken up by the flash?

Those big fluffy walls are just Alex and the Girls love to rest their heads on when they are taking naps....just don't tell them that it was designed for a cat!

The fabirc is a golf themed flannel that I have no idea how I acquired it or why. I stuffed it with tiny bits of cotton scraps that I spent way too long making even tinier while clearing out the TIVO yesterday...I should have just run out and bought some fiberfill as suggested in the instructions!

The instructions were very well written, short, to the point and very accurate. If you follow them, and do not get distracted, you will have success with this book. Please note that it is not written just for quilters with their obsession with 1/4" seam allowances, although there are a lot of projects that need bias binding as an edge finish. Many of the projects are suitable are non-quilting cottons which makes this an extremely versatile set of projects.

Even though I do like this book, I am a little disappointed in the projects offered. Even though there are some darling children's clothing and some other great things I haven't tried, there wasn't a hint of a bog coat or a six square jacket... not even one bias top or a simple bag for a wheel chair.

I guess there is still a lot of material out there that can be included in the next addition.

Definitely a Lack of Imagination

I've always wondered how streets get named in new developments

After all, new developments are usually carved out of large tracts of land that have been purchased from one owner. After you have put together a new subdivision you get to name the streets and can pretty quickly run out of variations of the original owners name... New/Old/Smith/Farm Road/Drive/Place/Lane/Circle/Drive is pretty limiting. As long as the new names are acceptable to the postal service you can name the new streets anything you desire.

There is a small subdivision just north of my area that failed to take off for reasons I will not go into here.

After the first dozen homes were built a succession of builders came in and did some fill in building. Finally someone came in and bought all the vacant lots and, for some unknown reason, renamed all the streets.

Here's where the lack of imagination comes in...

Not only did the final owners name two streets This Way and Thay Way, they built a house where That Way turns into This Way.

Now I am all for a good joke, but it must get tiresome explaining to friends and family that your house is located at the corner of This Way and That Way.

And before you go looking for This Way and That Way on Google Maps, be aware that they are both called Right Way there.

Have a great week!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Into the Mail

No, I'm not serving mailing boxes for dinner this evening. It just so happens that I am storing these boxes, before mailing them off, on my stove as it gets so little use these days.

Inside these boxes are the results of two different donation efforts from here.

The top box holds 65 Christmas stockings, each wth a holiday card, for the use of Operation Care Package's holiday mailings this year. This effort is about half of what we did last year but there is still time to get more done before the packages are sent overseas.

The bottom box holds about 20 scarves for the Red Scarf Project of the Orphan Foundation of America. Even though yarn does compress quite a bit you can see I have had trouble getting the box completly squared up. I think I will need to use a lot more tape to get it fixed before shiping it off tomorrow.

I wonder if I can get Alex to help me out with that?

Have a good Sunday. I intend to spend the day enjoying that old TV mini-series "V" while working on Sweet Sadie's books. I guess the grass will just have to wait for another day. My heart is broken. :-)