Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Like that little train, I can do it!

For one moment I will dwell in nirvana, I have figured out how to put pictures in the postings of my blog. Of course, my new online friend Tara is already telling me that there are easier ways, what should I expect from a digital native? :)

I could say I prefer to remain in ignorant bliss, but the truth is it's really frustrating not to be able to navigate around and do what I think I should be able to do. Where are my kids when I need them? Away at school, hopefully getting the education that will allow them to make enough money to keep me in the style I'd like to become accustomed to in my older age (longtime standing family line...). Red will be home this summer which means I will finally have the time to teach her to sew, and she will explain this stuff to me, hopefully without rolling her eyes and trying to pretend I'm not acting as dumb as I seem.

Thursday my package will go into the mail, and when I get my email response, I will be able to put photos up of what I made, and be cool like some of the other participants.

Life is good....live long and prosper.

oh, wow, oh, wow

Something new I've just discovered: Giveaways. Amazing, people offer up their stuff for various reasons to help with marketing. Well, anything to help an entrepreneurial homecrafter. So, since I don't know how to link other people's sites, go visit the polka dot barn blogspot, because I want to win the really cool apron she's offering!

more to come later, as the L-man says, "love ya, see ya, bye!"

ok, Jan told me what to do, let's see if it works, her link is:

(am I cool or what?)

Late, late Monday night

It's actually Tuesday morning. But I'm having a cup of tea before I go off to bed. I finished my swap apron. I still need to give it a good going over to clip threads, basting, etc, but for all intents and purposes, it's finished. And, if I say so myself, it is pretty damn cute. I won't post any pictures of the finished apron until I'm notified my partner has received it. When I bring the camera up tomorrow I'll post the interim shots-fabric pile, cut outs, etc.

Talked to the doctor today. I have more tests scheduled for Monday. I hope this is the end of it. But, for once I am not eating my stress-amazing.

Had a nice email exchange at work this morning with Tela in NYC, rambling on about the weekend and beautiful morning we had yesterday to have the top down on the car. I guess she didn't realize what I was talking about because she asked who/what is Miss Lucy. I fear for these next generations, where is their imagination? they don't name their cars, the toys they play with come in "sets", not pieces you have to build your own stuff with (Levi and the legos, another story another day), they may have amazing manual dexterity from texting and computer games, etc....but they can't write cursive; a lot of them can't write a complete sentence let alone speak in complete sentences.

I'm tired, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday, sunny morning

LuLu kept waking me up last night but didn't want to go outside once I got to the kitchen, I think she just wanted to stick her nose outside and get a doggie cookie when she came back from the doorway. I wonder if I should count all those trips from the bedroom to the back door as activity for WW?

We finally motivated about noon to go to the store. Fortunately it was a short trip because we didn't need that much, but it was a great ride because the sun was out and we put the top down. I tried to convince Lou to find a nursery far, far away to ride to looking for pachysandra but he wasn't into it. Instead, once the groceries were put away and lunch finished, I threw in some laundry and started the actual sewing of my swap partner's apron. I could echo Tara, who made mine, "I'm not sure I want to give it away". The tablecloth part is coming out really pretty and the flip side-the kitschy 50s side-even better. Lillian says to make sure and take a lot of pictures. I'm taking them, but I have no idea how to put them into these musings. KS said she'd help me, but she's really busy with schoolwork that has to get done. so, maybe I'll try and figure out on my own. I want to go down and do some more work on it, but I'm feeling a little guilty that I was downstairs basically all day today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Another Saturday night.....

Lou just went to bed, I think his acupuncture treatment really put him into his "happy place" and that he needs to sleep it off. That's okay because I am busy with my swap work. I have decided to combine aspects of two '50s style aprons for my partner. I have everything cut out and will sew tomorrow. I decided to make a reversible apron that meets the swap requirements on one side and meets my requirements on the other....I hope she likes it! I do have to thank her (I think) for one thing: I now have orange material in my stash. Who would have ever thought?

I used a tablecloth from Aunt Dorth's that I had wrapped glassware in to bring back from Cleveland. It's oblong and doesn't fit the table here, and it's nice cross stitch. It is only one color, looking at the other linens I have from the family I realize we are a monochromatic bunch. Most of the table linens are one color embroidery. It isn't one of my partner's colors of choice, but the flip side will be. I may add some rick rack to the tablecloth side, I'll have to see it made up to make the decision. Louie thinks I'm obsessing about this-he's probably right, that's my usual pattern.

The doctor finally called late yesterday afternoon with minimal information. He was in Germantown and my file is in his Rockville office. The minimal news is that I'm headed for more tests, so it looks like I'd better get my butt in gear and get this swap apron finished tomorrow. The other parts of the package are ready, I just need to find some nice recipe cards to write out the vintage recipe. I'm not sure if I'll send the busy day cake or Aunt Ethel's relish recipe..another decision put off until tomorrow.

I'm off to watch a movie.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


So, I call the doctor's office and he's in surgery all day so I won't know anything until late tonight or tomorrow. Do I wallow in stress pity? It seemed like a pretty good idea.

and then..(trumpet intro, here) I received my swap partner's stuff! I'd read last night that Tara had already mailed hers and Shawnee asked the rest of us wait until 4/1, but I have to say it couldn't have come on a better day. I debated about 2 seconds whether to save or open it. And if its coming wasn't enough, everything in it is so cool! I have a beautiful REVERSIBLE apron, a copy of (apron-ology), handmade soaps and lip balm, towels, a sachet.....life is definitely good!!

Getting this today has really pepped me up, I feel positive I made the right choices for my partner...if fact, I promised Lou I would do the bills before I started sewing, so I am going to write them out right away so I can get my pieces cut out and start sewing.

After the package is off, I will finish Lilli's blouses and organize the other UFOs (unfinished objects/projects) that need to be finished. Of course, that doesn't mean new projects won't get started...but isn't that the bane of existence for a crafter?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hump Day

It's hard to believe it's Wednesday night already. The doctor did not call my cell phone with the test results, he left a message for me to call his office on the home phone....how stupid is that?

I found some fantastic material for my swap partner. I will be making a vintage style apron. I do have some vintage add-ins so I think I'm following along without a problem. If she doesn't like it, oh well....

Lillian is getting bogged down at the Conference. A really different schedule, food, sleeping arrangements-it's tough on her. Her father was the same way when he had to go to meetings; all worn out by midweek and ready to go home. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

We're searching for just the right lego set for Levi's birthday. I'm not sure what style he wants. When the girls were little, we just bought the bin and they made their own stuff. Now, the local Toys R Us had 4 aisles of different modes: Star Wars, City, Agents, etc. Its sort of like when we were little we had one Barbie and we learned to sew making clothes for her. Now, everything has a separate Barbie, although Safeway should be ashamed of itself for selling an Easter Barbie and she doesn't even have a hat. I mean, what's Easter without an Easter bonnet?

I got some really cool patterns when I was at G Street today. I'm thinking I want to make some aprons up for Donna, Kathleen, Debbie and a few others. Maybe get a stock together for next fall's bazaar circuit.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday, not bloody Sunday

We had a great day today. We woke up reasonably early then went to the grocery store. I had to buy new supplies of cleaning stuff, so that pushed the bill a little over $100. That is my current goal for the near future, trying to keep the grocery bills under $100 including meat. That includes buying enough to make lunches for us most days. Another thing I am doing is putting $$ away for everytime I don't buy lunch out when I'm working. Little economies add up, I've already saved $120.00. Actually, it's been a lot more, but we keep taking it to spend rather than stop at the ATM or use the card....

After lunch we took a ride out to Home Depot with the top down. Wonderful! We got a few things for the plants and lots of birdseed. We came home and worked in the sunshine on the front yard. Lou moved another azalea and I cleaned out the lower beds of all the tacky looking leaves and dead stuff. It gives all those new little plants room to grow. It really looks nice. Then we sat on the front stoop and had a cold drink and just enjoyed.

When I checked my email the assignments for the swap had been sent out. My partner is a first-timer, too, from TN. She likes greens and persimmon oranges-definitely two colors I do not have in my stash at all. So, after the tests tomorrow, we will probably go to Goodwill again and I will see what is there. If not, it will be time to become creative......I can do it.

KS called this morning and reported in a fun evening last night. When she calls next I will tell her about her sleazy little dog, Violet, who kept trying to leave the yard this afternoon, and who went around the bushes and rolled in another animal's crap in the next yard. We kept smelling it when we were inside, and were blaming LuLu who has been leaving "bonbons" on occasion. We couldn't find anything on LuLu or her usual resting spots, and finally I looked at Lou and asked him to smell Violet. We had our culprit! Immediately into the bathroom and a bath with two different kinds of shampoo because Lou couldn't find the dog shampoo. And now she has the nerve to walk around smiling her doggy smile at us.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Yes, the sun is shining and all the early plants are up and enjoying it! The magnolia will be in full bloom in a few days and hopefully we will not have a frost to ruin the flowers.

Every day I learn a little bit more about navigating the links I keep finding. I suppose it counts as firing up brain cells, but I still feel remarkably stupid trying to figure out all this blog stuff. It reminds me of story problems in math-easy for some people, the language of another planet to me....

The best thing about the reunion site for Hts is the different people who I've heard from and gotten back in touch with. I still don't want to go, but I'm weakening. I found the 9th grade Basketball All-Star picture in the cedar chest. Who would ever think that 5'4" was tall enough for basketball? Maybe I will scan it in to Val since all the sports pictures are the boys' sports....

We should get word on the apron swap any day now; I hope those patterns from Annie's Attic get here to work on. hmmm, more and more UFOs (unfinished objects) starting to clutter the couch. Louis is not happy. I will definitely move them tomorrow.

I tried to set up the dvd/vcr I brought back from Eugene but I'm not sure if it's he unit (from 06) or me that I can't get the tuner to register the cable channels. Oh well, I guess we still won't be recording up here, but at least we can watch dvds now......

Life is good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Waiting is Hard

The first online swap I've ever entered starts today or tomorrow-we get our partner "assignments' and then get to create. the linens I bought recently washed really well, and I found these amazing crochet patterns at Annie's Attic for kitchen towels that look like aprons and for fruit slice placemats (they look like the candy you eat at Passover). I hope the info I get on my partner suggests that she likes that kind of thing. If not, guess the family will be getting a lot of it.

I can't wait until one of the girls comes home and shows me how to do all kinds of cool things with this blog, like change the background, put pictures in the text, maybe share it with others.......

WW is going well and I'm pleased with my progress. I still wish you could go to bed and wake up XX pounds lighter. It would make things a lot easier.

It started out as a sunny day this morning, but by 10 AM the clouds were it here and it was raining. It was a typical light spring rain for about four hours. It was nice, and everything smells so good.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

the Ides of March

How can an English major avoid a posting today? Bad day for Caesar, great day for me. My weight continues to go down fractionally, but a loss still counts as a loss. I have finally gotten to the mindset where I am comfortable doing what I am doing, with very little deprivation. Again, so much goes to Louis for his constant support and willingness to fill my dietary needs.

I've also found an instant 4 pound reduction: double mastectomy! Some may think that's an unpleasant thought but really, what do I need them for? I don't expect having to nurse another child. all depends on what the surgeon says on Wednesday. "Areas of concern" are just that and it's no use worrying overtime about it. It just has put me in a fairly reflective mood about what I need to accomplish in this house. So, it's off to the pit of the yellow room and trying to make sense of madness.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Today is not a bad day at all. Lou and I went out to the new accountant's office and got our taxes, and we'll be getting a little money back. Not bad...He also said we're doing everything right, especially since we set up the FSP this year.

Girls are good; Lillian called that arrangements for the Wakulla are made for May for the launch. I think I will send Lou down if he can get off work b/c he needs a vacation and it would be fun for him to hang out with them. Sarah is not going to Chicago for break, David hasn't found a job yet and is really tight on cash. she will wait until the summer and go for a long weekend. She'll either stay in Providence with her roommates or go to NYC for a few days.

Last night Lou and I looked over patterns and I have decided on a filet crochet pattern for a bedspread for Lillian and Jack as their heirloom gift because I do not like to do cross stitch well enough to do a tablecloth. I think we will be able to use it for the chuppah when they get married. It's a medallion pattern of roses-not surprising in the least. I haven't been through those Magic Crochet mags in years, I forgot how beautiful that work is. Of course, since this is done in thread and uses a size 4 steel hook, I may be cursing myself before long....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting better by the day

Wel, I learned that editing a post means keeping or deleting it, not fixing something you want to change....

I'm reading EllynAnne Geisel's new book, the Kitchen Linens Book, and thoroughly enjoying it. the illustrations bring to mind so many of my mother's tablecloths I am so glad I have them. The colors are all so vivid and the embroidery is so neat and clean. I think I'll have a lot of fun with the apron swap I entered. I'l be glad to get started on it soon.

I'm for bed, really feeling crappy now. Lou's been great through this, even when I had a major whining session before he even had time to unwind.

Find of the weekend: The Harris Tweed sportcoat we found at Goodwill for $10 that retails online for $500. Life is good.......

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring fever? No, spring cold

Hopefully I'm closer to being rid of this cold. I feel miserable. I hope I don't make a lot of people around me miserable, except maybe the person who brought these germs into work.

I was going to put something profound here today but I can't remember what it was. I am going back to bed.

I hope this runs its course very quickly.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

unsunny Sunday

Today has been overcast, as was most of yesterday. I have a cold, and the gray day does not make it any better. I did nothing yesterday but drink herbal teas and sleep.

Lou has picked out a few spots to move the azaleas that aren't doing well next to the driveway. They should flourish in their new spots, but we can't move them yet as snow is predicted this week, even with temps in the 70s since Friday. A few more crocuses popped up, and that's always a nice sign.

I finished unpacking the UPS boxes from OR that the store packed to be sure the china wasn't broken. Everything is fine. Now I just have to figure out where I will house all the stuff I brought back. I also need to set up a calendar to deal with dressing all the dolls that need clothes so they can be sent off to their recipients.

We thought about going to AZ for Passover but that is not going to work. We will have to figure out a different time, maybe when we can road trip it. We need to discuss whether we will go to RI and take Passover up there, we haven't thought about it again since it first came up a few weeks ago.

I'm doing Weight Watchers online so I don't have to try and fit going to meetings into my week and I seem to be doing better at it this time. The online message boards are a real help and these women are pretty funny.

Did anyone else see any of the news articles about the quilts that are a little "racy" to the point that Quilting Magazine sent the mag out with a plastic bag to keep people from leafing through it at the store? The Washington Post article had a great quote, unfortunately I don't have the person's name, in response to the outrage some people were voicing. The lines went something like, "the quilting industry has got to move with the times. they need to realize that a 70 year old quilter may have danced naked at Woodstock." Great thought-we are getting older.....

Friday, March 6, 2009

Great Day (mostly)

This morning started out with sunshine and warm temps. It stayed really beautiful for the day, we took Miss Lucy out with the top down-first day of 2009 for top down riding.

i got a lot of errands done and browsed the thrift shops in Kensington for some vintage materials. I got some really nice embroidery pieces and some nice bed linens. But, will it make a great retro apron? Hard to tell at this point, I think I have to let it sit and simmer.

I think I'm going to have to break down and ask one of the girls how I move pictures around so I can include one of the buttons from the flirty apron swap here.

We had a great dinner at El Napolito tonight and a nice ride out and back. Came home to a message from Dr. Raj, there are "areas of concern" on the MRI results. What a way to shoot down a mood. Lou being very sensitive, but I think he's freaked out too. I can't write anymore right now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Learning something every day

People say that learning something new is good for the brain and the soul. Today I learned how to put the picture of our first crocuses on this blog. That builds on my learning to download the pictures from my camera to the computer. More brain power!

The signs of spring are appearing all over the yard. The pale blue crocuses in the picture opened today, as did a yellow one on the lawn slope. The daffodils are about 6 inches in the sunny areas, and four in the semi-shade. The grackles have reappeared to fight with the cardinals for seed on the deck banister. The air is warming up. We have renewal all around us if we are willing to take the time to look for it.

I read an interesting essay today about the politics of knitting; not political in the sense of democrats and republicans, but the politics of remembering who we are as a people. A call to remember we are creative and talented and capable of great things. It touched a nerve with me: I have frequently felt that my sewing/knitting/crocheting is undervalued; and that I am not the only person who finds it difficult to receive a living wage for my work. I cannot count the times my work has been referred to as "homemade". In a sense it is-I work in my home. But I prefer the term "handcrafted" because I am a craftswoman with many years of experience and because I hold myself to a very high standard for my work. It will be interesting to see how this resurgence of handcrafting arts plays out.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sunny Day musings

Today was a beautiful sunny day. I thought I might be back in CA until I walked outside to the 18 degree temperature. I cannot get used to sunny skies and cold air. Jack took the TARDIS tissue cover to AZ for Lillian and she really liked it--called as soon as she unwrapped it. I do have to admit, it does look really good. Of course, his taking it meant I didn't bring it home to take pictures, put in my label, etc.....so that will have to happen later. I think our next adventure will be a Dalek toilet tissue cover. I mean, we have all this plastic canvas left over so we should use it up. As long as Lillian stays a Dr. Who fan, we have lots of source ideas.

One of my pet peeves is why can't people follow directions? Especially if they've been told a few times? I just don't understand why people don't listen.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Opening Day, and it's not baseball

I'm trying hard to keep my brain active, so I thought that maybe I should just try and enter the 90s and set up this internet stuff. Face it, if I wait for my cousin Alan, who does this stuff professionally and is REALLY good at it, I will probably still be waiting for a long time since I don't expect to pay him, and he doesn't have that much free time.

Primarily I expect to write about my needlework. I'm trying to convince my friend Angie to work with me to produce inventory we can market on Etsy or locally. She designs and fabricates purses, I tend to switch around crochet, knitting and sewing. I'm doing a lot experimenting right now and having a lot of fun. I tend to handcraft for family and friends, and maybe it's time to "take it on the road".