Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Over the past several years I have noticed an increase in groups of people who choose not to celebrate Halloween. I find this interesting since I would venture to guess that most of them participated in it as children, and would not be surprised at all if these groups DID participate in Easter egg hunts (eggs were originally decorated with wishes written on them and placed in windowsills for the sun god Ra) and Christmas trees (in many countries evergreens were thought to keep away ghosts and witches, and were still seen as pagan symbols as late as the 1840's).  The child centered dress up and treat giving activities of today's Halloween is a time of celebration and fun... and as with most holidays, it IS what you make of it. In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share a post someone put on Facebook today. I think it expresses the sentiments I have on how I view Halloween very well...

On Halloween, don't be a Grinch. It's not a religious holiday, but still a fine excuse to extend fun, kindness, hospitality and generosity. Odds are that it may be the only day all year that you open your door to many of your neighbors. Odds are that this may be the only day of the year that at least one of your trick or treaters is greeted with kindness and a smile. Odds are that at least one family on your doorstep can't afford extracurriculars, movie tickets, roller skating, etc... For them, this night of free fun is anticipated for months. Odds are that the kid ringing your doorbell so late isn't actually being greedy, but got a late start with a single parent who had to work late. Odds are that many of those teens who show up at your doorstep aren't actually up to mischief. They may be simply clinging to a childhood that slipped away way too quickly in all the busyness of life. Just something to think about. On no other holiday does opportunity to be giving and compassionate come knocking on our doors.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WiP Stuff I've Been Working On

I have actually been doing some things for the past few weeks. I just whipped up these adorable little crochet pumpkins.
I am working on another one that is a little larger than these two. I may make up some to give away for my birthday this weekend.
I whipped up some gauntlets out of felt this evening for my daughter's Batgirl costume.
I saw some cool ones made out of long black opera gloves but they cost $13 at Party City and I paid $1.50 for this felt. She loved them so that's all that matters.

I'm almost finished with an afghan for my neighbor. We have the same birthday (this Saturday).
I have also decided on how to do my curtains for my kitchen so those will be getting done fairly soon. I will post pics as I get done!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why, Why, Why?

Amy is giving away a Baby Lock Melody Sewing Machine and she asks that you write a post on why you'd like to win one. So,.....why would I like to win one?

Because my birthday is this Saturday, that's why! I have NO idea why this did not cross my mind when I was writing this but wouldn't that make just about THE perfect gift for a 45th birthday?!!!

My aunt and grandmother taught my cousins, sister and myself to embroider and cross-stitch when we were children. I was a married adult by the time I was introduced to a sewing machine, though I do remember my grandmother and aunt having a pedal Singer. My hubby had to actually teach me how to use it because I had no idea where to start. I sewed a few pieces of clothing, some pillows, and some curtains; I've never been one to start small. This was again apparent when I started quilting, about 3 years ago. The very first quilt I decided to make was a full sized Turning Twenty for my daughter. What?!! I used my $200 Kenmore for 14 years before I started looking for something a little better.

When I broached the subject with hubby, he was on board with a more advanced machine...until I started quoting prices. The idea of a sewing machine that costs $1000 was not in his plan, so when it came time to upgrade, I ended up with a $250 Singer Confidence Quilter. I ordered it online so it was only when it arrived that I realized that it wasn't horribly different than what I already had. The speed is a little better and it has needle down position which I didn't already have. It also came with a table extension which was a vast improvement.

I have never even test driven the more expensive machines for the simple reason's just not going to happen unless I win one. So... why do I want one? For better speed, for better ability to FMQ, the knee lift (the idea of this just amazes me!), and for the sheer fact that I would have a much more advanced machine. I have an 11 year old daughter who I would love to teach to sew on my older machine. I feel more confident in setting her loose on something that moves a bit slower, and having the Melody would allow me to work on something at the same time she is working on her own project.

In conclusion....PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!!! PLEASE!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Country Living Fair!!!

My little sis (granted, she's about 5-6 inches taller than me, but still younger) came down from Tennessee and we went to Stone Mountain in Atlanta for the Country Living Fair today. My hubby took the kids with every intention of taking them around Stone Mountain, but my daughter decided to hang with us.
They had a huge display of beautiful pumpkins, squashes and gourds out on the meadow.
There were hundreds of booths set up, food trucks, and there were classes and speakers through out the day.
(My sis and my daughter doing a little browsing.)
There was even a quilting fabric booth by Olive Grace! I also saw the Modern June booth for various oilcloth and laminated cotton fabrics where Kelly McCants was signing copies of her book, Sewing With Oilcloth!
I also got some major ideas with everything I this one. Someone took old quilts that probably couldn't be salvaged, cut out the pieces that were usable, and used them as sort of a background for photographs. She also embroidered quotes and such on them. My favorite was this one:
Sorry for the glare. I'm definitely going to try this out. Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Back on the Horse...

I figured out that I HAVE been doing things; I just haven't been blogging about them. So I figured I needed to "get back on the horse", as they say.
First of all...
I got another pair of glasses (thank God for Zenni and their cheap glasses!). Why, you may ask? Well, because the others were some hubby picked out,... and they're fine...., but, well.... they weren't the ones I would really have chosen. So I got another pair. Since my prescription is still fairly mild (being new to glasses and all), I only paid $25 for each pair...and that's WITH shipping and handling! I figure I'll use the others at home. I instantly liked these better because the lenses were a bit bigger and closer to my eyes. I feel like I got more peripheral vision with these. Ya know, looking at that picture I'm thinking, "Not too bad for someone who's about to turn 45 in a few weeks!" And that's with very little makeup and I didn't touch up the picture (though I know there is weight that could find somewhere else to live!).

We had the service for my brother in law Friday. Everything went very well and I was surprised when several people we graduated high school with showed up. I haven't seen several of them for at least 10-15 years. Two of them were my absolute best friends in high school. We sort of keep up on Facebook, but we don't see each other or anything. I was surprised when my friend Leigh called my name. I had held it together so well during the whole service until she gave me a hug. It was a normal hug but when I went to step out of it, she didn't let go...and that made me just let go. I totally lost it. And then when I looked up I was just trying to get myself together. There was another girl beside her (yes, I still refer to myself and all my friends as girls!) and Leigh said, "She hasn't even realized it yet." It was my friend Jennifer! There were four of us that were best friends in high school so only one was missing. It's funny that you don't realize how much you miss people until you see them again. But we now have each others numbers so hopefully we will be able to keep up a little better.

What have I been working on? Well, I finished the afghan to go on my couch that matches the Verona fabrics for my kitchen and living room.

I also started on another one for my neighbor's birthday. We have the same birthday in less than two weeks and we've been friends ever since we moved into this house 13 years ago. So I figured I'd do something a little bigger than I usually do. We swap books a lot and she LOVES pink, orange and brown so I thought this would be a good for one for snuggling up for a good read.
I also was asked to do some fixing of a purse for a friend. She had this bag from American Eagle that she loved...
but when she washed it, the entire liner came out. Yuck! So here I go to the rescue. Little did I know that you should not do things when you are under duress (i.e., the week of BIL's funeral).
I know the pictures kind of don't look like it matches but it does. The first thing I noticed that was wrong was that the zipper was catching a bit. So I took it to show her after the funeral (the family had a cook out at my MIL's so we could all get together). I told her I was going to re-attach it correctly, but wanted to show her how I'd added a pocket inside. So I reach in to show her the pocket and ONLY THEN did I notice it was upside down in the bag!!!!! Undoubtedly I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been. Sigh! Oh well, it will get done, and correctly this time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Life Full of Color

Okay, I just had to include that shot! We went to a local car show with hubby the other week and there's a local guy who has a "Mystery Machine!" I have seen it around town a couple of times but never this close up. Scooby is usually hanging out the passenger's side window. Oh, and what's that? Does it say? Why yes it does...
It has 'rut-ro' on the door! The inside is green shag and if you look at the upper picture again, you will notice that the whole gang is sort of appliqued (to use a quilting word!) to the inside wall so it looks like you're sitting with them when you sit on the bench seats inside. So cool and brings back memories.

I still haven't made it back into my sewing room but I am hard at work brain-wise on things that need to get done there! I finally picked up another fabric for my kitchen redo. I had used a Riley Blake Verona 1/2 yard bundle as the jumping off point, added a Vintage Modern print and a tone on tone I picked up from the LQS closing sale, and today I picked up a ModKid print from Joann's. Here is my color assortment as it stands.
The teal on the right is a text print and everything is in French. Love it! I was amazed at how it all blended. I think I'm going to pull the dots out though. Even though it actually was part of the Verona line, I don't actually have any prints with that particular color teal in them. I'm toying around with how to use the back prints as my volume and the front ones as accents. Since my living room flows out from my kitchen and I only have one window to cover in there, I will probably incorporate them in there as well. If I have enough, I will try to recover some of my couch cushions. We'll see what I can do with them.

Hubby knocked his towel rack off the wall this weekend by accident, and when he couldn't get it to stay up he decided it was time to update them and all the other bathroom hardware. This also generalized into our kitchen because we still had those little round gold colored balls as the door pulls. Hubby asked if I wanted to keep them but I couldn't think of anything to use them for so he threw them away. Then I went to Pinterest. Yikes! I didn't see anything specific that I wanted to do but it got my brain a-chugging so I went and dug them out of the trash. Oh, and lucky me...they had all fallen to the bottom! Yay! ......not. Anyway, I was able to salvage 30 of the 32 before I decided to give up.
I'm going to pick up some Krylon Brushed Nickel paint to change the colors and use them for a variety of purposes. I thought about attaching a few to a painted strip of wood. Then I could attach it to the wall, hang cans from it and put sewing notions in the cans in my sewing room. Ooh, and with 30 of them I could even make a couple to give as gifts. How cool is that

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hug Your Loved Ones

This morning our family lost someone we loved very much. My brother in law has battled stage 4 colon cancer for a year now. The chemo decimated the tumor in the colon, but by that time it had spread elsewhere. He was a kind, friendly, and extremely funny friend and father. I have known him since we were at least in the 5th grade if not before. We are greatly saddened and will dearly miss him.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

It has been so busy around here for many reasons. Hubby's playing softball for the church men's team and my daughter joined the art club at school. Argh!!! I am doing another play, Annie, at our community theater in December. Last night I went over there to see 'Night Mother (so emotional and dark). I loved how they did the set for it. It occurs in the house of a mother and daughter so they actually set up the front of a house that you had to walk through to get to the set. It really added to the feel that you were in the house watching all of it happen in front of you.
Yes, this is the front set of a play! How cool!

Our family went downtown yesterday for Market Day. It's a once a month deal where local artisans and crafters can sell their wares around the town square.

I came across yet another use for Mason jars which I love. Got to find me some soap dispensers that will fit!

With everything else that is going on, I am also asking for prayers regarding my brother in law. He is not doing well with the cancer and his liver has started to fail. We know it is in God's hands now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Hot Mama!

Okay, so I am 44 years old, and I have been suffering from hot flashes for a while now. For those of you who haven't reached this milestone, let me just say this: Hot Flashes Stink! I have a few other choice words for them but I'm trying to be nice here. Hot flashes really are miserable. I am taking some over the counter medications to aid with it but every once in a while one will fight it's way through because it's so bad. Yuck!!
I am working on things, however. I got motivated by the fabric I want to use in my kitchen (Riley Blake's Verona) to create an afghan for the couch in my living room.

 Our furniture is red in there so this blends so well. Our dining room opens up into the living room so it will be nice that things can flow and blend. There's also only one window in my living room so I may be able to use some of the fabrics for a curtain topper in there as well.