Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

333/366: Crossing-Out

Last night I made a list.

Half for today, half for tomorrow

I generously added some items that weren't a priority, but if the time was available, I could work on them.

So, the monster pillow, monster framed, grey wonky purse and two additional vintage pillows will not be in the show. That's okay...I never was happy with them.

I'm trimming the last of the gift card holders tonight, and stuffing two pillows. Then, I'll start packing, that's the second part of the list.

Oh, and I have a dental appointment tomorrow! Six months ago it sounded like a perfectly fine day.

Not so much now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

332/366: Gift Card Holders Reworked

This one I like. The others were nice, but a bit cheesy. I like cheese (not when it's warm), but I don't care for cheesy.

The samples were in regular craft felt. These are in wool felt. The colors choices for wool felt are very limited, and I didn't want green. These can be used as a regular ornaments after the gift card is used, or regifted. I am going to switch up the colors and thread, as well.

I found these cute tags so that the recipients name can be written on it. Not sure about the hemp string vs. ribbon. I need to stew on that for a bit.

Good news, I have 99% of the two quilts done. The remaining is removing the pins and clipping stray thread. I still wish I could do one more quilt, it's brewing in my head. I think, however, I'm at a decent point to finish up loose ends on little projects at this point.

Someone tell me not to attempt quilt number three....intervention?

Oh, also, I just found out that a sample of artists' work will be on Winging It! tomorrow. I'd don't think I'll be able to get some samples of my own downtown tonight for the show, but please tune in!

That's quite a bit of electronic time, I must sew...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

331/366: Clement House

I am getting really excited for this show. The building is beautiful, the weekend will be great and I am feeling good about my products. Of course I'd like to take more, but I'm doing what I can. Tonight I hope to finish two quilts and felt some last minute additions.

Thanks for all your support...liking my posts, cheering me on and your plans to shop for the Red Cross this weekend.

A special thanks to my Dad and my Husband. Both were very supportive these last two days. It's really nice to hear from a man, my "girly" type products are good.

I know I'm a post behind...I'll catch up when I feel doubly inspired.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

330/366: Progress

Love this machine.

So do the boys. They have me making trading cards in mitten shapes with their "favorite" stitch. With over 70 stitches, this could mess with my schedule!

This is the half way point of the first Blanquilt, still in pieces.

Sewing, laundry and watching the first snowfall...lovely.

329/366: Perhaps Not the Best Timing

Tom took the boys out to lunch today and I sat at the sewing machine. I made fairly good progress. I completed two pillows and created another.

Then I started on a blanquilt. This one is all special stitches and cut outs. I think it will be the more challenging of the three I have hopes of completing. The other two will be vintage lace and doilies.

As I was sewing, my machine started to clunk. The needle was making a louder than normal sound when puncturing the fabric. I changed the needle, checked the bobbin, rethreaded the machine, all to no avail. So, I kept sewing. Clunk clunk clunk. I open up the machine and cleaned out the dust and lint. Clunk clunk clunk.

I was adding a long piece and started the thread. The bobbin thread wasn't coming from the needle hole. I attempted the rethread it. Busted. The needle wasn't catching the bobbin thread. I removed all the bobbin components. Nothing. Changed the needle. Nothing. Freaked out.

YouTubed. if that isn't a word, it should be. Unfortunately, it appears my problem is the timing. I found a video on how to adjust the gears. Can't be that hard, right? I'll never know. I unscrewed all the screws to take the case apart to find the gears. I couldn't get the darn thing open.

Freak out, again.

Tom make this much too long. Story shorter, I bought a new machine. The one I had, has lasted me a longtime and I am thankful. It made lots of love. And now it will find a home in a dump somewhere.

I am so tired tonight, that I think I'll just head to bed and set up the new machine tomorrow morning. Sorry church, I'll see you in a couple weeks...I have a date with a Singer.

Friday, November 23, 2012

328/366: Another Shameful Catch Up Post

It's very late. I am chilling out after a relaxing day with my brother in law and sister in law. We just hung out at my house while the little men in our lives played together. It was great.

I so wish their cousin lived closer, but nights like this are so special. You see, our NJ cousin is spending the night here, in our home.

Little Man couldn't take the chatter any longer and ambled up to his room. He is a sensible sleeper.

The other two are, I think, finally asleep. It's been a while since I heard anything from the family room. I want to be sure before I turn off the tv. The sleep process can be a long one with a guest in the house.

As for me, I'm trying to fight a head cold and begin the blanquilts tomorrow. I have to.

Wait, tomorrow is technically today. Perhaps I hear the faint sound of my pillow calling my name.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

327/366: Grateful

I had my iPad with me for the past two days, but more than 90% of the time it was in the hands of a happy boy.

We are having a great Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful that we are healthy and safe and protected from the winds blowing through my neighborhood.

Many wishes for a healthy holiday season!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

326/366: AKA 40 Remaining Days!

New product!  I've been trying to come up with some smaller items (I know, just over a week away) that I can work on while at the show and to fill out my table.  I love mitten ornaments and I was trying to come up with something for the men at the show.  Granted, this one is red, but I'm going to make some more masculine mittens.

As I sit by my sewing machine this weekend, I'll be thinking about how all the rushing around will calm down in a mere 40 days.  I feel quite pressured this week, but need to remember that soon enough, I may likely say I'm bored.

326 Consecutive daily (mostly) posts is pretty impressive.  Honestly, I didn't think I could do it this far.

If you are in Buffalo, please take some time to visit the Artists in Buffalo presents Holiday Open Studios and Galleries.  It really is turning out to be an amazing event.  I'll be at the Red Cross Building in the Library in front of the fireplace.  Nice and cozy.  In fact, here is a picture of my backdrop:

More information on the show is here.

And if you are familiar with my work, you will see a spec of it on this above postcard...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

325/366: Schnazzy

I'm blinging it up over here. It still amazes me how a simple bead or set of beads can take a dull, lackluster purse and make it bright and fresh.

I have ten purses complete, plus four more at a local gift shop. I hope to finish these up this weekend and move on to the blanquilts. I know I'm pushing it with the blanquilts versus the time I have remaining. My problem arises when the boys are out playing, or have friends over. I don't like being in the basement at the sewing machine, unless the boys are in the basement with me.

Today, the procrastination ends. I have to get working on the blanquilts. They are going to be beautiful. They've been on my mind for weeks now!

Tonight, tonight I'll start.

Or maybe tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

324/366: My Poor Camera

I just went to see what pictures I had taken to show you tonight.

It is blank.

Not one picture.

I even looked through my files.  I've shown you everything.

How about a picture of a pony?

Source: via Sandi on Pinterest

I'll be back on picture duty soon.  I've been spending my days of late putting zippers and snaps and eye glints on my purses for the show.  I have half of what is made completely finished, for that I am grateful.  But there is one problem.

I think I'm allergic to wool.  Ever since I started finishing these bags, which includes trimming, I've been sneezing and stuffy and adding "b" to the end of every word.  How can this be?

The problem seems to arise when I trim the wool.  The fibers float under my nose, past my eyes and in my mouth. 

I recall saying thinking I was allergic to wool a couple years ago when I was doing this very same task.  Trimming more than two purses at a time, kicks my allergies into high alert.

Off to take another allergy pill and power through the remaining six bags...

Where are my tissues?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

323/366: Mayans

My husband and Mother-In-Law have been talking about the end of the world for quite some time. Perhaps "end of the world" is a bit extreme, but some substantial change. No one knows what it is. Environmental, societal, or perhaps the fall of some great fixture in our American life.

Hostess...are you of Mayan descent?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

322/366: A Bargain...if You Like Them

That's $50 per BOX, people!

If you want to make some quick cash, go buy out the Hostess shop.  Many times on eBay sellers will list stuff at crazy amounts.  Guess what?  This one has 28 people bidding on these twinkies!

That's crazy.

This is why my Learning Didj Game isn't selling.  The Twinkies are a hot commodity.  Who needs to learn when there is a Hostess crisis?

Even though I can't eat these things and I don't buy them for my kids, I think the Ho Ho is being gravely underestimated.  That Ho Ho is a gem!

321/366: Morning Solo

Last night, the boys (all three of them) went to the Zoo Snooze.  Catching some roars and Zzz with the animals.  Sleeping on air mattresses in the building, with the animals. 

They went with the Cub Scouts.  I stayed back.  It was costly, but mostly because I'm a snorer.  I snore louder than the lions roar.  Or at least that's what Tom makes me out to sound like.

I also wanted the boys to have some time together.  Luckily, Tom worked some magic at the pharmacy and was able to move his work days around to make this happen.

And me?  I went to my parent's house and hung out for a while.  Attached two snaps on purses, then went to Wegmans.

Yup.  I grocery shopped when I had a night to myself.  I live a crazy life over here!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

320/366: It's Beginning to Look... Christmas.

I love the steering wheel on the sled.  I think a tree like that would be perfect some year.

This is the cutest outhouse.  I bet the seat is chilly, though!

The simplicity in this vignette is superb.  I only wish I could pull a rusty lantern, old ice skates and a pine bough and make something this inviting.

I am looking forward to the start of holiday decorating on December 3rd...if I can hold the boys off that long.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

319/366: German Love

I received my very first Christmas Gift today!

I have a very special friend that happened to be on her way to Germany to visit family.   I had expressed my love for the German Christmas Pyramids and how much I've wanted one.  I asked if she could find one for me that wasn't too too expensive, I'd gladly pay.

Unfortunately, it was a bit too early for the Christmas season over in Germany...apparently we Americans are so fond of Christmas we decorate in October.  However, she was able to spot this adorable little pyramid in a department store.

I love it.  And I love her.  Well, her lack of technology prowess disappoints me a bit, but that's okay.  She is old school.  Phone and letters.

Just the way it should be.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

318/366: Hash and Bread

Both these food photos are the same hue, so you get a double dose today.

Last week I made another loaf of my gluten free banana bread.  This time I used cup for cup of Bob's Red Mill Gluten free flour, and added 1/2 cup of Chia Seed.  I usually use Chia flour, but that messes with the flour blend.

One food that I haven't made in a while is pork hash with sauerkraut.  This is a dish that I learned from Tom, my mom would never eat sauerkraut, let alone cook with it.  So I sear the pork tenderloin, then put it in the crock pot with a can/jar of sauerkraut and a dozen chopped potatoes.

That is a good meal on it's own.  But the leftovers are better.  Adding some butter to the pan and salt and pepper, I chop up all the leftovers and put them back in the pan.  Getting some pieces nice and crispy is my favorite part.

It's so delicious.

Making anything good lately?

Monday, November 12, 2012

317/366: Sunny

If these past two weeks are any indication of how procrastination works with me, I'll be in good shape for the Open Studios Show in less than three weeks.

This bag marks number 15 in the purse category. I still have three more bag foundation parts made from the knitting machine.

Tomorrow, it's sewing time. All those vintage fabrics I've picked up in the last two years are finally going to see the sewing machine. In the evenings, I'll still have time to put the finishing touches on the purses.

Until next time...happy yarning!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

316/366: Curly

I'm definitely getting faster on these bags when I use the knitting machine.

This is Curly. Why Curly? No reason, except that it sounds less scary than RipJaw, which was the suggestion of Little Man.

What a beautiful day in Buffalo, NY. Temperatures in the low 70's. November 11th-Buffalo-70's! Good stuff.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

315/366: A New Place

Last week, after we cleaned the carpets, I decided it was time for a furniture rotation.

The bar that my Dad made from old wooden pallets was displaced by our new 65 gallon fish tank. The bar was used once per year as an actual bar. The other 364 days it was used as a shelf for crap.

So, the crap shelf was out. But out wasn't as easy done as said. It's always been a part of my parents' house, or my brother's house, and now mine. I had planned on giving it back to my parents. My Dad then said he was going to throw it away. No! Then we thought of moving it into the family

As I was cleaning out the dining room to wash the carpets, I pushed and shimmied this monster across my carpet to a short wall in our living room.

Not only did it fit, but it's as if it was always meant to be there.

What I have found out by this small adjustment, is that I've opened up three seats that were highly underutilized, which in turn has created a cozier space for my family where we hang out and have "family time".

It's amazing what moving some furniture can do for the family unit.

Friday, November 9, 2012

314/366: New Do

I may have gotten a little color happy and just said, "yes, very red."

It looked so pretty on the little loop or fake hair, not so much on me.

It's a little too fake red in the front. I love the top. After a couple more washings, I think it will fade nicely.

And... It's only hair.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

313/366: Off the Hook

The picture isn't all that great, but you get the idea.

Really happy with this one.  I think I have finally mastered the shrinkage percentage horizontally and vertically (they are different!).

I was hoping to have small ornaments with vintage lace patterns imprinted on them, but they just don't seem like me.  I'm not happy with the quality and so I'm sticking with what I know.  Fabric and yarn.

Setting up the knitting machine for four more bases for bags and maybe do a few more small purses, then on to Blanquilts and Stockings. 

I really enjoy the pressure of getting ready for a show.  I feel exhilarated and feel that I'm using my time wisely.  No falling asleep on the couch...unless it's with a hook in hand (which happened last night at 11:38pm), no sitting around watching tv without a hook in hand.  

This has all reminded me of what I love to do.  Not having to report to a desk every day has made me so happy and fortunate.  I'm loving these past weeks and the next couple to come.

Christmas is coming...I can feel it in the air! 

312/366: Catch Up

I missed another day!  Oops.  This Postaday is tough, but I'm almost there.  I remember the night I decided to do it...Gretchen, why didn't you talk me out of it?

I would have done it anyway.  I love the challenge.

Yesterday, I cleaned the living room.  Today I did the dining room and moved the furniture around in the living room.  I really like it.

It makes me open to other improvements in the house, like our baseboards.  We never painted them when we painted the walls seven or eight years ago.  Sad.  They are still boy's locker room blue with scratches all over.  One task at a time.

What I wanted to look up was this picture I took November 23 of last year.
My strong Christmas Cactus, aka Thanksgiving Cactus, is at it again.  The tiniest of buds are forming on the tips of the leaves. 

I showed the boys, "What?  We have a cactus?  When will it look like a cactus?"

I'll turn their thumbs green eventually.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

311/366: Ghost Boys

 After all the candy was collected, sorted and partially eaten, my boys had a dance off.  Or what they called, "Rockstar Show".  It was exciting.  Unfortunately, it was performed to a full house and only a one night engagement.
They were so crazy dancing and jerking around in a less than graceful manner.  They made me smile.  I slowed my shutter speed down to let in the light - since it was dark except for the disco ball - and got these ghostly images.

Perfect for the eve of All Saints Day!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

310/366: Long Night

I've done some carpet cleaning and under the desk cleaning. Made and cleaned up dinner and have found a new spot to create and watch television
as the polls close.

Hoping the Nor'easter doesn't have severe consequences for those already in dire straits from Sandy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

309/366: Signage

Four more weeks.

That's all I have left to get ready for my only show of the year!  I have quite a bit in progress, hoping to start finishing some purses once they dry. 

Working on the fabric for some Blanquilts.  And thinking about cutting some vintage tablecloths for some stockings.

Thinking is half the battle, right?

I ordered some new cards and a vinyl sign for the front of my table.  I love this banner.  It's from Vistaprint, purchased during one of their weekly 'can't miss' specials at 50% off.

Here is the link for the show.  Friday, Nov. 30, Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday Dec. 2.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

308/366: Corn on the Cob

We had a nice weekend, the boys got to play outside, Little Man had two birthday parties in addition to a family birthday party we all attended.

Big Boy has a loose tooth that is really giving him problems. This tooth can't come out fast enough!

As I was browsing Pinterest, I found a couple things I thought were cute. The candy corn 'cob' was great. Unfortunately, there is a lot of artificial food coloring in those babies. Might be worth looking for in the Natural Candy Store online.

Hope your weekend was great!

Friday, November 2, 2012

307/366: Smell of Wet Wool

I'm certain I've spoke about my love for the smell of wet wool.  Specifically hot, wet wool.

My brother loves the smell of gasoline...perhaps wet wool is an acquired sense...I certainly don't care for the smell of gasoline or stargazer lilies or skunks.

This new purse will be dried, trimmed and embellished and available at the Artists in Buffalo's Holiday Open Studios on December 1st and 2nd at the Red Cross Building on Delaware Avenue.  Here is the website with the downloadable pdf file with map and locations and the artists at each one.  I'm alphabetical with WashMyCloth.  Hope you can stop by and say hi!

I'm looking forward to a fun weekend, surrounded by artists and customers of the arts.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

306/366: Calendar

Since most of my life has gone digital, it was time my calendar followed.

I used to use an At-A-Glance datebook for work and would add personal things in there as well.  As my appointments and commitments changed at work, I was using it less and less.  Then we got Outlook and I was using that calendar.  That worked well, but I had to be at my computer to access it.

Then one day, I went into the Calendar on my iPad.  It was pretty cool.  Helpful.  So I started using it.  I would put things on the electronic calendar that was on our dry erase board in the kitchen.  Then I started doing the reverse.  Since I don't need Wi-Fi to access and edit the calendar, the iPad became my new calendar. 

I've been taking it along with my in my purse to meetings, kids' activities, even out with friends.  It is becoming more and more important to me.  Last week, I started color coding things.  Blue for Tom, Green for the boys and family things, Yellow for me.  Pink is US Holidays and Gray is birthdays imported from Facebook...super cool.  Any event can be a full day or specific time frames.  An event can also repeat - monthly, annually, etc.  You can turn off selected calendar types (gray, yellow, etc) to easily see what the kids have on their agenda or what I have to do.  It's really easy and free.

My mom thought I was overly organized with my Christmas Gift Giving Spreadsheet...wait till she sees this!

I'm available for tutoring.

 ***** In other news, National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo) starts today. One post a day for the entire month. Here we go. ******