Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fall is coming!

Seasonal change is finally in the air, but we are still having some pretty hot days.  This is North Carolina after all!  The Sailor Son came to visit last weekend and we spent a few hours at Jordan Lake splashing and soaking up a bit of sun.  I don't know why The Tramp and I waited so long to explore what the state park has to offer!

Sailor Son is a champion browser so we also spent an afternoon wandering through some stores we haven't yet explored.  The Tramp found the new Bass Pro Shop lots of fun.  :-)

Becky Goldsmith posted a video about "Taking Care of the Girls."  Hmmmmm.  After some weight-loss my way-too-old stretched-out nearly-dead bras certainly don't flatter.  So we also wandered up the road to visit Nordstrom in the posh mall so I could experience being "properly" fitted for bras for the first time in my life.  An interesting experience.  Picture, if you will, two shop ladies (fitters?) and a half-naked me crammed into a smallish dressing room with seemingly dozens of bras, and the contstant going in and out with more.  Now I know how models must feel.  Only they get paid!  :-)

"Stick out your arms, bend over, breathe out, now stand up.  Reach in and sweep the girls up and center please.  Let me adjust the straps.  Oh look how pretty!  How does it feel?  Oh dear!  Does that bra hurt too?"  (Owwwwwwwwwwww!)

I certainly measured the size suggested in the video and various charts the videographer links to, but in reality, I ended up with the same old size I always do.  Heh.  Well geez.  Not a bad experience, just not a revelatory one.  Expensive though!  Yikes.  Still, it's nice to know I haven't been doing so badly by myself all these years.

In The Sandbox I finished up the last of the swap blocks for one of my bees.  I doubt I'd ever make a whole Snail's Trail quilt but the eight or nine blocks I've made this year were fun.  Especially fun to dig through each person's "bucket" of fabrics and choose just the right ones for their block.

I also made the sample blocks for my other bee's Holiday Block kits.  These gals have amazing stashes of Kaffe fabrics so every year we come up with something new using Kaffe.  This year it's square in a square blocks.  I'm kind of hoping I win them!  :-)

Mom and I did some fabric shopping and she requested I make her a sewing machine cover.  We chose a (gasp) pre-quilted fabric and all I have to do is cut it and finish the edges.  This weekend.

The Viking is here several days a week.  He showed his individuality on Monday by arriving in pajamas with one sock (with a hole in it).  Apparently at his insistance.  

Wednesday he showed up again in pajamas.  His rushed mother hadn't even fought him to change his diaper.  (Potty training confuses everything.)  So I whipped the diaper off and plunked him in the high chair for a breakfast bowl of Rice Crispies.  One hand for the spoon and one hand you-know-where.  lol  A boy through and through.  (I'll spare you the potty pictures even though they are darned cute.  You're welcome.  ;-))

The princess is still naked and her hair is supposedly in the mail.  I've been auditioning colors for her nightgown.  Keeping in mind these are evening indoor unflattering phone photos....


A finely pin-striped pink....meh.


Blue....a definite maybe!

And some Grand love.  Stardust is rockin' those hair bows!  Wow.

And such a sweet photo from New Zealand of sibling affection.  At least for the photo.  lol  Such cuties.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


We had a nice easy Sunday.  Some of us got a nice sleep in, bread was baked, stores were visited, Thai red curry was consumed, and there was a bit of recreational play in The Sandbox. The princess is looking more herself now. :-)

I skinned her face, something I've never done before.  I really like the effect.  Features were added with pencils, gel pens, markers, and chalks.  She's rather sweet looking now. 

Next job is hair. The Tramp suggested auburn hair so I've ordered it. In the meantime I should make a final choice of fabric for her nightgown. Hmmmmmmm. 

We have a rainy day predicted for tomorrow so maybe The Viking and I will try Storytime at the library again.  If I can tire him out enough, during nap time I can give the princess some attention too. :-)


Trying out posting from my iPad, with a few random pictures. 

This week I took The Viking for his first Storytime at one of the local libraries. He mostly observed rather than participated, but afterwards was thrilled with the grape smelling READ stamps. He knows his letters so it must have intrigued him to have letters on his hands. 

Tricky this. Ah. Now I've got my cursor where I want it. :-).  Hard to choose the best photos from tiny thumbnails though. I finished the crocheted valance for the kitchen.  It adds a spark of color to a dull corner. :-)

Finished my tuffet.  More color!

Finished the princess's bed. (16" tall)

Though the lady is still a shadow of her final self.  I can only hope she will be as cute as her bed!

Ok. That's it. Sailor Son is here and we're off to find something interesting to do. :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Busy summers days, with plenty of joys sprinkled throughout to make up for any stress and frustrations.  We're pleased to report no new phone calls from The Sailor Son on his way to the emergency room.  (Yay!)  We are also very pleased to announce a brand new grandson!  Woot!  Rocky and Magenta have a new brother.  Indeed a joy.  :-)

ED and I spotted a little joy by the pond yesterday.  We only had our cell phones but managed to get a few photos while I rolled the car by as quietly as I could in order not to disturb it.  A neighbor tells me it is a green heron and has been around before.  I need to keep my eyes open then!

Last weekend I made a list and we puttered around The Sandbox finishing some overdue projects.  In between messing with his NAS device and replacing the annoying beeping UPS battery, The Tramp helped me raise my cutting table up on bed risers.  Finally!  I've been talking about it for years and we just never got around to it.  It's taking some getting used to but overall I really like the added three inches.  My back and neck are certainly happier.

Oh!  Another joy.  Mom finished her quilt top.  I added the borders for her then she gave the whole thing back to me.  How about that!  The center of the quilt is lovely, but I have to confess I really don't care for the border fabric.  (It was a kit.) If I'm going to spend some quality time doing some quality quilting on this top I think I'll take the time to change the outer border first.  Well anyway, it's going to have to go in the pile to wait it's turn.  :-)

The african violet window makes The Sandbox a lovelier spot to spend time in.  I repotted the plants a second time, properly I hope and they seem to be happier.  We also put up the valances that have been sitting in a corner for two years or so.  

Now the ugly traverse rod is covered.  :-)  We need the drapes in this window to keep the afternoon sun from cooking us and shining in our eyes.  

I've also been working with Mom on a baby quilt for my cousin in Florida.  We bought a kit at the recent Sewing Expo in Raleigh thinking the bright sea creatures theme would be fun for a Florida baby.  Mom is doing the applique and I'm making all the yoyos.  After a few false starts for both of us we seem to be moving along just fine now.  Oh joy.  :-)

The Viking does his best to bring us lots of joyful moments.  Lunch with Nanny.

Walking with Papa.  And we go fully outfitted--in his flashing sneakers, monkey backpack holding his "carz,", one of my bracelets (of course), and clutching his puppy.

Wearing his "eyes" for indoor play.

Of course, Nini!  :-)

Someone gets lots of joy from dressing up!

And had to phone us to say she'd built the tallest tower in Disney!!!  :-D

We had a nice quiet day today.  The lawns were mowed by The Tramp (a very hot job) while I puttered inside (a nice cool job).  A pleasant trip to the library with Dad, after which he treated us to a tasty pizza lunch.  We both succumbed to a long afternoon nap, but then I was nice and refreshed for a bit of evening sewing.  I needed a zip bag to go in the tote with my crochet project so I got out my little duffle bag pattern.  It's pink on the inside.

With a dinner break of cool canteloupe and peaches with doctored up sour cream.  Yum!  Funny thing about going to the farmers market.  If you buy it, you'd better eat it!  :-)

And purple on the outside.   Cute.   Not overly practical for the intended use, I've decided, but oh well, that's just an excuse to make a different bag.  I don't see a problem.  Do you?  :-)

This is the crochet projet.  This picture is from the tutorial, I've chosed different colors for my kitchen.  I've got five flowers done and a half flower.  It seems to be one of those projects that will look better once I get further on.  At least that's my story for now.  lol

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wet and wild

Though our day finished in a wet and wild fashion, The Viking and I did manage to have our playtime in the sandbox during the cooler hours of the morning.

Playtime included a longish session of furniture rearranging.  Especially difficult if you insist on pushing chairs and tables across a knobby rug.  :-)

Then there was the conundrum presented by the table that kept folding unexpectedly.

He tried to move the big chairs too but I kept my feet comfortably planted where I wanted them.  :-)  So he took time out for a close examination of the ceiling fan and skylights.

Of course belly buttons are meant to be filled with sand.

And so is our hair.

We also had great fun with canteloupe at lunch before he went down for his nap.

Then it was my turn to play in my Sandbox!  What did I do?  I read a library book.  Yes I did.  A girl has gotta have a bit of time off.  :-)  ED arrived to pick up The Viking during an amazing downpour, so it seemed prudent to invite them to stay for dinner until the worst of the storms were past.  The rain came down hard and fast enough to overflow the pond!  As they drove away, The Tramp and I walked down to the edge of the pond to inspect the messy aftermath.  The roar of the water draining down the standpipe is quite loud, and frankly, a bit scary.  You can see the water and debris circling around it.


This evening while we watched a few episodes of QI, I got down to business and finished prepping a stack of about 60 t-shirts so I can deliver them back to Patchwork Memories tomorrow.  Then I have a 25 t-shirt quilt to prep and sew.  No rest for the weary!  :-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

The sandbox and The Sandbox

 I'm still not organized enough to post a little every day so here we go again.....

LZF has landed a new job.  A day shift!  Yay!  We are all looking forward to it.  To celebrate, Dad treated everyone to a nice Italian dinner.

In The Sandbox I've had a new jacket pattern hanging on the design wall for a couple of months and I thought it was time to cut into the fabric.

It's been so long since I've done any garment sewing but the jacket is simple enough.  The sleeves went in just fine (yay!) and it's all done except for the sleeve hems.  The sleeves are a bit short so I'll fashion some cuffs out of the leftover fabric.  My usual strategy is to add a couple of inches to everything but since it's been a while I just plain forgot.  :-p  The pattern was frustrating as the size I made doesn't lay out on the fabric as the instructions say it should.  Thank goodness I bought extra! The pattern is sold at quilt shops and quilt shows so I wonder why they don't take into consideration that quilting cottons are the logical fabric people will buy and that quilting cotton shrinks in the wash!  Sigh.

The Viking continues to "assist" me while I sew.

Amazingly, I do get some work done.

We did manage to get to the fireworks display in a neighboring town.  We picniced and The Viking had his first amusement ride.  He seemed more interested in the mechanism than anything else.

The currently accident prone Sailor Son tried to slice off the tip of his finger while peeling apples.  Apparently it was spectacular, traumatic and painful, but will heal. 

Poyla, MD and Stardust attended a traditional Indian wedding and had fun dressing the part.

The second round of repairs have finally been completed at The Other House.  The walls and ceiling are closed up now and we are praying for no more water issues!

The half-painted woodwork at our house has been calling for my attention for many months, so last week I decided to finish some of it.....with supervision of course.

So the upstairs hallway is done.  Black hairs in the paint and all.  :-)

Crazy Maisy, our hunter, has discovered the joys of dirty diapers.  Shame on me for throwing one out where she could tip over the can and reach it.  Shame on her for the total destruction of the diaper and the mess she made of herself and the carpet in the Sandbox.  Such fun to clean up.  NOT!

A scrap of cotton batting makes a great temporary highway.

A little crocheting fills in the quiet moments.

It's been very hot and muggy and the mosquitoes are horrendous.  So The Viking and I have been playing mostly indoors.  We did get a sandbox for the screened porch though.  If I put on the ceiling fan it keeps us cool and mostly mosquito-free.

I finally got around to repotting my African Violets and The Tramp put up shelves for them in the Sandbox.  (Oh how I wish all the woodwork would magically turn white!)  They bloom beautifully in this location.  I'm unhappy with the terracotta pots I chose though, so I found a local greenhouse that specializes in African Violets and I've ordered new pots and fertilizer.  

We were blessed with a flying visit from a special friend this weekend.  I got out my Gadget Guard pattern and was able to whip up a sleeve for her brand new iPad, to protect it while she travels.  We shopped my stash for the fabric and found this floral that is so her.  All we had to do was go out and get the perfect purple zippers.  Fun!  :-)

The Viking will be here tomorrow.  It's supposed to be stormy too.  I think between the sandbox and The Sandbox we'll find plenty to keep us busy!  :-)