Monday, April 13, 2015

What I should be doing now is......

....many things.  Not the least of which is sewing.  At least my cold is mostly gone and it's springtime pretty everywhere you look outside.

Well.  Some things are prettier than others.  The pollen has been horrendous.  This is the re-accumulation two days after we vacuumed the porch.  I don't dare open the windows.  I also seem to be much more sensitive to the pollen this year (cough, cough).

So the new vacuum system has been getting workout...inside and out.  There is a learning curve though.  I'm figuring out how to maneuver all that hose around without too many kinks and tangles.  Kind of.

The pond is covered with a pollen slick as well.  Every surface is covered.  The dogwood trees are still pretty though, and the early azaleas are blooming.  Today I noticed the wisteria has burst into bloom as well.    I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the greening of the view out the front window.  Cheers one right up.

As it's been an uncomfortable couple of weeks, The Tramp has done his best to cheer me up.  Awwww.  Isn't he a sweetie!

Piglet discovered very quickly that she could just step through the porch railings and gate.  After chasing her several times and endlessly worrying when we had to open the front door, we finally got around to browsing the aisles at Lowes and found a cheap simple solution.  So far so good!

And because dummy me left the windows open one night in the kitchen and bonus room, I spent most of a day on pollen clean up.  The first wipe around the kitchen sink got me this.  Good grief.

I left four windows open in The Sandbox.  Did I say dumb??  OMG  Rather than just vacuum off the ironing table I realized it was high time for a new cover.  After The Tramp and I stapled the new canvas over the batting, I sprayed it with water.  The wrinkles disappear immediately and the canvas dries tight as a drum.  It's like magic!  It's also pretty magical to have a nice white surface to work on again.  :-)

 So I recovered my portable board too.  Nice!

Yesterday was Dad's ninety-third birthday (wow) and we had a pleasant dinner together.

The Viking had the pleasure of spending last week with his other grandparents.  They had lots of fun together and he misses them, but it is nice for everyone to be back in their regular routine.   So today we took advantage of what may be the only non-rainy day of the week and spent some time at the park.  It got pretty hot in the sun.

So he wasn't too terribly reluctant to break away for lunch.  You can see how sweaty he was under his hat.  Selfie time!  He loves to mug for the camera and watch himself in action, but hasn't quite figured out that it isn't always a video and he sometimes needs to be still for a moment.  So we took umpteen photos to get a few vaguely in focus.  :-)

French fry!!

And of course for some reason we had to make french fry smiles.

Sewing is calling from all around me.  Two t-shirt quilts are waiting for their borders and UFOs abound.  I did finish the cutting in preparation for the upcoming retreat.  5,390 little pieces in that bin.  Crazy!  I can't wait to get my hands on them.  Tee hee!

In the meantime, I think I'll go to bed.  The Viking will be here bright and early, and since it will be raining we can spend some quality time in The Sandbox.  Me with fabric, and he with his trains, planes and automobiles.  Sounds like a plan.

Now I have to convince someone to move over and make room for me.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Doing.  I've been doing lots of things and doing nothing.  Having a nasty cold causes hours of doing nothing.  I spent one whole morning just sitting in the rocker in the sun.  You know I wasn't feeling at all well when I took some silly selfies to send to The Tramp at work.  Oh my!  :-P

The dogs didn't mind the quiet.  This is what the two sun worshippers would be doing on a sunny morning anyway.  Soaking up the rays.  Cute how they arranged themselves around Ngaire's shadow.

Dog TV for the others.

It's a hard life.

But somebody's gotta do it.

Until we get too hot of course, then Ivy gets in her five minutes of sun.

Now it's getting too hot in front of the window, some of the thanksgiving cactus have been moved to a new corner....and are blooming nicely!

I'm happy to say The Viking has spent his usual days with me and not caught my cold.  I also took Dad out to do some errands.  The Viking "drove".  I'm glad to say both my parents are doing fine.  They haven't caught my cold either.  I seem to be going solo on this one.  Maybe this is the cold they all had in February that I didn't catch.  Hmmmmm.

"Em Ems!  Em Ems!  Fank you so much!"

And this is what we were doing on Thursday while waiting for a contractor who didn't show up on the appointed day last week.

Painter's tape train tracks and Duplo tunnel.  Happy boy.

What the contractor was doing was installing a new vacuum system.

Which of course comes with parts we had to make room for.  (What else is new??)  But the darned thing works extremely well.  The carpets are still reeling from the shock.  :-)

Piglet would be an outdoor dog if I let her.  Now it's warmer she plunks herself down in the sunny dirt at every opportunity.

The backyard is still in awful shape.  We started our holiday weekend raking up leaves and pinecones, hauling rocks, and The Tramp hacked up a few large roots.  Sadly, laryngitis is no excuse for avoiding that kind of work.

Sooo far to go.

The other thing I've been doing is continuing to shuffle sewing machines around.  Several of the vintage ones have gone out the door to The Tramp's great relief.  (He will deny that. ;-))  I've also not fallen in forever love with the Bernina 710.  :-(  The machine itself is fabulous, but it's a 9mm stitch machine and I eventually realized I just don't like that part of it.  After much laying awake at night and worrying about it I decided to take it out of the table and sell it in preparation for buying another 5.5mm machine to replace the 440....which I should have kept.  Hindsight is wonderful.  Yeesh.

So I've packed it all up and started putting the word out that it's available.

In the meantime, I retrieved my Juki from the person it was temporarily loaned to and it's back in the table.  Ahhhhhhhhh!  Relief.  Things are back as they should be.  You never appreciate what you've got 'til it's gone.   I had no idea how happy I was.  Send The Tramp a sympathy card.

My plan is to work on the Omigosh quilt at bee retreat in May.  So I've pulled it all out again and am making up strip sets and doing some preliminary cutting.  The first step is tiny nine-patches made from 1" squares (1/2" finished.  Yikes!).  I need 1100 dark-light-dark units and 550 light-dark-light units.

That's 300 right there.  I have lots more to do!

My sinuses are killing me, my voice is still croaky, but there's nothing wrong with my fingers.  I can sew!  I'm going to leave you now, go stroke my Juki for a bit and get busy with Omigosh.  Oh.  After I feed the dogs.  They certainly let you know when you're falling down on the job.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Cough, cough, sneeze, blow, gag, cough, cough.  Sigh.  SNEEZE!  Blow.  Yep.  I have a cold.  Not so cheerful.  So it seemed much better to get out of bed before dawn, have a cup of tea and sit at my desk, rather than lay there feeling miserable.  So....  Good morning!  :-)

Very cheering is this fun photo taken by Poyla of his "jailbirds".  I can't believe Stardust is turning four soon. How time flies.

Very cheering is this bright tote bag I whipped up.  Fun Jane Sassamann fabrics given to me by a generous friend.  :-)

For the purpose of holding the 301.  The lining is soft flannel.

I also made a little zipper bag for the small accessories, and then a larger one for the foot pedal and power cord.

Which all fits nicely in this aluminum utility case from Harbor Freight.  The case is an idea I saw on the Vintage Sewing Machines Facebook Group.  It will also fit my Featherweight.  Very cool.

Now this machine and I are just waiting, not so patiently, to go away on retreat together!

Cheerful probably isn't the right word (except for the color!) about contentment?  I made this dog bed and it seems to have it's fans.  The comfort loving Piglet.

Crazy Maisy.

And guess who?  

The dog bed waiting to be made I mentioned in the last post is this one.  Cute, huh?  Piglet won't have anything to do with it.

I cannot tell you what a struggle this was to put together.  Foam rubber, fat cording, stiffeners, stuffing.  Just plain odd.

Both beds are from this pattern.  Both were weird to put together.  In fact so weird the pattern is now in the recyle bin.   I tend to get stars in my eyes and purchase materials to make multiples of something that looks cute.  Soooo glad I came to my senses this time!  :-P

Since it was a rainy day yesterday and I was not cheerful company, I took the energetic Viking for a romp in the play area at the mall.  Last time we were there it was all about climbing and sliding.  This time it was all about running.  "Say GO, Nini!"  Except when he discovered he was big enough to climb up on the ink bottle.  We have also discovered pockets.  He eats with a hand in his pocket, struggles to play with at least one hand in his pocket, and seemed to think standing up there required hands in his pockets.  He was also spending quite a bit of time up there captivated by the antics of the shy little girl and mother sitting on the bench near me.  It was very cute to watch.

Looking forward to a cheerful Tuesday.  Gotta start the day thinking positive anyway.  :-)