Saturday, April 21, 2018

AN UNEXPECTED PURCHASE...



Today Dear Hubby and I made a quick trip to Ikea to pick up a few things that he needed for his office.  While I LOVE my sewing room, it's lack of storage is becoming more and more evident as time goes on.  I guess I could just stop buying, LOL, but new techniques seem to require new notions.  So as my quilting knowledge expands, so too does my stuff! 

Above you will see the newly organized corner of my cutting table.  My newest purchase has served my needs nicely...for now.


While winding our way through the Market section of Ikea I spotted this beauty.  I seriously needed something to corral all of my rulers.  My long rulers, large square rulers and instructions for my Dresden and TriRec rulers are housed in the top level...and there is still room to grow!.  The next level down holds my binding tools, dresden rulers and my Tri-Recs.  The blue and gray CD holder keeps all of my small rulers in check.  The travel drive that I hope will one day house all of my machine embroidery patterns (thoughts of organizing them make me tired!) and a pkg of embroidery needles sit nicely up front, though I may pop those into the case that holds my embroidery thread.


I was thrilled to have accomplished so much organization so cheaply!!!  Once again, Ikea comes to the rescue!

Toodles...

Friday, April 20, 2018

I LOST ALMOST TWO WEEKS!


This is where my sewing stood when I last posted several weeks ago.  I was happy to be back in the swing of creating and looked forward to completing my runner and moving on to other things.  Note to self:  NEVER figure out your timeline...it is an open invitation for "Murphy" to throw a monkey wrench into things!


On Sunday, the 8th, my dad had a mini stroke!  He spent a few days in ICU and then was transferred to the telemetry floor.  For the first few days I was so stressed that the thought of a bit of hand sewing to pass the time never even entered my mind!  Once it did, however, I threw my sewing kit into my purse and worked on producing white hexies for another runner in my sewing room. 


When I got home I dove into attaching those hexies to the assorted hexie diamonds I had already completed.  I tried hard to get my mind off of "medical" stuff, but this Facebook post kind of says it all, LOL! 


Dad came home on the 13th and is recuperating nicely.  It has taken a full week for my body to recover from the damage caused by my level of stress.  Today was the first day I had a more "normal" (for me anyway) supply of energy.  I remembered a scone mix that I had seen buried in the pantry.  Breakfast?  Easy, peasy!  Unfortunately the taste was on par with the amount of energy expended!!!  Not too great, ;o(  I think it is time to say goodbye to "convenience" mixes and find myself a few old fashioned recipes like my great grandmother would have made.  Better for our bodies and most definitely better tasting!!!

Toodles...

Friday, March 30, 2018

SOMETHING'S IN THE WORKS...



This is the top of the bookcase/file cabinet in my sewing room.  As you can see, I have a small mug rug under the far left diffuser and salt lamp.  However, as my family and I have begun to discover the health benefits of essential oils, I'm keeping a diffuser filled with my favorite calming scents in one machine and a child's version for my grandson in the other machine. I need a bigger mug rug!!!



Way back when I used a charm pack of "Tea Cakes" to make a cover for my sewing machine and a lumbar pillow to support my back when I'm sewing.  I had a few 6" squares (yes the charm pack was 6", not 5") left, but not very many designs in multiples.  What are my symmetry loving "little gray cells" to do?  (Too much Hercule Poirot in my past I think, LOL.) 


I had all of the charms spread out on my table trying to "come up with something" when my son sat down in my sewing chair and immediately pulled all of the gingham together in a row.  Eureka!  I sewed them together yesterday using pieces of two different charms as the rails between the charms.  I didn't have any more fabric from the Tea Cakes line to make a border so a rummaged through my stash to find something suitable.  This year I am determined not to spend money on fabric unless it is an absolute necessity!  I've sandwiched the runner and am ready to baste and quilt. 

Oh, in case any of you notice...the right hand blue charm is facing the wrong way!  But since I just noticed it NOW, I'm not about to undo it and fix it.  I will just call it an "innovative design feature" and continue on my way.  Perfectionism can be way too overrated, LOL. 

A finished runner coming soon!

Toodles...

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I SEWED TODAY...


I know it is close to Christmas, but at G's suggestion I sat in front of my sewing machine today.  I had intended to make several of these for family members, but time just got away from me...and the bug that has been making its way through my family finally cornered me!  I feel yucky!  G and I thought that maybe doing some sewing would take my mind off of how bad I feel.  It did, lol, until I realized that I had misread the instructions!  Ack, I do feel a bit loopy from the medication.  I made extra sure I was using good sewing safety since I'm out of it slightly, but I should have used extra READING safety, too!  Oh well, I finished it up anyway and used a bit of Liquid Stitch where things were not secured properly.  I haven't decided if I will give it to my aunt to try for a while, with a promise of a new (properly sewn) one after the holidays and this bug are over, or keep it to try in our house.  I may give it to her anyway.

I will admit that G's suggestion of sitting down to sew was a good one, however I think I will wait until my head is firmly attached to my body, LOL

Toodles...

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gift for Mommy and J...


My Dear Grandson wanted to make an ornament for his Mommy and J for Christmas.  I saw this simple ornament made from clothespins and thought it may be perfect.  This morning I showed him the video on how to make it and his huge smile told me it was a winner!  As per the instructions, I grabbed 8 clothespins from my bag and he happily began twisting them apart.  A few were a bit ornery and grandma helped yank them apart.  Then came the dangerous part!

While Grandma used the hot glue gun to arrange the pieces into the proper shape, K went through my ribbon drawer and picked out the perfect ribbon to hang the star from the tree.  He measured off a 14" piece of ribbon and after I made the cut I fashioned it into a loop and glued it in place.  There is a little more glue glopped onto the back than had been used in the video but the glue was just not holding well.  Does anyone know if glue sticks have a shelf life?  No worries, though, as I pulled the thin plastic from the inside of a pill bottle lid and wrote on it his name and the year with Sharpies.  When the ornament is finished the label will be glued onto the back.

Next comes the painting.  Of course I have absolutely NO acrylic craft paint in my supply cabinet!  What kind of crafter is without acrylic paint?  Once I drop K onto the school bus I will run to JoAnn's to pick up some paint and also some iridescent glitter.  Glitter wasn't part of the video, but he wants his star to shine!  He also wants something blue and shiny on the front!


While the paint may not cover every inch of the star, he had a BLAST painting.  While the paint was still wet we sprinkled on some super fine glitter.  I don't think I will ever get all of the glitter out of my sewing room rug, but that is what childhood is about, right?  A bit more glue glopped onto the heads of the upper portions of the clothespins and the "blue shiny button" stayed in place.  I just hope he can keep quiet until Christmas morning to give it to them!  He is SO excited!!!


Today he and I played chess.  It has been quite a while since we played and surprisingly he still remembered everything.  Now that he is really beginning to strategize it is even more fun.  We have a "standing date" for noon Monday through Friday before he goes off to school.  I will get his "little gray cells" all warmed up for his afternoon kindergarten.

Life is good!

Toodles...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

GEARING UP FOR 2018...




It has been almost a month since Dear Hubby and I returned from our two week vacation.  We stayed at our usual beach front resort in warmer climes and I feel emotionally rejuvenated and ready to make 2018 our most frugal, CALM year yet!



As part of my mounting frugality I have begun a "Money Stash" book.



In this book I track my "change stash", ie all quarters and dimes that I have saved.  If I have either $1 in quarters or $1 in dimes I drop them into a large jar and log them in my book, calculating the running total each time.  If I cannot make $1 in quarters or in dimes I put the coins in a cash box until I have enough to transfer to my jar.  Any other coinage is dropped into Dear Hubby's 5 gallon coin jar.  Our change is taken to the credit union, counted, and deposited frequently because it doesn't take many coins to weigh a whole lot!

I am also trying to stash "paper cash" for Dear Hubby's impending retirement.  With the state of employment in the U.S., I fear he could be forced into retirement before his intended date and we are NOWHERE near ready!  So, any cash I have left in my purse at the end of the month, dollar bills I receive as the result of a store transaction, and any "found money" (such as the $20 bill I found in the street while on vacation!) is placed in an envelope and logged into my book.  When the envelope stash hits a point where I am uncomfortable with it hanging around the house, it is immediately (and I mean IMMEDIATELY) transferred to a bank account.  I struggled too hard to have the fruits of my labor stolen in a home invasion!  An MP3 player and about $10 in change for tolls was recently stolen from Dear Hubby's car...in our driveway!  I fear our once peaceful and safe neighborhood is headed downhill.



I have also continued the purge of our home.  After almost 29 years we have WAY too much "stuff" in here to live a calm, comfortable life.  Certain things have "gotta go"!  So I have been listing items on eBay to see if I can recoup at least a portion of the money we spent on the item.  Money from any  eBay sales is directly deposited into a Paypal account and logged in my book.  Anything not sold after a few listings is immediately donated.  For some reason sales have been down, but at least I can get a tax credit and someone else can benefit!



I am also trying to watch videos and do searches through MyPoints or Swagbucks.  When I have enough points I redeem them for gift cards that I can use for practical living expenditures and gifts.
For years now I have made purchases through MyPoints to help build my point tally.  Over the years I have experienced many occasions when MyPoints failed to issue earned points.  In order to keep a tighter reign on this issue I have begun a small notebook where I list the name of the company and the date I made the purchase through MyPoints.  It really is keeping my points going where they belong!  I can question missing points and provide proof much more quickly and will not lose out due to waiting too long to submit the query.  I have also begun purchasing through Ebates when the store is not MyPoints eligible or when I will get more "bang for my buck"with Ebates cash!  I track these purchases, too, though I have yet to experience a loss of credit through Ebates.


In addition to our finances, I am trying REALLY hard to address the stress in my life.  Stress is hard on any body, but especially on a body already compromised by various medical conditions.  I have begun to faithfully use my essential oil diffuser and my salt lamp.  When I began delving into oils, I set up a storage system to house these precious liquids.  However, accessing them is far from convenient and sometimes I was just too tired or just too sore to make the effort.  Bad me!!!



So, I pulled out a few of my favorite oils and placed them on a small table right next to my diffuser.  However, the oil could do major damage to the surface!



Five minutes in front of my sewing machine and I had a cute little mat to hold a few bottles.

I truthfully haven't accomplished much in the way of sewing since we got back, but I feel like I have established a solid foundation to move forward with a frugal, creative, healthier new year. 

What are your plans?

Toodles...



Saturday, October 21, 2017

I FINISHED MY FALL MINI...and it feels SO GOOD!!!!!



I have been basically away from my machine for six months now!  Quilting this made me feel like a total newbie...but within a very short period of time it all started to come back.  Guess it is like riding a bike, LOL. 

It took me two days to quilt and bind this mini, but I was filled with joy the entire time.  Quilting really IS my therapy.  I still don't know why I walked away from my hobby at a time when I needed it most.  Maybe deep down I didn't feel I deserved to be joyful after losing Mom.  Whatever the reason (and I'm sure a psychiatrist somewhere would have a ball with it), I'm back and planning tons of quilts moving forward.  For right now, though, Ellie (my sewing machine) is in the shop for a much needed once over.  I just realized yesterday that I never took her for her yearly check up!  Life just got away from me. 

Tomorrow I will take down my Spring/Summer mini and hang this beauty.  First thing on the agenda when Ellie gets back?  A small topper for the "catch-all" table just inside the front door.  Dear Hubby even asked if I could make different quilts/wall hangings to hang on the walls throughout the house and change them throughout the year.  That is a request I will be happy to fulfill! 

Toodles....