Saturday, January 25, 2020

A Crafty Post

I am popping in for a stitching update.

Here is my progress on Tucker's name.



I think this is going to be so adorable. I apologize for the poor quality photograph. I was just lazy.

Now, for my framing job of the family register. I mentioned that my framing shop which was a chain store went out of business. I really loved the job they were doing, so I am very sad and will be shopping around for a new framer.
Framing can be quite expensive, so for this piece I tried something new.

I ordered a frame on Amazon. It came in the size I needed which was 11x12 with glass and piece of board on the back. The board was perfectly cut but white and I wasn't sure of the quality.  I went to the craft store and got a piece of black which I like to use for stitching anyway. It covers up those loose threads that might otherwise show through on a loose weave linen. Hubby cut me a piece to match the existing piece.

I decide to pin it using this tutorial from With Thy Needle and Thread.



Now when the frame came it was very pretty, but I didn't like the color with the stitched piece. It was just too much of the same color, so Hubby sanded it down for me and used some stain we had to make it darker giving it a much needed contrast.

It took two or more tries to get it pinned like I wanted it. I finally got smart and drew a light pencil line to use a guide.

ALL that to say I will share it next week, because I have to wait for the stain to dry and all.


Real quilters-----STOP HERE----

Go no further!!!!! There is nothing worth seeing and I will be back later for a new more interesting post, but I don't want to ruin your eyes or your opinion of me!

I am not a quilter --- never will be.

***If you have some sentimental items that you have been on the fence about getting rid here is how to lose the sentimental feelings...
You attempt to do a craft project that you are not good at and then choose not to plan it out OR SPEND A DIME on it and you will lose all the sentimental feelings for said item. 

Without further adieu, here is the quilt which may become Gus, the Springer's new blanket:)




I cut some of these shirts out over 4 years ago and they have been in a project box since. For some reason, it has been like a weight on me. It was time to do something with them or throw them away.
I had not cut them uniformly which meant a hodgepodge of sizes and shapes. After starting the project I realized I didn't have enough to do a decent size throw, so I went scouring the sentimental items downstairs and found three more. Perfect!

I pieced them all together.



Then it was time to think about batting. I wasn't in love  and had failed to think about that. This was to be a NO SPENDING project.
Genius here...I remembered a lightweight flannel throw in the bottom of the throws basket that I didn't even like. I pulled it out and seriously it was a perfect fit!!!
IT was MEANT to be!

So the quilt has no in between layer. I just laid that top on the flannel throw and used a decorative stitch to piece it together. It is the perfect weight!




I then used fabric I already had to sew a binding on. We WILL NOT look at corners close up. Nope --- not so pretty.

I honestly can't believe I am even sharing it, but I mentioned I was doing it. All done in a week. All sewn on a sewing machine and no money spent!
Gus  and I have a new blanket which the truth is he has become very fond of my chair so it will be used to keep him from messing up said chair and I will think of my high school play, "The King and I," student teaching, Hawaii vacation, shuttle launch, etc., etc., etc.

There you have it  from the crafty girl who has decided to stick to her favorite hobbies; cross stitching and baking.

Resourceful,
Sandy


Monday, January 20, 2020

Lemony is 11

Happy Monday

Did anyone catch that I did a #throwbackThursday on a Wednesday last week?

That was my state of mind last week. Mother had a rough week and I just went back and forth a good bit. We got her to the doctor and got her an antibiotic, but she has GREAT trouble taking them, so ...we had a throwing up session one day. We are now on the second one and she seems to be on the mend. Now, I am just hoping that one round clears up an infection in both ears. She is lots better but still feeling poorly.

In better news, Lemony had a birthday yesterday. She is 11. She seems to be in great health although she does get around slower which means she is a probably a bit heavier than she needs to be. She just can't chase those tennis balls anymore and is relegated to walks in the neighborhood. She is Miss Social Butterfly and everyone knows her.

Sweet Girl

Gus trying to get in the picture because he is so jealous.

Yesterday afternoon, I made the Double Chocolate Biscotti that Carol at Stitching Dreams mentioned in this post. It was quite tasty. I had such a chocolate hankering and it did the trick. The recipe is here.



 I found some pink candles on the cheap at Hobby Lobby.



In stitching news, I finished another letter in Tucker's name and ordered a frame for the family sampler. I will share pictures of both later.

I have also started a project that has been sitting in my sewing room for-E-V-E-R. It is a t-shirt quilt. It is a hodgepodge mess. I have made one for Lindsay before and with all of her t-shirts I was able to cut them in the same size squares so it was an easy peasy quilt. This is not the case with this one. It is going to be an assortment of odd size pieces all put together with just whatever is in my scrap boxes. I do have some fabric for the backing in my stash so stay tuned for the finished product which will not be cute at all, but meaningful to me. More about the pieces in a later post.


I still have not figured out the solution to the Safari comments which is quite annoying. Hopefully, I can find some time to hunt down a solution soon.

I did work on my header. I am a picture header person, so a quick new header is up. When I have some time and motivation I will try to make it fit my liking but for now ...

And that is all I have to say for today:)


Happy MLK,Jr. Day,
Sandy


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Stitching Post!

As promised earlier a mostly stitching post. I was surprised at the number of comments at the previous post. I hope I replied to all, but I have been a bit busy lately. I think it is the problem of many who are similarly aged. We have not only our too much buying but now those behind us too. A problem of prosperity which is not a bad thing. Much to be grateful for!!!

Mother finally got into the doctor yesterday. We tried immediate care last weekend with no help. Yesterday's appointment was a brand new doctor. I will not fill you in with all the drama, but she has a double ear infection. She is down and out! She has a horrible time taking antibiotics so she didn't do what I told her this morning which was take nausea medicine PRIOR to taking it so she has been in a throw up festival today. Sigh!
Call has been made to doctor for maybe another one or some other form, but in the meantime....
she is resting and
and
and Sandy is trying to stay calm:)

So...let's talk stitching.

I got on a roll with the family registry sampler and completed it.



I personalized it with mine and Jeff's settlement place and marriage date. It has our initials and birth years in the main circle. I added our children on either side and a tiny little cross between them for our miscarriage.

I added both mine and Jeff's parents' initials and birth years and called it a day.

The good thing about this is I think it will fit in a store bought frame which means I can frame it myself for less. I really like it and think it is prettier in person than I able to photograph. I will share again when I get it framed but that may be a while.

I am now going to get after Tucker's name.


I am pretty excited to get going on this one! Maybe between each letter I will do an Advent calendar number.


Now, for a #ThrowBackThursday before Thursday is over.

The following are two stitches that Mother had in my bedroom after I married and moved out. I know one of them I did in college and maybe the other right after college. Anyway, she has both in her guest bedroom now.

This one has always been a favorite of mine!!!


I made those pillows in high school.

I actually wish I had kept this pattern book. It was a great one with many verses.

I think the next one I sort of designed myself. That is why I like blogging my stitching so that I can remember that stuff.




I may have put out some Valentine's stuff this morning starting with pink table linens. I would like some pink candles but they aren't easy to find cheaply. I may have to order which means I may put them off until next year which is what happened last year:) I may be saying the same thing next year!
I just love Valentine's Day. It was always so much fun picking out each card for classmates way back when. I think the holiday has waned a wee bit with today's kids. It didn't seem to be nearly as much fun to them as it did when I was a kid.
Or course, Hubby and I will be eating at Whataburger! It is now a tradition.



Until later,
Sandy

Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Monday, January 13, 2020

A Decluttering Post for Teachers

This is not my usual post and I can tell you many that read my blog will have not one bit of interest in it, so feel free to tap out and come back tomorrow for a stitching post.

Basically, the question of the day is... do you just pull the band-aid off when decluttering or do you do it nice and slow? I have done both.

This is the RIP the bandaid portion of decluttering.

I was inspired to write this one after reading over at Field Lilies. She has been on a decluttering mission. This was me six years ago. She did a month long declutter that was fun to follow along.

I have always been a neat and tidy person and my closets are always organized however I am a sentimental ole girl and don't like to get rid of things. It was never more apparent that when I about to retire in 2014.
I had to deal with the 31 years of teacher hoarding before I could ever tackle the house.

That particular school year was one of the most traumatic years of my life; personally there was good and bad going on at the same time and my health gave out as that year was kind of a final straw, but we will just talk about the decluttering of school! I started this blog in the midst of that which goes to show I am an optimistic person. Just thought I would share that!

As the school year was closing I realized it was time to let go of the hoarding. I call it that now because it was a huge load of stuff. I would not have called it that at the time!!!!

Let's backtrack a wee bit to year 28. I was given an opportunity to step out of the classroom to manage a huge science grant for our district. I had a teacher who had already retired but worked volunteering see me toting boxes to the car one day. She asked me why in the world was I doing that. Her advice was to leave or take to the teacher's lounge and let others go through it.

I couldn't do it. You see I had tried one other time to do a job outside of the classroom and hated it and lasted all of 18 weeks before I had promptly taken myself back to the classroom where I am a natural and at home!

So I might need it, but the truth is I was so close to retiring that I knew I would make this work this time!

I brought it all home.
A classroom library filled up the guest bathroom which is like the size of a small bedroom. You could just squeeze in to use the toilet.
The math and language arts items were all around the room with the pool table.
Science and social studies went downstairs to the big room.

There were plastic bins everywhere. Mind you they were organized in those bins and I am sure anyone would have said I had one of the most organized classrooms around. I could find anything quickly.

The problem was 31 years worth of stuff and I had become a self sufficient machine in that world. If funding wouldn't provide me with what I needed I got it on my own.
I could have opened a private school for grades 3-6 easily!!! I even had my own copy machine for which I still have downstairs.

It wasn't long before I felt like I was suffocating and Jeff was asking what my plans were.

I gave up the classroom library first. I called a teacher who was a bit older and had gone back to school to get her degree. I had taught her daughter and I knew she could use it. She was extremely grateful. She took the library and some teaching materials.

Bathroom cleared --- all good.

Not nearly enough to soothe my uneasiness. Over the course of some very stressful months, little by little I would take it into the science labs at each school and send out a notice to teachers to come and browse.

This is the result.
Older teachers had the same problem --- stuff everywhere and the young ones didn't want anything. They were in fact all digital.  They weren't interested in a hard copy book that you would take to the copy machine.

To sum it up,  a lot was left. On the last week of school, after losing my step dad (really a parent since he was with me since age 11) I walked with tears in my eyes and just through most of it in the dumpster.

The truth was I was emotionally spent and my health was failing and I just gave up. I was chunking things. Beautiful bulletin boards that I had drawn and colored with pastels (that is where my creativity went for those years), tons of teaching books that I had spent so much money on. All my work and treasure!
Fortunately no one saw the mess of tears flowing. I am not even sure I can describe the feelings that went with it all into that dumpster.

I read how people feel better after getting rid of stuff. I can't really say I did.

It had to be done was all I can say!

I was retiring and it was causing me angst at my home. I wasn't going to be using it all and it pained me that no one wanted it.

Now, here I am 5+ years later and I am glad it is out of my house. I will say that I miss only one thing I threw away.

So I guess the moral of the story is my life is better without the clutter, but doing it like that wasn't easy.

That is why the house clutter has been approached with a slower methodical method. Each year I tackle every area of my home again. I get rid of a bit more each year. It has been a bit easier on my heartstrings.

HOWEVER, if I am honest it is time to do some bandaid ripping again.

So what got kept.
Here are the final things that were saved with pictures.

One tub of teaching materials. A hodgepodge materials that have great memories attached to them. I have a book autographed with a lady who taught creative writing. I wish I could bring myself to tell the story of her. It is a deeply personal story, but that book should really come out of there and onto a shelf in the sewing room:)

AND One tub of science tools that even though some might be outdated I think grandkids might like to play with one day.



One sleeve of posters that are either vintage space related or the patches that my students designed for our space plays. That was my big deal and niche as a teacher. No picture.

Two shelves of books that I used for teaching or reading aloud.

They are now mixed in with other books.


Now this is the sentimental part. I had a sleeve from every classroom of letters, cards,  pictures, etc the kids gave me each year. 28 of them. I decided to scrapbook the 31 years but allowed myself only so many pages per year. I have two scrapbooks of that and then one that is devoted to the science portion of things.



That my friends is 31 years of teaching in a nutshell that the kids will have to deal with when I am gone.

The only thing I have missed is a set of calendar strips for the months. They followed me through the entire career. I think they would have been fun to put out in my sewing room as a memory.

The scrapbooks are a great show of fashion and aging!

In case you can't find me, I am the far right back row!


This is when I quit coloring my hair. I cut it short and cut the dyed part off. Kind of ripped the band aid off there as well.




2020 may be the year to rip the bandaid off in some closets at home.
Sandy

Friday, January 10, 2020

Keeping Up with a New Year

I had planned to be back sooner, but getting back in the groove with Tucker and numerous of appointments have thrown me off my game this week. I wanted to make sure I touched on the most important things and not start 2020 off feeling like a failure meant the blog and even reading them took a back seat.

Let's catch up --- ok?

The first few days of the week were so pretty and Tucker and I got out for some stroller rides, but mostly I feel like we have run errands and the like.

We took our snippers and snitched a camellia or two from down the street. I don't think they would mind or trust me I wouldn't have done it. Ours are not yet blooming. Buds everywhere, so I can't wait.


I just love a little outside indoors.


In between all the errand running I have stayed on schedule for cleaning. I have even cleaned out a few cabinets. I know for sure that getting a house BACK in ORDER after a time when it got out of order just takes time. I finally feel after 5 years of diligent work I am more in a routine and things behind the doors look so better.

I have gone a full week and my desk is still tidy. Now this is as tidy as it ever gets. There is just always stuff to deal with even if you try and do it right away.

Right underneath my computer is my clipboard where I keep up with bills paid. I do a full year checklist old school with a chart drawn on notebook paper. If I don't pay a bill instantly, it goes on top of the clipboard where nothing else goes EVER and rarely stays there for more than a few hours. I will go back to that!


The box to the left is a little important paper filing system and it seems I always have some papers I need to attend to in a stack next to it. I am trying to go more digital even though I am a paper and pencil trail follower. I have an extra cloud system... one digital and one hard drive that I am trying to move some photos and the like to. Double back up...NOW TO USE IT!

I also have kept my working counter cleaned off all week too. WooHoo!!!

I read my Bible here as well as any sewing or crafting. I have some craft boxes to house things in until I am ready to work. I fold clothes here from the laundry. HOWEVER, because I am a stacker and this is a flat surface I have to resist the urge to just lay things down that I don't want to deal with. THIS IS THE YEAR TO STOP IT!!!
2020 do you hear me? I am going to do better at not stacking!

I did pop in at the grocery store and ads some white roses to the camellia leaves later in the week.



Roses make me happy happy happy!


I also mentioned that I needed to go see about Mother more, so we are visiting her more during the week. We stopped by Chick Fila after hair appointments for both of us and then brought it back to her house to eat.

Could he be any cuter?

Star of the show!
I have been reading or stitching in the evenings. I will share the sampler for now and then share Tucker's name in another post. I am alternating between the two. 




The sampler is so pretty in person.

I have about two more flowers to do and then it will be time to add the family registry part in it.

I also found time to bake some banana bread this week and am about to shut this down and go back a cake for a friend whose birthday is tomorrow. 

Made from the old red checked Betty Crocker and was quite tasty!


Take care and I hope to be back sooner than later.
Sandy

Oh and a better view of the mockingbird. Better lighting.






Sunday, January 5, 2020

Road Trip and Cleaning Post

I have been a busy and a motivated bee over the last week. After coming back from Auburn, I watched football the rest of New Year's Day and then did some tidying up in my laundry area and sewing room (work room) while Jeff continued to watch football. I will share all of that this next week.
On Thursday, Lindsay, Tucker, Mother and I went on our little trip and had a nice little time together.

Mother and I like to take regular trips to our "home place." Mother and Daddy were born and raised in Range of Conecuh County, Alabama.  After Daddy died, we moved back there from Columbus, Georgia and I attended school at Repton Elementary. When Mother remarried, we moved to Brewton where I graduated from high school. Through my growing up years we shopped either in Brewton, Monroeville, or Pensacola. Mother was not one to stay home. *Range is about halfway between Brewton and Monroeville. She worked like crazy during the week to keep the house spotless, but come the weekend we went to one of the destinations.

*For those that are unfamiliar with those names, all are close together in very south Alabama just above the Florida panhandle.

We regaled Lindsay who has probably heard it all before with stories of shopping at the department stores in Monroeville (Katz and Bedsole's) and Brewton (Weavers's and Robbins & McGowans'). I have such sweet memories of the department stores. 
Our usual eating place on the square, The Sweet Tooth was closed for the holidays. Bummer! We had to settle for the Courthouse Cafe which was just ok, not bad, but nothing like The Sweet Tooth.

We also visited the two family cemeteries where Tucker was able to view his great great great great grandparents' burial sites.

After all was said and done, Lindsay said she thought Brewton was the prettiest place of all. I think she might be right because they do an excellent job of having flowers all through town. Literally everywhere. Someone does a phenomenal job. They are even in boxes lining the bridge going into town.

Here is a sampling of them along a side road with a wonderful mural of the railroad and timber industry that is famous for.


Closer view of the flowers lining the road.



Also no matter the age of the homes in Brewton, it is just a town where everyone keeps their yard looking nice. And that is saying something these days. That is one reason Mother doesn't think our area is too nice because it has some horrible looking yards here in Fort Walton.

She is right... I know it is hard to keep flowers but some pride would be nice in your home.

I mentioned in my last post that I thought I would be spending more time with Mother. That has proven to be very true. I will elaborate in my next post.

Then Friday and Saturday I was like a woman who has been rested and refreshed and had boundless energy. My sewing room, laundry area, and kitchen are all clean clean clean.

I will share a little of the kitchen because it might not look like this in a couple of days. No wait I am determined to keep this island clean!!!



I looked through all the cabinets and I must say the past 5 years of decluttering means there was very little to do. If I had to downsize, now that would be another matter. I would have to get rid of some things that I do use for entertaining.

I polished all of my cabinets. They are 35 years old as of December. Original counters too. I have changed the white tile floor and appliances.
I use Pledge Revive It (used to be called Revitalizing Oil). It works wonders on my cabinets which are wood. I tried other things I saw on Pinterest for getting some of the gunk off of the handle areas only to remove the finish. They had gotten pretty bad when we moved in. I just kept putting this stuff on and it cleans and shines.

Jeff has started refinishing the bad doors and drawers and they look wonderful.
You can see here one he has redone and one he needs to do. The top one has been redone, the next one needs it.



For the most part they are in fabulous shape and I love them, but you can see from up close some are in need of more after this many years.

Here is one set of doors for the dishes that is used daily that needs redoing...



And here is another that needs nothing and really most are like this...



The table always gets seasonal cloth napkins and candles. Light blue for the New Year. Pink will pop out for Valentine's in a couple of weeks.


Jeff and I also took a beach walk Friday morning.


This feather was sticking up from the sand like so ... so naturally, that one was added to my collection of feathers.



I also picked up my mockingbird and discovered that the place where I have been getting framing done is going out of business. I am sad because they were doing a good job.
I will share another picture of it later as I took this after dark.





I have been reading and stitching and finished the U in Tucker's name and worked on the family register so I will share that this next week also.

As promised here is a Lemony pic...

Also after dark and she has retired for the evening. 
The vacation is over for Hubby and Tucker comes tomorrow. Can't wait to have him to myself tomorrow. New toys and he is walking everywhere!
Oh boy,
Sandy



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Some Stitching and Trip to Auburn Recap

Our visit to Auburn proved to be quite restful. I did do quite a bit of visiting with friends old and new, but I also got in some stitching time. I was so ready to work with my needle. 

I worked the first part of the time on the family registry. The colors are quite muted so they don't photograph well, but in person they are just perfect for this sampler.




A closeup up.




Because of the darker linen and colors I couldn't stitch very well one of the nights so I started Tucker's name. 


I am not quite finished with the first letter I started. I have outlining to do on the U and a doggie to do on the top of the U. This is the only letter in which I am following the book's pattern. 

I will personalize the doggie to look like their dog.

This book is an oldie but goodie. I did Lindsay's name way back in time. I never did Paul Allen's mostly due to the length of his name. He got lots of other things done for him.

Many friends ---Mary of Stitching Friends and Arlene from Nanaland sent patterns with beach things so I have penciled out a plan for the name. The only letter I haven't nailed down is T; hence the start with the letter U. I do think I have an idea but want to get into it a bit before I decide.



Now onto the rest of the trip. 
Tamyra of Positively Southern came over to visit one day. I have been telling her since we moved into the Auburn house a year and half ago I would have her over to see the house and the wonderful little neighborhood it is in, but I have always a crew with me. Since it was just Jeff, me and the dogs, I texted her on the way up and invited her over. 

We met in person at the Sweet Home Antiques tent sale. Tamyra does the social media side of the things for them. It was fun to have her over and spend some time visiting. We plan to do this more often and I will go and visit her lovely home that is full of gorgeous antiques.... a mutual like.

No pics this time.

Jeff and I also stopped at a park that we have driven by hundreds of time. IT is just as you come into the outskirts of Auburn from the old cabin at Lake Martin. We also drove out to see the cabin for the first time since we sold it. It looked just the same, but lots of new construction out that way going in.



Anyway, the park is one I will visit again for walks. IT has a 1 mile, 2 mile, and 5 K loop and was extremely nice. The front side has lots of areas for education. I am sure they do field trips for kids. 


...and trails behind.





We made a pot of soup for one of the days and had our very good friends over who have a house on the same street. Jeff and Jeff have been friends since jr. high school. Then the next day they made chili and had us over. 

Other than those activities, we had some downtime at home and it was very nice. 

We were in bed by 10:00 and heard very little fireworks like at home. We got up early this morning and drove home. No traffic hardly at all. We were trying to get home before the noon kickoff of Auburn's bowl game. We good have foregone that since they played horribly!

Oh well, onto basketball season now.

Mother, Lindsay, and I are going to Monroeville tomorrow to visit with my aunt and check on the cemeteries. 

I can't really dig into all my New Year's plans until Hubby goes back to work:)

2020 is here....I wish my 20/20 vision was still here. Getting old dims the old eyes.
Sandy

A little Gus and Lemony next time.