Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Little Bit of Sewing

I went a little bit project bag crazy. Here's how the story went down and the results.
Upon retiring I thought I would be a sewing fool. That didn't happen as I have learned even though I know all the book knowledge I need to be great (home ec major) I don't have the patience or desire to be a great seamstress that my mother was. 

That said, I have wanted to do a project bag for a long time. When I finished my last cross stitch I thought it might be cute in a project bag. I had saved this tutorial which is good, but something was amiss for me. 
Along came Kindred Stitcher with a Flosstube video using the same tutorial, so now I had written directions and a video to guide me. 

IT took BOTH.

I will share a bit more in between the pictures.

My first attempt. Not bad but not perfect. Don't look too close.

I had this fabric in my stash as well as the zipper which had no hole to add a pretty pull ornament.
You may recognize the fabric from my spring monochromatic stitch pillow. I love this fabric and bought a good bit of it for something such as this.

I also felt I might need to practice before I attempted the bag for the first time using my cross stitch project.

Bag #2

The stitch was slightly crooked, but I am pleased.
This fabric came from Joann's.
Oh and I was able to add a cute little pair of scissors to the pull.

Bag #3. Again fabric in my stash. It called my name one day while I was at the quilting fabric store. I bought a half yard which is perfect for the bag.
What is not to love about blue, birds, and dogwood blooms.

The pull has a spool of thread and a needle.

Happy insides too.

I should have stopped because the machine ran out of bobbin thread which you know has to happen and I made two bad mistakes.
Before I tell you what they are...
Let me tell you why I needed the video. 
I had to look at it E-V-E-R-Y SINGLE TIME I went to do that zipper placement. 

On the FOURTH time, I thought...I have got this. 

Big mistake. The zipper pull is on the left. I am not left handed so I guess I should have looked at that video one more time.

Cute thimble pull though. I ordered these off of Etsy a long time ago.

I had this fabric too. The one above and this one coordinated with this most perfect bee fabric.

Onto my second mistake.
I got in to big of a hurry and rumpled the zipper part of this one.

Oh well, here is my loot and should suffice any sewing urges I have for quite a while!!!

One other thing that is not mentioned in the written tutorial that Kindred Stitcher mentions is the kind of interfacing to use. IT is Pellon 911FF which is found on a bolt and is an apparel interfacing. It is fusible but a bit thicker. The kind you would use on a waistband or sleeve cuffs maybe. It makes the bag a bit sturdier. I would definitely recommend that interfacing.

I will leave the sewing to my mother and continue on with my passion - cross stitching.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Stitching, Dogs, and Books

I am getting later each week in posting. All is well. IT is just finding time to stop and write. I am afraid it will be that way for the foreseeable future.

I did finish Berry Days at Thistle Hill Farm by With Thy Needle and Thread on Saturday morning. 

I did a bunch of substitutions of colors and I stitched it on 32 count rather than 36 called for linen. I really had no idea when I asked for it for Christmas how I would finish it. It was shown on a box sold by a specific store. It was made to be a sewing box. It has another piece to stitch that is for a needle holder.

You can see that my colors on the house especially are brighter.
Anyway, I think I have decided to make a zippered project bag like I have seen so many with. I found a blog tutorial that looks easy to follow and then a Youtube video that actually used that same blog tutorial and shows it on a video SO hopefully it will work. I am planning to put the stitch into the front of the bag. I will then decide if I want to do the needle book. I have enough fabric left. 

I figure if I mess it all up that I will restitch this piece with the called for colors.

I then moved onto one of those works in progress from last year.
I have been working on the space shuttle piece since the weekend. I made progress on the dark underbelly of the shuttle that has a lot of grays and black. The remainder should go faster.

Lemony had a 10th birthday this past weekend as well. She was queen for the day and had cookies and milk.
Here she is this morning on the way to pick up Tucker riding shotgun. She usually chooses the back seat and Gus sits in the front. She decided to commandeer the front seat this morning. I kind of had to chuckle because she just popped up there and sat on Gus. He had no choice but to retire to the backseat. I guess she is feeling her oats.

Gus... jealous that he isn't getting a bottle.

Speaking of Gus. He is not 2 years old until June. Just when I think he can stay out of his kennel box when I leave the house, he does something to make me regret it. Honestly three quarters of the time he is an angel, but then he has those moments. 
I came home from church this week to find that he had strewn a plant from the front door all the way down the hallway through the living room and finished in the kitchen. I had place  the plant there in the foyer thinking I needed to go downstairs and get a plant stand I had for it, but had just been lazy. The night before I actually thought I might need to move it or Gus would get into it. 
Oh why did I procrastinate?!

Anyway, that led to repotting about four different plants on the coldest day we have had this year. Life at our house is never ever dull.

One last thing.
I finished my John Grisham book, The Reckoning last night. You may remember I said the reviews were very mixed on Amazon. They were either 5 or 1. There were very few 2, 3, or 4's. I found that odd. Now I know why. I am really glad I read it. It had two thought provoking themes, but I would not recommend it. The reason is it has some pretty graphic and long Bataan Death March and guerrilla warfare scenes. IF you aren't a history buff, then you would definitely not like the book anyway. That was why many didn't like it. They didn't feel the description and length he gave to the topic were necessary for the storyline. It was a very long book and I think I come down somewhere in the middle of the 5's and 1's. 

I am now back to finishing my George and Barbara Bush: A Great American Love Story written by their granddaughter. I think it will be a little lighter reading:)

That is all for now.
I am enjoying my little blessing and bundle of joy each day. He is an angel. 
Spoken like a true Grammie!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Goals, Ramblings, Planning and Ramblings

I am popping in today but must admit it might take all day to write this post. My new life! I am not complaining in the least. I made it through an entire week. 

It will be a hodgepodge of topics as I just letting my mind roll on.

My favorite part of my new "job" are the smiles in the morning. He loves to look in the mirror and let me sing to him. 

My least favorite part of the job is the poopy diapers which he just did one.  Although that is foot kissing time. Like I said I am sure I will stopping and starting this post a good bit.


I made three for the new year!!! Yeah I know it is the 15th and I am just now posting them.

My first one is a rather odd one.
It is to live by the motto; 
"A place for everything and everything in its place."

I am a stacker, a piler, whatever you want to call it. These piles can exist in a room that is totally clean except for the pile that I just never follow through on putting away or making a decision on what to do with the stuff. I have one in my kitchen, my desk, and my bedroom almost always. 

I am simply resolving to do better. The first step in this plan is to keep the kitchen island free of things. That is my work space for the kitchen and I am working on daily going by and clearing it and making sure absolutely nothing gets placed there because that is the beginning of the end.

Along with that I am trying to handle things once and be a better decision maker on doing something with this stuff. It is just the random stuff brought in and laid down.

My second one is be more content. I think in the days of so much content coming over the WWW that we are in just overload of looking and thinking we need something different. I don't think this is a new concept at all. I can remember looking at my magazines in the "old days" and thinking that everything was so perfect and I needed to clean more or work harder when in actuality I was living life and doing as much as I could fit in - in a day. Those pictures are staged as well as most of what we see daily pouring in. I think it is just too much and we can become addicted to it all.

I have to say that this goal is working on itself with my lack of time now. I do want to be content and not think I need new just because.

My third goal is a critical one. I let my health slip a bit at the end of the summer. I don't know what happened to me this year, but I was just in a worn out slump. I didn't walk, go to the gym, go outside and putter in my flowers. For one thing it was so dang hot, but that is not the reason. It was more mental than that. I ate more which added back some pounds, so I am diligently getting those back off.  Even gluten free can have calories! 
I am making progress and know that my health is just not an option to let slide. Having the issues I have means that walking, lifting light weights two days a week, and eating from approved list of foods is a MUST!!!!---no matter the feelings.

I think I have my mind set on that one. 


January always means start the clearing out stuff process. I have been working on this for the past 4 Januarys (since retirement) and I must say that I have surprised myself this year. Not so much to contend with as I REALLY am on the last bit of cleaning out the things I don't want. 
I am down to the nitty gritty. I will show you what I mean.

I have cleared the main level that we live on pretty well. I had a few items that I pulled out of the dining room this year and tried to sell them on eBay to no avail. These I have tried to pawn off to all family members. For those of you who are new we moved into my husband's parents' home after my mother-in-law passed away from a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. Lots of repairs and stuff to go through. We had an estate sale, but there were still things. I lived a very busy life teaching so much of it didn't get fully cleaned out until I retired. 

Here are collector plates that do not sell on eBay for any kind of decent price to make it worth the trouble. 
Complete with the certificates and purchase price for the taking, but no one is interested:)

I am boxing them up for now and I am making one closet downstairs that holds a few pieces such as this. For me this is out of my way. I am going to let everyone know in the family that they are there. I am not sure if I am just going to let that closet go or actually empty in 2019, but everything like this that I simply don't want is going in that one place. I have the space for it.

Bottom line is though that I will feel good about the rest of the house and the final bit of stuff will be corralled in one place. 
If I don't deal with it by December 2019, then I am guess I am admitting defeat on the #1 goal. Huh?!


They are as lively as ever. Lemony is back in full force. I think those ears may have been bothering her even when we had the allergies to her skin. Either way, she is feeling great. She is playing with Gus daily. She generally gets in one spot in the living room and pivots to play. She makes Gus do all the work which is fine by him. They had a tennis ball the other day. They look as if they are kissing. They both had their mouth wrapped around it tugging on it. 


There is not much going on in the way of gardening, but the usual January items are going on. Camellias are blooming and I planted three of them in the side yard a couple of years ago.  They have a few blooms now. There are several on our street to enjoy.
I took a stroll around the house on Sunday afternoon to look at all that needed doing when it warms up. It actually has been warm one day and very cold the next, but when it warms up to means March.

I have some serious window washing to do which if I speak too much about that I will be reminded of the painter. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you feel my frustration?!
I will have to do some touch ups to the downstairs doors on the deck. He got in a rush and it rained a lot which he should have had it done anyway.

I will stop.

The roses have kept on even though they look straggly with no leaves and need pruning, but that happens President's Day.

Anyway I have a long list of outdoor chores to do, so that means I need to be working on my indoor chores when I am not busy with Tucker.


I am still working on WTNT's "Berry Days at Thistle Farm." It was supposed to be done on 36 count and I have done it on 32 count. I am not loving 32 count. I think it is that wishy washy number where one over two is not enough and two over two is thick. I am not exactly loving it, but plowing through. I am not sure how I am going to finish it. I had one idea in mind, but I am leaning towards another. I have made a bunch of color substitutions which I will share about when I finish it.


I have to share this with y'all. I have been using the same planner for the last 8 years. I can't go digital even though I am quite tech savvy for my age due to having to keep up in the teaching field and the fact that we had an amazing tech teacher that led inservice in the summer. 
This planner is my life line. 

I decided to go cheaper this year and ordered another kind off Etsy. 
Let's just say this was a bad idea. The planner off of Etsy was just fine, but it was not the planner for me or the one that has guided me happily for the last 8 years, so I promptly remedied that after a week of the other one and the stars are aligned now.

Yes, I am much happier.
I use an Erin Condren life planner and it is perfect for me. Worth the splurge. I won't make that mistake again.


Last thing. I think I may have found jeans that I love. It has been a very long time since I can say that. I ordered these...

right after Christmas and have worn them OFTEN since then. I plan to order another pair of them. They fit great. Not too tight. Just a straight leg. Fits high but not too high. Finally a pair of Goldilocks for me.

I am stopping for now. More later maybe.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Back to Work

I feel somewhat like I went back to work, but without the stress of teaching.

My daughter started back today, so today was Tucker's first official day at Grammie's Daycare. It was a teacher workday so she got to leave an hour early even though she is not a teacher:) She was very happy about that. There were tears on her part. I sent her pictures and updates throughout the day.

I am tired, but it was a successful day. I felt a bit like I was going back to work, because I was thinking on a schedule starting last night. I got up with the alarm today and walked the dogs before I left to go get Tucker. I am picking him up so that gives her a bit more time in the mornings. I knew Gus would not handle the day without a good bit of activity this morning. As I get into a routine, I will be able to go outside with him more during the day. Oh and Lemony is back to herself...Thank goodness. She will be turning 10 this month, so I have to keep her healthy.

Get a load of those boy clothes!

One more thing on the grandma story. Over the holidays I was reading in the January Southern Living and noticed a name for grandmas. It was Shug. I so loved it! I told Lindsay I might change my name, but I am thinking Grammie has already stuck. Stay tuned.

Now, onto other stuff. We took a beach walk this past Saturday morning. The following pictures are not made by me. My husband is a much better photographer even with a phone. I thought he got some nice photos that morning. We were so glad to see sunshine although it was early when we went out there.

I am hoping to find time to stitch in the evenings and strike a balance between stitching and my other love which is reading. I have to remind myself I am not in a competition, but to enjoy both and slow down!

My latest stitches are the strawberry one which I started this past weekend, and

the space shuttle which I started in 2018. I am going to most likely have to work on this one during the weekend because all that black and white needs some daylight to stitch it.

I am also reading two books. One is on the Bushes by the granddaughter and the other is a John Grisham book. I will let you know more about them later.

I think it will be a weekly post for now. We will see how things go as I am sure I will fade in energy as the week goes on.

Getting sugar everyday,