Friday, June 26, 2009

One party and a funeral

Just as we were winding down the graduations and parties, my husband got sick and was home from work for two days, and a little cousin gave birth to a premie who didn't make it. So we had a funeral this week. Between that and I had the house torn up for the up coming yard sale, I decided to just make goodwill runs and just try to get the house whipped into shape again so I can sew. So this weekend I am playing catch-up. We also decided to buy knives from a niece's friend who is just starting her business, so that took up an evening. We received our knives and we were very pleased with our purchase.

I just feel like staying in bed today! I just got the car loaded up so I am making the first goodwill run. More later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The aftermath of graduations!

Here are some of the cans from the fruit salad I made for my nephew's graduation on Saturday. I am taking them over to my sister's house for use as cigarette butt cans to keep the yard from being spoiled. The whipped topping containers will become slug dens of death! You cut little holes on the sides, place slug bait inside, then put the tops back on and place them in the yard where ever you think slugs are hanging out. Keeps pets out of the bait.

Here is my sewing machine just sitting because I had three graduations this week. Kindergarden, eighth-grade, and high school. Plus my own personal business, and Dr. appointment. My brother is coming to visit and spend the night for one more family party, so I am busy cleaning out the guest bedroom and just generally doing laundry and housecleaning. I had planned on having my second yard sale, but I guess it will be next weekend. Sigh!

Lucy is just tired from the heat and all the running around. We received our new blackout drapes for out bedroom, which has four windows at each end of the room. DH works nights so needs his beauty rest in the morning, besides the fact that there is a house across the street from us that was recently purchased. The new neighbors can see directly into our bedroom, so DH installed the hardware and hung the drapes Monday night. Then we are having new storm doors installed on the front and back door this Friday because I love to have all the doors and windows open this time of the year. And it does add another level of security and keeps the flies out. We picked out the ones that have a screen on the top half of the door so I can open the doors. We had two neighbor dogs come wandering in today when I opened the back door, so the new doors can't get here soon enough!

This coming up Sunday is also Father's Day, so I am still trying to decide what to get DH. Maybe a new recliner for the tv room...

Will post quilting updates next post...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's Already Thursday!

The time has really gotten away from me this week. Starting last Saturday it seems like I have been busier than usual. I made a determination to begin working out at the gym that is close to my house where I got a membership this year. My sister decided to join so that helped get me motivated. I decided to mention this in my blog so it is another place where I am accountable in my committment to lose 100 pounds. I am only five three and small to medium boned. After I decided to resign from my job a few years ago the weight has crept up on me and I weighed in at 223 pounds when I went to the gym on Tuesday. I thought that for a fifty year old woman I don't think it would be unreasonable to weigh around 120 pounds which actually gives me 103 pounds to lose!
I had my body fat index done and it was so bad that I am seriously thinking that I should start my weight loss under the supervision of a doctor. I have borderline high blood pressure but as far as I know I am not a diabetic.
But I am not going to panic over my body fat index, because at the gym is where I need to be. No more red meat for me is all I can say at this point.
Not much sewing got done at this point. I had a family birthday party that lasted all day on Saturday, and every day I have been going somewhere. I had to go see about getting my last visit with the doctor who treated my broken ankle, get the hopefully final x-ray done and get his ok for physical therapy for the healed ankle. My regular doctor wrote the order for the physical therapy, but I just need to make sure that there are no problems and get the final ok. My family doctor told me that it would be ok to do low-impact workouts on the elliptical, stairmaster, and the treadmill. So I started Tuesday. Then Saturday we have a nephew graduating from high-school and a party after that for him. So another Saturday gone. I was watching Oprah a couple of weeks ago and Dr. Oz was talking about nutrition. He interviewed the participants in an experiment that was conducted in the UK. The participants stayed a zoo for ten days and ate like a gorilla. They had to eat eleven pounds of raw food a day to get their nutritional requirements! They all lost ten pounds, lost inches off their waistlines, and lowered their chloresterol readings by twenty-five percent. I guess I should eat like the gorillas and I wouldn't be in this mess!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Empty flower beds

Well I started to dig the flowerbeds out along this small garage that is on our property. The digging is also going along this fence to the left of the building. Then it occurred to me that there are no gutters on the garage so whatever is planted under the eaves better like water. The water coming of the garage has pitted where I dug it out. Then as I dug along the fence, I found old shell casings and when I started digging along this other part of the yard, I found a couple of old bullets.

After talking to various family members, I called our local Police dept. and they came and picked them up. After that I was paranoid about digging in the yard, then we decided to buy a metal detector after talking to my daughter's boyfriend. However, these are not easy just to go out and buy, so we rented one. We didn't find anymore bullets or shells, but we did find a lot of rusty old nails and pieces of fence posts. This house has been here for one hundred years, so who knows what you would find in the ground. The only money we found with the metal detector was an old penny, but it was only a 1968 penny. But I do feel safer about digging in the yard.

I have rose bushes along this back fence now and partly up the side coming back towards the house. Then at the corner of the garage and the fence there is a climbing rose that was here when we moved in. I planted two more rose bushes along the fence coming towards the gate. I planted Veteran's Honor and Welcome Home.

It took me so long to get the roses into the ground after I purchased them that I didn't prune any of them. I decided to just let them be for this year and perhaps do a minimal amount of pruning.

I had intended to have a garden in the back yard but when I started digging in this area I started finding chunks of cement. Somebody went cement happy in this yard. So my husband dug some of it out, but there is still places that need to have the chunks dug out. There is no way you could take a roto-tiller through that area until it is done. So next year I will have the garden.

On the quilt side, I have finished seven nine-patch blocks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Trying to stage a rescue

I have been working on my pots that I kept from the old house and planted quite a few plants in them for the deck. I had seen Ed Hume speak at a local popular nursery where he told us that pots that were hung on the streets in Vancouver, Canada contained over 35 plants. This inspired me to purchase more plants, however, with the hot spell, some drooped and one packet of plants is not salvageable I think. I didn't get them into the pots soon enough. So I am trying to rescue what I can. :( . My original plan for our yard at the new house was going to entail digging new flower beds and some serious plant purchasing and landscaping. I even contemplated having a vegetable garden in the back yard. I attended as many talks as I could at the local nurseries on the topic. Then I broke my ankle, so my plans were scaled back. I did plant quite a few rose plants, but that took me forever with my ankle and foot swelling. On Mother's Day my DH helped me get the majority of the rose plants in and I was able to put in about five more after that on my own. Our yard was basically a blank slate with a very minimal amount of plants in the yard.
At some point somebody had good sized dogs in the yard and there is going to major hole filling and leveling of the yard at some point. I don't think it will be this year. But at least we will have roses that were in for a year. We have some kind of tree outside the fence, but on our property that is pretty nice. It is at least as tall as our house, maybe taller. The tracks from dogs running along the fence is starting to grow grass, and the flower beds will eventually be part of that. I was determined not to pay someone to do it. So I will start to work on them again a little and I want to get some of the free compost that we can get from the County to start amending my flower beds.
I decided to make my grandneice a pair of long-legged bloomers for her to wear under her girly-girl dresses because I know she likes stuff like that. I found exactly what I was thinking of- McCalls M4505. I will be able to make our grand-daughter who is two a pair also at some point. The pattern was on sale at JoAnns for 1.99. My grand-neice turned three this year and she wants all princess dresses now.
Because I decided to sew a gift, I finished only one nine-patch block today. I still need to put the waistband on the bloomers, and the elastic on the legs so they will be poofy. But I am making progress on the blocks, which makes me unbelievably happy.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

finished blocks

I purchased this wonderful civil war repro fabric from a beautiful quilt shop in Orting, Wa. The prints are rather dark in these photos but I am practicing taking pictures so my photos should improve! The shop has a whole wall of beautiful civil war reproduction fabrics and the quality of the fabric is very high. That was stash growth, but I am working on getting the stash down.
Since we moved into this house last summer, I have been working on getting the sewing room together and it is slowly coming together. I had a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and got rid of quite a bit of clutter, and will be working some more on the sewing room and having another yard sale.
I had the idea of participating in a quilt-a-long that I found on somebody's web-blog, but I never did get my name on the list. But I had also seen a quilt at the afore mentioned quilt shop that was nine-patch blocks, so I decided to do the blocks anyway.
There are the most amazing blogs for all kinds of crafting and everyday I have to read some. I just love to see the big resurgence of crafting, sewing, and knitting. It's so nice that younger people make things like quilts or clothes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some quilty inspiration

I have become kind of obsessed with star quilts and have started hand piecing one for myself to put on an empty wall in our stairwell. My fabrics are more civil war looking kind of prints though. The hand piecing is much simpler than I thought it would be after reading Quiltmaking by Hand by Jinny Beyer. I love her fabrics and her books. A friend that I used to work with at my old job learned to make quilts and took classes with Jinny Beyer way back when. In the late 90's and the early part of 2000 she tried to interest me in learning to make quilts, however, it was lost on me at the time.

I have been trying to keep on handpiecing since I broke my ankle and was supposed to keep my feet up a lot, but it has been hard to sit and do much at one time. I am not a sit around kind of person. I have also began piecing nine-patch quilt blocks after seeing a beautiful quilt at a quilt shop in our area that carries a whole wall of civil war reproduction fabrics. So my blocks are coming together slowly but surely. When I figure out how to use my little Kodak camera to take a picture that doesn't have that terrible glare I will put up my star quilt center and my nine-patches!

Enjoying our unseasonably warm weather

While I am trying to get all my WIPs together to get some pictures I found a picture of our cat Lucy enjoying the deck during our hot spell here in the Puget Sound area. When we bought our house last year we decided to get a cat from Craigs List and she came declawed. I try to let her out as much as I can when I can be out with her so she doesn't get beat up by one of the neighbor cats. She is a very pretty pure white cat with the most startling blue eyes.

She really likes to look at the pins with bright yellow heads that I am using to hold together my little pieces of fabric for nine patch blocks that I am hand piecing. Of course I am vigiliant about not leaving the pins out and I have actually started putting the pin cushion and pinned together pieces into a plastic container that she can't get into. Lately Lucy has been very interested in the thread also. I guess I need to buy her some toys of her own or make her some knitted wool mice or something!

Lucy has been a good companion as I have been somewhat housebound because I broke my ankle in March of this year. So she keeps an eye on things.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009 Taking the jump into Blogging!

Well, today is the very first day of my new blog and I am so excited that I actually am doing it. If it takes me awhile to get things going please be patient with me. I had initially thought about getting one of those blogging for dummies books but there is nothing like just jumping in and doing it to figure out all the features and how to add photos and such.