Taking a Little Staycation...




What’s a staycation?  Mirriam-Webster defines staycation as a vacation spent at home or nearby”  For my staycation I don’t know what I’m doing, or where I’ll be doing it, but I probably won’t be posting here on my blog. 
I’m letting you know in advance so you don’t worry about me, mainly Pam, who seems to fret if I don’t post on a regular basis.  Thanks for your concern, but I’m fine, I just need a break and a staycation sounds like what I need.

 
I'll be posting the CQJP Photos on that blog...and reading emails briefly (can't stop everything cold turkey!). But, I will be spending less time on the laptop...and hoping to get more stitching done...or, dare I say,...even some reading!
 
My Staycation begins on Saturday and will continue until the 3rd of January!
I encourage you to consider a staycation too!
Hugs, see ya in a couple of weeks!

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Lady 1 - Done


In the evenings, while watching television with Aidan...I like to keep busy. Nothing too involved, reviewing a magazine or some basic crazy quilt seams (not the beads and sequins part)...just something to keep my hands busy. So, why not stitch on some simple embroidery pieces? I traced off a few designs, and will just work myself through the stack.
 
First up is a lady with a bonnet. I've wanted to do an embroidery quilt top with parasol ladies, bonnet ladies, or southern belles. I'm thinking that mother would also like that style of blocks...so, why not add them to the stack of "waiting to embroidery blocks". We'll see how long it takes for me to actually get to the "quilt construction" part...ha!
If you enjoy embroidery of different subjects...I'd suggest you go to flickr.com and search their site for embroidery designs. There are quite a few ladies that post some vintage designs that you can embroidery for your own use...not for sale.

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Log Cabins


Fons and Porter have been sharing their quick techniques and excellent instruction methods for various quilt styles with us for years. Whether the quilt is a traditional style or a contempory one...their method of construction is always easy and quick. So, when approached about reviewing their latest booklet on Log Cabin quilts...I knew that I was in for a real treat. 
 
And, I was not disappointed. Plus, not only is this booklet a great piece of instructional eye candy...it is also free! All you need to do is sign up for their newsletter, to download it! And...since I already get their newsletter...I can say that "their newsletters are great just by themselves...so, it's super great to also get an inspirational and informative booklet too!".
This booklet has information about adding piping, trapunto, or even fancy fibers to log cabin quilts (or any other sytle too!). And, it includes a little about the history of log cabin style quilts...even I learned some new facts from that section...so, guess you can teach an ole dog new tricks!!
 
Log Cabins not your favorite style of block? That might change...when you see these different layouts and ideas. The booklet is packed full of gorgeous projects and colorful photos to inspire!
And, it also has ideas for different block settings...
 
with clear and complete instructions for the three major quilt projects! Each project is charted for multiple sizes, so really...it's instructions for dozens of quilts!
 
I give the Fons and Porter staff an "A" for producing such a great booklet. This 24-page booklet is a keeper! So, follow this link to download your own copy today...just register, and then download.
 
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Homework Can Be Fun...


as Aidan found out on Monday. She was required to build a volcano for science class. Thankfully, they are not going to add the baking soda and vinegar until class on Friday...so, I didn't get all the "mess" of the exploding volcano...just the mess of the Playdough (kid's clay).
 
It was a treat to watch her and her mother (my daughter Sommer) working together to get the project completed.
 
We set up the folding table, which takes up the entire little area of my living room/craft room in this little apartment, but it was worth being crowded for a little while.

Here is the almost finished project. It had dried out a little by the following morning, so Aidan did add a little more Playdough to it before taking it to school.
This was a pretty cool project, and not nearly as messy as I first thought. The black "tray" is a disposable container bottom, the bottom is a plastic small soda bottle. It is held in place by an inverted butter bowl...which is held in place by stapling the lid of the bowl to the container bottom. We added a plastic trash bag to the top of the butter bowl, wrapped around the bottle...then some cardboard from left-over cereal boxes (which I save for the cardboard). On top of that structure is the Playdough...then just add little trees and such. We found the houses on an old garland I had...and the cedar was from the tree outside. A good project for kids to learn about volcanoes, weather, Mother Nature, etc. ...and a good chance for them to use their imaginations...and just have some "together" fun.

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Just Too Funny Not To Share

Green Jello With Carrots posted this photo on her facebook page, and it is just too funny!
Obviously caught by a professional photographer, and I've left their watermark on the photo.
Kids! They are a joy, no matter what they are doing!
(It's just hard to remember that at times....ROFL!)
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An Embroidery Break


Just taking a little break from draperies...to stitch a little. 
 
If you need something to work on...why not do some little embroidery pieces?
These could then be turned into parts of a crazy patch block, or if you do Christmas theme...they could be next year's present tags.
So, go through your embroidery books...or just draw out your own...and get a little stitching done in the evenings. 
 
You might be surprised what can be accomplished with just a few minutes each night!
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Treats for Me...

...as a late birthday present and an early Christmas present...I decided to spend a few dollars on myself this month. So, I allotted a mear $40 in my monthly budget just for something I wanted. It wasn't a "need" or even a "must have"...it was just something that would enjoy. 
Books...and I got a few, because most were "used". They are on their way to the house...and this first one cost the most...cause I got it new. But, it is so worth the cost.
It is absolutely loaded down with embroidery designs, so I should be able to have hours and hours of fun just stitching these up...as there are 375 of them in the book! It is also a good reference for about a dozen different embroidery stitches...and includes two simple monogram alphabets. 
 
Just my kind of book...I like a little meat...and not a lot of fluff. When I spend my money on a book...I want to use it, and so many time...after a few minutes, they just dust the shelf!
I recommend this workbook by Brian Haggard called Embroidered Memories.
Do you have it too?
If so, how do you like it?
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Draperies, draperies, draperies...

Sewing draperies...at best...is boring. Just many, many, many straight seams. But, sewing draperies that have cotton linings...and "questionable content"outer fabric...with cotton borders attached...is...well...not boring.
  It's frustrating at best...could be called challenging...but, mostly just nerve racking! These fabrics want to shift, wiggle, and crawl...they do not want to play nicely with each other! I measure, pin, re-measure, re-pin, re-measure...re-pin...and finally just sew and pray!
 
These are my big sewing project at the moment...and will continue for a few days at best.
It's critical that I take little breaks to stitch something else too...not because I have the time...but, because when I get "bored" or "frustrated" then, I get hasty...and then the job is not done at the best level of quality that I can muster. That's something that I've learned about myself...if my mind is not on the task...it will get screwed up! So, when I get too frustrated or bored with the "challenge"...I stop, and go to another project. That kind of re-sets my brain...and coming back to the drapes is better in a little while.
I also find that I get tired...and sewing on them in the evening is not a good idea. 
Morning or middle of the day...that's the best time for "difficult" tasks for me.
What about you?
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You Know You're Country When...


... you can repair your washing machine on the front porch!

It is somewhat disconcerning to have parts of your washing machine...sitting in your kitchen.

Here is little brother, taking out everything that is screwed down... to get to the real problem. Sorry the photo is so blurry, but he is not all that happy at the moment...so I was hurrying. The washer and dryer are in my large walk-in closet off the bedroom. The wooden table in the foreground, is actually a small wooden desk of Aidan's...with tools and parts n it.

Kyle, my daughter's boyfriend, was on hand to help carry the machine up and down the steps...and is helping tighten (or loosen) screws while Johnny (dear little brother) is busy cleaning out the water pump.

Then, the outside water hose is hooked to the machine...and an extension cord...and it is loaded with towels for a test run. Here, the machine is just finishing spinning out...as you can tell by the small amount of water still dripping from the hose. All is well...and we only have one extra screw left over!

Doesn't it look content back upstairs in it usual place...and purring like a kitten. There was a lot of lint stuck here and there...so, it must feel "like a new machine".

Too much excitement for Buddy. Company just tires him out...and, He is now under the table in the office...and snoring as I type!

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I Think I'm Channeling Lucille Ball...


cause this week is just that crazy! 
I got a wonderful surprise this morning. Well, not a complete surprise, as Aidan had "asked" me last night if she got up before I did (and that NEVER EVER happens)...could she make me some toast.
"Sure, no problem" was my response.
Well, before the clock went off...I hear this little voice right next to the bed...
"Nana, I made you some breakfast...are you awake?"
Ha! Well, I am now...I think.
So, I try to open my eyes...and there in front of me, is the sweetest little angel.
She has a cookie sheet in her hands, with a dishtowel placed on top of it. And on that, she has a saucer with two pieces of buttered toast, and a glass of milk.
Now, how special is that!?
So, I try to sit up in bed and smooth the covers down, as she waits patiently.
I get situated and almost have the sleep out of my eyes when I really see that glass of milk. Oh boy, that would be awful to spill as she sits that tray down...so, let me reach out and get that first.
And, yep...you guessed it. I promptly hit the glass...spilling milk all over Aidan, me,  the bed quilt, and my sheet.
I kept apologizing...cause I knew I had ruined the surprise...and she kept saying "It's okay Nana, it's my fault, cause you were not awake yet."
Now, how special is she? Very, I'm thinking!! Very, very!
Now...she is off to school...and my bed is still wet...the washer is broken...and I'm just gonna have to air the edge of the mattress and hope for the best. But, regardless...I'm feeling pretty special this morning...cause I'm surely loved!
Even, if I am channeling Lucille Ball...cause my life should be on television as a slap-stick comedy at times!
How about you? Does Lucy visit your house too?

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Country Two-Step

What a week...I'm doing the country two-step...you know...two steps forward and three steps back! If you can imagine that...you know that I'm not getting anything accomplished! Everything I seem to touch just doesn't work out...at least, not without a ton of work.
The draperies are NOT coming along...and Aidan is here all week, so you know how hard it is to get anything finished with a nine-year-old in the house.
Plus, my washing machine seems to have something stuck in the pump...so has stopped working. Sommer is going to come over tomorrow and pull it out and take the back off...we'll see if I need another one or if she can fix it. And, talking about something being stuck...the bathroom drain is slow...and I'm not talking about the sink or tub...so use your imagination! What a headache...and I REALLY hope to get that fixed soon. Thank goodness that Mother's house is so close by!
I did manage to get the pincushions loaded on the Etsy site this morning...but didn't include any listing for international since these are just too bulky to mail easily. The postage would cost more than the pincushion!
And, this morning I got my first allergy shot...Mom is on her 4th. They forgot to order my serum, so I've been driving her...and waiting. So, needless to say...I also feel like "blah" today too...and need a nap.
Sure hope this week starts getting better!
Sorry to complain...but, as my bestest buddies...I know you understand.
Ever have one of those weeks? You just want to go back to bed and stay a while?
ETA: Yippee! The bathroom drain finally decided to clear. Now, if I can just get this drapery materiel to behave! Come on muse...let's go get at it!
Hugs to all!
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Mini-Pincushions


These little pin cushions are almost done. They may look finished, but I still have to do a little stitching around the bottom of most of them.
I'll list these on the Etsy site (whatever do I need with eight more pincushions...??)
These are my Muse's attempts to procrastinate...cause she does not want to stitch more draperies. She is in drapery hell! (and is such a whiner!)...
Thought you might like to see some stitching...so here are closeups of the seam stitching on the tops of the pin cushions.







  Of course, I'm using my own templates from my book for these...and adding beads, buttons, and sequins. Every bauble is stitched at least three times...so they won't "dangle" after loads of use. I added some crushed walnut shells to them so that they have some weight. They could be used as paperweights on a desk...instead of pin cushions too. (That's what I did with mine when I was working...and got loads of comments on it.)
Hope you are having a great day!

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