29 June, 2012

Last Minute Sewing

I misplaced my passport wallet. Some lovely Summersville fabric came my way and a new wallet was sewn.

I decided I would take some embroidery along with me for the long plane ride to Sweden and back from Helsinki.

28 June, 2012

Pretty Picture

photo credit: T.J.Beck Insurance
Busy Bee's Fly-in
June 27, 2012

It Won't Fit

A Fly-in BBQ sponsored by T.J. Beck Insurance (Canby) last night.
Our first beautiful 80' day filled with sunshine, no wind, no humidity.
The host's little airstrip is just south of us about 5 miles (air) back towards Molalla.
A fantastic BBQ evening spent amongst neighbors, friends, local yokels.

We even won a prize. (for our noseart! lol)
Warbird Best in Show

The above was in lieu of packing - for the trip - on Saturday -leaving at 6:15am!

Thankfully, most of the gifts will get delivered at our second stop in Goteberg (Gothenberg) Sweden. The checked bag contains most of my gifts along with my emergency food.
The suitcase that gets checked is not closing easily. But I will prevail.
My other carry-on and gigantic 'purse' are not communicating either.
We've got less than 36 hours to make these bags close easily.

Doing two loads of wash - some of which also needs to be contained.

Tuesday, I did a vitamin push. B vitamins as well as C, magnesium, & some others were shot into my arm via I-V. I am hoping this helps me navigate the stress of traveling, of not being on my regular schedule, remembering to eat and what time is it anyway.
We start our trip in St. Paul (2 hrs ahead), then proceed to Gothenberg (9 hrs from Oregon which makes it 7 from MN?). Helsinki is another hour ahead and is it any wonder I am confused already?

I am totally enamored of my new smart phone. It knows the time.

My Galaxy Skyrocket talked to my travel e-mails and put together a calender of airplane tickets, times, gates, conf. #'s under the TripIt app. At one glance, I can see all the seat assignments, & travel info.
They say you can load all the e-tickets onto the smart phone and the gate-checker at the airport just scans the barcode showing on your smart phone.
For me, pressure makes my fingers fatter and I would never be able to find the right bar-coded screen in a timely manner (let alone for two people). We are bringing along the file folder of e-tickets.

I forget what the purple flowers are - some bulbs I planted years ago that bloom purple right in time for the 4th.
The orangy-red are Lychnis which sky rockets up. I cut it back and it does it again.

22 June, 2012

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Leaving in about a week for the big trip through Sweden & Finland.
So much to do, so little time.

Most of my day is spent communing with my new Smart Phone. Somehow by osmosis, I will become smarter. So far the phone is winning. Actually, I get most of the mini-computer-ness of it all - it's the phone function that defeats me.

The garden is planted - tomatoes, peas, nasturtiums, little tiny pumpkins, butternut squash, cukes - all things that can survive whatever life throws at them. Things that don't need to be babied while we are gone. Glorious red and orange Poppies that will re-seed for another blazing year.

A quick plane ride on a hot & humid afternoon- escaping to the clear coolness at 1000 feet above.

I've been sewing, going to garage sales, working the day job, as per usual -with no photo documentation. Thus - no blogging.

Working on;  My luggage isn't big enough. I still need a semi-dressy outfit, another pair of comfy but dressier shoes. I'd like a hoodie with a zipper down the front- for weather predicaments but haven't found them in the stores I have checked. I have a great blue flowered one but it's gotten a little snug. Is it too much to hope for to find something beyond athletic black or grey?
One of the most useful apps on my new Smart Phone is the 'Memo'.
I am busy making lists. I love it.

17 June, 2012



I'm down to one dog now, Rusty is his name.
For over  ten years now, he's been an energetic puppy.
He's got some arthritis in his right shoulder that gives him trouble.

Fetching - his main thought (some may say his only thought) in his brain - puts strain on that shoulder when he reaches or pounces for his ball. We've had to put him on a fetching diet. Three slow rolls of less than 10 feet and that's it.

In the  morning, I let him out to do his business and then we have a quiet-time routine.
He comes back into the garage and I cover him with an old quilt, give him a treat and he sleeps for another hour.

This is a dog who was too hyper to dress-up and would eat any clothes we tried to put him in.
By comparison, his buddy, Rocket, adored dressing up.

So odd to see him snuggling under the covers now.

16 June, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

June.     Oregon.     Hood Strawberries.

Because I couldn't resist.

My second child is graduating college tomorrow.
We're having a tailgate party prior to the pat-downs and the looks-like-it-might-take-awhile graduation ceremony.
First Lady Michelle Obama is speaking.

My son is graduating.
Both my children have earned college degrees. I am unbelievably proud.

This was my hope.
To have it realized brings me to tears.

I am bringing Strawberry Shortcake. The Hood Strawberries are cut and sugared. The chocolate covered strawberries have their beautiful coats on. I still need to make the shortcakes. It's all coming together.

15 June, 2012

Naked Bike Riding

Proudly stolen from random internet site

This Saturday, June 16th, is the Portland Naked Bike Ride.
By chance I saw this a few years back, purely by accident.

Holy Tamale!

Hope they have insurance for important body parts.

14 June, 2012

My Kids Have Grown Up

My beautiful daughter with her fairy godmother.

Off to Ketchikan to work for the summer.

08 June, 2012

Good Sewing

 Yesterday afternoon,  I got to sew.
Yesterday's post details some frustration but I wanted to show you some good sewing.

 This cute little frame purse went together easily. I've made a few now.
Hardest part is picking out the fabric.

At a recent garage sale, I picked up this summer tablecloth is fantastic stripes.
The gal selling told me all about her summer tablecloth.
I never tell them what their precious tablecloth is gonna become. They get huffy.

The tablecloth had rust stains in the middle but I knew it had possibilities.

 Look at the fantastic fringe.

In other sewing news, I mended my hubby's swim trunks. These are old.
The cord got frayed and needed to be replaced.

He went out and bought a new pair.
Then he came crying to me because the legs were narrower and were chafing his legs.
{!!!???} chafing?

 All I had to do was remove the center back stitching holding the cord from being pulled through.
Then I attached the new cord to the old with a safety pin and wrapped some scotch tape around the join to make it go through smoother.

Except the tape came off inside the casing. I am so not going to tell him. It's still in there.
I then sewed the center back to hold the new cord in place.
(catching the tags in the seam, r-i-p, re-sew)

He's got a new cord to tie them tight and he's happy.

And he doesn't have to wear the new trunks that chafe.

I think he's just a typical guy who is uncomfortable in new clothes.

07 June, 2012

Embroidery Pouch

I saw this Embroidery-On-The-Go Pouch on SewMamaSew's website and I thought it looked like it could be fun to make.
About 10- 1/2" square, the bag looked light enough to fold up and throw in the carry-on.

Whistling away, picking out fabrics, finding where I stashed some vinyl, deciding to make my own bias tape because my ready-made red looked too red.

I picked this Japanese print - forgot the name - you can just make out the helicopter above the zipper to the left of the jumbo jet which succumbed to the light-reflecting qualities of my vinyl. A fun, little cityscape fabric that happened to include some aircraft.

I was really intrigued with how Jodi from SewFearless had you sew the bias trim around the project, covering your raw start point and then continuing to run the bias tape off the project to make a little handle. It snaps back onto the project about where it left it. Cool detail.

I started swearing at that vinyl early on. Any fabric, i.e. that red trim above the zipper, was squirrly next to the vinyl. Jodi showed some hints on how to sew, namely - post-its covering your work surface so the vinyl would not stick. I don't own a teflon foot so I stuck some tape on the underside of my feet. A combination of holding my breath and pulling the fabric from the back  helped get the seams through.

I don't know if the fancy machine I am thinking about buying would have helped. They have machines now that 'sense' the thickness of your fabric.
In other words, "SMART" sewing machines.

{About all I know is my new SMART phone is still vastly superior to me.}

I was having some trouble getting the fabric at the top of the vinyl pocket to sew neatly. The multiple layers of fabric sandwiching the top of the vinyl wanted to go their own way and not march together.
In the end, I took a page out of Kerry's book and hand-sewed it in place with some embroidery thread.

Basically this pouch is a quilted interior base. Fabric sandwiching some batting. Then a vinyl pocket is sewn to each side; one with a zipper and the other side snaps closed.
That was the other cool detail. The base fabric folds down to make that snap closing pocket.

The other side folds down to snap closed - thus creating the snapped pocket.

It's actually a really cool pouch - if you had a teflon foot and a machine that likes vinyl.
I rate this project advanced primarily because most sew-ers do not own a teflon foot.
I finally had an epiphany about 3/4's of the way through when I remembered I found an invisible zipper foot set at one of my garage sales. It's a plastic foot so it slides better along the fabric/vinyl sandwich. But how many people have those?

Advanced because of the level of frustration. Of having to think of multiple alternative ways to get the job done.

And also because you need to be careful with the iron around vinyl. My last bit of binding - so tired of working with the vinyl- came out puckering and I thought I could steam it flatter. Oops, a little hole in the vinyl - just like that.

I am not going to point it out.

I ended up hand-basting my bias tape around the edges to keep fabric more evenly fed through the machine and I might not remove those stitches.

I'll put this tutorial on the "Been there, Done that" pile.
However, you never know if I will find a teflon foot at my next garage sale. . .

***update October 2015
I have sewn on lots of vinyl since. The combination of bedding plastic bag being re-purposed and a dull needle caused most of my problems. Wonder clips are my friend when sewing bias tape to vinyl. Hand basting is useful still. Buying a nice weight vinyl at the fabric store helped me too.

05 June, 2012

I Spy

Found these photos on the memory card. From a few weeks back.

As I was backing my car into it's space at work.
From the corner of my eye.

Ms. Rabbit who lives next door in the garage somehow 'escaped'.

I helped the gal 'corral' her. Looks like she wanted a breath of fresh air.

Warm day, lying in the shade, watching, snoozing.

Taking A Call -Smartly

  • When the phone rings, proceed accordingly:
    • Answer: Slide  to the right.
    • Send to voice mail: Slide  to the left.
    • Reject with message: Slide  up, and then select the desired message.

I couldn't answer  my new Smart Phone  
      1.  Too smart to read the tutorial.  
      2.  I jabbed at the green button, knowing I am supposed to tap lightly.  
      3.  Well, fine. Three days later: read the tutorial. Dang it.   
      4.  Slide to the right.  lol   Of course!   
      5.  Don't be such an old lady. Read the tutorials on the rest.

04 June, 2012

Cake Plates

 Haven't you always wanted a  cake stand?
With the lid?
I mentioned this to my friend last month and she gave me hers. The reality is no one hauls cake stands out anymore. No one bakes anymore. I only bake one cake a year around here. I can't eat them. It's easier to buy a few slices from the bakery when the hubby gets a hankering.
I still  wanted one.

The one she gave me looks very much like this one. A little taller on the pedestal. Small pressed glass rosebuds decorating the stand.
Last week when I was headed out to a sale advertised in the paper - which turned out to be a dud, I stumbled across an amazing estate sale.
Imagine my surprise when I found the stand - almost identical to the one my friend gave me. I asked the gals if there was a cover and they went back inside and found it. They hadn't been sure it went with this stand or another that one of the gals had.  We all laughingly decided it went with mine. The stand was two bucks but the cover made it three.

A weird coincidental deal.

 And the deals kept coming.

These Christmas pieces: made in Germany, with their boxes. The tree has that Swedish feel - not sure where it was made. Besides - those girls running the sale were loving me.

CD's at 25 cents a piece. Vintage John Denver. If you admit you like his songs - great on the piano- then I'll have to like you back. Christmas - country singers: Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, etc.

Kitchen gadgets.
I will sell the pampered chef teaspoon/tablespoon measure.
Give the whisk to my sis in St. Paul.

  Gadget box with Holland blueware miniatures. 
This goes to creative friend for her shop.

Saturday, I did some garage saling in an area that is hit or miss. I was headed in that direction for AT&T and Best Buy to get Smart.
I didn't find much but one garage sale had some sheet music out on the table that I was looking through. I found a couple of pieces but my eyes lit up when I saw the music for The Happy Wanderer. My mom & I share a love for kitchy songs, campfire songs, piano music.

I thought I would learn it and then play it for my mom, maybe give it to her.

Best part was these people were obviously not liking the whole garage sale thing. So he said,"Do you play the piano?"
I answered, "Yes".
"Why don't you take it all then."

I felt somewhat guilty at my 'score' and gave him a  dollar. It was probably the only dollar they made all day.

Val-De-Re...Val-De-Ray....hm,hm hee,,hm, hm, hay.. . . . my knapsack on my back.

The Happy Wanderer

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back. Chorus:
My knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
"Come! Join my happy song!"
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev'ry green wood tree.
High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o'er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God's clear blue sky!

I found the Muppets performing this song on YouTube.
In another odd coincidence, this is from episode 401 where john Denver stars.

***Dec 2014 update - sorry, the video apparently 'died'.