Saturday, June 29, 2013


SUCCESS!!!  I am just SO excited!!

About 10 days ago I mentioned that I had an idea to solve one of my sewing annoyances and that I had begun to make some more hexies to try to solve the problem. 

I continued making hexies and sewing them together, watching the vision in my head take shape on the table before me.   It took over a week to do the stitching, but I kept at it any time I was able.

Of course I wouldn't know until my prototype was completely finished whether or not my brilliant design would truly work as I had hoped.

Well, I finally finished the stitching and it works BEAUTIFULLY!  I am so happy with how it turned out!  I will soon be making another one as a Christmas gift for my mom, or maybe another one for me before I start hers, (giggle); this time photographing the process and writing up my first pattern as I go along. 

Since this is my first pattern I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to start, but I figure I will learn as I go along.  After all, necessity is the mother of invention and this one ROCKS!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Since the clarity I gained yesterday into the REAL meaning of appreciating life, I've been trying really hard to stop and enjoy the mundane experiences in my day. 

When my Dear Dad had lung surgery a short while ago, a sweet relative sent him a gift basket of Wolferman's breads, jam and coffee.  My mom and dad are really more tea people than coffee, so they happily passed the package of coffee on to me. is just WONDERFUL coffee and free to me...even better!  So I decided to make myself a cup of coffee, rock in my chair for a while and read a good book.  Slowing down and ENJOYING my day.  I made myself a cup in my Keurig coffee maker, using the "as seen on TV" filter I had purchased a few weeks ago.  I am so glad that I purchased this filter as it allows me to use any type of coffee in my Keurig. 

When I stopped into the grocery store a few Sundays ago for a few "necessities",  I had a coupon for a free bottle of International Delight creamer  I love ID creamer, but don't buy it often because of the sugar content and calories.  Plus, I am, at heart, a black coffee drinker.  At checkout the cashier read the coupon wrong and told me I couldn't use it to get the creamer free.  Not wanting to hold up the line I told her to just ring it up normally.  I was going to keep it in the fridge for when my mom comes to visit, but decided that I needed a bit of pampering with my coffee yesterday.  Mmmmm... it is just SO good!  I checked the coupon out with my son and it was an error on the cashier's part.  So next time I am in a store I will pick up a FREE creamer for my mom.

This is the coffee mug I use all the time.  My Dear Hubby bought it for me a few months back.  It keeps the coffee or tea (or even cold drinks) at temperature for HOURS.  But the best part is that the drinking opening on the lid doesn't open unless the blue button is depressed.  Perfect for me now that the tremors are progressing.  No more worries about dropping the mug and spilling hot coffee all over myself.  Of course, my Dear Sweet Hubby was thinking of a way to make my life easier.  He is ALWAYS thinking of me...and I love him for being so caring.  I couldn't have a better husband!

Yesterday I had a short period of steady hands, so I used the time to work on my hexie project prototype.  The steadiness didn't last long, but I got a few inches of hand sewing done with only ONE Band-Aid needed.  I can take a was time to stop, lol. 

Around 3:00 yesterday afternoon I was reading my book, rocking away in my favorite chair.  I got up to walk to the bathroom and the amusement ride started.  My vertigo kicked in with a vengeance.  I grabbed the table for support and eased myself back into the chair.  The spinning quickly subsided.  But, I was left sick to my stomach, incredibly weak and sweaty.  For 10 minutes I sat in the chair hoping I would feel better.  If anything I was feeling worse.  For the first time it hit me that I am ALONE in my home.  My Dear Hubby works an hour away in a different state, my Dear Dad has had a complication from his cataract surgery and can't drive until they do a follow up laser on Monday, my Dear Aunt was 20 minutes away at work and my Dear Son J is 5 minutes away at work!  

So I tried to think logically and prepare myself for any eventuality.  I had worked in the medical field for over 30 years before I retired, had been a CPR instructor and still have, to this day, a pretty good handle on medicine in general.  I grabbed my purse that contains my identification, insurance information and list of medicines and slowly walked down the steps.  As I passed the front door I opened it, just in case I had to call 911 (My first call to 911 was when J was only 5 years old and we were home alone...he handled it like a pro!).  I grabbed a bottle of water as I passed the kitchen, sat down in the recliner and raised the legs.  

J gets out of work at 3:30 so I texted him and asked him to please come straight here when he got out of work as I was feeling horrible.  All of my life I have had problems with my blood pressure dropping too low so I asked him to grab a bag of potato chips on the way out of the store.  At 3:45 he flew in the front door.  Besides being my wonderful and caring son with a bright head on his shoulders, he has taken the courses to prepare for the Emergency Medical Technician certification.  Unfortunately, due to an injury on the job, his "preceptor" was unable to finish J's "live call" requirement and J could not sit for the exam.  The process has since been changed to prevent such an occurrence from happening again!  Even if not certified, he has a pool of EMT knowledge to pull from.  He said I was white as a ghost and he went upstairs to get my BP cuff (darn, I didn't remember everything, lol).  Long story short, after eating half a bag of chips and drinking water my color came back, I was able to walk around again and J headed home to his fiance.  I am SO thankful for my wonderful, loving and caring son.

And read that right!  FIANCE (or is it fiancee?).  That is the exciting news I have been dying to share!!!!  I had to wait until the whole family knew just in case someone read it.  Either way, fiance or fiancee, it's the same...they are officially engaged!  I am so thankful to be getting a warm, wonderful, caring daughter.  Welcome to the family, K!  Oh, her ring is just LOVELY...J has good taste!  Guess he got that from his MOM, lol. 

This morning I had about an hour of steady hands so I got a bit more work done on my prototype.  After the second stick I decided to call it quits before I bled all over, lol.  I'm now heading to my rocker to continue reading the first book in the Elm Creek series by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Dear Hubby has an appointment with a new Orthopaedic Surgeon today so he will be home from work shortly after lunch.  Please keep him in your thoughts.  We need to get to the bottom of his problem and FIX IT.  The pain is causing him to miss out on too much of life.  

I'm off to rock and read, thankful for my family, friends, life and love.  I am truly blessed...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This morning, as usual, I stopped by to read the wonderfully crafty, hooky, idyllic blog of Lucy at Attic24.  What struck me most today was the joy she obviously felt in the tiny bits and pieces of life that she so beautifully documented on her blog.  She truly was taking time to stop and smell the roses!  Her post highlighted for me the stark difference between savoring life and simply rushing through it!  Even though I have to take things VERY slowly some days because my body simply won't cooperate, I can honestly say that my mind is still in go-Go-GO! mode.  I'm still ruminating over the thousands of things I need or want to do...and getting more and more frustrated by my inability to do it right then and there.  My ToDo list is longer than my right arm; and when I CAN accomplish something I'm rushing through it to get on to the next thing on the list.  SUCH A WASTE!!!

God gave me 52+ (so far, hopefully more) years on this beautiful earth and I have spent SO much of my life just whizzing through it without taking the time to really and truthfully APPRECIATE each little nuance of life and love that surrounds me.  SHAME ON ME!!!

I am vowing right here and now to SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE ROSES AND BE TRULY THANKFUL FOR THE INCREDIBLE LIFE I HAVE BEEN GIVEN!!!!!!!!  I'm my own worst enemy manufacturing my own ridiculous and miniscule list of things to worry and fret about.  No need!  I learned years ago during a life threatening health crisis to just "let go, let GOD"...and I have done pretty well in turning that aspect of my life and worries over to HIM.  But God is there for each and every aspect of my life and in Him I should have NO worries. 

So...Thank You, Lord God, for having my back.

It's time to SAVOR my life...

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Woman With Shopping Stock Photo 

Yesterday was the monthly sale at my favorite thrift shop.  I was spending the day with my mom and dad, so I asked if they would mind if we did a quick run through one of the 5 storefronts that make up the thrift shop.  Mom and Dad were more than eager.  

Within the first 5 feet into the shop we hit a WALL of people, but my mom and I started spotting "treasures" right away.  I knew how to navigate this sale as I have done it twice in the past.  Mom was trying to casually browse around while I made a bee-line for the sewing/crafting area.  The technique is grab first...decide second, lol!  If you wait even 5 minutes to decide if something fits your needs, there is a really good chance it will have already flown off the shelf.  The store had only been open for 30 minutes and the line reached the back wall and people's carts were overflowing.  

I had only grabbed a shopping basket and quickly realized my mistake.  

At the back of the store, in the overlap of the crafting and storage sections I spotted a portion of a small black "cubbie" organizer.  I had to wait for the man in front of me to finish gathering his items before I could grab madly for the cabinet.  Oh, PLEASE, don't let him want that little chest.  Fortunately he had focused on an old electrician's tool box.  Phew...that was close!

With both hands I reached out for the little cabinet.  Visions of the State Farm commercial flashed through my head.  "Hello, beautiful!".  I picked it up and was AMAZED at the weight and construction!  It was marked $14.50 but I am sure sold for MUCH more in a regular store.  Even better, there was a second cabinet behind it!  Unfortunately that cabinet was marked at $9.50 because it was missing a drawer pull.  No matter, I was sure I could find one somewhere.  I quickly handed one cabinet to my dad and I carried the other as we stepped into line.  After moving only a few feet my dad said, "There's another up there!".  I grabbed the intact cabinet off of the shelf and slid the damaged cabinet into it's place.  SCORE. 

My dad and I continued inching forward while my mom "browsed" around the aisles we had zoomed right on by.  

Within just a few minutes my mom was weaving her way back to us, something shiny silver cradled in her arms.  "Look!  Isn't this nice?"  OMG, it was a shiny chrome kitchen scale!!!!!  I had been wanting a new kitchen scale to replace my crappy plastic one for AGES, but had been unwilling to spend the $50 it would cost to make one mine.  The cost of this one....drum roll please...$12.50....and it WORKS!

We had only moved past one more aisle when I spotted the side of another black cubbie.  Could it be?  I handed Dad my second one and pulled the third one off the shelf.  I was back in line debating with myself whether I had enough cash on me to even buy three cabinets when the lady next to me chimed in.  "Today's the big sale.  Remember?  Everything is half price!"  OMG, how could I have forgotten???  I was just so overwhelmed with the fabulous items I had found at such wonderful prices that I totally forgot the reason for the crowds!  

At check out the woman asked me if I needed any more of the little cabinets.  She had just put out a few and had more in the back.  Wow, they may have been a close out item donated by a larger retail store!  For a moment my heart skipped a beat and I almost said yes.  But, as I wasn't sure exactly where I was going to use them...picking up any more would have been greedy!  Happily I paid my money and wove my way out of the store. (Of course I am STILL questioning the wisdom of leaving cabinets behind!)

So, my "quick run through the thrift shop" led to my biggest thrifting score to date.  Fifty-six dollars worth of treasures (that I KNOW sold for at least double that amount retail!) for a mere $28 dollars.  While the cubbies aren't perfect, they are incredibly heavy and beautifully made...and the imperfections are nothing that a little soap and water and permanent black marker won't fix.  And my scale, well it is just perfect the way it is.  Heavy, well crafted, accurate and shiny, shiny, SHINY, lol.  Of course, I have to cut the tag off....but then again maybe I will leave it on for a while as a reminder of my greatest score yet!

And, talking about GREAT....some exciting news is soon to be shared!  Stay tuned....

Thursday, June 20, 2013


This is the first batch of completed blocks for my guest room quilt.  Amazingly, I have already worked my way through all but one charm pack of Calico Candies and I still have a LONG way to go!  Thank goodness I bought a couple of yards of fabric and fat quarters that are in the same colors and hopefully will "go" with this line.  

I know I could add sashings to stretch things out a bit...but I have done sashings in quite a few quilts and I would really prefer the "running together" look.  I'm trying to pick up on the lattice frame of the picture that already hangs in the quest room.  If I can't make enough blocks that really look "good" together, I may just have to reconsider sashing.  I have a sheet that almost matches the blue and white pattern in the border, or a set of yellow sheets, or I could use a light gray fabric as we will be eventually recarpeting the room in gray.  I guess I won't know until I start cutting the yardage and interspersing the resulting blocks on the wall with the Calico Candies. 

Today I also had a "Duh" moment...  I'll blame it on the medications, lol.  The bed we moved into the guest room was J's old platform bed.  The queen size works well in the room and eventually (once we clean out all of the crap) we will move it to the other wall instead of where it sits now, shoved into the corner seen above (Nope, no picture, I live in denial).  It is a black frame that matched his former furniture.  Well I HATE the modern black in the cottage-y guest room.  I was considering painting the platform...but knew it was a job that was way more than I can handle.  Then today I spotted a bed online that looks as if it was a platform bed...with a dust ruffle between the platform and the mattress (no box spring with a  platform bed) covering the platform.  Well, DUH....  I'm half tempted to do the V8 head smack!  A quick, easy and fairly inexpensive remedy and I never thought of it....  What can I say, it's the medications.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Oh, and just for the record, I HATE my design wall.  It seemed like such a GREAT idea when I read about it online...a flannel curtain hung in front of the closet...there when I need it and pushed to the side when I don't.  However, the natural pleating of the material makes it difficult to get blocks to stick....especially when I have the ceiling fan going!  And, No, I have no intention of EVER giving up my ceiling fan.  Remember my age?? flashes are the devil!  Some day I WILL have a bigger sewing room with a solid design wall.  Some day...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A FINISH (no matter how small) IS STILL A FINISH...


Remember these hexie flowers I hand stitched during an unusually "steady hand" day?  Last night was steady also, so I decided to take advantage of my good luck and try to finish my pincushion as quickly as possible.

It is all finished and I just LOVE how it turned out!  I have decided to use the blue side for now (it matches my walls), but I can easily flip it over to the yellow side whenever the mood strikes, lol. 

When I had finished the pincushion I began sewing together some more hexies.  I have an idea floating around in my head to make something that will solve a minor sewing annoyance of mine...but I am unsure at this point if it will turn out exactly as planned.  If my prototype works I will post pics and maybe even a tutorial.  My first!

After only sewing together two and a half hexies the tremor started and I was forced to put away my project.  DARN!

Good thing I got that much done last night, as my tremor is absolutely HORRENDOUS today.  I had a hard time even cutting up fruit for my lunch!  

Speaking of lunch, I am trying to incorporate more summer fruits, veggies and fiber into my diet.  I SERIOUSLY need to lose weight.  My medication has caused a 15 pound weight gain in the last month and I need to do everything I can to combat that side effect!  So lunch today was low fat vanilla yogurt, fresh peaches, and a handful of popcorn to add a bit of fiber to the meal.  Did you know that Herr's Original Popcorn allows 3 whole cups as a single serving?  Definitely enough to fill my belly!  I topped it all with a huge glass of ice water.  I need to go back to my 8 to 10 LARGE glasses per day. 

Over the past few days I have finished sewing up all of the quilt blocks that I had prepped.  

Hopefully tomorrow I can begin to square them up and begin pinning them onto my design wall.  Until I see the "X's" I've completed on the wall I won't be able to tell if I even need to create more blocks, and additionally what colors or designs I need.  I have plenty more charm squares and even some fat quarters and yardage that matches the fabrics I have used so I am good to go whenever I am up to continuing work on my quilt.  

Right now I am exhausted and plan to head to bed for a nap.  There's always tomorrow.....

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Monday, June 17, 2013


It has been a GREAT weekend here at the cottage!

Heart Tree In The Water Can Stock Image

On Saturday my Dear Hubby and I celebrated our 28th anniversary.  Dear Hubby took me out to a rather expensive restaurant to celebrate.  While the food was MAGNIFICENT, I doubt we will ever eat there again.  I can't justify spending that much money on food!  However, sitting and talking over a glass of wine/beer in the low key, unrushed atmosphere was wonderful!  The incredible food was served with perfect timing, by perfect waiters and waitresses...not so quickly as to feel like a "fast food joint", but not too slow either.  We both left the restaurant appropriately STUFFED! 

Father's Day Stock Photo

Then yesterday we all went to my folks/aunt's house to celebrate Father's Day and our anniversary.  The gang was all there, including J and his Dear Girlfriend, K.  With their crazy work schedules we very rarely get to see them and the rest of us are missing them terribly! Spending several hours with the two of them was the best anniversary present we could get!  J has also given us an IOU for a day spent at our house completing some household chores that Dear Hubby and I just can't manage alone.  Another great gift...and easier on this young couple's pocketbook! 

The weekend held another highlight for me!  Somehow the stars aligned juuuuuuuuust right and my hand tremor calmed down for a few hours...long enough for me to do a bit of EPP!!!!  Of course, it wasn't long before the shaking returned and I was forced to stop sewing...but being able to hold a needle in my hand without a nearby box of band-aids is a rather uncommon occurrence.  Since I have quite a few hexies ready to be sewn together at any time, I took full advantage!

I still have a bit of sewing to do on the yellow flower and then these will be sewn together to make a pincushion for my travel sewing case.  I think I am also going to make a small thread catcher to keep things neat when sewing somewhere other than at home.

This morning dawned bright and sunny and I am loving every minute of it!  Now I'm really wishing that Dear Hubby had power washed the front porch and furniture as I would love to sit out there today and do a bit of crocheting or reading.  But the porch is still full of cobwebs and even with a ladder I could never reach the cushions.  They are stored in J's old hockey equipment bag (aired out WELL first...sheesh what a STENCH!) way up on top of the garage shelving, near the ceiling.  I have a few quick phone calls to make and then the rest of the day will be played out in bits and pieces.

Off to check my emails...the first of my daily tiny elephant bites!  

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Today has been a GREAT day.  Exactly 28 years ago today my Dear Hubby and I became man and wife.  I can't believe it has been so long!  I love him more now than the day we married.  He is warm, sweet, supporting and my best friend.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!



Friday, June 14, 2013


Today it is time to review my past week and see how I am doing from a "frugal" standpoint.  Ready?  Let's go!

This past week I have learned how to make smoothies at home instead of paying the ridiculously high prices at outside establishments.  The pack-rat in me had saved a Dunkin' Donuts cup and straw from a previous iced coffee.  I didn't know what I was going to use it for, but it is a nice, heavy cup and I wasn't about to throw it away.  I had already designated a previous DD cup to the cup holder in my Highlander...a perfect place to stash trash until I get back home to throw it out properly!  So this cup languished on my counter until I could come up with a use.  And I did!  It is the perfect size for a home made smoothie.  At the beginning of the week I had purchased bananas, strawberries, blueberries and vanilla yogurt.  These ingredients do make some WONDERFUL smoothies!  Plus homemade is MUCH cheaper than purchased already made!

This week I also learned a new sewing technique.  My Dear Aunt had asked me to hem a pair of brand new pants for her.  They are a stretch denim material, and absolutely ADORABLE...and get this...she found them on sale for $8.  Eight Dollars!!!  Now THAT is frugal, lol.  I remembered having seen on Pinterest a post about hemming jeans and leaving the original bottom edge.  Since I wanted the pants to look just like new I figured it was as good a time as any to learn this technique.  Let me tell is easy peasy and comes out looking like a factory product.  This technique is going to save me TONS of money in the future as I am SHORT and very rarely can find my size in a "short" version.  "Average" lengths galore, but rarely "Short".  I seriously doubt I will EVER take a pair of pants to the tailor's again!  Learning a new skill is ALWAYS frugal!

 I have "cried Uncle" with the slippers I was making for Dear Hubby.  They are just NOT coming out right and, having lost the directions, trying to recreate the first one was causing me more aggravation than they are worth.  So I did the only sane thing....I unraveled them and put the yarn back into my closeet.  One stressor gone, lol. 

Above is my "mending" pile.  It also contained a pair of expensive Under Armour (I think that was the brand) gloves belonging to my son.  He bought them for the times in work when he is working in the freezer.  One of the fingers came unstitched and was letting in the cold.  In years past he would have just chucked them and bought another pair, but he is really and completely embracing frugality these days and gave them to his mom to fix instead!  Hooray!  My boy has certainly learned.  

The red and white Christmas theme fabric you see is a gift bag that I made two Christmases ago.  I made quite a few of them, so I have been able to avoid purchasing paper wrapping for two years now!  However, the cording I used to tie the bag shut has begun to ravel.  I will use my seam ripper to take off the raveled cording and add a new one.  

The brown material is an old shirt that is a bit worn.  I have already removed all of the buttons and added them to my button jar.  I will cut the material in 6.5" square, do a zig-zag overlock around the edges and add them to my hankie box.  

The purple and peach fabrics are two old t-shirts that will be cut down to make "tarn".  I may cut the remaining portions down to use as either hankies or napkins.  

The photo above isn't so much of a "frugal" activity as it was an "ah-ha" moment.  It is often difficult for me to stand and iron my fabric blocks.  Today I realized (yes, it took me long enough) that I can SIT and iron my quilt blocks.  Duh....  I'll blame the lack of insight on my medication induced fog, lol.  

In addition to the above, I have done all of my "usual" frugal activities:

I have used my phone as an alarm clock.  I charge my phone daily, but make sure to unplug it as soon as it beeps that it is fully charged.  

I have taken quick showers using free shampoo, free shower gel and a handmade washcloth.  I have brushed my teeth with a free toothbrush and free toothpaste.  

I have done all laundry in cold water with 1/2 the usual detergent.  I have worn my clothing more than once if I am going to be staying in the house.  I have worn my Crocs to save wear and tear on my good shoes.  

I have only run my dishwasher once every other day.  

I have acquired as many freebies as possible.  This week my freebies included two packages of cookies and four candy bars from a coworker of my husband.  He was out of the country and brought these back as souveniers for everyone.  I have sent for as many freebies online as I can.  Not all of the offers arrive, but what does arrive is a savings for me!  I have entered LOTS of online contests on the blogs I follow.  Hopefully I will win some lovely fabrics or sewing notions! 

I have used gift cards earned by doing surveys, reading emails and making purchases to order more fabric and sewing supplies. 

As you know, I move between many different hobbies throughout and day and week, depending on my physical status and which is the easiest for me to accomplish at that moment.  I have set up several totes complete with everything I need to work on a particular craft.  In the past I may have shown you some of these totes.  If not, here they are:

This is my "small crochet project" bag.  It was free from my Dear Aunt.  She received it from a makeup company as a promotion and had no use for it.  It currently houses my partially completed striped crocheted handbag.  

This matching zippered pouch (also free) holds all of my regular crochet hooks, stitch markers, scissors, ruler, pins and stitch counter.

I also have a turquoise duffel bag (sorry no picture) that holds my partially completed crocheted guest room blanket and the skeins of yarn I am using to make it.  It was a freebie from Office Depot.

My handmade stitchery bag, needle keep and pin cushion have been joined by an embroidery hoop, foldable scissors and a handmade scissor fob in the hopes that SOMEDAY I may once again be able to do embroidery by hand.  If I am ever so lucky, all I will have to do is add thread and fabric and I will be able to take my stitching along with me wherever I go.  

Back in the days before my tremor worsened I loved English Paper Piecing hexies.  I purchased this portable sewing box (it even has a shoulder strap) at a garage sale for $3.00.  

The sewing box has plenty of storage space for all of my EPP supplies (should I ever be able to piece by hand again)...

and enough space underneath to hold my cardboard hexies, 2.5" fabric, and even a small notebook to jot down creative ideas as they come to me.  The sewing box can also be used to house my travel quilting supplies if I take a small sewing machine with me on vacation. This box also contains a small olfa cutting board and a small rotary cutter.  I need to find a small ruler to make rotary cutting possible, but I haven't decided what size or shape ruler I want.  I may see if I can find a small square ruler (about 6.5") on Freecycle. 

This small bag holds my Nook and a zippered pouch with my Nook accessories, a small drawstring pouch that can hold my MP3 player and its accessories,  and a slightly larger drawstring pouch that can hold my phone, PDA and camera chargers...and my camera, lol.    

All of these crafting supplies and carriers have been outfitted as frugally as possible.  Now, if Dear Hubby and I are headed out for a longish drive I can quickly grab one of my "go to" bags to take along with me. 

Monday, June 10, 2013



Today I went to use my clip on lamp to provide light while crocheting.  I turned it on and immediately heard popping noises.  I quickly unplugged it and when I touched the lightbulb it broke right off and smoke came out of the socket for quite some time afterward.  I stood there ready to toss the entire light into the sink and douse it with water if I saw flames.  I really, REALLY freak out about fire!  I could have tried another bulb just in case it was something wrong with the bulb and not the lamp...but the bulb was brand new and even if it did work I would never feel safe using the lamp again.  Needless to say, my $8 clip on lamp is now in the trash as is the brand new bulb I had put into it.  Eight bucks, plus, wasted...

"Sigh" and learn...  I doubt I will EVER by another electrical device at the thrift shop...

Sunday, June 9, 2013


I'm starting my Sew Sew Sunday a little in Saturday at 8:45 PM, lol.  I won't be finishing the post today, so by the time it hits my blog....the title will fit!

After our usual Saturday morning "breakfast date", Dear Hubby and I took a quick run by my favorite thrift store.  I am planning a "weekly" browse through the store in search of yarn.  I am trying to match the skeins I have used thus far in my guest room blanket.  Since I am determined to supply ALL of the needed yarn at thrift store prices, I know that an exact match isn't very likely. 

But, I lucked out today and found a skein of yellow that is fairly close (it is brighter in real life...the flash seems to have washed it out) and a purple that is pretty darn close, too (also washed out). 

I feel certain that with the intervening stripes between like colors, the tones will seem an even better match.  This is, after all, a utilitarian blanket to be used for warmth! Yes, I want it to go with the existing room decor and "look pretty", but my taste is running more toward "ecclectic" than "matchy-matchy" these days, anyway.  Lucky for me!

I was also searching for a light for the dark corner of our family room.  We have had our current reclining sofa and loveseat combo for seven years now.  Over this time Dear Hubby, J and I have staked out our favorite spots.  One recliner, the left half of the loveseat when facing it, has been typically neglected.  Last weekend I happened to plop myself down in that recliner because Dear Hubby was sitting in MY favorite spot watching TV (amazing the habits we form, lol).  I placed my ice water and bowl of popcorn on the pull down "bar" unit that stands right next to the loveseat, and began to work on my crocheting. 

My duffel bag full of yarn sat conveniently next to me on the other half of the loveseat.  Eureka!  I discovered that the least used seat in the house was the perfect spot for me to simultaneously watch TV with the hubs and work on my blanket!  Everything just felt "right", like an evening scene from Little House...and I imagine I will have even more of a "warm and fuzzy" feeling come winter when we are once again using the fireplace!  There was only one deterrent to claiming the loveseat as my own...there is absolutely NO light in that corner of the family room! 

So, I started my thrift store treasure hunt in the furnishing department where I found the perfect solution to the darkness...a small silver "clip on" lamp, in perfect condition, with a clip that opened wide enough to fit onto one of the wall unit shelves.  At $8 I considered it a steal!  We stopped at Lowes and picked up a 60 watt bulb and my Dear Hubby clipped the lamp to the shelf and, while I sat with my hands at "crocheting height", adjusted the angle of the light to fall right on my handiwork.  He is SUCH a sweetie! Think I'll keep him for the next 100 years or so! 

I'm getting tired so I am off to hit the hay.....


GOOD MORNING!!!!!!!!!  It is a GORGEOUS sunny day here in southeastern Pennsylvania!  The sun is shining brightly, giving me lots and LOTS of incentive.  I woke up at 7:00, took my meds and then headed into the bathroom with a brand new cleaning chemical in hand.  Our shower doors are the PITS.  I absolutely HATE them, but we don't have the money to redo the bathroom yet, and I don't want to replace the doors only to have to redo them again in a couple of years when we refurbish the whole bathroom. 

I was listening to Glenn Haege (The Master Handyman) on the radio and someone called to ask what to use on shower doors.  He recommended "The Works". 

Unfortunately it can't be used on tile, but since my big bug-a-boo is the shower doors, I don't mind.  I have NEVER in all of my married life seen such incredible results.  "The Works" does EXACTLY what it says it will do!  When was the last time an advertisement actually came through on its claims? This COULD be a once in the lifetime event!!!!!!  Next weekend I will hopefully find chemicals to tackle the toilet and floor. 

After washing the shower doors I started the laundry and headed into my sewing room to check my emails and do some more crocheting on Dear Hubby's slippers.  To say I am frustrated is an understatement!  I finished one slipper in Myrtle Beach, intending to finish the second one once we got home.  However, I can't find the instructions ANYWHERE!  I am assuming they are lost...along with the receipt from my mom's Mother's Day present, which was purchased while we were on vacation!  I guess my final "walkthrough" of the condo before I went to the desk to check out wasn't as thorough as I thought! 

 I have been attempting to "copy" the increases and decreases I used to get a good fit on the completed slipper.  Considering I have just begun crocheting again after a hiatus of some 25+ years...I'm not GOOD enough to fake it without instructions!  Obviously, my photographic endeavors could use some more work too.  The slippers look like a big, black ugly BLOB.  Wait...they look that way in real life too!  Hopefully you can't see my one thousand mistakes!  Dear Hubby tried them on last night and said the heel on the second slipper was too loose and didn't come up high enough.  I will add another row or two with some decreasing and hope it does the job.  If not, I may just unravel both sippers and search for another pattern!  A simple pair of slippers should NOT cause such consternation!

After I am finished the laundry I will take a quick shower and head to the grocery store.  Yes, you read that right...I'm heading to the grocery store, ALONE!  I am only going for a few absolute necessities, some needed for our dinner tonight.  Dear Hubby and I had intended to do the shopping yesterday (he bends and reaches and loads and unloads), but after a few errands we both hurt too badly to walk the grocery store.  We have been trying to use up what is in the house and have not really grocery shopped in weeks and weeks...over a month or two I am sure.  Now I am COMPLETELY out of the basics... milk, bread, eggs, cheese, margarine, cereal, yogurt, etc.  OUT, as in not even one in the house!  I am planning on hamburgers cooked on my Cuisinart (the BBQ grill has not been put outside yet) for dinner, corn on the cob and potato salad.   Not easy to make the meal without rolls, cheese, margarine or butter for the corn and potato salad!  And the bananas, strawberries and blueberries I picked up at the farmers market yesterday can't be made into smoothies without milk and yogurt!  So shopping today is a necessity.  Dear Hubby is working IN the office I am stuck going alone.  J is working today so maybe he can arrange for a cart boy to help me get the stuff into my car.  Oh to be healthy again!!!!!!!!  By the time I have done the shower doors, 3 loads of laundry and shopped for the essentials I will probably be in too much pain to cook! 

I was really hoping to get more sewing done on my guest room quilt, but sometimes wants have to be superseded by needs.  Maybe later tonight I can make some headway...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013



Ugh.  The past two days have NOT been good from a physical standpoint.  Yesterday the tremor was  so bad I did absolutely nothing the whole day except crochet half a row on my quest room blanket.  Doing that only made the tremor worse, so I gave up and plopped myself down in front of the TV.  I didn't even dare to do dishes as I was sure to drop something and then have a horrible, dangerous (to me) mess to clean up on my kitchen floor!

Today I started out the day NOT shaking, so I decided to try to make a little progress on my guest room quilt. 

I managed to sew together 5 blocks this morning (11 done total) before my tremors got to the point where I really can't continue sewing on the machine...or doing anything for that matter!  I think I will head downstairs to the family room and see if I can find anything worth watching on TV.  Maybe I will be able to do a bit of crocheting on the blanket again.  Maybe.  I really need to get some more audiobooks from the library for days like this where my hands are super problematic!

On a brighter note, yesterday the postman brought me the set of fat quarters I ordered from Angela at Cut To Pieces.  They are just so HAPPY!  Now I need to cut the bottom off of another old t-shirt to use to tie the bundle together and I will put it away in my ESR storage cabinet until I find just the perfect project! On second thought, lol, scissor use right now may not be in my best interest!  Oh well, there is always tomorrow! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

SEW, SEW SUNDAY - June 2, 2013

Good afternoon everyone.  Come on in!

Today's weather is warmish and a bit overcast, as you can see by the lack of sun at the front of the house.  So I have been spending my day indoors, working on bits and pieces of things that need to be accomplished.  I have finished all of the laundry, although I have not folded the clothing yet.  That will be done slowly as the day progresses. 

Yesterday my Dear Hubby took me to Lancaster, PA to visit a few fabric shops.  I found a WONDERFUL shop where I bought four yards of material.  The top two materials (light blue and button material) I hope to use to make myself a sewing kit.  I had made one when I first retired back in 2011 and, while I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, I don't really like the material much and would like to make another one in a material that is more "me", while ironing out a few of the areas that didn't work out quite as planned in my original version.

The bottom two materials I hope to use to make a wallet for holding my gift cards and coupons.  I am currently using a small zippered pouch.  It works well for my gift cards, but coupons are quite frequently bigger than fit nicely into the pouch, meaning I have to leave it unzipped.  Not necessarily the safest idea when I have several high balance gift cards inside.  I can just imagine me dumping the whole contents out at a register while searching for the correct card!

The ties that are holding the fabric for each project separately were made from the bottom hem of an old blue t-shirt I had in my closet.  I pulled a total of three t-shirts to be made into "tarn" (t-shirt yarn).  I have only cut up the blue t-shirt and made it into tarn.  The peach colored t-shirt has had the bottom hem removed in order to tie up some more material.  The purple t-shirt has not been cut into as of yet.  I also have a trunk full of old t-shirts that DS outgrew ages ago.  Hopefully I can find quite a few shirts that I can use.  Isn't that ball of blue tarn adorable?  I can't wait until my batter bowl is filled with different colored balls of tarn, ready to crochet into something cute and useful!

In between tying up material I took several breaks to read my newest Quilt magazine.  Oh there are tons of things I want to make in this issue!  My mom laughs as I keep adding to my "ToDo List", saying I will need to live to be at least 150 years old at this point, lol.  

I do believe I have forgotten to show you my recent purchase.  I desperately needed something to store my magazines in, and something to toss my recycling in until I carry it down to the big bin once a week.  I have been checking in at the thrift store for a few months and couldn't find anything.  On Friday, DH took me to Ross and I found two material baskets, the bigger one I'm using for magazines next to my rocker and the small one I am using to hold cans and bottles next to my desk.  I love the teal and white material and the blue lining. 

Throughout the day I have trimmed and cut a few 5" blocks for my guest room quilt.  I've been having pretty bad tremors for the past few days, so cutting precisely is a bit of a problem.  I have only done a few blocks over the whole weekend. This quilt is taking FOR-EV-ER!

These orange materials are the fabrics I bought while we were on vacation in North Myrtle Beach (in addition to the material I purchased to finish my aunt's apron).  

These blue materials are the fabrics I bought during our November vacation in North Myrtle Beach.  

The pink and gray materials I have had for some time, purchased when I saw a fat quarter bundle on sale.  I can't remember where I found the bottom three prints to use along with the bundle!

The brown set of fat quarters and matching thread were given to me by my Dear Aunt for Christmas.  It is an adorable set from Connecting Threads!

Finally,  a bundle of Bake Sale by Lori Holt.  This is probably the most expensive bundle I have in my possession, but I used the change I had been saving for just this purpose, so I feel absolutely NO guilt, lol.  

I still have a fat quarter bundle on order from Cut To Pieces.  It has shipped as of today, so hopefully I will have it in my hot little hands shortly!  

I decided that since I purchased these fabrics either as a set from a particular line, or as a set of materials I felt went well together, I should store them away from all of the "scrap" materials in my sewing room closet.  Since most of the materials stored there have been acquired through Freecycle, they are not necessarily matched sets and any quilts or sewing made with those fabrics will be of a scrappy nature.  I had the perfect shelf to store all of my bundles in the storage cabinet in my expansion sewing room.   I will continue to keep my "new" material in this cabinet.

Do you separate your "good" material from your "scrap" material?