An Afterthought (Originally published on 10/27/2011)

Yesterday Monday, we played with some of the toys I bought at the PIQF. It even involved some of my stash! I had picked up a marbleizing kit, and a stenciling kit (wish I could remember the vendor). After school got out, we picked up a cheap can of shaving cream, cracked open all the vials and jars and stuff, cut up some cloth from my stash, and went to town!

You put shaving cream into a tray, drip ink onto the shaving cream, swirl it around, then lay your fabric on top. Let it sit for just a few seconds, then peel the fabric off, and squeegee the excess shaving cream/ink off.

Good thing it wasn’t very messy, or I might have regretted the whole forgetting about an apron thing!

You’re supposed to let it dry a bit, then iron to set the ink. But we missed those instructions, and went straight on to the stenciling bit.

The second kit was a stenciling kit, with a multicolor ink pad, and little mini-daubers, and a couple of big daubers, and a couple of stencils. I also got glitter. Whodathunk? I did a dragon, and let her play with the roses and butterflies.

We discovered that wet stencils don’t work well. And that the stenciled design needs to dry before you try to add glitter.

The funny part for me, is that I bought the marbleizing kit, and the stencil kit was an afterthought. But now, having played with them, I think I like the stencil kit more. I can’t see a really good use for the marbleizing. The tray is pretty small, which limits the size of the fabric pieces you can do. Maybe that’s why the dyed and stenciled pieces I see at the vendor booths are small. I might end up getting a larger tray to use, in order to make larger pieces. But truthfully, it was the stencil kit that ended up interesting me the most. I could imagine a lot of things to do with them…even with the few stencils that I picked up. Maybe I’ll have to add stencils to my wish list! lol

Isn’t it interesting, that the after-thought is sometimes what holds your attention the most?

Running On Empty…By Myself (Mostly) (Originally published on 10/24/2011)

It was a long week, last week.

On the 15th, I went to the Pacific International Quilting Festival. That was fun! I loved the quilts, and the vendors were good. I tried to be good, but then I found some yard cuts of some sparkly fabric, and I confess, I succumbed! After that, it was kind of a losing battle! I did manage to stay (just) under my self-imposed spending limit.

On the 16th, we went to a birthday party for one of my daughter’s classmates. I had to drive Phil over to the airport. He had training in San Diego all week for his new job.

On the 17th, I had an appointment at the DMV to get my new driver’s license. I must say that it didn’t take nearly as long as I feared it would be. I was also supposed to get the car registered. However, they required the signature of BOTH owners…and Phil hadn’t signed the paperwork…so I had to make another appointment for the 24th.

On the 18th, I started working on the cake pops for my daughter’s Halloween party.

On the 19th, I started coming down with a cold. So that cut down a lot of things I was going to do for the party.

On the 21st, Phil came back in for the weekend.

On the 22nd, we had the Halloween party! My darling daughter saw an episode of the (new, not nearly as good) Electric Company where the characters go to a party dressed as animals dressed as monsters. So she decided to be a kitty cat dressed as a witch.

On the 23rd, we had tickets to Disney’s Treasure Trove show, to which we had invited one of my daughter’s friends. They both dressed up. You can’t see it in this picture, but she’s holding a baby snail they found outside the restaurant we went to before the show.

Did I mention that we had front row seats?

And of course, a hour after we got home, we had to take Phil back to the airport for the 2nd week of training. So we’re into week two of single parenting…and my cold hasn’t gotten any better yet. I can’t even have a stiff drink to get me through it all!

The Great Pumpkin! (Originally published on 10/16/2011)

This news just in: Life is busy! But you knew that.

We have pumpkins, yes we do!

We have pumpkins, how ’bout you?

I wanted to find a place here that was similar to the South 47 Farm in Woodinville, WA…well, it USED to be the South 47 Farm, now it’s Dr. Maze’s Farm…but anyway. We went every year, and although it wasn’t huge, it was close, and had a little petting zoo, and they hauled the pumpkins in to the field right next to the parking lot, and they had lots of sizes of pumpkins, and a large variety of small decorative pumpkins as well. It was perfect.

I searched online, and found that there were several pumpkin farms in Half Moon Bay. So we loaded up last week and went. While it was nice, I think we’ll try somewhere else next year. The drive was beautiful, but traffic was awful. Some farms were very simple, and some were elaborate, with lots of kid oriented things. Given that our daughter is almost 7, guess what type we ended up at? We ended up at Lemos Farms. It was a very nice place, with petting zoos, a pony ride, a digger, and a food court type place, lots of variety, a train, balloon guys.

Our rule is: You have to be able to pick up the pumpkin you want to buy. You don’t have to carry it far, but you have to be able to get it off the ground by yourself!

We got them home, and the pumpkin gut explosion began!!! Actually, we bought a tool called a Pumpkin Gutter. If you’re into carving pumpkins, I can not recommend it highly enough! What normally took us an hour, and a lot of mess, was accomplished in 10 minutes, with minimal mess! Check it out!

And the final results (it’s a kitty, and a pirate fish…just in case you’re having trouble figuring it out!):

 

In addition, a while back I found a cute project on Pinterst, using milk jugs to make ghost luminaries. So I’ve been saving the jugs up…surprising how much milk we go through for just three of us. Yesterday, we drew faces on them, and strung some white lights into them.

I think we’re about ready for the Halloween party next weekend! Just have to get the house clean, sew a cape, and make cake-pops and treats. Surely I can get that done all by myself in the next 5 days? Gulp!

Just Another Day In My Fabric Addiction (Originally published on 10/7/2011)

I belong to a Meetup Group called South Bay Upcycled Sewing, because this summer I spent time cutting up kids t-shirts to make twirly skirts and girl’s headbands. Recently, the group announced a FabMo Distribution Event, which I had never heard of before. So I worked my way through the links, and discovered that FabMo works with designer showrooms to offer showroom samples to artists and others who could make use of that material, rather than send it to the landfills.

It sounded interesting, and I’m always up for an adventure involving fabric, so I made an appointment, and headed over there yesterday. I managed to find it without too much problem. It was in a small room, smaller than I’d expected, but it had tables along all the walls, and down the middle of the room, with various types of samples piled up neatly. Mostly there were upholstery and decorator fabric type samples – the kind you see in sample books. There were also carpet samples, and some tile samples.

The three prints on the left are cotton. It looks several lengths were laid out, and pattern pieces cut out, with these being the left over pieces between the pattern pieces. These will work great for scrap quilts, or even pieced together to make some twirly skirts!

The purple piece at top is about two yards of stretchy nylon, like you use for swimsuits and leotards. That will make several great twirly skirts! The red in the middle is a velvet, about 3/4 of a yard total. Not sure what that will be for yet. The two pinks (3 yards each) and the grey print (at least 2 yards) are all dressy fabric…I see maybe a couple of blouses, or dresses for my daughter. I also snagged a handful of buttons because they were pretty.

There is no charge, but they do encourage donations. I dropped the $15 I had in my pockets in the jar and walked away a very happy customer! I will most likely be back again!

Some Pretty Pictures (Originally published 10/5/2011)

My daughter’s elementary school had their annual Walk-A-Thon last Saturday, Oct 1. All families were supposed to donate baked goods for the bake sale. Sounds simple right? You could even go buy a carton of cookies from the grocery store and donate that if you wanted. How complicated can it be?

If you know me at all, you already know the answer to that…because I’m CRAZY. Not certifiable, mind you, but, you know. So what did this mean for me? It meant I decided to make cake-pops. And not just one batch, mind you. Oh no! Not me! I never do anything by half measures! I baked up 4 entire cake mixes. Do you know how many cake-pops you can make out of a single cake mix? Neither do I, because that depends on how big you make them, of course! I’ve gotten 50-60 out of a single cake mix. After looking at the four crumbled, frosting-mixed batches ready to form into balls, I decided that I should probably go bigger than normal, just so that I wouldn’t have to make so damned many of them. Think double the size of the ones you can find at StarBucks. With sprinkles of course. In individual treat bags (which they barely fit in). Tied with lengths of the shooting star garland in the school colors.

I ended up with 72 cake-pops to donate. And a dozen to take to a friends Festival of Dolls get-together. And I still have an entire batch sitting in my freezer for another day. I gave up when my hands and arms started screaming at me for being such an idiot!

And of course, I forgot to take pictures. And they were gorgeous! And they were a HUGE hit! Yay!!! I’m hoping to be able to snag a couple of shots from other parents. I’ll post them and link when I can. In the meantime, here’s a pic of some cake-pops I made a while back. Imagine these about 50% bigger. And 72 of them.

But I promised you pictures…plural. And I’m a woman of my word. So here are some lovely pictures of some pettiskirts I made a couple of weeks ago.

I made this one for my niece. I actually went back in after this photo and added a purple ruffle to the under layer as well, so it’s a bit more ruffled than this. Sure hope she likes it! I did this one before I found an on-line store that sells the nylon tricot/chiffon in slit rolls in solids and animal prints. So I totally went nuts at that store. It’s not cheaper than buying the fabric, but it saves TONS of time on cutting out strips.

And when the box arrived, I made this one for my daughter! I tried a different waist band on this one, based on this tutorial, and I have to say, I’m not thrilled with it. My waist band didn’t stay flat and filled like hers did. I may give it another try before I go back to the solid elastic waist band.

Finally, I tried making some Christmas Halloween Crack Candy. I’ll gladly send some to the first person to come up with a good name for this stuff…just not Moose Munch…someone is already using that. I normally make it with almond bark at Christmas, but that’s hard to find at Halloween. So I used more of the candy melts from the cake-pops. I had to thin the candy melts for the cake-pops, and they hardened up beautifully. For some reason, the thinned candy melts didn’t harden well on the Halloween Candy. But it still tastes good! I’m very thankful that I immediately put it all into treat bags, or else it would all be in my stomach right now! I was trying to make it an orange color, but the candy melts simply wouldn’t turn orange! It comes off as sort of pinkish, depending on the light.

So that’s been the crazy at my house for the last couple of weeks. Thanks for asking! 🙂  So how have you been?

Well, It Took Long Enough! (Originally published 9/26/2011)

We’ve only been in this house since the middle of May, and I’ve FINALLY gotten my machine quilting frame up!

See those poles? Therein lies the reason. See, in Seattle, I had a 12′ long room in which to set up the frame. Those poles are 1.25″ electrical conduit poles, which come in 10′ lengths. Pretty handy. But here, it was either put the frame up in the garage, which would rob us of, you know, parking in the garage…and I understand that we’re kind of weird in that we do, actually, park our vehicles in the garage! Or put it up in the 9’x10′ room…and you need about 2′ available at one end in order to do maintenance.

Now, my first choice was to buy a new pole end kit from the frame manufacturer (containing all the bits that get pounded into the ends of the poles so that they’ll fit nicely into the slots), and then buy new poles and have them cut down to size at the store. Then I’d have TWO sets of poles (I know! Luxury!), just in case we eventually found a place with a bigger space, then I’d have the possibility of switching pole lengths if I needed/wanted to.

So I called the manufacturer and ordered a pole end kit…back at the beginning of JULY! And I waited 6 weeks…nothing. Called, and finally found out the kits were on back order, “but they were coming in that week, and should be shipped out by the end of the week!” Two more weeks and I started leaving messages…and suddenly they’re not answering calls, or voicemail, or emails. I’ve been emailing/calling/leaving voicemail for the last two months! I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m sure not getting any answers.

So I finally got fed up enough to go purchase a $30 pipe cutter (half the price of the pole end kit), and we went to work! Each pole had to be cut twice: once near the end, so that the pole end insert could be knocked out, and then once to length. Pole end inserts re-inserted. Last night and today before and after work, I put it back together!

Now to find the stitch regulator and cut the leaders down (or make new ones), and she’ll be ready to go! Good thing, too. I think I counted 8-12 tops that are waiting to be quilted!

Ready Spaghetti! (Originally published 9/23/2011)

I am sitting here, satisfyingly full from a dinner that my darling daughter cooked herself!

I love how proud she looks! She did a great job! She chopped onions and garlic.

She browned the ground beef.

She put the spaghetti in, and stirred it until it was done.

And then, she ate an entire plateful!

We found a kid’s cookbook at the Klutz sale a couple of weeks ago, and she looked through it, and decided that this was a recipe that she wanted to try. So we went through the ingredients, set a date, and off we went!

Now, you’ll grasp the enormity of this when you realize that this child will not eat the spaghetti with meat sauce that *I* make. And the recipe is the same! Only difference is that I cook the spaghetti separate from the sauce!

Ah, the wonders of getting a kid to eat something by having them cook it themselves. 🙂

Hello World!

I’m starting a new blog, that hopefully will be easier to find.

I’ve tried importing the old blog posts, but that’s a bust. I’m sure someone knows how to do it. But I’ve searched, and followed directions till I’m blue in the face, and gotten nowhere. Ain’t technology wonderful? So I’m going with the old “copy/paste”.

See ya later.