Saturday, July 30, 2016

Probably the Last Post for July

Wow, where did the time go.  July is almost over and I still look around and wonder why I'm not getting more done.  Of course if I go through my posts it will show that I am making progress on things but sometimes it just doesn't seem like it.

So I am using my broken sewing machine as an excuse not to work on quilting stuff.  We all know that is ridiculous because I do my applique by hand so what is stopping me doing that?  I don't know.  I am downloading the patterns but that is about as far as I get.  Perhaps it is because I am more into my cross stitch phase right now.  OMG!  You should see some of the patterns that I got for cross stitch!  But that will be future posts.  :)

Ok, where was I.  Oh yes.  I am hoping that by posting about NOT posting, it will plant the idea in my head that I need to get back to some quilting and stop using the sewing machine as an excuse to not work on quilting.  So hopefully you be seeing some applique blocks in the near future.

Oh the cross stitch front, I have started working on the cross stitch kit that Noah, my student helper, gave me for my birthday.  Here is my progress picture of it.

I am pleased with the progress on it but don't like the floss that came with the kit.  Some of the strands break off much faster than when I use my own floss.  But I will get through it and it will look fine.

Since I'm yawning at the computer, I had better get to bed.  Hopefully next week I'll have some new pictures of projects to show you (I bought some new supplies for a new project  this weekend).  In the meantime have some cute pictures to look at.  There is enough negativity in the world so let's concentrate on good things and not bad.  :)

This first picture is two of my new "adult coloring books".  That is to help me keep my sanity in between other craft projects.

This picture is of Indy (Independence) Bromeland.  My nephews new puppy (2 years old) that they rescued from a kill shelter after their dog had passed away.

And this picture is included just because it is just cute and I can relate to wrinkles.  LOL.

Have a great evening/day everybody and stay positive!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cooking on Saturday and birthday presents

Wow, today h as been both lazy and productive.  Too bad that can't be the case all the time.  So before I get too far, let me post some pictures and talk about them.

First up is a picture of my progress on the NOEL.  I decided to start to backstitch the main part of the E before I started to do the filigree part.  Backstitching is sooooo borrrrrrring!  I'll be glad later that it is done.

I also received a crafty birthday present from my student helper Noah.  Thank you Noah.  He must have been paying attention to what I hang up in the office because he got me a small cross stitch kit of pink flowers.  I think it is suppose to finish 5" x 8".

Connie gave me a different type of birthday present.  She gave me a Chillo.  If you don't know what a Chillo is, don't feel bad, I didn't either.  Perhaps the easiest way to describe it would be a chill pad.  Instead of a heating pad, this is a chilling pad.

You fill it with water and then slip it in your pillowcase.  She says it helps her so I will try it.  Perhaps tomorrow since it says to let it sit for 4 hours before using (and after the water has been added).

Then, today, I received a birthday present in the mail.  A jar of APPLE BUTTER!  That's my favorite.  :)  Thank you Kayla!  It arrived from Arkansas in one piece and the seal not popped until I did it.  I had to make sure that it was ok, right?

That wasn't the only home made gift I received.  A co-worker made me some pickled cucumber salad.  Thanks Debbie!  She also gave me the recipe for it which I was happy to get since it is one that you don't have mess with all the canning stuff.  I don't have a big cooker to put the jars in or all the stuff and have never canned before.  This is one where you just put it in the frig after combining things.  I could do that although it was much nicer to get it as a present.  :)

With all of these wonderful gifts of food, it got me thinking on what I might make.  I had run across a couple of recipes so that was the best place to start.  First up was a breakfast casserole which had very few ingredients.  

I cooked it the recommended time but I needed to cook more since  the eggs weren't done yet.  It only took 10 minutes longer and then it was done.  I was surprised that it was a little dense.  I snapped a picture of it as soon as it came out of the pan and, as you can see, it's not runny.  I think that the leftovers will be eaten with something as a sauce.  Not sure what but knowing me probably salsa.

That didn't take long but what I made next did.  I had some dried black beans so I decided to make them also today.  THAT took around 8 hours.  I cooked them in ham broth with some spices, onions and garlic.  I might add some more broth to it next time and perhaps I might add some cayenne pepper to it.

That's it for today.  I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring but I'll post about it when I can.  Until then, everybody enjoy your day/evening.  Perhaps looking at a cool picture will help?  This is a lake in Australia.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Does that make me sound conceited?  Too bad.  LOL.

On July 12, 1956 I came into this world and I have predominantly enjoyed my stay here.  I hope to be here for a long time to come but since nothing is for certain, I thought i should take time out to wish myself a Happy 60th Birthday.

Yep, that's right.  I am 60.  Where did the time go?  I'm not sure.  I was too busy living in it to discover where it all went.   Don't get the impression that it was all sunshine and lollipops.  I've lived through many relatives deaths, many miscarriages and a still birth, and ups and downs in relationships.  Am I sorry?  That's hard to say.  All of those things are part of me and help determine how I see things today.  What do I remember?

My father died when I was still in grade school which makes all memories of him either vague and/or happy.  I never doubted that he loved me and that I loved him although he never was one to overly show emotion.  He left child raising of girls to mom.  Still every Sunday my sister and I could stay up a whole hour later if we were quiet and sat on the couch with him while he watched The Fugitive tv show.  Patti and I didn't really understand it and it was a little scary for me but I could burrow into Dad's side during the super scary parts.  Eventually I started to understand the plot line a bit and would cheer on the good guys and boo the bad guys...after asking Dad to make sure which one was good and bad.

I would also sit on the couch with my oldest brother and dad during football games.  I didn't understand any of it but it made me feel good.  Finally I learned that if I wanted to follow the ball, just wait long enough and then look under the pile of big guys.  Most of the time that was where the football was.  Eventually I learned I could track the football before all those big guys hid it.  Once again I would ask Dad or Tony which side we were cheering.  I didn't want to cheer on the wrong ones you know.

Most of the time it was Mom and I that hung together.  Mom always made time for us.  She worked as a Managing Editor of a small town newspaper which meant she did everything but got to write something called an editorial.  When I was in middle school I finally learned that meant she could tell of people or pick a topic and tell what she didn't like about it.  That was ok until she wrote about the garbage collectors not putting the garbage cans back in the driveway or how they banged up the garbage cans.  Did you know that if they spill garbage out of the cans they aren't "obligated" to pick it up?  I learned that after that editorial.  It took three weeks of the "battle between mom and the garbage trucks" before they stopped "spilling" our garbage and mom stopped "writing" about it.

Mom and I were always close and I will forever have her as my example of what to strive to achieve.  She did such wonderful things.  She survived the depression.  She always had food on our table.  She never made us feel like we were poor although if you count wealth by dollar signs we were.  She would sit up all night with me while I did schoolwork and she would tell me stories about her growing up.

My sister and I were close.  By birth she was my cousin since my mother adopted her.  Long story.  Anyway she was around 3 - 4 years older than I was and considering that my two brothers were 13-17 years older, it was Patti that I usually hung out with.  We lived in the country so we didn't have a lot but I still remember playing in the rain and playing games in the barns.  I also remember chasing Patti around holding a wiggling worm in my hand when she teased me too much.  She HATED worms.  I hated fish so we would go fishing together.  I would put on the worms, she would take the fish off the hook if we caught anything.  That type of cooperation defined our relationship.  If needed we were there for each other but we didn't suffocate each other either.

That was sort of how I grew up with my brothers.  They were out of the house by the time I came along.  The oldest of us, Tony, spoiled me.  I was the youngest so, naturally, I let him.  Mom and I would see Tony every day no matter what shift he might have been working.  There are too many memories of Tony to list them all here but one of the ones I remember was when mom decided to cook him steak at 10:30 at night.  Tony worked on the a mid shift and lived 5 blocks from us.  When he got off work he would always drive by our house to see if we were up.  By this time it was mom and I and we had moved into town after Dad's death.  Mom had a new gas grill and she thought that Tony would like dinner after he got off work.  She had me stand outside our house with an old fashioned lantern which was lit.  I was to swing it back and forth to catch Tony's eye as he drove by.  Tony never turned down a free meal.  So we were eating t-bone steaks freshly cooked on the grill at 10:30 p.m.

My other brother Kerm I don't have as many stories or memories but those that I do have of him are terrific.  Once again I never doubted that he loved me or would do what he could for me.  There are two memories that I have of Kerm.  One was when he had just gotten out of the army and we were all driving up to Wisconsin Dells for a weekend.  Patti and I were young and didn't understand the things like "he's out now".  We just knew that the Army had borrowed him for a bit and now he was back.  Everything was going well until at a rest stop we saw an Army convoy stop.  That wasn't unusual but for some reason THIS time Patti and I thought they were coming to take Kerm away from us again.  Kerm started to walk over to them to say high and I suppose to swap a couple of stories but Patti and I didn't want him to.  We were SURE he was going to get kidnapped by them.  Soooooo, Patti took one leg and I took another and we wrapped our arms around his tall legs and clung on to him telling me not to go.  He just walked over to the guys with us clinging to him and laughed.  The guys promised us that they wouldn't kidnap Kerm and that we could stay there and keep an eye out on him.  We did.  Any little movement of Kerm and we were right there to make sure he was coming back with us.  LOL.

The other story that I remember about Kerm was when Patti and I found him a wife.  Yep...we did it.  Kerm was in Germany and in one of his letters to us, he told us he wanted a girlfriend.  Mom always made us write Kerm to help us with our penmanship so we asked him what he was looking for.  He criteria was (not sure of this order):

1.  Blonde
2.  Tall (at least over 6')
3.  Pretty
4.  Friendly
5.  Would want to write to him.

Mom had taken us shopping with her for the weekly groceries and there she was.  She was the cashier.  When we got up to her, Patti and I were basically jumping up and down in excitement.  Now my mother was raised that you don't make a scene in public and even though we knew we would get in trouble when we got home we HAD to as the cashier certain questions.  What kind of questions do you ask when you are still young?  Easy ones!

1.  Are you blonde?
2.   Are you friendly?
3.  You look tall, how tall are you?
4.  The most important ones - You sound nice, would you like to write our brother?

Mother then had to explain everything but much to our surprise and pleasure, the cashier said if we gave her Kerm's address she would write him.  Next week we handed her his address and the rest, as the saying goes, was history.  Kerm married her after he got out of the service and actually got to meet her and they were married for almost 50 (?) years.

Another family member that I have TONS of fond memories about was Grandma Chamberlain.  She was the best Grandma and could do EVERYTHING.  She made us cookies and we got to go on sleep overs all the time.  She had a magic step on the stairs that went to the bedrooms where every Thanksgiving we put our dolls and Santa would come and pick them up for vacations at the North Pole.  They got to stay there until he dropped off our Christmas presents and then he gave them a ride back to us.  It wasn't until years later that we realized that Grandma's aprons matched the new outfits that our dolls came back with.  When we questioned her she said it was an Agent's fee for helping with the travel arrangements.  We bought it.  We thought my brother Tony was Santa so why couldn't Grandma be his helper?

So I guess I come by the nickname Elfkins honestly.  :)

I have other stories but I won't bore you with them.  Every story is part of the patchwork quilt that is called Bonni's life.  I wouldn't rip out any of the stitches because with such a great foundation, how can I fail?  How could I decide what to give up?  No.  Even though I had hardships, they were balanced by delightful family and friends who got me through.

Thank you to all of my friends and teachers.  Thank you to Mom and Dad who helped create me.  

And now, I shall close this post down memory lane with some things that caught my eye.  :)  Enjoy

Remember to be happy with yourself for you can't make others happy until you are happy.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Christmas in July

I used to feel guilty about doing Christmas themed projects in July.  Not any more.  I figure if the  stores can have Christmas in July sales, I can work on Christmas themed things right?  Especially if one of them is an UFO.  That would be my NOEL project.  I can happily announce that NOEL is half finished.  I would have said it is NO but that didn't work out to well.  :)

I have even backstitched that half so now on to the E!

There is another project that I am working on.  It is called Gnome and Critter Christmas.

I've just started this one so I didn't take a picture yet.  I didn't think showing my 10 stitches would give you a good idea of what it should look like.  :)

Break time is over so I must stop here.  I hope to make more progress on NOEL on Sunday.  It's a gaming week so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.  

I hope this find everybody in good health and that everybody is having a great day!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

It's a quiet day today for me.  Partly because my sewing machine isn't working and partly because it is a holiday.  Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!!

Today I am just going to post these pictures for you to enjoy.  I'll get back to sewing later but I think a nap is called for first.  :)  It's a holiday tradition isn't it?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Moderately Productive

I am on vacation and I shall be productive.  Those were the words I said when I started my vacation.  Then I sat down and talked to myself about how silly that sounded.  What?  Work hard on a vacation?  What kind of a vacation would I have if I tried to be productive throughout the whole time?  Didn't I hear that one should do things in moderation?  Well then I shall be moderately productive.  And that, my readers, is what I have accomplished.

My list of of accomplishments so far has been:

Bought an ice cream maker and tried it out  - yumm (no not the maker, the ice cream sillies)

Finished up two test projects for The Quilt Pattern Magazine - the report will be sent to them in the next day or two

Will finish up putting binding on a co-workers first lap quilt.  I certainly wouldn't have had the ladies in the church group start out with mixed fabric (she has satin, cotton, polyester on front; flannel on back, no batting) and told them to buy the prebought binding.  It's too slippery for her to stitch so I m doing it for her.  It also appears that she didn't tell them to even up the top fabric and the bottom fabric.  BUT it is her first attempt and used material that had been donated (perhaps I should clear out some of my stash and donate) and she has every right to be proud of it.  She incorporated a Chinese Komono from her Grandmother which was nice.

I will start to look through two stacks of t-shirts since I have been asked to make a t-shirt quilt (for $$) and two t-shirt wall hangings (for $$).  I can already see a problem.  The designs on the t-shirts are very large.  They need to be done by November so I have some time to do them.  When the man came to me to ask if I could do it I quoted him my cost and he didn't flinch.  I must quote a higher number next time.  LOL.  Actually it will be higher because I quoted him for a 12" finished block and these designs won't fit in a 12" finished block without cutting off part of it.  I also just noticed that he didn't only include t-shirts.  There are some polo's and dress shirts as well.  Sigh.  I must think on this.

I am deciding if I need to unstitch my 1,000+ cross stitches for The Guardian by Theresa Wentzler and put it on a larger canvas or just adjust when it is done and deal with a small unstitched border.  I think I will only have 1 1/2" of unstitched canvas.  Of course I could just restart the project.

Speaking of cross stitch, I received a new pattern today.  It came from Orenco Originals.

The one that I got was "Holy Grail Detail (left) from Arts and Crafts Artist William Morris.

The finished size is 10" by 14" and designed for 14 count fabric.  When I first opened up the package I gasped.  I was thinking "Oh my!  No way I can do this chart without blowing it up more so than usual."

Then I realized that there were a lot of pages after that front page.  Four more pages where the pattern had been broken down more and enlarged.  Much easier to see and after I blow it up a bit more for these old eyes to see, it shouldn't be bad at all.

What else was in the chart pack?  A thank you card as well as a card that told a little bit about Orenco Originals.  It had on it certain FREE services such as "...would be glad to re-chart any of our designs for different finished measurement).

They also  had a note about how to read their charts.  It was standard cross stitch stuff but it was done on 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper instead of a 2" column along the side.  That was nice.  Another nice surprise was two hard floss cards.  The symbols were already on them, all I had to do was match up the DMC floss numbers by the symbol, punch a hole, and insert the floss.

I liked my packet.  Oh, did I mention that there are only whole stitches?  No messing with little half stitches or quarter stitches.  YAY!  We'll see how it goes.  I might end up ordering more charts from them if I like it.

This isn't getting anything else done so I'd better send this off and get back to work.  I hope you all have a great day and Happy Stitching!