Monday, September 25, 2017

Warm and Wooly

Guess where I was this weekend?

The Mister and I and the doggies hit the road for some fall fun early Saturday morning even though there was no fall to be seen. It was 88 and muggy which is not what you want for a day in a field.

That's the Shenandoah River right there. We made lots of stops along the way because doggies gotta go when doggies gotta go.

 The Mister dropped me off at the entrance to the fest and then took the doggies to the park across the street to walk on the trails while I shopped.

 I got to look at a lot of this.

 And a lot of that.

This really is my favorite fest for shopping. No big crowds just lots and lots of great stuff to choose from. Everyone is so nice.

I peeked at a few but was not tempted to bring home a fleece. It was too hot for any serious wooly business.

The few sheep there looked pretty miserable. It wasn't too bad in the shade but that sun was brutal.

All the booths were decked out for fall in spite of the lack thereof. I usually have to wear a sweater and socks to this fest. Not this year.

I wore shorts and flip flops and I think I got a sunburn.

I bought stuff. Not much but what I did get is nice. Very nice. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about it.

AND a big thanks to everyone who responded to the fall giveaway! I'll be mailing the packages off in between bathroom remodeling so I'll do the best I can to get them out this week. If you haven't gone to Rav to claim a bar-hop to it! There is still plenty to go around.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall Giveaway!!!!!

I might have mentioned that I have a lot of soap to rehome. I do. Come on people. I've got Christmas soap to make. Let's move this stuff.

 Starting at the top, I've got Witches Brew which is a light patchouli scent. The little Pumpkin Spice bar smells like a latte. Honeycrisp is a sweet apple fragrance.

 At the top again, I've got Afternoon Tea which smells like a cuppa Earl Gray. Crisp Apple Wine is a tart apple scent.  Twigs and Berries is a strong combo of musk and fruit.

 Lavender and Vanilla is a rich mixture of two familiar scents. Morning Porridge is a strong honey scent with a sugary citrus twist. Aloe and Cactus Water has barely any scent but it is a rich and creamy bar and one of my prettiest.

 Fire Tree is a lovely blend of lemongrass and sandalwood-very exotic. Redwood and Saffron is a bold combo of earthiness and sweet jasmine. Farmhouse Cider is very lightly scented with a some barely there cinnamon and nutmeg.

Fairy Garden is not bright and sparkly like you might expect. It is mysterious and a bit woodsy-not too flowery or sweet. Everyone who sees this one loves it. If I run out, I promise I will make a winter fairy version for the next giveaway. Everyone who wants a fairy will get one sooner or later.

 Coming along for the ride is also a glycerin bar in the new Goat's Milk and Honey fragrance in an oatmeal base that is crammed with lots of other good things like aloe, hemp, coconut milk along with shea, cocoa and mango butters. I went crazy with this batch.

I've put one Goat's Milk and Honey foot fizzy tab and one mini lotion bar in a cute little box as a treat for your feet.

I'm addicted to these things. It's night time ritual. They are also very delicate. They are in a self sealed package so even if they are just fizzy crumbs when they arrive they will still do their job.

You know the drill. Go to Ravelry. Send me your three soap choices and I'll see you get one of them. Don't forget your mailing info and check your messages often in case I need to get in touch with you. I know so many of you like to send me something in return but in this time of great need and suffering worldwide, a small donation to the charity of your choice would more than suffice-soap to the rescue. We can save the world!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cornerstones and Lattices

 You know what's keeping me up at night?

 Cornerstones and Lattices.

I said I wasn't going to break into the new box of Dear Jane material until I had everything else off the table but.....

 Before too much time gets away I needed to see if I actually had what I needed.

 If I wanted to match fabric I needed to do it before the collection sold out. It looks like I have more than enough-and then some.

 As for those cornerstones and lattices, it seems that I planned on making them all with this solid taupe. They happen to be all the pieces that join all the blocks together. It looks like I have plenty but now I am second guessing this decision. I like the idea of taupe but I think maybe a small print might work better. Decisions, decisions......

Friday, September 22, 2017

Home Improvement

After spending all that time kitty sitting and doggy sitting at my kid's gorgeous houses I came home very dissatisfied with the state of my living arrangements. My bathroom in particular. See that hole? That is where my medicine cabinet used to be. I came home on Sunday and ripped it off the wall along with everything else I could remove without The Mister's help.

I gutted the place so well that we have no choice but to do some much needed updating. We redid all the bathrooms 25 years ago and The Mister thinks one redo should last a lifetime. Nuh, uh. I did my homework and sent him into Lowe's with a list and my debit card. I waited outside in the shade with the doggies as usual.

 It didn't take long to come home with a truck load. I've got a new tub, toilet and floor and wall tile piled in. I gave myself a $1500 budget and so far, so good. I buy the stuff and The Mister buys all the building supplies and tools. That way we both have fun.

It did take quite an effort to get it all up the stairs and into the house. Tomorrow we hit Ikea for the vanity, mirror and new sink. Woo hoo! I am getting that Ikea bathroom I've always wanted. Now let's talk about that kitchen.......oh, yeah and happy fall. It's hot as hell here so I'm not in the fall mood at the moment but for all of you that are...yay fall!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Small Victory

 See that folder? This morning it was chock full of paperwork that I have been collecting and carefully protecting for years. Years. It's all gone now. It's in the hands of the state of Maryland in hopes that Medicaid will pick up the bill for Daddio since he is broke. B.R.O.K.E. $10,000 a month for three years cleaned out his assets mighty quick.

I had nightmares last night about today's meeting. I live in horror he will be turned down and his care will once again fall to me. I wish I could show you his face in this photo. It's gruesome. He took a nasty tumble and now he looks like a prize fighter with two black eyes and a huge gash across his nose. When he was in my care this type of accident happened almost daily. I was on a first name basis with the local fire department. He doesn't have the instincts to put his hands out to protect himself anymore so all falls are catastrophic. Having access to immediate medical care in the nursing home is such a blessing-not to mention the big strong hands that hoist him up. I always had to wait for that ambulance crew since I can't lift 180 pounds of dead weight.

 While he was "reading" a catalogue I brought him I knit with a huge sense of relief. Although the financial paperwork still has to be approved, the worst part, the medical documentation is complete. The doctor's recommended strongly he stay in long term care because of the level of dementia he is now suffering-and I mean suffering. I know he's in there but he can't get out. I see it in his eyes sometimes and it breaks my heart.

 Shame on me. I celebrated my first and hopefully not my last victory lap with a rare dinner of junk food. I've never been the type to eat my stress away but I know I have gained 20 pounds from mindless eating in the past year as I worry my way through this incredibly difficult application process. Being at the mercy of strangers and asking for handouts is not my style. The toll that it has taken has been profound.

Usually I come home from my weekly visit, fix a drink and climb into bed with a migraine but this week, buoyed by some positive vibes (or the caffeine from the Coke) I worked on soapy things for the upcoming giveaway. One huge weight over. One to go. I just hope on the other side of this Medicaid still exists. It's something you don't think you need until you do and then you really do. Protecting our vulnerable elderly should be a priority. That circle of life catches up to us all in the end.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Deep Pockets

 Right before I went doggy sitting I spent a happy Saturday at the sewing machine. I have no idea how those stars aligned but they did and I have something to show for it.

 Ta newest apron. It's a new pattern I downloaded from Connecting Threads. It was a brilliantly simple pattern that lines itself and then folds up to give you giant pockets. I am all about the pockets. By the end of the day they are full of junk. I can't be without my aprons.

I also cut up and sashed one of the panels I bought for practice with the leftover apron material in high hopes of doing some free motion quilting on the new Juki.

 That other big box of sewing things showed up mercifully while The Mister was at the store. I just can't explain getting one more thing.

In my defense, Connecting Threads was having a batting sale and I love this fusible stuff for machine quilting. I bought four crib sized batts because for the rest of my life I am only going to make little ones. I am so over wrestling big heaps of material.

And of course there was material. I found this on clearance and thought it would make a very nice deep pocketed apron for the fall holidays. With this last box I am hoping the poor mail guy will get a break...uh, oh. I just remembered there is more soap stuff on the way. Christmas soap needs to be made the first of October. I also haven't forgotten about the Fall Soap Giveaway. I am wrapping and labeling all week so I can offer it up.....Sunday!!! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Paper Piecing Explained

 Every time I post about my piecing adventures I get lots of questions so when I was ready to add the border I took lots of photos. I was going to post this last week but I forgot to download the photos before I left town.  So here goes...step one is to give all the pieces a good pressing.

 You need to make sure they keep their shape when you pull out the papers. Daddio was a master at this. Me, not so much.

The paper is a stiff cardstock. After pressing, you just wiggle a finger under a seam and give the paper a yank. It comes out very easily.


 It only takes a few minute to yank it all out. I use a gluestick to hold the paper in while I baste them but the glue offers up no resistance whatsoever.

The pieces get another pressing and then you just pin them down and applique or add them to each other to make a quilt entirely of the little buggers. That takes a lot more patience than I have these days.

Having said that I just remembered that I still have this kit waiting in the sewing room along with a giant box of material. Golly. What was I thinking?