Sunday, October 28, 2012

In the doghouse


See these two lovely angels!  They look so innocent now, but two weeks ago....grrrr!
BabyGirl spent the night in the yard with Toby (an outside dog) while my daughter took a trip to Knoxville with some friends.  I opened the door in the morning with their food bowls to two very excited puppies .....jumping up and down like kangaroos and barking their heads off.  They knocked me down ... hard.... into the carrying crate...  which now needs to be replaced.  I felt it, but got up and went about my life, not very happy or comfortable.

After several days and nights of aches and pains, waiting and  thinking it will get better, I finally gave up and went to the doctor.  It turns out I am very lucky!  I am one of about 10% of the population who can fall and end up throwing the pelvic bones in the direction they went (sigh) and I was lucky to not have herniated the disk at L4.  The disk is basically badly bruised, swollen and inflamed and putting pressure on the sciatic nerve... lovely!

So I have been taking it easy, doing necessary chores like cooking and laundry, and sewing in short spurts, but not accomplishing much.  Mostly just taking it easy.  Last night I finally was able to sleep through much of the night, so I'm getting close to back to normal again.  Follow-up appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quilt Cam Time

Whenever Bonnie Hunter is home and has some free time, she goes down to her sewing room in the basement.  She turns on her camera and chats with us, answers questions and encourages us to sew along too.  Sometimes it is spontaneous, other times are planned in advance and announced on her blog.  But always, it is lots of fun... sewing with hundreds of your closest friends all around the world!

I have sat and sewed with her in the past, but today is Saturday and that means a trip to the local Farmers Market to purchase my third bushel of apples this year.  I have to peel, core and slice apples to place in the dehydrator and dry so that I have enough dried apples for fried apple pies to eat throughout the year and for the fair next summer.

So this is where I spent the afternoon... in front of the computer, chatting with Bonnie, green bag full of apples, trash can for peels and cores, tray and slicer and the the dehydrator trays.  As I fill each tray I make a run to the kitchen and add it to the dehydrator.  Quilt Cam time lasted about 3-1/2 hours .... and with Bonnie as a distraction... just long enough to fill the dehydrator with 9 trays of apples.

After 12 +/- hours of drying, I fill quart size ziplock bags with 6 oz of apples...that is enough apples for a batch of 25 fried pies.  So far, 69 pounds of apples giving me 17 bags of dried apples will make approximately 425 fried pies for the fair.

This last bushel of apples I have to process will be for pies for the family this winter.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A new favorite...

I have found a new favorite place to eat.

Niels' Little Restaurant.... featuring German food.

Food like my grandma used to make.

Schnitzel, Spaetzle, Red Cabbage, Streudel...

and then the occasional special

Rueladen, Rhotkohl, Spaetzle

Flank steak stuffed with mustard, onions, bacon and pickle  YUM!  Red cabbage and german noodles and gravy!

Sauerbraten, Rhotkohl, Spaetzle

 Marinated beef and gravy. double YUM!  Add red cabbage and german noodles and the meal is almost complete!   You have to have dessert too!

Streudel with cream

I was halfway done when I remembered to take the picture!  Yummy warm struedel!  This one is cherry, but I have also had peach, mixed berry and apple!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Saturday Morning Adventure

I was up early this morning and off to the Farmers Market to purchase another bushel of apples to dry to make fried pies for next summer's fair.

With my purchase loaded into the van  I headed home, but decided to stop at  couple of yard sales on the way.  I picked up a set of salt and pepper shakers for my daughter and several skeins of yarn to knit a baby blanket.  Then I spied a familiar shaped box over on a table piled with computer and electronic stuff.

It's a Universal Sewing Machine!  Serial No.  S44709.  I'll have to search for the website to check the serial number to find out how old it is and where exactly it was made.   It is very heavy!....not the feather weight that I really want, but a pretty new addition to my collection.    The box it sits in is rotted a bit where the screws  are supposed to go.  Everything seems to turn and move very nicely.  Because the wires were dried and cracked and would have to be replaced, I talked her down to just $30!

I'll have to make a trip up the plateau to Montery and see my favorite Singer repairman to replace the wire.  I might be able to take the box apart and replace the one rotted board (or I'll have my woodworking brother do it for me when I see him at Christmas... wink wink) 

I've got the apples (some of them) sliced and in the dehydrator and now I'm off to dinner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Road Trip

Yesterday I was up at O'dark thirty to meet three of the talented ladies from our local FCE club for a 2-hour ride to join ladies from the Ashland City FCE club for a day of teaching crafts to members and the community. It was a dark and rainy morning but, by the time we were closing in on Nashville, the rain had stopped and the sun was poking through the fading cloud cover.   I missed the turn from 24-155 but luckily Betty spoke up from the back seat in time to for us get off at the next exit.  We got turned around to go back to the missed turn, but poorly marked roads had us missing it again!  The roads have been under construction for some time and although the work is done, I guess they don't have all the signs set yet.  So another turn around and with 4 pairs of eyes watching we found the correct turn-off. We arrived at the church 15 minutes before starting time, grabbed our bags out of the van and each set up at one of the empty tables. Other tables were set  with pumpkins and fall decorations for lunch while the counter was filled with crockpots of chili, soup, cornbread, snacks and desserts.  It looked to be a fun day!

Janice quickly opened her bag and in short order had her embroidery floss and huck-toweling ready to teach Swedish Weaving Bookmarks.

Betty's bag was full of yarns and beads to make snowman and angel Christmas ornaments

 Pat was teaching notepad folders using manilla folders, cardstock and decorations

I set up with my precut kits to teach my mini-purses using sewing machines borrowed from the local FCE.

Tammy and Charity, other ladies from our FCE group taught Christmas ornaments and embroidered pillows. 
The local FCE members taught classes in "painting" with crayons (tape a row a crayons to the top of a canvas then melt them with a heat gun and the melted crayon drips down the canvas for a unique piece of artwork), cement/glass/tile stepping stone, basket weaving and an assortment of halloween and christmas ornaments.  It was a fun-filled, busy day but that meant I didn't remember to take pictures.   Hopefully someone else remembered to take some for the scrapbook.

A quick stop at McDonalds for a drink and some fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies (we timed that stop just right!) and we were on our way home.  Even though we were now aware that the roads were poorly marked, we missed the turn again! and were almost into the city before we noticed. (I gotta stop talking and driving!)   Pat used to live in the area so rather than driving in circles again she found us a local back road and we picked up 40 over near the airport instead.

A short time later Betty speaks up from the back seat...  "You know, we will be driving right past the exit for Joann's.  Do you think we could stop so I can get some yarn?"  With four crafty women in the car... well there was no driving by!  Of course we'll stop!

Yarn was 25% off and Pat was showing us this specialty yarn and telling us how easy it would be to make up some scarves with it... we could even have one done by the time we got home!  So, of course, we all bought several skeins of yarn and a crochet hook and with the sale price and the bonus of extra coupons given us by another customer we all walked out happily to the van.  Doors open, crochet hooks in hand, Pat gave us a quick lesson.  

Sure enough, Betty and Janice each completed a scarf in the back seat by the time we arrived home.   By now it was getting dark and the temperature had dropped so we quickly unloaded into our own cars and headed home... picture taking opportunity forgotten again!

I didn't want to forget the scarf lesson so as soon as I got home and washed up I settled down into my comfy chair and made my own scarf.... actually 2 of them, before going to bed.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Diego

Last week my husband attended an SAE convention in San Diego and my son and I tagged along for a mini vacation. We lined up the suitcases in the living room before loading them into the car for the drive to the airport.  Guess who ended up with the smallest bag!?   How did that happen???!  No wonder I didn't have room for my regular size sewing kit!

Since the hotel we stayed at was convenient to public transportation we opted to ride bus and trolley to our destinations rather then renting a car and driving. We discovered San Diego is very "green".  Their buses run on natural gas and the trolleys are electric.

This is one of the natural gas powered buses.  This one is a double length bus.  That center gray accordion area allows the bus to "bend" in the middle to turn city street corners.  It is strange to be sitting inside and watching the seats in the accordion area turn

Through some hydraulic wizardry these buses also kneel down low to the curb and open up a folding ramp to allow wheel chairs and other handicap equipment to roll on.  They are also equipped with bike racks on the front of the bus for riders who bike to the bus stops.

The electric trolleys were mostly red, but occasionally one like this would roll by.  I think this one was advertising a bar-b-que place.  

We visited Balboa Park where multiple gardens and museums were located. 
The science museum was a big hit with all the "hands on" exhibits.

The tiles in the garden fountains show designs that would make beautiful quilts!

And I enjoyed the sculptured facades on many of the buildings.

 There was a bird rescue group set up with several different birds available for adoption to the right family. This little guy climbed up and helped himself to a free lunch while the girl was talking about the birds.  She was totally clueless, so I asked her what that furry tailed bird was.  She looked puzzled, turned around and said... Oh my!  LOL!

The flowers located in the gardens were awesome.  I especially loved the orchids in the tropical garden area.

We spent one day exploring the San Diego Zoo.   We started with the guided tour bus to see the different areas of this 120 acre zoo and decide where we wanted to spend our time.  We walked through some of the front areas and then took the sky rail to the back to see the polar bears, pandas and African section. 

One of the park guides mentioned that on his first day working at the zoo a complete set of whale bones was found while excavating for a new section of the park.  Several of the plaques near the live animals displayed information about extinct relatives.  The fake bones interested Matthew so the next day we went back to Balboa Park and the Natural History Museum to see and learn more about bones and ancient animals.

Mountain Lion
There were many displays with different sized skulls... and this one showed skulls from different animals with the same parts.

It was a busy, fun filled four days and we are now home and back to work.  Hubby says next year's conference is in Jacksonville, FL.... I hope we can tag along on that trip and do more exploring!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Needle & Thread last update

In response to Bonnie's challenge to spend an hour each day sewing by hand in recognition of National Sewing Month I did pick up needle and thread and completed work on 8 tablerunners, blanket stitching on 4 basket/flower blocks for a wall hanging and the binding on two jelly roll quilts that I had made for upcoming shows. (about 20 hours)

Amelia Jelly Roll by Moda
Twirl Jelly Roll by Moda

I am also working on a quilting project with my son's class.  The students have chosen simple shapes like flowers, butterfly, elephant, dragon and have fused them onto a square.  Then another parent and I are sitting with each individual student to help them blanket stitch down their shape.  (about 9 hours)

The parents and teachers will also be making blocks and when they are all done I am to embroider names on each block and stitch them all together into a quilt to hang in the church I have lot's more planned hours of handstitching for the next several months.  I'll get pictures and post about this later.

I am still working on Bonnie's BowTie challenge from last year... she challenged us to make BowTie blocks as leader enders, but I was heading out of town at the time the challenge started and I decided to sew them by hand instead. To date, I have 81 blocks made and stitched into rows of 9.  I am now working on stitching the rows to complete the first quarter of my quilt.  I have cut and kitted up cheddar and colored fabric to make the next 81 blocks.   I had planned on lots of hand-sewing when I went to San Diego last week with my husband and son... I'll do a separate post on that trip later. I kitted up some of my bowtie parts to take with me, I used 2 small containers due to  limited space in my carry-on suitcase, and unfortunately, the container with the cheddar and the needles remained home... on my dining room table... while the container with my airplane approved scissor, thread and the colored squares came with me. (sigh)  It's difficult to sew bowties without the cheddar background or needles!  I don't know how I managed to separate them and not pack both, but I did. (0 hours)

On the positive side... I did catch up on a lot of reading with my Kindle.... thank you Bonnie for all the book suggestions you post.

In summary, while I didn't sew for an hour each day, I did manage approximately 29 hours of hand sewing during the it averaged out to almost an hour each day.   Even though National Sewing Month is over, I will continue working on my hand-sewing projects and will add a line to my monthly totals posts for hours of hand-sewing to keep you updated on my projects. When the bowtie and class projects are done, I will pull out some of the applique UFOs that have been hanging around for more than a few years and get them done too!