Sunday, December 31, 2006

Starting Fresh in the New Year!

Hmmm so it is that time of year when thoughts turn to making a fresh start for the new year. As we are still dealing with all the left over house crap from 2005 it’s not a complete fresh start, but for some reason I feel ok with that. We have come to terms with the fact that we must get through this & then we can move on. We still are unsure of where exactly “moving on” will take us, but I think that we are both ok with that, which is new for me. I like a bit more direction normally, but as I don’t have much, sorry any control in this situation. I am letting the cards fall where they may.

So I thought that I would actually make a list this year of if not resolutions at least things that I want to accomplish for 2007.

Sewing & Crafting:

~ Do more sewing for $. I already have a couple orders for the Spring shooting season but will work on getting more & finally get some thing in my Etsy shop.

~ Use up as much of my stash as possible & quit being afraid to use it. Come Jan 1 2007 I will not buy any more fabric unless I must have it to finish a project that I already have all the other stuff in the stash to make.(or unless it is for a customer)

~ Make purge the stash of fabric, patterns, magazines, books, papers, stamps, etc sewing & craft supplies.

~ Sew more shooting clothes for John. I have a couple things I have on the mental list already, 2 vests (one cotton & one faux leather), flannel shield shirt, a couple cotton shirts & at least one pair of saddle pants.

~ Sew more shooting clothes for me. On my mental list: embroidered carriage coat, purple & navy 1890’s dress. Olive split skirt outfit, faux leather split skirt outfit, multiple shirts, Mardi Gras inspired Can Can outfit. Finish: navy split skirt, burgundy flannel dress & the shawl I have been crocheting for 1 ½ years.

~ Make all the gifts possible for family & friends birthdays.

~ Keep track of any $ spent on sewing & crafting. I am stealing this from Beki’s list for 2006. I am just curious & it might help keep in me in check.

~ Cut back on swapping. I love it but need to keep it to a manageable level. I would also like to do some personal swap. Fiona & I have talked about it but time got away from us.

~ Make more jewelry & use my kiln for PMC creations.


~Make a menu & stick to it. I hate the grocery store. I want to limit my trips & stop buying all those little impulse items.

~ Throw out less from my fridge. We end up with soooo many fuzzy little UFOs in there.

~ Try one new recipe a week from my collection of cookbooks.

~ Purge the house “stuff”

~ Work harder to keep the kitchen table from being the dumping ground for mail, paperwork, stuff, stuff, stuff…..

~ Try to get my house work done during the week to leave my weekends free for more fun stuff.


~ Keep in touch better with my friends & extended family.

~ Take more walks with Puppy Dog.

~ Eat better.

~ Get less up set by my co-workers & MI family. My MIL is always saying I need a thicker skin. I am going to work on this.

~ Improve my shooting & shoot more.

~Save more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Yahoo! One down!

And about a bazillion more to go on yea old Christmas gifts to make list!

I am, however, really excited about how this turned out. This is a gift for John’s aunt & Godmother, Betty. Possibly the most giving woman I have even met. She is constantly sending us things. But I digress.

I bought this fabric last year with her in mind because it is so her but the perfect pattern/project never came to me. Then in Nov. Indygo Junction came out with their Nouveau Hobo Bag pattern. Perfect I thought, but darn I don’t want to spend the $ on that pattern. After talking with Judi, I was emboldened to draft my own pattern. Thank you Judi! Here is what I can up with…….

I changed a couple things. Like the strap I made my ends rounded instead of pointed. I like the look better. The buttons are purely decorative. I am not sure about on the original.

I added a zipper pocket(not shown)& a patch pocket to the interior.

Also check out my label! Thank to that Artsy Crafty Babe, Beki. I was able to print off my own at home. I am very excited about this. I am not so sure that I am totally thrilled with this design for the label, but the idea is really cool!

Of course you need to have matching accessories for such a fab bag right? Here we have a tissue holder & change purse. Fun stuff!

Now I need to make one for my MIL. I have a really cute patchwork bag planned for my mom & all the other things one my list. Ugh! I will start earlier next year. Yeah I know I say that every year!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Quilts for the Kim’s

I popped on to one of my favorite Blogs this morning, Artsy Crafty Babe & found a post that I felt I must pass on. Beki was passing on information about a quilt that a couple of ladies Patricia & Shanna are putting together for the Kim’s daughters. Check out the Dec 12th post to sign up.

We like the rest of the country prayed that the family would be found alive & safe. Then when Kati & the girls were found, prayed they James would also be found alive even with the odds so against it. I honestly wept when we watched the news report. All I could think was the picture of those sweet little girls that would now have to grow up without their father. It just broke my heart!

Then I read more about the Kim’s on different blog & learned that Kati is a crafty lady too & I believe that she owns a shop. So to me, she could be any one of the crafty ladies that I have met here in Blog land. In fact it could have been completely possible that at some point Kati & I could have been reading the same blogs. It would even be conceivable that we may have “met” one day just the way I have met the other ladies that I now would consider my friends.

So for all those reason I pass along the information about the quilts in the hopes that maybe one of your will want to participate or pass it along to someone else who will. It sounds like the sign up has been slow & I would hate for this idea to hit a wall before it is even able to get going.

Now with any luck I might be able to post the button for the link.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wedding outfit Part 1

Ok I think that I have the wedding outfit kind of worked out! (Thank you LLA, Beki & Stacy).

I am going to make the top first & then see how that looks with some different style of pants & go from there. I actually dug out the fabric that I had in mind last night to see how it would look together. I think that I like it, in theory anyway. You have to kind of use your imagination of the picture of the fabric on the dress form* but you can get the idea. At first I was thinking of the lace on the bottom, but then if I have a black jacket the white on the top will stand out more.

So this morning I was trying to think of what to wear tomorrow for our work Christmas lunch. I remembered that I had made a pair of pants to test the pattern for the wedding outfit from Hell. (I will have to get a picture of it so you can see). I really liked the pants, but never got around to hemming the test pair so that I can actually wear them. I was thinking maybe I could hem them for tomorrow. Then I I had my “Ah HA!” moment! I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I could use that pants pattern for my “new” wedding outfit. I know that I already like the pants, the pattern is already traced & is a good fit! The other cool thing is that I will be able to try the top on with the already made pants first to get a feel for how they will look together! Bonus!

So here are the pants that I am thinking of. They are from the 11/2005 Burda WOF the Marlene Dietrich Trousers. There is even a review of them on Pattern Review!

So now I am thinking that I will need to go with a jacket with a lower front opening to show off the pretty front of the tank. I am sure that I must have something in the pattern stash. If only the sewing came as quick & easy as coming up with what to sew does!

Also ignore the mess, after all it is 1 ½ weeks before Christmas & my sewing area is a hazard area!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What to or not to wear?

Ok so to add to the madness that is our life of late, we got an invitation over the weekend to my boss’s daughters wedding on Feb 17th! I totally did not expect this & of course have nothing to wear. So because I am so easily distracted instead of working on my huge Christmas to do list I spent about a ½ hour contemplating what I might be able to whip up for the event. I am guessing that when the invitation says “Black Tie Optional” that it is going to be fairly fancy, right? I didn’t have a fancy wedding so I am kind of clueless as to what to wear, at least when it comes to the freezing north in Feb! My cousin got married last Feb (not this fancy) I made my outfit & HATED it. The actual outfit did not end up any where near the picture in my mind. I wore it but was not happy with it. John said it looked like those matchy matchy jogging suits that old ladies wear to mall walk. Thanks dear!

Anyhooo I am trying to figure out what I can A) make from the stash or B) only maybe have to purchase fabric for a top of some kind. The reception is being held at the Kalamazoo Art Institute.

So I was thinking oh cool it’s at an arty place so I can go with something a little artsy, a little different? But not this different mind you. A little more elegant a little less fiber.

In my quick search of the available patterns from the stash I found not much.
At first glance these couple caught my eye, but I don’t know……

Than I thought I would check out the pattern sites to see what they have, thinking that maybe I would get inspired.

I found this : Simplicity 4885

I really like the black & white checked skirt suit with the ribbon on the jacket or the same jacket with the satin pants. I, of course do not own this pattern. I do however own the following ones:

Simp 4698 - Jacket

Simp 4273 – Top (I don’t care for the skinny straps on the other one) & the pants if I go with that.

Or maybe a top like this, minus the beads I think, I like the lace but no those skinny straps again.

Simp 4882 or 5914 – Skirts

I was thinking that I could do the pants in a black satin backed crepe, satin side out, that I already have. Then what to do about the jacket & top……
Although that is not very differnt or artsy I guess.

Is black ok to wear to a wedding?

Should I go with something else completely? I don’t know!

I hate weddings in Feb in Michigan! Warmer weather is so much better to dress for as far as weddings go!


Ok I had to add this. I love this outfit! It's from the upcoming Burda WOF Jan '07. I don't think that it is wedding appropriate, but maybe those pants? They are different & with the right fabric might be pretty elegant, but kind of top?

Yes I still sew!

Ok I finally have something sewing related to show. It has been finished for weeks but I have been having home computer problems. Then I had to figure out how to use my work computer to up load the pictures. I got all that worked out now, I think anyway. You know me the big techie I am.

You may remember these fab buttons that my mom & I found when she was up visiting.

I put them to good use on my wearable muslin for my Garbo Cardigan. I didn’t think that the fabric would do well with that large of button holes. So I took a page out of the Oct Burda WOF magazine & used extra large snaps on the inside & the buttons on the outside just for eye candy. I think that the next time make it I will use larger seam allowances because it could be just a tad slimmer on the sides, but for the most part I am pretty happy with it.

So now without further ado my new cardigan!*

* ALso if you look closely you can see the new do, not looking too spiffy as it was raining that day & my collection of Cowboy Snowmen. Yes our Old West obsession knows no bounds.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Nothing says Merry Christmas like…….

13” of snow!

Well yes that would do it too but how about tomorrow is your last day of work 16 days before Christmas! Yeah! No not me but John was told yesterday that they have no more work & that today will be his last day of work. OK. Um could you maybe have said a month ago, Um John you know things are really slow & I don’t have any worked lined up beyond the next three weeks, so maybe you might want to be looking for something else. Oh well such is life in the #1 in the country for unemployment state. Where’s Capello? I believe that only she can fully express my feelings for the state of MI at this moment, as she spent the weekend from hell here earlier this fall. Words cannot fully express my feelings for this Godforsaken state at this time. Nothing good has come from moving here. (Other than meeting you Judi). Seeing as on Dec. 21, 2005 was when all our house problems started, I don’t think that I want to have to spend Christmas 2007 here! That is my goal for 2007 to get the hell out of here! (pssst Gina you are not allowed to go away again, see what happens when you are gone?)

Also to add to our ridiculous situation, we have taken in a stray dog that showed up at our house last weekend. I have nicknamed her Noel & am looking for her owners or a new home. She is incredibly sweet & so good, but now that I am soon to be married to a K-Fed* wanna be I think it best that she go to someone who can properly afford her.

The good thing about John’s recent loss of employment is that all those little jobs around the house can now get done. Well all the ones that done require spending any more mullah that is. So the utility closet should be put back together by the end of the weekend.

So I guess that my dreams of a Christmas iPod are out the window. Oh well I wasn’t meant to be that hip anyway. Ok so now I am on my way over to Capello’s for my daily does of freaky Lego Advent Calendar, then to LLA’s to look at her cute bead tree again, then I think that I will see what pretty things Stacy, Beki, Fiona, Heather & Bekka have been up to. Thank God for the internet & all it's prettiness to distract us!

* by the way when I told John that, I then had to explain who K-Fed was. The joke kind of lost something after that.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You all are the bestest! I got some really great ideas from you all & I think that I have a little bit better plan now.

Here is what I am thinking so far. Let me know what you think. By the way I am completely barrowing/stealing ideas from all over the place. I have tried to give credit where credit was do.

For ladies:
Matching Kitchen Set (apron, mini oven/fingertip mitt set, & kitchen towel), food mix (like cookies in a jar, brownies, etc), bath salt/tea/bomb(from here, here or here), and/or favored coffee mix & chocolate coffee spoons.

For Guys: Grill apron & grill mitt, rub mix, Peach Jalapeno Jam/grilling sauce, grilling/marinade recipes?

For younger kids:
Crayon holder, coloring book, Snowman Soup or maybe Snowman Poop,

For Tweens: ?

Why are tweens so hard?

That's what I have so far. I have other more personal things for my mom, MIL & Aunt in law, but I think that I will get working on getting some of these "set" made up for everyone else.

I just had to point out some of these bath salt/tea/bombs recipes. They sound sooooo wonderful! Makes me wish I had a bath tub, instead of just a shower.

Chocolate Ice Cream Bath Fizzies Recipe
Bath Cookies
Fruity Bath Salts recipe
Healing Lemon & Green Tea Bath
Effervesce Fizzing Bath
Faerie Herbal Bath
Lavender Milk Bath Sachet
Citrus & Herb Bath – minus the fresh orange & maybe add lemon peel in it’s place?
Bath Bombs
Coconut Bath Soak Pouches recipe

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My blank Christmas list

Oh my gosh! I can’t believe that Friday is December 1st already! I am so not ready. I mean I have my house decorated & all, but that is it! I have no idea what to do for gifts this year & no $ to just buy ones with. I had hoped that I would have some moment of clarity & wonderful gift ideas would seep into my brain via osmosis from the net, but no such luck so far. Darn!

I really need to make most of the gifts this year for sake of the budget with most of our funds having gone for “the house problem” this year. Which by the way is not over, we got another nasty gram from the township yesterday. Oh joy!

So I spent my lunch ½ hour searching the net for great little gifties that I can craft up. I must not be looking in the right places because I came up with almost nothing. I did find this that I thought was a rather cute idea & might be able to use.

Mouse Pad Cover

So my super crafty Diva, blogging friends, what fabulous hand crafted gift wisdom can you share with me?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving Thanks.

As we start into the Holiday rush I just wanted to share a little something that John & I have been doing for the last couple years. We both hold those who serve in our military close to our hearts. John served in the Air Force & his dad (WWII) my dad & my step dad (Vietnam) served along with many more uncles cousins & friends. If you agree with the mission or not I urge everyone to remember that it is because of the sacrifices of our brave brothers and sisters throughout the history of our great nation is the reason we are able celebrate Thanksgiving & whatever chosen December Holiday that we observe or for that matter have the opportunity to chose not to celebrate. We must remember that these people that are severing during this holiday season are sons/daughters, husbands/wives, fathers/mothers, & friends of someone and will be away from their families so that we can celebrate with ours.

So a couple years ago I found this organization that found away to give a little something back to our troops for all that they do. Any is a little bit different & that is what drew us to it. I am a hands on kind of Gal & prefer to not just give money. Because the concerns of terrorists you are not permitted to just send a care package addressed to “any soldier” as you could in the past & this box would just have been randomly handed to a service man/woman who might not otherwise receive any mail. As we all love to receive mail (hello Swap Bot? Don’t tell me you don’t like to get mail! Ok not the bill kind, sure.)

What any soldier has done is allow the soldiers to sign up on their site to receive care packages. Usually this person is the unit leader or just a member that has taken notice that other soldiers might not receive any mail or care packages. They sign up & tell a little bit about the unit or themselves. Here is where you can search for a soldier to send to.You can read though the listings & select who you might like to send a care package or write. You send it to the attention of the person that registered & they will share with the unit or maybe distribute to the members that are not receiving anything at all.

We feel that this is a great program & love that we are able to pick who we are sending to. It makes it seem more personal. We haven’t ever heard back from any of the people that we have sent packages to personally but they often post on Any Soldier that they are so grateful for what they have received & for us that is just fine. It just feels good that we are bale to brighten someone’s day that is sacrificing so much just so that we can live our lives.

We are going to pick a couple of soldiers to send to & probably get our packages off this weekend in the hopes of them arriving in time for the holidays. So I wanted to share this with my blogging friends so that maybe in the rush of the season you might find a spare few minutes to send a box or even letters to thank those who won’t be fortunate enough to be with their loved ones this holiday in order for the rest of us to enjoy ours.

Happy Thanksgiving & God Bless!

On the sewing frontier.

My very talented friend Gina, recipient of the brown corduroy purse, just got an article, Dressed to Shoot, published in Shoot! Magazine. It’s all about costuming for Cowboy Action Shooting & it is very good! Congratulations Lady! I am looking forward to many more!

So that got me to thinking that I really dropped the sewing ball this year in regards to costuming. I had some commissioned items & then there has been the whole house thing (that will be going on for a year come Dec. 23rd), so I guess that I have an excuse. I miss it though. So I was looking for some inspiration last week & came across this beauty!

It is from a copy of a French magazine LA MODE ILLUSTREE dated October 3, 1897 that is for sale on Ebay. After some encouragement from Gina on morphing a pattern that I already have I set to work. No I don’t have a finished garment to show you, but I was able to redraft it into what I think will be a very close rendition. We lost power on Sat afternoon for about 4 hours so that gave me time to work on my pattern but no sewing or ironing. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Once I get some other sewing out of the way I plan to work on it. Of course I won’t be wearing it until next spring at the earliest but it was good to get the creative juices flowing & earmark a tiny faction of my 2 tons of fabric for something, anything!

So look for future updates on the Purple & Navy Princess Dress in the coming months.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Meme? Never heard of it but I’ll give it a go…..

I barrowed, ok will maybe stole because she probably won’t want it back once I’m done with it, this from Bekka. I liked reading hers, it’s a bit like therapy & I could use some of that today (yeah I know why is today different from any other day, it just is).

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Ugh I look like I need another 8 hours of sleep!

2. Favorite planet?
Hmmmm, Uranus you know cause it’s the butt of so many jokes…

3. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
You mean peopel get that many phone calls!?

4. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
My phone is so low tech it just rings, but I would so have I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. That is so funny!

5. Do you “label” yourself?
Yes but probably not in a good way. I used to think better of me but then we moved "here" & things have kind of gone to Hell in a hand basket.

6. What does your watch look like?
It’s a Wenger Swiss Army that is in desperate need of a new band.

7. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping, you mean people are wake at that hour? Oh wait that used to be me.

8. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Yeah right, see #4

9. What's a word that you say a lot?
Ass, as in you are an, he is an, they are, smells like, tastes like. I really need to watch my mouth…..

10. Last furry thing you touched?
My co-worker, DQ’s, cat. Yup we have reached new heights of DQ –ness. She has purchased a $500 cat that needs eye drops every 2 hours & therefore must come to the office. Amazing!

11. Favorite age you have been so far?
Can I pick 2? Sure I can it’s my list right? 23, because that was my wild child days & 27 because I married & we had yet to move to well, you know.

12. Your worst enemy?
My overly sensitive feelings. I tend to care why too much what everyone else thinks about me.

13. What is your current desktop picture?

14. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Uhu… yup…. As if I was paying attention to the totally un work related babble.

15. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
Easy, The $, then I can buy a plane & fly any time I want.

16. Do you like someone?
That depends, who are we talking about? Like I tell John, I always love him, but I don’t always like him.

17. The last song you listened to?
A Showman's Life ~ Gary Allan

18. What time of day were you born?
1:40 p.m.

19. What's your favorite number?

20. Where did you live in 1987?
Lake Worth, FL

21. Are you jealous of anyone?
More envious I think, of ladies who are close to their sisters. I always wanted that but I guess it wasn’t in the cards for me.

22. Is anyone jealous of you?
Bawawawawaawa!!!! Yeah right!!! That’s a good one! Unless they are jealous of my “Tom Seleck” looking husband maybe but other than that they are out of their mind.

23. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Working in Boca Raton, FL. Our sister company’s headquarters is in New Jersey & husband is from New Jersey. When we heard a about the first plane we turned on the TV in the conference room in time to see the second plan hit. It was the worst thing have ever witnessed.

24. Do you consider yourself kind?
I try to be & I hope that I am.

25. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
hmmmm some place where it wouldn’t sage or stretch in time……

26. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

27. Would you move for the person you loved?
Absolutely, he did for me.

28. What's your life motto?
Life Motto? What the heck? People have these?

29. What's your favorite town/city?
New Orleans, for the food!

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Last night. I wrote two.

31. Can you change the oil on a car?
I could if I had to.

32. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
If this means like your high school sweet heart first love, um that he got married but his parents didn’t care for her & they always hoped we would get back together. (my mom saw his parents a few months back). Isn’t that nice? Guess he shouldn’t have dumped me Jr. year for that bimbo cheerleader! Tramp! ;)

33. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
On my mom’s dad’s side to the early 1800’s, the Hungarian church lost many of the records before then. On mom’s mom’s side, it was farther back but I lost the web addy of the family tree some distant cousin set up. Bummer.

34. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
My cousins wedding last Feb? I think.

35. Have you been burned by love?
Uh yah! See #32 & I can so top that many times over.

There ya go! 35 thing about me that you probably never wanted to know.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Holy Thanksgiving Batman!

Oh my gosh! Am I the only one that just realized that next week is Thanksgiving???? UGH! I had hoped that we might be going to Louisiana, but it looks that that is not the case. John’s cousins live there & they just got moved into their new house a week before the 1 year anniversary of their old one being totally destroyed by hurricane Katrina. My MIL is going do for 10 days & it would be so great to see them & her, but maybe next year.

I haven’t heard a word from the family here in months (you would think that they might call to see if we were living on the streets because our house was condemned by the corrupt local government but I guess that doesn’t fit into the bubble that they live in). This might be a blessing in disguise to avoid having to eat raw turkey or being roped into having to cook it like last year. The whole “we want to barrow your deep fryer to cook the turkey” translated into you will end up buying the oil & cooking the entire thing yourselves because we don’t understand that gallons, as in 5 or more, of oil means GALLONS & not quarts. Also we will pawn it off on you as soon as you arrive. GREAT! So no great loss there.

So I guess maybe I shuold be thinking of what I am going to cook for Thanksgiving as it looks like we will be on our own. Hmmmm Any suggestions? Maybe we will just have these, my newest guilty pleasure!

On the house front we are not going to be prosecuted or evicted (at least not for the time being). The State told the township basically that they & the previous owners are the ones that screwed up & they can’t see how they are able to hold us responsible for that. Not that we are out of the woods or have received a penny of the money (we are into 5 digit figures now) that we have had to fork over to pay for all of this, but we are now working on that among other things.

Thank you for all the prayer, thoughts & Karma. Even though it's far from over, we can start to see a pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Deer vs. Plastic Jack-o-lantern

Did you see that SW Michigan made the national news? Yup we are the ones with the deer who had its head stuck in the plastic pumpkin bucket.

It even made the Today Show!

It was really funny to see except he wasn’t able to eat or drink with it on there. Good news he was able to break free of his plastic jack-o-lantern just in time for firearms deer season that starts tomorrow morning!

Now you might think it odd that I would be concerned about that deer not being able to eat when John took tomorrow off in the hopes of blasting Bambi, but hey we have to eat too, right? We do eat whatever he shoots too. I haven't bought any beef at the store in almost 2 years. Not bad for a city girl. Maybe I should write a cookbook. "101 ways for a City Girl to Cook Venison" What do you think?

We really are lousy with deer around here we have more car/deer accidents than any other area of the country. This I know for a fact as I used to work for a large national auto insurance company & I can assure you that a good size deer can do so serious damage to a vehicle.

On a completely seperate note, I wanted to point out a blog that I stumbled across recently. Bekka is very entertaining & talented & she is taking part in a post a day for Nov. I think she might have hit a stumbling block last week but I am impressed seeing as I am lucky if I get a post in every 2 weeks! Go Bekka GO!

How not to buy a TV.

Our poor 14 year old TV finally bit the big one. First the color has been getting increasingly darker & redder for the last couple years. Then for the last couple months the picture would flip for the first ½ hour until it warmed up. It has just been getting worse & worse. So as an earlier Christmas gift to each other we went on Sat night to buy a new one. Thus begins the saga of how not to buy a TV……..

First off do not have your husband measure & not check what he is measuring. Because if you think that he is measuring the current TV when in actuality he is measuring the opening in the entertainment center, no good will come of using those measurements.

So we spent over an hour trying to decide which one to get. Seeing as the one that we really really wanted was nearly $4000 we had to a hard time deciding between the realistic ones that they had to offer in our price range. We finally decide & John measures it. 30 ¼” inches across.

John: what did I tell the width was?

Me: 30”, that was the TV, so we have at least 1 ½” room on each side of that.

John: Ok

Get said TV home & into the house (it weighed a ton!). I had convinced him on the drive home that I could have it hooked up in no time & even though it was nearly 9 pm it wouldn’t be that big a deal .

He opens the top of the box & uh ho. Look from TV to entertainment center, Is that going to fit?

Measures the width of the TV 30 ¼”. Measure the width of the entertainment center opening 30” exactly. Well of course it is!!!

So needless to say, we were back at the store the next day, picking a new TV because apparently when it comes to purchasing electronics we ride the short bus. We were able to get the same screen size, but a different brand. Let me just tell you that even this one just fits, but we did measure twice!

So when we go to pay for the new TV we find out that the only one that they have is an open box model. Meaning that someone else returned it (like we did the non fitting one) & we got money off of it! Yippy! The big difference between our open box returned TV & this one, ours never made it our of the box & this one didn’t even have a box! The remote & owners manual were taped to the top of it! They assured us that it was fine & had all the same guarantees that a regular one. Ok fine. Then of course on the drive home pulling away from a stop light the tv fall against the hatch back! Excellent!

We got her home, hooked up & all is well, so far. In fact for us it’s like having that $4000, HDTV, plasma, flat screen TV that we were drooling over compared to what we had! We are in love with our new TV!

Merry Christmas Pumpkin!

In addition to TV shopping we each got a new movie.

John’s pick: The War Wagon (love The Duke)

My pick: Emma

To go with my other Jane Austin Fav, Pride & Prejudice. Which I cannot wait to watch now that we have a TV that has real color.

Then I also picked up Some Kind of Wonderful & Pretty in Pink for John to give me for Christmas(am I the only one who ends up doing this?). I have been looking for these to add to my cheesy movie library.

Am I the only one that just loves those classic chees-a-riffic movies? Like The Breakfast Club(have), The Princess Bride(have), Sixteen Candles(need), A Christmas Story (will be buying as soon as Wally World restocks ‘em), etc…..

Friday, November 03, 2006


“A most beloved” friend (a little P&P quote for ya!) Gina’s birthday was on Friday.

I made her what I think turned out to be a pretty cute little purse & filled with some other goodies too! I hope that it was a good one! I didn't want to post any pictures until I was sure that she got the package I sent, because I was a little late getting it off to her.

But now that she has here they are:

I think that this is my favorite pattern so far from my Japanese craft books.

Close up of the wool felt flower that I made & embroidered with beads.

And just some of the goodies that are in the bag, lavender sachets I made.

Playing catch up.

That is what I feel like I have been doing the last couple weeks. My mom & her husband Jerry were here for nearly 2 weeks (well for 5 days of that they went to Petoskey, MI, but they were with us the rest of the time). Mom & got to spend a couple of days just the two of use but it was too short. We are very close so it has been hard living 1500 mile away from each other these last 3 years.

So what did we do with our time you may ask…. Well we went thrifting, antiquing, sewed & canned. I will start with the antiquing. While the boys when pheasant hunting, we went to Schoolcraft MI. There are probably 6-9 antique shops on main street. There is one that is 2 store fronts wide on the first floor & 3-4 wide on the second floor. We heard that it used to be the old opera house, but I don’t know for sure.

So here is what my wonderful Mom bought me (she says that she hardly ever gets to buy me anything & growing up we hardly ever had extra $ so she is trying to make up for that now, a little).

I got this great Pyrex type bowl in that ever popular pattern.

These fabulous buttons that I am so excited about because they were .25 each instead of the $7.00 each I almost paid for very similar buttons at the Sewing Expo! Now I can make my Garbo Cardigan (along with the other dozen things on my “to do” list).

These three Blue Ridge China saucers. I don’t think that I have anything in these patterns yet & at $1 each how can you pass them up!? Then last but not least my sugar bowl collection grows. I got this mystery sugar bowl minus the lid for $2.50. I would love to find a lid for it, but I don’t know the maker or anything about it. At the moment it is housing my new big buttons & that is fine too. Not a bad haul if I do say so myself. Thanks again Mom!

So now I am off to catch up on my work (eeeeew!) e-mails & blogs.

Office visitors….

We had some excitement at the office this week. No not more fleas (thank goodness). Instead we had discovered that we have a family of wee baby field mice that have apparently been living here for a little while. They are so used to people that they were running around in broad day light & one was so bold as to crawl on my desk with me sitting at it! I went to pick up my coffee cup & almost grabbed the little guys as well! I am not afraid of them by any means as I used to have pet mice growing up, but I also don’t want to get bit by a wild mouse.

Our boss bought traps & we have caught 3 so far. I feel bad because they are sooooo cute but they will get big (we think that they are babies because they are smaller than a ½ dollar!) & they can have 3-9 babies in a litter! They ate all my Ricola cough drops, several heresy kisses & a whole packet of crackers. They dragged all this behind my bookshelf, strong little buggers! I am sad that they must go but if they don't they might stage a rebellion & over throw use juse as Tim Bedore has been predicting, the animals are plotting to do!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Swaps & Contests….

I got my Orange & Purple Coloriffic Swap package & it was another great one! I guess in light of all my other “issues” the swap Gods have taken pity on my & blessed me with fabulous swap partners of late!

All this yummy goodness came from Revital.

She made the earrings, bracelet & the little butterfly buttons! I have really been into purple lately so I have been wearing the bracelet & earrings a lot.

While we are on the swapping subject, I would like to point out that my lovely Aqua & Red Swap partner, Heather, is hosting a swap. Check out her A Little Bit of Everything Swap. I was swearing off Swap Bot swaps for for individual swaps for a while but I had to join this seeing as Heather was hosting it.

I have also entered a contest Stacy’s Stacy Sews Fabric Leftovers Contest. There are some great entries so I would ask you to go check them out. Not that you have to vote for mine, but I won’t be upset if you do. Just vote & show some support for the craftiness out there in blog land.

Speaking of contests, remember that great Peeps Bra from the Sewing Expo a couple posts back, well as it turns out one of my readers (how funny does that sound?) Sarah e-mailed me to ask if I had seen her entry at the Expo, because she hadn’t heard anything from them. Well as it turns out Miz Sarah took first place with her entry “Sports Bra: Supporting a Race for a Cure”. Isn’t that so great! Congrats Sarah!

You can check out the winners here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm here, I'm here!

I am so terribly behind! In my blogging, swapping, laundry*, etc etc! I only have a second before my lunch break is over but I have to share this fantabulous package that I got from Heather for the Aqua & Red Swap.

She was so thoughtful with her choices for my box. She had been reading Sew Little Thyme & picked the best stuff! My mom & I both at in love with the little bowls!** The chocolates were very yummy!

The bracelet is just so pretty! I have worn it like a dozen times already! I was telling Heather that because I make jewelry I hardly ever buy it for myself thinking or I can make myself that. Then of course reality takes hold, the “do to” list calls & I never get to it. So it was so nice to get
Her little tissue & lip gloss holders are just too cute! The little sketch book is going in my purse for when I need to jot done a fabulous idea for a new project. I have actually been looking for one just like it for ever! That little tiny lady bug is the cutest magnet. She also knew about my hair issues & made me that beaded flower hairpin & red stain ribbon headband. Also check out the tiny little Canada pin!
Also she was so cute because she put little tags on everything explaining why she choice it! I love it! I do that too sometimes! Also it was all wrapped in that beautifully yummy brown & Aqua paper! I have kept it too. I am trying to figure out how I might be able to reuse it. It’s just too pretty not to! I am also planning on framing that handmade card that she did such a great job making. It is really pretty & I think that it will make a fabulous addition to my sewing/guest room décor. Let’s see did I miss anything….oh yeah the Mary Kay Satins hands little kit, lip gloss & then these soap leaves (not MK)! I haven’t tried them yet but they smell really good!

I also told her that it came at the perfect time, as we got more “house problem” news that same day. Seems that we have a new deadline of Nov 1 before they will seek to condemn the house. Oh and get this little gem, prosecute us too! Fabulous! We may get to spent Christmas in the big house! 3 hots & a cot! Oh joy!

But seriously our attorney feels that they will have a snowballs chance in He** of actually getting any judge to go along with that but it’s still in the back of our minds. So we keep trusting that there must be a bigger reason for all this & taking comfort in the fact that we have done nothing wrong. We spent the last week & ½ preparing our response to that response from the township that they sent to the state, in response to our complaint. ***

So that is where we are at & why I have been MIA. Thank to all who have sent good thoughts & e-mails. I really appreciate it. It is a comfort to know that that there are still good people out there when you are only dealing with the crawled out from under a rock kind. Thank you, again!

* is anyone ever actually caught up on laundry? Come on really?

** I might have to check mom’s luggage before she leaves to make sure that she doesn’t sneak off with them! And the tissue holder for that matter. I saw her eyeballing that too!

*** Your keeping all this straight right? Because there will be a quiz at the end of the saga. So take notes!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Ok let’s see if I can manage to do this in less than 5000 words. (if you know me you know I can’t tell/type a short story).

I took Friday off from work to attend The American Sewing Expo in Novi. I left my house at 6:30 am to be at my friend Judi’s for shortly after 9 am. We were to the Expo by around 10 am & didn’t leave until 6-ish. It was a full day of shopping, looking, talking & feeling the fabric.

I am really proud of myself that I bought no fabric! The only items I did purchase are this, this, this & a couple of these tubular frames, to make a couple of these* .The Garden Jacket isn't normally my style but they had them in the booth made up in different types of fabrics & it gives it a whole new look. Really pretty nice.

I found some great buttons for my Garbo Jacket but we both agreed that $35.00 was a bit much for 5 buttons. I mean they were neat but not $7.00 each worth of neat. So am keeping my eye out for 4 large (1”-1 ½”) buttons to go with my purple/blue boucle. I will probably end up with mother of pearl or silver ones as I think that it will be hard to find a another set that close in color.

They had some fabulous exhibits at the Expo. One was of bras for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, antique clothing from Jane Austin to Titanic Rose & of this unbelievably realistic looking quits. I can’t remember the name of the exhibit.

One of my favorite bras, "Don't Touch My Peeps":

One of the Civil War Era Dresses:

One of the gorgeous quilts & because I love lillies:

We also got to attend two fashion shows. One was of independent pattern companies the other was all Simplicity patterns. This was extra cool because we got to talk to Debra Kneiling, director of design development. She was so nice & had the most fabulous jacket on! It is actually one of the new Built by Wendy ones but it was made out of a gorgeous brown wool with pink & green dot like designs woven into it. It looked totally different than the one shown on the pattern

I got home Sat am & worked like a mad woman to try & finish my dress for the Cowboy BBQ that night. No such luck. I did get the buttons on John’s vest but I had to wear something else. Oh well. I’ll get it finished sometime this winter.

I spent Sunday cleaning house & putting up Halloween décor. By the way Sunday was our deadline on the “house thing”. We haven’t heard anything yet but we do know that “they” were contacted by the State about the complaint that we filed. So fingers crossed that they are going to lay off of us while they try to figure out how to cover their butts.

Lets see what else…..Oh yes Fiona received her Aqua & Red Swap box from me! Yippy! She says she likes everything so that is fab-u-lous! I am still working at getting my Coloriffic Orange & Purple swap box all together. I have it partially finished. She is hard because she likes natural things, no bright colors, that makes it hard as it is a Orange & Purple swap! But I think I got it figured out. Pictures to come later…….

On the thrifting front I popped into Goodwill last night to see if I might find some thrifted goodies for my Orange & Purple swap. Yes & no. I did find one little thing for her, a little Halloween candle holder for me, a tea bag holder (this may or may not end up as a Christmas gift, but I really like it!), a jacket(will be nice for work) & sweater(has super cute buttons!) for me.

Work is still a zoo. “The Drama Queen” had yet another family emergency today. “The Flea Girl” is still baring her thong & doing her best to infest the office with her fleas. I had another one on my pant leg within 15 minutes of arriving at work on Monday & then TDQ* had one down her shirt when she was driving home that same night. Ah Ha! Now I am not sure a nut job because I keep complaining about them. Her husband told her that if they get fleas in their house he is going to give TFG* the bill to pay.

Other than that our leaves are changing fast. It is raining again & I am searching for new fall recipes. I found one for Courgette and Butternut Squash Pasta. Which in case you did not know a Courgette is a Britich Zucchini. Learn something new evreyday. So if you have any great fall/squash/apple/pumpkin recipes I would love to hear them! I hope to get a chance to try LLA’s “The Best Darn Chewy/Crunchy and Addictive Oatmeal Cookie. Ever”recipe before John eats all my Frosted Flakes. I’ll let you know how they are.

Until then, my fair bloging friends……


* TDQ = The Drama Queen & TFG = The FLea Girl - because they are & this is faster to type.

* Sorry I checked my plink yesterday before posting but they were messed up anyway. They shoudl be correct now. Darn Blogger!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I’m prepared for battle & Aqua & Red Swap.

Ok so I came armed today. I have a new autumn floral arrangement I made last night & into which I slipped several branches of eucalyptus leaves (Google says that it repels the little devils). I also bought some spray that I have sprayed around & under my desk twice so far today. I think it is really for spraying on pets, but it was the only thing I found other than foggers at Wally World for fleas.

So let’s move on from my disgusting flea ridden thong baring co-workers & look at something fun. I mailed off my Aqua & Red Swap package last week. According to the lady at the post office it should be there in 4-7 days but it has a long ways to go so I am leaning toward the 7 day mark.

I am really happy with the way the bag came out. I got the pattern from this Japanese craft book (ISBN: 4391620715). If you haven’t seen this one, check it out. I love it! There are many more crafty little projects that I plan to make from this one.

Here is a before picture of the thrifted scarf that I used for the lining of the bag.

I wish that I could have gotten a better picture of that but they all looked terrible. Maybe when my partner receives it she can get a better picture of the inside.