Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bag It

Today I am linking up for the first time to Cat Patches Bag Lady Linky Party -- I finally bought one of the adorable Chickadee Hollows' Bag Ladies of the Fat Quarters Club!   I am a much slower stitcher than Barb, though, so I will likely be working on and linking the same one every month while she makes the whole dozen of them.   I chose Abigail, partly for her name but mostly for her "quilter and fisher" mission.   Frankly, she looks like she might make some of her own clothes, too, and the ones I've been trying to make are just as wonky.
Speaking of clothes, I made a raglan shirt this week -- I am wearing it today but only because I don't plan to leave the house.   It is too big; sizing is going to be a challenge since I refuse to let anyone help and don't have a dressmaker's dummy; and my neckbands are still awful.   Oh well.
I made a kimono, too, for fun.   It might actually see the light of day, or at least the early light, when I sit with coffee once the weather gets warmer.  I can wear it over my hunter green or navy blue nighties, which I also made.  I do love the kimono fabric, a slinky navy and green, and it was fun to sew.   Both designs are from Patterns For Pirates,  one of the pdf on line stores I frequent.  My nighties were sewn from pdf patterns from Love Notions, another favorite pattern shop.
It is a gray and very gloomy day here.   I have water in the basement.   But the flowers are blooming so it is hard to begrudge the rain.   My kids have the most beautiful plants,

but even I have a few blooms today.    My 3 red tulips are blooming, the same 3 tulips that have been there since I moved in 8 years ago.   Other people's tulips spread; mine have taken a militant stand against procreation.   But the dogwood tree that I tried for 3 years to kill, thinking it was a weed tree, is blooming for the second time.   And my weeping something is in full bloom after a pitiful showing the past couple of years.

And more eggs from my chicken loving friends.
Life is good and I, for one, am trying to see it as sunny side up, and to bloom, or maybe over-bloom, where I'm planted.    Living alone as I do, it's a good thing that I crack myself up.  :)

Friday, April 28, 2017

I Heart Flowers

We have finally had the most beautiful weather, with a smattering of 40-degree chills thrown in to remind us that we are in Mid-Michigan.  My kids have a beautiful perennial garden, and I have enjoyed every bloom!  My brain was hungry for color, I think.  And so, with nothing new to report, I give you . . . flowers.  :)  











Thursday, April 13, 2017

Springing About

It is finally Spring in mid-Michigan, and absolutely beautiful!   A few flowering plants are starting to show themselves, but there's not a lot to show yet, as far as growing and blooming goes, but the sunshine and blue skies make me happy.

I am sewing, not as much as I should, but steadily.  I've made (yet) another tote, some storage bags for my unfinished projects, and mesh beach totes for my Grands that I will use as Easter baskets.   I also made a couple of little surprise bags to send to two bloggy friends, using the pattern of the purse that I use every day -- I realized at the last minute when I was packing them up that I'd put the zippers in backwards, but I decided to call it a design decision and sent them off anyway.   Clearly I am not a perfectionist.  



We've had a couple of searches in my Search and Rescue group, and my grandson had a day t his week, so I've had some time to tromp in the woods.   It restores the soul.

Today I need to truly and finally clean my house, at least to the point that we can eat at the dining room table, which is currently covered with my next dozen sewing projects -- time to get moving.  Wish me luck!  :)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dragging On

I am finally, finally feeling almost healthy again.   Thank goodness!  It's taken several days to shake this pesky virus, and though I'm still feeling a little shaky, I've finally been out of the house a couple of times.  But while I was shut in, refusing visitors and feeling sorry for myself, my fella left a hot apple pie on my front porch to cheer me up.   I carefully cropped my photo-shoot to cover up how much of it I'd already eaten before I thought to take a picture.  It was delicious and made me feel almost instantly better, at least in my lonely, whiney heart.  
Another thing that made me feel better -- shame on me! -- was hearing how much I was missed at last Sunday's Dominoes game -- our young friend took my absence hard, repeating over and over again, in a mournful tone, "Gail is sick.  She is not here," and just sat shaking his head.    We were all happy to learn from this parents that, even though they will be back in town, they are willing for us to extend the season by a week.  The understand how important it is to all of  us, so we will get to play one last time this coming Sunday.  Let the Dominoes Domination Celebration begin -- I can't wait!  

I finished off one last March block for the Solstice Challenge, block #12, 'Jacob's Ladder,'  and the Rainbow Scrap Quilt -- double dipping, as always, by using the Rainbow color of the month, red, to make the Solstice block.  The bright reds are slightly different in person, but I didn't have enough of anything to make the ideal block.   Oh well.  If I run out of projects, maybe I'll try again with better scraps, because I liked the shapes in this block.     And I am working on another tote, but it seems that cutting it out while I was sick was not such a good idea, because it looks like I made a lot of mistakes.

I may have spoken too soon when I guessed that March was going to go out like a lamb -- we woke up today to yet another snow storm and temps in the 30s again.  Pretty, yes.   Tired of it, decidedly.   Whichever way March decides to go out, I am ready to let it go.     Our search and rescue group will be having an outdoor drill on April 1, so I guess I'll know for sure by then what kind of animal it decided to imitate!    Just one more day until April begins, and just the sound of it sounds Spring-like, don't you think?



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Out Like A Lamb?

March is coming to an end.   I don't remember whether it came in like a Lion, but the prediction is that it will be going out like a Lamb.   The weather is mild and damp, the kind of weather that viruses seem to love.

So right on schedule, I've caught the local Crud and have had sniffles, chills and headache for the past few days, but it should be over soon.   I got sick while I was visiting my sister, which was bad for so many reasons.   She has a compromised immune system so I would never purposely take sickness into her house and I was fine when I left home, waking up later that night with headache, chills and the yuckies.  And I don't get down the hundred miles or so to visit her often enough, mostly because she is so darn busy.   So there I was, sick and sleeping through much of the visit.  

On my way home from my sister's, and before I went straight back to bed, we stopped for pedicures, generally a highlight since we can sit and chat, but my technician scraped a hole on my bunion that actually bled, so it was just a disappointing trip all around.  I'm not sure the tech knew what a bunion is because she mumbled that there was something there and she was going to get it off before she went to town with her file.   Ouchy ouch ouch.

Meanwhile, not much here is (ever) new.  Just as well.   I have had enough drama in my life to know that 'nothing new' is a good 'problem' to have.  Especially if I consider that getting sick, and having my foot injured were both new things -- no thank you.   Of course, the chicken soup my son made and brought me when he found out I wasn't feeling well was new, too, and it was delicious.
As usual, I am not sewing much, but I am sewing.  A little less this week since I have not spent much time sitting up.  I discovered that I don't have many red scraps, but I did squeeze out another block -- Block 11, "Quilt Math,"  of the Solstice Challenge (I'm 3 weeks behind at this point),  in the March color of red for the Scrap Happy Rainbow Scrap challenge.  And I made another block of random scraps that were sitting on the table in front of the sewing machine, just because.


I also sewed myself another top.   It is not really good, but it is better than the last one, and I wore it out of the house to go shopping  -- one of my goals for the year!   No one stopped me and asked what the heck I thought I was doing, leaving the house like that, so it was a win.  My slight improvement was enough to convince me to try again, so I'll cut out another top as soon as I feel better.   Then we'll see whether I will continue to do better or have just climbed as high as I can climb.  I need a lot more practice on the necklines, which so far tend to go wonky on me.  And it's a good thing that asymmetrical hems are a thing these days.  But my sister asked whether the top was a LulaRoe, and I was pleased that she believed it to be store-bought.
Today we were supposed to have our final Dominoes Game of the season, the Domination Celebration Awards Edition, but I am not feeling well enough to attend so they will have a Guys Night instead.  You can barely imagine how much I regretted having to miss today since Dominoes is the highlight of my week for these few months, but I just don't feel up to it yet.  Jack says he will reschedule another day for us to get together -- I have all the prizes, after all! -- so I will still have that to look forward to.  By then I should feel well enough to make my legendary Dominoes Cookies.

Meanwhile, for the short bits that I am out of bed, I am messing around on the ukulele, trying to work up the nerve to visit a beginners folk group next month -- with Dominoes season over, I've decided that I will need more silliness in my life, and there isn't much that's sillier than a ukulele.  So far, I am regaling my sad self with 'How Much Is That Doggie In The Window', several verses of it.   I'm not sure it will be safe to let me out of the house.   The doggies will be a'howling!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Be Happy - Today's The Day For It!

Today is the International Day of Happiness -- I hope you are celebrating by being happy!

Of course we've had more snow.   We are starting to feel the promise of Spring and are hopeful that we won't have any more significant snow, but we know here in Michigan that things could still go either way.   Since my last post, of course we had Pie on Pi Day.  And corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day -- passing up the lenten fish that my fella loves so much.  For those who were concerned, our local Archbishop issued a special dispensation that allowed corned beef on a lenten Friday.   We love corned beef so much that we had it again on Dominoes Sunday!

I finished another bag from my fabric stash, and -- to my great amazement -- finally managed to make my first two french knots ever in embroidery.   I have been trying to make a french knot since I was less than 12, so this was an unexpected delight, and perhaps proof that even old dogs CAN learn new tricks!

I am hoping for a few mild days.   It would be good to take a walk in the sunshine.   Now that's a happy thought.  :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mid March

I simply cannot get over how fast time is flying by.  It's nearly the Ides of March already.  It's been chilly and damp here in Mid-Michigan, with a few days thrown in that were too warm for the season.   I am cherishing the last few cold days.   Our local Grand Traverse Pie Company has a great fireplace where we can sit with our pie and coffee, and I confess that I do miss that in the summer, although I keep eating pie despite the lack of fire.  :)
Search and Rescue activities continue, with the usual variety of trainings.   We do outdoor drills and planning exercises, map and compass skills and, a fan favorite, practice a variety of knots.
And of course I sew.   My blocks continue to reveal my tendency to jump ahead and not really read the instructions.
I do better with bags, and even though I have no current use for them, I do enjoy making them.

My 12-year-old grandson created a little logo for me, and I sew a bunny button into each bag along with the tags.   We use the name "Reigning Rabbits" because the kids and I play a game where my screen name is Bunny Queen because of the wild rabbits that nest under my front porch.  When they were little, we told the kids that bunnies lived here because I was their monarch.  And of course we liked the play on words with 'Rain' And 'Reign.'
I am following a "40 Bags in 40 Days" decluttering group on Facebook, and -- although goodness knows I am not actually decluttering with any regularity -- I am finding inspiration in the changes people make once they get motivated.   I did pull out a few 'heirloom' hats that belonged to my grandma and that no one seems to want, and gave them to a woman who collects such things.   I'm also making lists and taking photos of things I want to get rid of that someone else might want.    I'll circulate those photos to family and then to agencies and will hopefully begin to move out some of the bigger items that I no longer use.  Baby steps.  The big things distract me from being able to really dig into the smaller things, so I am hoping that moving them out will provide the burst of motivation that I have lacked so far.
The local birds are starting to return to my yard.   I should put out some seed to help them out while we all wait for green things to start growing.    Much as I enjoy the fireplace and the heated seats in my car, ahhhhhhh, I am ready for Spring.