Thursday, December 15, 2011

Look Ma, No Fingers!

Ok, that's probably not a very good title for a post, but I bet it got your attention, didn't it lol?  I find that many times in the winter time, my hands are cold but the rest of me is fine.  I've always thought I should get some fingerless gloves, but never got around to actually doing it.  When I was in Hobby Lobby a month or so ago, I found a free pattern for some really cute crocheted fingerless gloves.  Score!  I've seen patterns before, but they were always knitting patterns.  Since I don't know how to knit, this posed a problem.

I pulled out the pattern last week along with some cool twisted yarn that I had found at the Humane Society thrift store many moons ago.  It looked like it would work perfectly and I was right.  After a test run and making some modifications to the pattern to accommodate the yarn weight, I was on my way and had the first glove done pretty quickly.  The second went even faster since I wasn't trying to modify and adjust as I went along like I was with the first one.  The pattern called for cuffs, but I left those off because I liked them just the way they were without the cuffs.

So here are my new fingerless gloves, which I am actually wearing as I type this.  I have two more colors of the twisted yarn left, so I think I'm going to make a couple more pairs.  As a side note, I found it very difficult to try and take a picture of my hand while holding the camera with the other hand!

And of course the felines are still around and keeping me entertained.  I got a couple of pictures this past week.  After two years of watching the other two go up on the plant shelves, Echo finally figured it out a month or so ago and now it is favorite past time.  So here are the boys up on a perch overseeing us girls down below.  I have vaulted ceilings, so they are about 8 or 9 feet up.

And Sassy looked so cute sleeping on the bed yesterday that I had to take a picture.  The first picture is the first picture I took and the second is after she covered her eyes and begged me to stop taking her picture cause she needed her beauty sleep lol.

Hope everyone is keeping their stress to a minimum as they get ready for Christmas.  I am flying north on Sunday for about ten days.  I am all packed except for toiletries so way ahead of schedule.  Half the stuff packed is either Christmas gifts or extra towels I'm transporting since we are hosting Christmas and are a bit short in that department.  I had a set of brand new ones down here, so it seemed silly to buy more up there if I could just bring these.  Thanks to space saver bags, I was able to fit them in.  I put Scott's quilt in one of the bags too, so that is also in my suitcase, along with my hand mixer, some food items I am taking, a pinking shears, and some large pocket knives that Scott bought at Cabala's while he was here for Thanksgiving.  I would love to see what TSA does with all of that!  I hope they don't mess up my stuff too much.  It is perfectly packed right now so everything fits.

As I was previewing this post, I heard the birds scatter outside and looked out to see this guy on the wall.  Guess he wanted breakfast too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cutting Corners...

No, not as in short cutting.  But rather as adding the final piece to each of the cute little batik string blocks I have been making.  As part of my batik stash, I have stack of 5 inch charm squares that I have purchased over the years.  They aren't die cut so they need to be trimmed in some manner prior to using them.  Which makes them perfect for my project. 

When I got to the final corner pieces for my string blocks, if the corner was too large to use one of my short strings, I found a coordinating charm square and whacked a triangle off the corner.  And soon I had a pile that looked like this:

Shortly thereafter, I had 28 more finished blocks.  Only a bazillion more to go lol.

And a closeup:

Batiks and strings are two of my favorite things, so I am love, love, loving working on these blocks!


Friday, December 9, 2011

New Project!

I have had a bag of bright batik strings saved for quite some time to use to make 5 inch string blocks.  I had fifteen foundations cut and ready to go, so I finally pulled out the strings to get started.  Unfortunately, they had been in the bag so long that they all needed to be pressed before I could even start with the sewing.  Sassy helped with the pressing lol.

Finally the sewing commenced and it didn't take long before I had fifteen cute little blocks pieced and trimmed.

And below are the trimmings from those blocks.  Which I didn't save for pet bed stuffing, or for any other reason.  Go me!  I didn't even pull out the "big" pieces that would have been perfect for crumb blocks lol.  Maybe I have finally been reformed from trying to use every little piece and can now throw away trimmings like these with no guilt.  I'm thinking the prospect of moving in less than six months is probably helping in that regard lol.

After making these blocks, I decided that a  bed sized quilt made with these little blocks would look fabulous, so now I only need about 273 more blocks by my calculations lol.  I've cut more foundations and strings, all from my batik stash, so I'm ready to go as soon as I can get back to my sewing machine.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Scott's Quilt is Done!

Scott's quilt is done and awaiting only the label, so well ahead of schedule for Christmas.  My quilter did a great job with the quilting and I am thrilled with how it turned out.

Before our weather suddenly turned cold, we had a few days that were in the high 70's/low 80's.  The felines spent some time at the open front door enjoying that weather.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Good Mail Day!

Last week when I noticed that Connecting Threads had put their Essentials thread sets on sale for 40% off, I ordered two of the neutral sets, as well as the black/gray set.  While I was shopping, I also found a book that looked fabulous based on the preview pictures and the price was right at less than $13.  All that put me 5 cents shy of $50 for free shipping.  Yes, 5 CENTS.  So I ordered a half yard of a batik as I've heard great things about Connecting Threads fabrics, but had never tried them. 

Today my box arrived.  The threads are wonderful, the batik fabric is awesome, and the book is even better than expected.  A few weeks back I also bought Carrie Nelson's second Schnibbles book when I was placing an order off of Amazon so I threw that into the picture too.  Oh, and my issue of the latest American Patchwork and Quilting finally arrived today.  I was getting antsy after seeing it on several other blogs.  It is a good issue, but I only found a couple of quilts that I'd like to make.  I did enjoy reading the contribution by Thelma of Cupcakes 'n Daisies blog fame and her quilt is amazing!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Engagement!

Yes, it's true.  Scott (previously known as "S" lol) came down to spend Thanksgiving with me and he proposed on Thanksgiving Day.  It was perfect and of course I said yes.  I spent enough years in a wrong relationship to know when I am in the right one.  He was here through Monday and it was just the greatest Thanksgiving weekend I've ever had.  We had to tell the kids over the phone and they are thrilled, as are our families who thought we should have never broken up in the first place lol. 

We are planning a June 2012 wedding in Sedona when he and the kids come down to help me move back to ND.  It sounds like all of our immediate family will also be coming down to attend, so that will be nice.  Small and intimate is what we are going for.

Here is a picture of us at Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo on Thanksgiving night.