Sunday, August 9, 2015

What was old is new again :)

One of the benefits of living past middle age, is that all kinds of trendy things will be your second or perhaps even third exposure to the "paradigm", skills, and of course supplies.

Apparently macramé is becoming trendy again, especially catching my magpie eye is the type called micro macramé loved this pattern, and although it has been years since I knotted up plant hangers, bags, and belts ~ a little practice should have me up to speed. An alternate tutorial for a simpler bracelet project is

However, just now, I'm having a reunion with Rughooking. Summer has traditionally been my quilting time. And several projects are cut and ready for when school starts. :) yes, grandmother's look forward to that too. But last weekend, after a 4 day workshop with Diane Stoffel, my Rughooking jets got ready for ignition and lift off.

Ugh, I had hoped to post a pic directly from my iPad, but it will require an app when trying to do that from this end. I'll end for the moment, as I go do a workaround I'm able to do. :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tropical Storm Bill and a great Rainy day sewing project

Did you ever have an idea of something you wanted to make, that didn't turn out quite like you'd hoped, but in trying to figure out something to rescue it you came up with something you like even better? Voila! This block I'm calling 10th Anniversary Basket, and it won't be a quilt, just a mini quilt. I haven't seen it done anywhere else, so think perhaps the idea is my own intellectual property wise.

 Our Daughter and Son~in~Law will celebrate their 10th in almost exactly a month.  So I'm ahead of the game at this point.  I used a left over block from their wedding quilt for the handle, and created the basket, from two parts of receiving blocks. In each arc of the basket sides, I included a small piece of baby clothes. and the fabric which were representative of the two of them. His, although he is not a morning person is the dark green and purple morning glory piece. Hers is a pale periwinkle and most easily spotted on the left side of the basket. Nestled between the two pieces you'll spot a pink, brown, and white striped knit sleeper on the right, and a pale blue portion of his Baptismal coverall on the left. Don't gasp, most of it is going to be securely sewn into a memory quilt, so I cut the tiny piece from the back. I generally make memory quilts from baby and toddler clothes into an actual quilt design. But lately I've seen a newer style, where most of the actual piece of clothing is sewn to a backing. So this is more my own style. It was supposed to be a heart, and does have somewhat that shape, but I like the idea of a basket so much better. 10 years holds lots of memories, and their two kids! :)

Another thing I plan to do is use some of the scraps for a mat for some of their babies pictures. When I finally get something together, will share that too.

The feeder bands are finally starting to bring in heavier rain, so I'm off the computer and back to work at the sewing machine... while we still have electricity. :) I know the picture is terrible,  but I may try to create a pattern for it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Supernatural Update - Hellatous

Hellatous is the time period between the end of the season finale, and the premiere of season ELEVEN! That's right, the series has been reuped, early announcement all the way back to January or so. Pretty cool, not sure how many seasons Bonanza ran, another story about a  dad and in that case his 3 sons, but impressive for a post millennium series. For a quick parody recap of the season(sort of) and definitely the central theme of Dean and the mark of Cain, MOC, enjoy this clip! More below! If you are into behind the scenes info, click the link at the end of the parody for an additional hour or so of content.

DH and I are in negotiations about how much costuming I will be able to talk him into for next year's Con here in Houston, Valentine's Day Weekend, and "our"(my) idea for Photo Op. :) Seriously, how did I ever get so lucky to have him for a spouse?

The very end of the finale showed a release of  The Darkness! I personally hope that they will come up with a musical theme for the words "The Darkness" One of my favorite episodes of Sesame Street had a parody of Indiana Jones called I think "Oklahoma Smith" they were looking for the U(yew) sound or possible the golden triangle. It's been years since Livvie and I watched Sesame Street. But to get back to the point, every.time someone said "Oklahoma Smith" a brief version of the Indiana Jones music played. Totally fun! Now while that might get too campy for the whole season, done right, it could really add to an episode. Variations on that musical theme might be playful, creepy, or even downright scary...  Premiere of Season 11 is scheduled for October 7(Wednesday) 8pm Central, do the math for your timezone. CW is channel 39 for us on Direct TV, but is probably something else for you. Google is a great way to find it in your city!

The tweets about the finale, as always were varied. But if you've never watched Supernatural, this summer would be a good time to give it a try. TNT plays 3 episodes a day M-F, which kind of explains why I could seriously become a fan girl only after retirement. Some of my favorite episodes, which of course, doesn't mean they'll appeal to you are.... Mystery Spot, Changing Channels, Supernatural Christmas, SwanSong, Lazarus Rising, and as my dh would tell you pretty much all of them. He finally sat down and started watching them with me, as he kept asking me, "is this one you haven't seen before? and getting the reply, "No, but it is a really good episode!" Go figure, :)

Fair warning, my tweets @cottoneyedjo are mostly about Supernatural, the natural world, or  political. I'm more independent than Democrat, and really loving Bernie Sanders, this time around. I personally oppose Secession, although I wouldn't personally miss the folks that do support it.  I don't support the new Texas Law that allows open carry of handguns, but hey this sort of thing happens when you live in the Lone Star State. No offense intended to hunters. Come on, SuperNatural is a show about hunters, and I do have an interior warrior princess.

But in the real world, guns are not my thing, and shouldn't be so common place to little one's eyes at CVS, church, wherever folks will be carrying them. You are welcome to disagree with me... I'm proud our grandkids are Native Texans, I'm only and ever will be a first generation, Texan! But growing up in the midwest, my views often vary radically from the frontier ethic that still hangs around. Houston, thank the Lord is a civilized town! But we have lots of crime. My weapon of choice would be the frying pan!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Puzzle Time

One of my happiest memories of childhood was putting together jigsaw puzzles. Don't feel sorry for me, and I won't feel sorry for you if you don't enjoy them. It may be generational, remember we didn't have as many ways to entertain ourselves. Books and Puzzles were fun not chores, and our family generally worked on a 1000 piece puzzle on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. After church on those two days, there was still lots of time to devote to finishing a puzzle.

While my sister was here in February, we put together most of a puzzle(1000 pieces) from a painting by Charles Wysocki. He called it, "Maggie, the mess maker" and the puzzle looks like my sewing room on a good day.
  •  First turn over all pieces
  • find the edges and assemble them
  • sort by colors or items you can see in the puzzle picture
  • fill in the blanks, :)

 We didn't have time to finish the puzzle, but had a great time working on it while she was here. In the hours while she was traveling, the puzzle gave me something to do so I wouldn't worry about her while she was flying home. The last time we were together was at our daughter's wedding. So another 10 year anniversary and a lot of long overdue hugs. We'll hopefully see each other again this fall or next year. I owe her a return visit. Fall seems like a great time for that. We've lived in TX for 30+ years, and fall days here are often not that thrilling, and occur in December. One of the funny things was that I'm wearing the same shirt in 2 pics taken over 10 years apart. I do love that shirt, it has wonderful colors and holographic film dots all over it!

No longer will I have a feline assistant, biting the thread as it rolls off the spool, or pushing pieces of cut fabric at me as I chain piece... KirbyKat truly did that while I was working on the Double Wedding ring quilt I made for our daughter and her husband. That quilt, and they will have their 10th anniversary this summer. :) Buddy another furbaby we have lost to the Rainbow Bridge. Liked to sit and watch and occasionally bat the chain piecing coming out on his side. BobKat is not my kat, his heart belongs to my husband. Plain and simple.

We have two wonderful grandchildren who have slept on and under that quilt. And it is currently "home base" for grandson who is just about to switch over to full fledged walking. A year passes quickly as you watch a baby growing and changing. I looked on this drive and that, trying to find a picture of their quilt, or one of the baby on the quilt... Maybe on some future post.
This picture was taken of me, the year I made the quilt. I'm cheesing it up in front of my 60 red carnation bouquet that my husband sent. I love the smell and longevity of carnations. He sends me a birthday bouquet every 10 years. It is a wonderful bouquet and of course, gets bigger each time. When I was 50, my principal at that time, delivered the bouquet  to me, and was clearly impressed. Because less than a month later she received a bouquet of 50 red roses. I wouldn't have swapped mine for roses, carnations last and so has our marriage! We are coming up on 50 years of marriage.

Time keeps on slipping into the Future... Why I believe People do the work of Angels

I keep saying things like "How is it already, almost the end of April?" This year has been such a series of contrasts. It began in, to be honest chaos. I had pulled everything out, over the year of destashing, would work until my brain was overwhelmed from making decisions. Some days I left a bigger mess than I started with. Honestly, my husband earned sainthood over the last year. Most of the men I've known would have "at least had words with me over the mess".

Instead, he helped me clean out the storage unit that had at one point been infested,
ACTUAL visual count of black widow spiders, 2 + an egg case 1st fall, and another egg case near the door the following fall. By then even without spying even one spider, I was certain there were thousands of black widows throughout the unit. Maybe millions. Every bad sci-fi movie that included spiders, led me to jumping every time something brushed against an uncovered area of skin... Of course there wasn't much of that, if I could have worn a Haz - Mat suit into the unit, I would have cleaned it out myself. Add in my second hip replacement during the third year, to understand I wasn't just being lazy or crazy.

I did get started a few times, but could never get much past the trash at the opening of the unit. I'd cleaned out my car over there, mostly drink cups, but once the widows appeared, no way was I putting any trash bags into my car. Where could I begin?

ENTER THE ANGELS while remembering, my husband is a saint!

January 2015 there was a new manager at the storage unit. She ALSO made it possible for me to get started on this enormous task. Some people are roadblocks, while others open doors for us. Tina Marie had the key that opened the door to me getting started. She encouraged me, and made some suggestions that got me started talking to my husband about how to accomplish the goal of sorting trash from what I'd need to rescue from THE Unit.  She and the Assistant Manager Tim, helped me several times, in normal ways, such as helping with a lock that wouldn't open... for good reason, it was the wrong unit. We all laughed together the next week about that, and guess what, once I was at the right unit, my key did work.

In February, my sister came for a visit, just a few days, I wish it could have been much longer. For those of you with a sibling, I hope you are as lucky as I have been. We were always close in age, which meant, as the older sister, my bossy nature ran wild. In fact, I believe one of the reasons I first liked Supernatural(tv series) was because I so identified with Dean's feelings of protecting Sammy.

Not that I ever rescued her from a Werewolf or anything nearly as scary. We did watch scary movies together on Friday or Saturday nights. Gregore, was the host of an Omaha, creature feature when we were 10 and older. The old classic, Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. Nothing Like Count Floyd on Saturday Night Live years later.

I may be allowed to "take care" of a doll she loved very much as a kid. She can't throw it away, I'm supposed to keep the solution to myself, and have a nice idea. Can't share it here. May not work, but how could I not love a sister so loyal to her favorite doll? Her heart is of purest gold.

Her visit included a teaparty, to enjoy an extended visit with our grandkids in a semi play setting. We had a mixture of plastic plates and real cups and saucers filled with iced tea, which they could add sugar cubes to. I watched, but again, not telling how many cubes went into anybodies tea! The grownups all sipped hot tea, some with sugar cubes some without, and lots of savory and sweet treats.
Cucumber sandwiches made by my sis, Tuscan skewers, fruit salad, and as many variations as possible out of one yellow cake mix. We even had herrings on the Savory snacks plate. I hope Livvie, remembers the tea party, Luke's a baby so he won't, and my husband sat down and enjoyed the good food with us too.

After she left it was time to finalize all the facts and figures for income taxes. Last year, I created a simple spreadsheet that helped me track Texas sales, sales tax collected, and total sales of the day. It also kept track of postage for the day, taking out personal purchases, identifying office supplies purchased at the post office, and postage collected or paid for with a free shipping purchase.

That really helped with book keeping this year. State Sales Taxes were a breeze, and able to be finalized before the deadline was even looming!

So by the time we finished with other receipts, and all the other time consuming paper work for itemizing it was April!

This post is finished, for now. I'm going to put in a picture or two, and of course, this was a bare bones retelling for me...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

When Worlds Collide

Just this last weekend, my husband and I went to the Houston Convention for Supernatural. My all time favorite show. We entered the costume contest with a nod to Madge and Edward who were the villains of the episode "A Very Supernatural Christmas" The two heros, boys raised on the road who
save people, kill monsters... a family business.    kill Madge and Edward (really nasty couple who are bad Santa and spouse) PS for those at the convention, did you notice who walks with a cane? Not my DH although he can be a bit of a curmudgeon like any old person, he is pure of heart. Nope, I'm the one who would be cosplaying Santa and up the chimney we'd go... Not really, but definitely the one who causes more trouble than I solve.

Back to the colliding Worlds. Facebook, even though I've posted about Supernatural many times, and had several rather doubtful comments (fangirling about Dean for the most part) from TVTAG which I could not shut off. .  . arrrgggh! but I digress. Monday I announced our contest results and then put up a link to the tv article, and finally a pic taken of us at the Con. Changed my profile picture, and was generally in the after Con glow. My friends already know me for the most part, and I could for sure tell who really is a friend from reactions! LOL

My dh and I may be too old for such nonsense, but we'll be back again. I'm already figuring out my costume for the "Fairy Lady" and have a great dress at the back of my closet.... I know she dressed in denim on the show... this dress is white denim, and rather retro TX. :)

If you are a rug hooker, look at my earlier posts from a year or two ago. If you are one of my Winchester Family friends, I'll be writing about what I think of various Supernatural episodes or cons now and again...   I loved "There's No Place like Home" although it is interesting to see how differently I interpreted it's meaning during the scene where Dean whaled on Dark Charlie. This was not a time for talking, Although he didn't consider and had been warned that whatever happened to one would happen to the other. Bottom line, to me was that he stopped short of being controlled by the MOC (Mark of Cain).

Highlight of the Con, aside from the obvious, Moose and Squirrel/Rocket and Groot, was actually meeting Dr. Lynn, author of Fangasm and although I missed her when I went for a visit, will hopefully get to sit down and talk to her at length about her adventures sometime!

Adios, Bitches! (A Charlie Bradbury-ism)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Too much of a good thing isn't great!

With all respect to Mary Engelbreit, too much is just plain simply rather overwhelming. But as I've heard others say it does get easier to deal with the excess.

Several months later, some sales on ebay, some fabric shared with bee friends, and I'm still struggling with the hard truth that while I will not call myself a hoarder, I have way too much fabric for someone living in a patio home.

I think I mentioned at one time, making my crafting bucket list... so amongst the other things I'll share some other time here are 3 top priority items.

  1. Making a couple of small quilts for our daughter, and each of the grand kids. Now these are meant to be made from their baby clothes, and so since she is 6 and he is only a few months old,  hers at least should be well under way. All excuses aside, this last year hasn't found much time for actual sewing, except at quilt retreats. The last one I attended in October,  was a total disaster, as my sewing machine had needed a tuneup after June retreat. Because I wasn't sewing I forgot. I arrived with way more than several projects, and the sewing machine, went from bad to worse... 
  2.  A wedding quilt for both granddaughter and grandson. I'll be doing the 54 40 star variations (my favorite block), although the finished quilts will be quite different. I'll start posting some pics once, I can sew a few mega chunks together, big enough to get an idea. I have plenty of left over pieces from other quilts of blues and bluebonnets, so he'll get a reprise of the TX Two Step quilt, I first made almost 10 years ago. The very one that suggested my business name to me. Cotton Eyed Jo was a true statement... and if you could see the piles of this and that kind of fabric, you'd wonder why most of my more recent posts were about rug hooking.
  3. Livvie's quilt will have the same 54 40 block with a different 2nd block... a couple of possibilities, but the blocks will need to be the same on both sides to take care of quilting...
    Okay, well I finally gave up looking for the picture I wanted to add. This is a picture of Jenni and me on a hike up Cottonwood Pass in the last century. Around 1980  DH and I were camping with friends, and one of them took this picture. ©Dan Todden  Jenni in the backpack, me in my always wearing them Tevas...probably  a miracle we didn't tumble down the mountain side.
What things would you like to really craft before your untimely end? Considering my age, no one is likely to say, "so young to die" :) Which is a good thing... None of us know the number of our days.