Tuesday, June 5, 2018


I'm not very good at keeping up with blogging.  There are reasons:

I don't do much.
    Especially when the weather is very hot or very cold, my fibromyalgia tends to flare up and keep my activities to a bare minimum.  I've managed to make it to my gym training for all but two of my three-times-per-week sessions, and I count that as a win.  Blogging about the same thing every day is boring to do and boring to read, though,

I'm easily overwhelmed.
   My sewing room still looks like a battle site for the most part.  I have organized a couple small areas, but it isn't enough to be able to WORK up there.  There have been at least two attempt where I got up there, moved things around for five minutes and then just gave up because there is So Much Stuff that I couldn't deal with it.   I've made a few lists since then of things that I will just never get around to doing. Once I box up the fabric for those and get it donated and out of the room, I'm hoping things will look a bit less horrifying.   For example: I have at least 2 dozen pair of old jeans up there.  I'm sure I can use them to make things.  Potholders.  A braided denim rug.  I saw some really cute beaded denim bags on Pinterest that were made from repurposed jeans.  The jeans have been up there for at least 5 years: how likely am I to actually make any of those things?   Yeah- time to pass that part of the stash on to someone else.
    Last week I started on the computer corner and discovered that my boy cats have sprayed and re-sprayed all the surge protectors and cables.  Crusty dried pee is caked on most of the surfaces. Cleaning it up is going to require some prodigious scrubbing and wiping in order to keep Loki from just re-baptizing everything again. ( I'm seriously considering putting a half-door at the bottom of the stairs to limit his access.)  The cords, cables, desk and walls will all have to be de-felinated before I can get Himself up there to help me move the heavy desk so I can clean the carpet.
   I screbbed, soaked and then re-scrubbed the surge protector cable, then let it dry in the sun for a couple of days, then let it dry in front of an AC vent inside for another few.  Loki didn't bother to sniff it, so I'm hoping that means I got it clean.  Now I need to see if it still works- but I'm a bit wary of plugging it in. (The Husband says it will either work or blow out the outlet, so go for it.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or maybe I should just invest in a new one that I know will work.)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

so sad



The best laid plans and all that.  This post has been sitting in my drafts file since Feb 1st waiting for me to add some photos. 

I'm finally getting some work done on a friend's reticule.  I'm sure she'd like to be able to use it sometime this year.  The fabric is lovely, and so are the silk ribbons.  I started transferring the embroidery design onto the fabric the other day and ran into a couple of snags.  First, silk dupioni is a bear to write on.  Either bits of the design don't show up, or they get missed due to the texture, or they start to fade out quickly.  I traced the pattern onto some Press n Seal, but have decided getting the plastic out from the stitching without nipping ribbon might be a little difficult.  I'll be tracing everything onto a light-adhesive washaway stabilizer instead.  That way, I can trim away most of the excess and use a fine line paintbrush to melt the rest to a state where I can disengage it.

I purchased some more silk ribbons from Beehive Needleworks a couple of weeks ago.
This is an incredible shop!  They carry so many fibers and gorgeous beads and sequins.  This is my haul from my first visit:

The beads are size 11 and 15 seed beads.  15s are teeny!  The silk ribbon is for an upcoming stitch along project.  I'll be using wallowberry silk dupioni for the tissue holder, and I think the contrast of colors will be stunning. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Year, New Post Habits?

 
I thought about doing a post at least once a week throughout 2018.  That's gone well so far.   😺

My stitching has been going just about that well, too.  I'm fairly sure I did NOT finish one single project in 2017!  This must change.  I have too much stash, and still collect ...  well, things.

Today, for instance, I visited The Beehive Needleworks in Mt. Lebanon.  Ooooh, what a delight for the eyes!  I went for silk ribbon and a couple skeins of silk floss for a dragon needle painting and walked out with those, plus some tiny flat sequins and coordinating beads in sizes 11 and 14.  I'll be using these to embellish some Alabama Chanin style tops.  These will join some other colors of sequins and beads I picked up last September in Burlington, Wi.  I have quite a few plain knit tunics and thought it would be nice to embellish some of them with machine embroidery enhanced with sparkly things.  note to self: get the sewing room cleared up!

Last year I did attend a local workshop with my SAGA chapter friends where we worked on a size 2 smocked square yoke dress.  I was having some vision problems, so didn't get as far along as I wanted, but will finish it soon. 
   I also attended a retreat in St Charles, MO where I took a hardanger class from Jane Briscoe and a T-Yoke smocked dress from Debbie Glenn.  No.  They aren't finished, either. 


Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Great Pescatarian Experiment of 2016



   Several weeks ago the husband woke up and discovered that the thought of eating meat made him feel queasy.  Even BACON!  Since then, I've been attempting to cook more vegetarian meals.  Many nights, I just make sure all the sides are meat-product free, then cook salmon for him and have a pork chop myself.  (I don't like salmon anymore, for some reason.)  For Thanksgiving I went all out.  We had Lentil Loaf,  roasted brussels sprouts and stuffed portobello mushrooms.   I sent my daughter a photo of my plated dinner.  She texted back "Is that food?  uh, I mean, that looks tasty."  It was surprisingly tasty, and both the stuffed portos and the loaf will go into regular rotation.  I've also made a meatless chili that was delicious!

I still have far too much crap in my sewing rooms even though I've been working on a thorough revamping.  I bought new bookshelves and have started sorting through magazines and books with a plan to sell or donate the ones I'm not using or likely to get around to using.  I've decided that my inventory of projects is probably outweighing my probable life expectancy by a factor of three.  Time to downsize.  This would be so much easier if there weren't so many cute new fabrics coming out all the time!

I'm thinking about selling the loom I bought last year.  It's a huge floor loom- the learning curve is high, and when taking into consideration all of the current projects I have that I know how to do, it's very likely I'll never get much use out of the loom.  


Saturday, November 26, 2016

wow.

It seems it's been over a year since I last posted on this blog!

...

...


I think I see the problem.

Friday, November 6, 2015



I haven't updated for ages because for the most part I've been living in a lather/rinse/repeat mode of Physical Therapy, yard work and household crap.

Several weeks ago, my therapist determined that I wasn't actually getting any better.  He put me on a 6-week hiatus from professional PT with a caution to keep up my range of motion exercises.  At the end of the six weeks I went in for another evaluation and was at just about the same degree of "well" as  before, so he officially discharged me from therapy.  No use charging the insurance company for something I can effectively do on my own, after all.
    Wednesday I went in to see my surgeon for his evaluation and when I presented him with my dissatisfaction with my level of movement he said that he's glad I have as much as I do.  Because of the amount of damage done to my shoulder joint there is not a lot of bone holding the tendons to the prosthetic humerus, which means there isn't a lot of strength there.  It was discouraging to hear.  That afternoon I went to the club where I'd been having my pool PT and joined- it's more expensive than my membership at LAFitness, but the pool is deeper and warmer, they have a whirlpool spa and I can unofficially check in with my therapist from time to time.  I went in and worked through my exercises today and did some deep water work.  So far, I feel better.

In September I made a dress for my great-great niece to wear to her little sister's baptism.  It has a fully smocked front bodice, silk ribbon embroidery, and some lace trim.  Doing all that smocking made my arm ache, but at least I know I can still do it.  The ggn was more entranced with the sticker I put on the tissue paper, but her mother was thrilled with the dress.


  Next up:  a baptism gown for a co-worker's baby and a presentation outfit for another friend's
baby.

In october I attended the third of this year's Smocking Arts Retreats.  It was held in Valley Forge, so I was able to drive and took machine classes.  (HA!  I don't think we used our machines for more than a half hour in the 2.5 days of class. *sigh*)  I learned a few great tips and had a nice time with my stitching friends.  4 of our 5 members attended, and EACH of us won a basket  at banquet!  Mine was from the Chesapeake Treasures chapter and included the book Sewing for a Royal Baby and all the fabrics, trims and tools needed to make one of the projects.



  Not a great picture, but I'll add more when I do the project.  I'll also try to post more often now that I'm sewing again.  

---Kathy

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

oh, dear.


I'm about to head up to the sewing room, and while thinking about the numerous projects I have to do, it occurred to me that I should look up my last couple of "projects to do" posts and see if I actually managed to finish - or, indeed, start - any of them.

I might just be too depressing.