Friday, August 18, 2017

Miscellaneous Sewing and Self-discipline

I'm embarrassed to say that I have not finished the sewing room reorganization; however, it is usable...  and I've been tackling small projects for that "quick closure" good feeling.  Elder granddaughter wanted to upgrade her bedroom from "girl" to "teen" mode and I made her a few things, including a memory board...

...a dresser scarf/runner and lavender pillowcases.

Emma was pleased with the new additions to her room and my DD sent these photos...

The girls are so silly!  DD got Emma a throw to go over a blue chair so it would coordinate...  evidently, "furry" is "in" right now...  but my grandpuppy wasn't too sure about it...

In the meantime, a long-time friend attended her 50th high school reunion and stayed with her sister, whose dog... uh...  almost chewed through the lanyard on which she carried her keys.  There was no fixing it so I made her a new one and included a key fob so she can separate work keys from personal keys.

Then...  I had a stern talk with myself about quilt-y projects that were not getting done.  So today...

I got busy.

Enough done, tomorrow is another day!   
In other news, my grandson George moved into his dorm this morning and his parents had to drive off and leave him there.  My DIL was kind enough to send a photo of him in his room so that I can visualize where he is.

Yes, I think the look on his face says, "Okay, mom!  Just one photo... and then you need to go on... "  I'm trying to resist making a seat cushion for his desk chair to match the arrow pillow.... but he's a big boy now and can decorate his own room.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Non-slip Foot Pedal Mat (or Pad)

One of the first sewing-type projects I wanted to do was to make a non-slip mat so that I didn't have to chase the foot pedal around under the machine while sewing.  Slippery little devil likes to walk around while I'm trying to sew...

I found several tutes on Pinterest... the first one was So Easy Sew: Sew a Non-Slip Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Pad (link).  However, I found another one with a video tutorial that gave excellent instructions at Crafty Gemini Creates: Sewing Machine Non-slip Foot Pedal Non-slip Pad (link).  

I made it rectangular because I didn't want to mess with curved binding when I have the non-slip stuff under the presser foot and I'm glad I did.  I used leftover home dec fabric and I like the light color.  Yes, it will be on the floor but who cares?  More... who's going to see it?

The foot pedal doesn't slip on the mat and the mat doesn't slip on the carpet.  Yea!   

For those with questions:  there are two layers of the rubber/plastic shelf/drawer stuff and I only used fabric to bind the edges.  I did put a "stop" at the top of the mat just in case... but I don't think I needed to.  The foot pedal is metal and heavy; however, if your foot pedal isn't heavy, you might need the stop.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quilt Show Road Trip

This morning, a new knitting/crochet/quilting friend and I hit the road to High Point, NC to attend the High Point Quilt Guild's annual show (link).  Since we left at 7:30 a.m., there was very little traffic and we arrived just before the show opened at 9:00. 

Held in the gym of the local YMCA, the lighting wasn't the best and you all know what a terrible photographer I am, but I did my best...

I took photos of the quilts I liked the best...  this one had the books of the Bible machine embroidered on the "book spines."

There were 20-odd vendors and I picked up a few things...

...nothing exciting.  A white-on-lavender print to make pillowcases for my granddaughter's newly-redecorated-for-a-13yo's-taste bedroom... 

...and several white-on-white fabrics for a future project.

There were a lot of quilts that used purple so I guess that is the "in" color in High Point, at least among the quilt guild.

I didn't see any quilts that were startlingly gorgeous or "new" to me...  

...this one used Downtown Abbey fabrics.

This quilt had to be made by someone with very good eyesight...

...because the background quilting was minuscule!

On the way home, we stopped at a new-to-us yarn shop.  I restrained myself, subvocalizing my mantra:  no yarn unless it's for a specific project!  I did purchase new circular needles (size 4 / 3.5 mm) because I don't have that size.

It was an overall good day and I got to know my new friend a lot better.  Increasing my pool of friends beyond those employed by Moore County Schools is one of my retirement goals!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Grandma Adventure

To celebrate retirement, I rented a cabin in the NC mountains and invited the three younger grandkids to go on a grandma adventure.  (My DD felt "left out" so I invited her as well... and her DH was able to join us for part of the stay.)  

I've missed out on so much of their lives because I was still working and the eldest is going off to college in two weeks.  So, I was determined that at least some of the grandkids would remember a special time with their grandmother after she retired.   

The cabin was lovely and perfect for multi-generations (read:  bedrooms on different levels and plenty of bathrooms).  The deck was wonderful as was the 20 degree cooler temps.

Early mornings on the deck with a cuppa tea or coffee were a joy!  The rockers were so relaxing...

There are lots of things to do in the West Jefferson, NC area...  such as hiking to the top of Mt. Jefferson.

The gem mining was a much bigger success than I imagined... we had to pry the kids away at closing.  After we got back to the cabin, the kids spent time looking up the various gems they found online...  "Can we go again tomorrow?"

I don't have photos from tubing on the river but the grandgirl with the GoPro promised to send me some.   We had dinner out one night in West Jefferson...

...however, there was plenty of time to hang out at the cabin.

And then there were the views...

The grandkids are already talking about another grandma adventure to the mountains next summer...  to include more gem mining and white-water rafting.

...guess I need to start planning?  

PS - When I got up on the last morning, the temp outside was 57 degrees.  At noon, it was 67... but when I got home, it was 91 + very humid.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I sewed something!

Despite the sewing room pitch-and-toss/reorganization being done (...because the guy who was going to refinish my tub suddenly had a couple of days free and could do it "right now"!!! )  ...I did a little sewing today.

My DIL found an over-sized pillow and asked me to make a pillow cover for it so that grandson George can prop up and read with it behind his back.  BTW -  George is oldest grandchild who is going off to college in a couple of weeks.

With the closure of my LQS, the only options I have for fabric are Hobby Lobby and Walmart and I was fortunate to find some cotton duck/canvas that wouldn't be embarrassing for a college freshman (i.e., no flowers, kitties, or puppies)

I kept it simple (no zipper or buttons), just an envelope back...   but while I was sewing, I was reminded that my next sewing project needs to be a non-slip mat for the sewing machine pedal that likes to slide further and further out of reach.

I had pinned instructions for a non-slip sewing machine foot pedal mat (link) on Pinterest for this day...   and it will be my next project.  

After I finish up the sewing room redo, I am promising myself to clean up after every single project.  Anyone want to bet how long that resolution lasts???

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Retirement: A Month In

I have to say that adjusting to retirement has been interesting and this past month has definitely had a different feel than "summer vacation" in the past...  for example, I don't feel as if I need to rush on projects.  Don't get it finished today?  That's okay... plenty more time to get it done.

I've been doing a number of little chores around the place such as taking apart and cleaning my vacuum cleaner and mopping the front porch... fun stuff that no one notices but you.  However, I have started hoeing out the sewing room, which consists of many steps.  I've been offered help but honestly, the hauling stuff out and cleaning is the easiest part.  The organizing/putting away will take some time but the hardest part:  rearranging sewing furniture in a 10'x10' room with wall-to-wall closet doors.  Not many places to put stuff.

It would help if I moved the desk and file cabinet out of the room but I don't know where I'd put it.  I like having all my "office stuff" together, and when following an online tutorial, it does help to have my laptop in the same room as my sewing machine.

(Yes, there are holes in the radiator cover... yet another project ahead of me.)

Previously, I had my ironing board set up in an L-position with my sewing tables but I swapped that out for a shelf with a portable cutting board-that-reverses-to-a-ironing surface.  I'll be able to store the iron on the shelf as well as the serger, which can be moved to the top shelf when needed.

I've also moved lights around and tried to brighten the dark corners of the room.   The moving/cleaning part is the easiest... it's the figuring out where to put stuff that is hard.  Several cups of tea were required....

No estimate on when I get this done but it's not a problem...  after all, I'm retired and have all the time I want!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

New Adventures Ahead

Yes, it finally happened... retirement!  There have been times when I didn't think I'd make it but I did.

Tomorrow is the first Monday in June that I don't have to be at work at the crack o' dawn in 11 years.  Nice...  so this afternoon, I made some red pepper hummus (link) because I'm not pushed to get everything done today...

A friend gave me some lovely roses last week for my retirement so, this morning, I recut them and gave them some nice fresh water to drink...

I imagine it's going to take a while to get used to this and I probably won't "feel" retired until school staff start back to work in August.... but I don't mind!  I want to savor this being retired...

The end of April, there was a bit of a "heart incident" resulting in a ride to the ER and subsequently being admitted to the hospital.  Nothing found but I racked up medical bills over $12K in less than 24 hours.

It was my first (and hopefully last) episode of atrial fibrillation (link)  but, in addition to new meds, I also had a bunch of appointments and medical tests in May (still found nothing)...  on top of work, getting stuff done related to retirement, and normal life stuff.  So things went to heck in a hand basket around the house.

Since last Wednesday (first day of retirement), I've been organizing paperwork to file away, pitching and tossing stuff that needs to be recycled or discarded, and starting to do some deep cleaning.

My "to do" list is l - o - n - g but I'm already making progress.  When people ask what I'm going to do in retirement to keep busy.... I just laugh!

One of the first big projects on my list is to clean out and reorganize my sewing room.  It's a disaster right now and I won't be able to start sewing again until reorganization...

Surprisingly, I've gotten involved in local politics related to public school funding (or lack thereof) and I foresee my becoming more and more involved in various issues going forward. 


I think I'm going to find PLENTY to do in retirement....