Monday, September 29, 2008

Aqua and Red Fall Swap

I love aqua and red! My studio is painted a shade of aqua/turquoise and I have used red accents throughout. It's my favorite place to hang out. My BFF, Studio Rose, also known as the Swap Minion, found this swap for me to join. It's hosted by Apron Thrift Girl, you can find the details here.

Over the weekend I went to my favorite vintage shops and found some of the things above. Some of the things I pulled from my studio. I found the little wooden bowls, the white one you see is aqua on the outside. They are just too cute! I also bought the little leather journal, the aqua cloth and the red tin votive holder. The large box in the back is more green than aqua, but it's so nice, I couldn't resist.

The picture frame sits on my work table and is my favorite photo of Stella, my American Bulldog.
She has such a big smile! That's because she was running and playing and is all dirty! She loves getting dirty! She does not however, love a bath! She refuses to move. She walks in the shower stall, sits down and that's it! She's very sweet about it and will lick my hand or nuzzle my neck, she doesn't try to escape or shake water all over, but she's not going to budge! At 80 lbs. of solid muscle, if she doesn't want to move, I'm not making her! I have to be creative and sweet talk her and we get the job done.

I gave all three of the inside dogs baths yesterday. Brutus was a sweetheart. He's just happy someone is paying attention to him! He's not fond of water, really. When he goes out back with me and I start to water the plants, he runs up and waits by the door - heaven forbid I should get him wet! But he handles a bath with no trouble.

This is the one that causes the most trouble! Yep, the tiny little Boston Terrier! Seriously, not the Pit Bull or the American Bulldog - no, it's Gracie! She gets her bath in the bathtub - a large very old claw foot tub. At first she thinks it's all fun and games! She's having a drink and giving me kisses, rolling over so I can rub her belly. Then all of a sudden it's not so much fun and she tries to escape! But wait, there's soap all over her, so she shakes, then tries to escape again! She is a mess! I am triumphant, I've dealt with tougher customers than this!

All three puppies clean, their beds washed, fresh bedding in the kennels - it's not a job for the faint of heart, I tell you!

Oh yeah, back to the aqua & red swap - I have until November 12th to mail my package. I'm sure I'll find lots more goodies by then. The question is, will I be able to part with any of them? LOL! You can sign up for this fun swap until October 8th - go ahead! You know you want to!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Just a couple of things

I joined a handmade pincushion swap. Having one pincushion is just not enough. I think I need at least three: one by the sewing machine, one on the ironing board and another on the cutting table (the island in my kitchen). Oh wait! Make that four, I like to have one in my hand sewing basket. Making my own pincushion isn't something I would have tried had I not joined a swap and been 'forced' to make the time to put these together. As a first effort, I think they turned out nicely. I have mailed the two I needed for my swap and will give Studio Rose hers the next time I see her. My own, I've been using and I like it! It sits flat, holds still when I'm trying to push pins into quickly and it's cute - what more could I want from a pincushion?

One more apron, the last of my apron swaps for a while. This one is for a one-on-one trade with Karen who loves green and wanted as little white as possible. I think this will work!

It's cooling off here in Florida, relatively speaking. It's still in the 80's during the day, but the humidity is low and there is a breeze, it's actually nice to be outside. Brutus and I went for a long walk Friday. Brutus was so happy he pranced and smiled all the way! Have you ever seen a prancing, smiling pit bull? It's quite a sight!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Favorite Things Swap

I recently participated in "My Favorite Things Swap", hosted by Wendi of Because Wendi Said So !!! The idea was to share at least three of your favorite things with your swap partner.

I gave this swap a lot of thought as I wanted it to reflect a little of who I am. At the same time I hoped to make it something my partner would like to receive. I also wanted to keep the cost down, which made it even more of a challenge!

So, what did I send?

  1. a book by a favorite author, 'The Hundred Secret Senses', by Amy Tan
  2. a handmade bookmark
  3. a couple of my favorite magazines
  4. I love making lists, and I love altered art, so I altered a small book for making lists
  5. one of my favorite pens
  6. my favorite hand cream
  7. my favorite tea
  8. my favorite room spray
  9. a copy of my favorite playlist from my iPod

A closer look at the altered book of lists.

Tulsi, I hope you enjoy these things - maybe even find a new favorite in it.

Wendi, thank you for hosting this, I'd love to do it again sometime.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Be Alarmed. . .

But I've been knitting! I know it's a shock as it's been almost a year since I've truly sat down and spent any time knitting. It all started with a really good audio book, one that I just couldn't stop listening to, more about that later.

The yarn in this project is malabrigo, kettle dyed pure merino wool, in apple green. It's a worsted weight and a dream to work with. The pattern is one I found online, it's actually a poncho pattern, you knit two pieces and then attach them to make the poncho. I loved the pattern, but knew I'd never wear a poncho, especially in Florida so I decided to knit just one section and use it as a shawl. That I'll use. It's a fun project to knit, not very hard but enough of a pattern to keep me awake.

When I picked it up again to work on Friday night, I realized that my stitch counter was missing. (That darn Brutus! He NEVER chews on anything except my stitch counters, for some reason he really likes them. Go Figure! On top of that, the post-it note I was using to mark my place on the pattern was no where to be found either! Really, what do I expect after leaving it so long? It took me a while to find my place and start knitting again. A trip to Michael's was in order to make sure it didn't happen again. I bought a magnetic board made for counted Cross stitching. It came with a magnetic rule, 3 magnetic strips and holds my place in the pattern perfectly. Another bonus was the hole in the board - I attached my stitch marker so it's safe from Brutus!

The audio book that brought on this burst of knitting? "A Rose for the Crown", by Anne Easter Smith, unabridged (a little over 24 hours long, but oh, so good!). It's historical fiction, one of my favorite genres, and tells the story of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III, through the eyes of the mother of his 3 illegitimate children, the mistress he grew up with, was deeply in love with but could not marry because of her peasant roots. It sounds like a love story and it is, but it's so much more! It tells of war, personal tragedy, political intrigue and how life was lived in those days. It was so good! I need to check to see if she's written any others.

I'm also reading Philippa Gregory's new book, "The Other Queen", on my Kindle. Reading two historical fiction's isn't easy! I had to put this aside until I finished "A Rose for the Crown". I read it last night before I went to bed, it's pretty good so far!

I chatted with Bryn yesterday, he's in Spokane, WA where he said it was windy with a light rain! He starts his training today and is looking forward to it. Since he wasn't where he could watch TV, I updated him on the Ryder Cup and a few football games. The things we do for our kids, I tell you!

(I know- another old picture, but I like it!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

A few more aprons

I think this is one of my favorite apron patterns. It's a simple style made special by the fabrics chosen. I used the same pattern for my pie apron, which is one of my favorites. It's easy to sew and easy to wear.

I made a few little changes with this version. Since I have a hard time tying aprons in the back, I prefer to wrap the ties around my waist and tie them in the front, so the ties are long enough to do that. I also made the pocket more square and a little smaller. The one on my pie apron is so deep, things get lost in it!

This apron is for a swap, so I don't get to keep it!

Murph and I found this apron last weekend at the same shop we bought the drapery panel I mentioned in my last post.

The bib easily folds down to make this a half apron.

This lovely vintage apron was gifted to me by a very generous swap-bot angel. It's so dainty and pretty.

(Just a note: The little black lab hanging on the door handle was given to us by our neighbor. She said it reminded her of our black lab Sally, who crossed over in April of last year. We miss her dearly.)

No, Bryn isn't home again - Darn It! I've talked to him most every day - sometimes more than once. You know I look forward to that. He's doing well, getting ready to go to WA for FEAR training - not sure what that stands for, but it's Survival Training. I think he's looking forward to it. He leaves tomorrow and will be back at his base the 26th.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Little Sewing

I love these fabrics! I bought them in blue and made myself the cutest little craft apron! I knew Studio Rose would have to have one of her own (or she'd 'borrow' mine), so I ordered these, and made this!

But wait, it's reversible!

How about a Frenchy Bag?

This is the larger size of this Amy Butler pattern. I love all the pockets on the inside.

One more thing to share. This past weekend Murph and I were shopping in our favorite antique/junque shop where I found this!

Don't you just love the colors! It's a drapery panel, but all one piece of fabric, about 46" wide and more than two yards in length. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I know I'll think of something. Any ideas?

Here's a close-up for you. I've looked it over, there are no stains. It's really in excellent condition. And all for $6.00! What a deal!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Kindle

I've had my Kindle for less than a week, but already she and I are good friends. She's lightweight, easy to hold, easy to read, she holds lost of my books and she's an electronic gadget! I love electronic gadgets almost as much as I love to read.

The first book I read on my Kindle was "The Sugar Queen", by Sarah Addison Allen. I chose this book as I recently read "Garden Spells" by the same author. "Garden Spells" was a fun read with lots of quirky characters, once I started it I didn't want to put it down.

"The Sugar Queen" was just as good and the perfect way to break in my new Kindle. I was instantly involved in the story and forgot my method of reading - which is just what you want. There was no back lighting to bother my eyes, the pages were easy to turn - it was all about the story!

This isn't to say I've ignored the gadget part of my Kindle. I've used it to go online and check out my blog, get a phone number from yellow pages dot com and of course to shop the Kindle store at Amazon. Speaking of this, did you know you could send a sample of a book you are interested in right to your Kindle - free of charge! And it's there in less than a minute! How cool is that! Then after you've read the sample, if you want to read the rest of the book, you can use your Kindle to buy it - easy peasy!

Check out the cool "screen saver image" you get in sleep mode! There are a bunch of them that change when you put your Kindle down for a rest. You can also add your own images and I'll try that soon, right now I'm enjoying theirs. I'm still learning about all the features but so far I love it!

Another very important element to reading - a good dog by your side! This morning it was Brutus, who I'm sure is wondering if I really needed to wake him up to take yet another picture of him! Yes Brutus, I did!

For those of you dealing with the effects of Ike, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Promised You a Better Picture!

It's been busy around here since I last posted! Here's the picture I promised you of Bryn's bike and just for fun, here's another! Okay, maybe 2! (For the record, they do wear helmets, just not in the front yard for photo ops!)

You knew Murph was going to jump right on there right?

And you knew he wouldn't be happy staying in the front yard, but he said he'd just go around the circle park at the end of our road - the OTHER end of our road! He's such a bad example! (More Fay debris there on the right!)

We drove Bryn back to NC Sunday, not a bad trip, though it was hard to leave him there. In fact the trip was so not bad that when I realized I hadn't given Bryn the 6 pk of YooHoo! still left Murph said we should take it up to him one weekend!