Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quick and Easy Pomander...

Quote for the Day:
"Never work before breakfast; 
if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first." 
~Josh Billings

Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention.  Sometimes cheapness is the mother of invention.  And sometimes it's BOTH!  :)

Downy came out with a product recently called " 'Unstoppables, in-wash scent booster".  Maybe you've seen it...

I was lucky enough to not only get a trial size packet in the mail, but also a full-sized bottle for free in the mail.  It says to add it to your wash to make a long-lasting scent.  However, between the scented laundry soap and the scented fabric softener, I think my clothes have enough scent to them!  Except for use with towels that have gotten "musty" smelling over the summer, I can't really see a use for them.  

Until today!

A couple weeks ago I got a GREAT deal on some fat quarters (FQ's) on Ebay.  (For those of you who don't know what a FQ is, it is 1/4 yard of quilting fabric that is cut 18" X 22" instead of 9" X 44", which is what a "standard" 1/4 yard of fabric is.  It's the same amount of fabric, but just cut differently so you can get more uses out of it.)

Anywho...I got a great deal on 210 of these...averaged out to about 66 cents/FQ, which is a heck of a deal!  Seventy were from one seller and were fine.  However, 140 were from a second seller and smelled of smoke.  

Yes, I *could* have washed them, dried them, ironed them, and then folded them to put away, but that seemed a LOT of hassle and would involve a LOT of time at the ironing board.  Besides, I gave up prewashing my fabrics since I always wash the finished quilts to get the markings out.  The only things I prewash now are reds, blacks, (to help prevent bleeding in the final project) and flannels (to facilitate shrinkage).

I decided I didn't want to hassle with washing all these FQ's, so I was trying to figure out a way to help with the smoke smell when a light bulb went on in my head this morning!  I decided to make pomanders using the Unstoppables.  After looking around for a way to contain them for this use, I thought about sewing little bags from extra fabric, but didn't want to go to all that fuss, when what did I spy with my little eye???  But my stash of envelopes culled from all the credit card offers we receive in the mail!  (We save them and use them for our "envelope" budget system!)  :)

This is what you will need for this project...

Seal the flap of the envelope and then cut it in half...

Pour a SMALL amount of Unstoppables into one half of the envelope...

...trust me, you won't need much.  These things are STRONG!

Use tape to seal up the cut edge of the envelope...

Place your new "pomander" where ever you want to freshen the smell.  I put one in each of my FQ storage containers. 
I also put one in the linen closet.  I don't know why linens get that "smell" to them after they've been stored in the closet for a while.  Do yours get that smell, too?  And I know it's not just this house, because every house I have lived in, the linens get a smell to them, as do things stored in a dresser for a while.  Maybe it's something from the wood???

Hope this has been helpful!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Updates On Various Things In My Life...

Quote for the Day:
 "He who laughs last probably didn't get the joke."

Well, well, well...where to start...
There really is no "beginning" and "end" to this post...just little tidbits of things going on in my life right now...

Let's start with this one...
My niece is getting married in just under THREE WEEKS and while I was off of work this past week on a staycation, one of the things that was on my "to do" list was to go shopping for an outfit to wear to the wedding.  Most of my wardrobe is made up of casual clothes since I really don't go anywhere that requires more than that.  Plus, my weight has fluctuated so much over the last several years, that it seems like every season I have to buy a completely new wardrobe.  :(  Not good.  :(  I have the two dresses that I wore at my own kids' weddings, but they seem a little more "fancy" than I want to wear to this wedding.  And, besides, wearing a dress would require struggling with pantyhose and wearing heels...both of which I'm not sure my back could handle right now.  I was thinking more of black slacks with a nice blouse or blouse/jacket combo.

Yesterday, I was at Kohl's to return an item and decided to try on 2 blouses that I saw.  One looked great on me, except that I was between sizes in it...one size was too tight in the sleeves and the next size up looked like I was swimming in it.  :(  The second blouse looked good on the hanger, but terrible, with a capital "T" on me!  Ugh!!  

This morning the light bulb came on in my head that both the dresses that I had worn to my kids' weddings had dressy jackets with them!  I could pair one of the jackets with a white blouse and black pants.  However, after trying both jackets on, I decided that I didn't like the way they fit now.  :(  

BUT...and that is a very big BUT...I did spy a red rayon shirt/blouse in my closet that still fit.  Paired with a white, lacy shell and black pants that I already have and voila...I have me an outfit for the wedding!  AND at no additional cost!  Double win!  :)

Bring on the WEDDING!!!   This old lady is READY to par-tay!!!  :D

Next item up for discussion...

Have you ever thought about doing something, planned for it, dreamed of it, wanted it...only to be REALLY disappointed with the outcome when you finally did it? 

Ever wonder why I haven't yet posted pictures of the finished, bound and washed whole-cloth quilt even though it's been done for a few weeks now???  Well...I'm just really disappointed in what it looks like.

Yeah...that's it.

Since washing out the blue markings basically, it looks like one big blob of white.  :(  The center medallion doesn't show up AT ALL!  :(  I'm really disappointed in it.  I really should have done the quilting in a colored or variegated thread so the design would show up better.

I've been so disappointed in this quilt, that I haven't even put it on our bed to use.  I've had it folded up on a quilt rack with the BACK side showing.  

At least the back has something interesting to look at.  I really love the black and white toile fabric.

Anyway...so much for that quilt.  I spent 9 months hand quilting it only to be disappointed in the outcome.  However, I did learn a valuable lesson...I actually LIKE to see the stitching in my quilts!  In the past I have done everything I could to make my stitches virtually invisible.  But no more!  I want to see the stitching and the design!

Based on that nugget of information, I am using a variegated thread on my current quilt...and here are some close-ups of that stitching...

I'm really liking the way this quilt is turning out!  I loved the top before I started the hand quilting, and I'm REALLY liking the hand quilting on this one!  I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do!  :)   Also, because the stitching is not as dense as the whole-cloth quilt was, this one is moving right along!  :)  YAY!  I love it when it goes quickly! 

Okay...on to the next item of business...
Andy & I *did* get back to the kitchen renovation... at least a little bit this weekend.  We got some more beadboard paneling cut and ready to attach to the wall.  (It didn't actually get "attached" yet, but at least it is cut and ready!  LOL)  And we started putting the hardware on the cabinets that are already installed. 

Let me be perfectly clear here...this has been no easy feat!!!  It is a true pain in the you-know-where trying to get these pulls installed.  The drill bit that came with the positioning guide is too small...as is all the others we tried using.  Except for one...which is the right size, but chews up the wood horribly so we can't use it.  Instead, we have to use the next size smaller and work it around till, hopefully, we have made the hole large enough for the pulls, but not so big that they show around the pull.  :(   Why, oh why, can't ANYTHING be easy?

But...we have two attached so far, and hopefully, can get the last two pulls attached and then the knobs on the door fronts.  The knobs should go much easier since they don't sit down inside the wood like the pulls do.  Keep your fingers crossed for us on that one...LOL.

Now...the final item of discussion for today...my couponing this week...


I got $35.17 worth of product, paid $13.07 out-of-pocket, got $15 back in Register Rewards, making this a $1.83 moneymaker for me!

Rite Aid...

I got $27.14 worth of product, paid $2.13 out-of-pocket, got $10.38 back in +Up Rewards, making this a $8.25 moneymaker for me!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here!  I appreciate each and every one of my visitors!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leisurely Days...

Quote for the Day:
Never work before breakfast; 
if you have to work before breakfast,
eat your breakfast first. 
~Josh Billings

I don't have to return to work till next Wednesday, so I'm really enjoying this time off at home!  I could really get used to this!  :D   I've been doing things around the house that due to my back pain and lack of time, have been put off for waaayyyyy too long.   I'm taking my time, setting the timer for 20 minutes and just doing tasks here and there...mainly cleaning and straightening up types of things.  It's amazing what you can get done in 20 minutes! 

Since finishing my whole-cloth quilt top, my quilt frame has been empty and my fingers can only stay still for just so long.  So yesterday I finished loading the next quilt top into the frame so I can get back to hand quilting.

Quilt top being loaded into the frame...

Here it is, ready for the first stitch!  :)

And of course, I jumped right in and quilted for a couple hours on it last night.  :D  I can't explain how hand quilting effects me.  It relaxes me and calms my mind and can almost put me into a zen-like state!  :)   It really is my "therapy".

I was disappointed in the whole-cloth quilt after it was washed and the blue lines were gone.  Because I had used white thread on white cloth, I felt like the quilting really disappeared.  I wished I had done it in a white-to-gray variegated thread so that the stitching would have been a little more noticeable.

Now that I realize that I *like* to see a little bit of the stitching, I decided to do this new quilt with a variegated thread.  I chose this one by Star.  It is a pale pink-to-biege-to-blue variegated thread.

It doesn't really show up in the blue area, and may not show up much in the other colored areas, but it should look really cool on the unbleached muslin back and in the cream-colored areas of the front.  :)  At least I'm *hoping* it will look good, anyway! 

This is also the first time I've used this brand of hand quilting thread and I must say I'm in LOVE!!!  It glides through the fabric like a hot knife through buttah!  

Since I haven't done any book reviews lately, I thought I'd throw some into this post.

I recently finished reading "Stuff:  Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things" by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee.  I found this book riveting and would definitely recommend it!

On a recommendation I started reading "Wisenheimer:  A Childhood Subject to Debate" by Mark Oppenheimer.  I read about half-way through it before I became too bored with it to finish it. The first part was about his young childhood and was very interesting.  However, once I got to the part about his debating in high school, it really became boring and repetitive so I stopped after reading about 1/2 to 2/3rds of the book.

As for my audio books, I recently finished two that I would whole-heartedly recommend.  First one is "Transition" by Chaz Bono.  It is the biography of Chastity/Chaz Bono...Sonny & Cher's child, and how Chastity transgendered into Chaz.  Regardless of what your beliefs are on the subject, it is an interesting and informative book.  Many, many years ago, as an ICU nurse, I had a patient that was in the process of transitioning from male to female, so you just never know when someone in this situation will cross your path.   

While on traveling to and from Tennessee this past week, I listened to the book "Inconceivable:  A Medical Mistake, the Baby We Couldn't Keep, and Our Choice to Deliver the Ultimate Gift" by Carolyn and Sean Savage.   Excellent, excellent book!   Have the Kleenex nearby! 

Well...I hear my quilt calling to me to come do some hand quilting!  MUST. GO. QUILT.  :)


Post-vacation Post...

Quote for the Day:
"Children are the most expensive form of entertainment."
---Mihaela Iosof 

We just returned from a vacation to Tennessee for a visit with our daughter, Erin, and her man, Dale, and daughter, Sera.  Our son and daughter-in-law, Paul & Trinity and our grandson, Andrew, also came to visit from Georgia.

We were all gathered in Tennessee for Sera's 5th birthday party!!!!  :)


She is into everything "Disney Princess" and anything pink!  I gave her the Disney Princess quilt that I had made for her...

...and my sister gave her a book called "The Quilt Story".

If you ever get a chance to get your hands on this book...DO!!!   It's a children's story about a mother who makes a quilt for her daughter.  The daughter loves the quilt, but as she gets older the quilt gets put into the attic.  Then, many years later, her own daughter finds the quilt but it is full of holes.  The little girl asks her mother to mend the quilt, which she does, and the little girl loves it again, just as her mother had originally.  It's truly a beautiful story!

Sera also got her first bike for her birthday!

After cake the kids went out and blew bubbles in the driveway! 

Erin & Dale...


Erin, Paul & Trinity

I am very blessed to have each and every one of these people as my family!




Saturday, September 10, 2011


Quote for the Day:
"I guess a drag queen's like an oil painting: 
You gotta stand back from it to get the full effect."
---Harvey Fierstein 

This week I've been working on getting my next quilt top ready to go into the quilting frame.

This is the backing being loaded into the frame...

The backing for this quilt is plain, unbleached muslin.  Sometimes I like to keep it simple.

After much rolling, the backing is on the frame and looks like this...

...ready for the batting and top to be added.

Next comes the batting.  Here's the batting attached to the backing.  Once I get the top ready to attach, both the backing and top will roll up at the same time.  Until then, the batting just hangs between the second and third rollers.

I've been busy marking the quilting design on the top for this quilt...

The top has some challenging design issues, so it's really required some thought to decide how to best quilt this.  I hope what I've chosen works out!  :)  I'm almost done marking and hope to get the top loaded onto the quilt frame tomorrow.

I have decided to use varigated thread instead of a plain off-white thread.  Unfortunately, no stores around here carry a varigated hand-quilting thread, so I had to order it online.  I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival!  :)

My granddaughter's 5th birthday is coming up next weekend and I've had her quilt finished for some time now.

I've even had it packaged in this gift bag, ready to give to her...

It's been sitting in my office area waiting for next weekend.

Then...after looking at the bag this past week, suddenly it struck me how much the princess in pink actually looks like a drag queen!  No, really!!!

Okay...don't tell me you don't see it, too!  I mentioned it to Andy and he immediately saw it!  He said, "all that's missing is a big Adam's apple!"  LOL


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cake Wrecks Honorable Mention...

Quote for the Day:
 "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
 ~Andy Warhol

And others of us get a brief mention in somebody else's blog...

There are two types of people in the world:
  1.   Those who use the internet for important things, like research, finding a job, etc.  and 
  2.   those of us who like to surf the net looking for things to make us ROFLOAO.
If you fall into the first group, it is quite likely that you have never heard of a site called "Cake Wrecks"...a site that pays homage to the poor bakery items that have been decimated by some quack of a cake decorator.  :)

Personally, I fall into both groups!  :)  

My niece, Kristin, turned me onto Cake Wrecks some time ago and, subsequently, I sent in a picture of my grandson's welcome-into-the-family party cake that his other set of grandparents had for him shortly after he was born.  But, interestingly enough, they waited to have the party AFTER Andy & I had left to come back home.  Hmmmm...
Do I feel a snub???....nah...  Maybe Andy & I just party too wildly for them.  Yeah...that must be it!  LOL ;)

Anyway...as my daughter-in-law described it, evidently they had trouble getting the cake decorator to understand that they wanted the cake to say "Welcome Home, Andrew III" even though they SPELLED out for them exactly what they wanted on the cake!

Instead they got this...

Well...not being one to let somebody else's flub-up go unnoticed, I sent the picture into Cake Wrecks several months ago.  Lo and behold, today I get a phone call from Kristin, my ever more lovely niece, that I had "made" it into Cake Wrecks!!!  LOL  You can see the entry here.    Not only did it make the cut for Cake Wrecks, but it was listed FIRST!  Now that's an accomplishment!  LOL  Quite the feather in my cap, doncha know!   Okay...so I don't get out much...LOL!

One night I had nothing better to do...or rather, I wasn't doing what needed to be done, instead I was cruising Cake Wrecks and found this.  When I came to the last cake picture, I started laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face.  I was afraid I would wake Andy, who had already done something constructive like going to bed.

Now don't go blaming me if you get into surfing Cake Wrecks and you forget to do anything else, like feed the dog, feed the children, do laundry, clean house, or make the mortgage payment!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Now, on a completely different note...

I thought I'd share a simple recipe with you for beef stroganoff.  
1.5-2 lbs of stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom OR cream of celery soup
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 c. sour cream

Put the meat, soup (undiluted) and garlic in a crock pot on low for 6 hours.  After about 3 hours, stir the meat and soup together to make it look creamy.  When meat is done, turn off crock pot and stir in the sour cream.  Serve over cooked noodles.  MMMMMMMMM  No need to thank me.  LOL

Another thing I haven't done for a while is a book review, so why not one right now???  

I just finished reading "Heart in the Right Place" a memoir by Carolyn Jourdan.   
  • True story of a spoiled, high-powered Senate lawyer who gives up a glamorous life in Washington and comes back home to the Smoky Mountains to work as an inept receptionist in her father's rural medical office.
I enjoyed the book and would give it 4 out of 5 stars!  :) 

I have started reading a new book and am almost finished listening to another audiobook and will review those when I have finished with them.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend...

Quote for the Day:
"The law of heredity is that all undesirable traits 
come from the other parent."

Happy Labor Day to my USA readers...and Happy Birthday to my son Paul and his wife, Trinity! 

Yep...you read that right.  My son and daughter-in-law share the same birthday!  :)   Makes it real easy to remember!  LOL

The Labor Day weekend is a 3-day weekend here in the USA...the last hurrah of the summer.  We planned to have a yard sale all three days, but it looks like we might get rained out for Monday.  But so far, Saturday and Sunday have been fruitful and we have gotten rid of a lot of things.  YAY!!!  

This evening I decided to go through a closet that has been so overstuffed that the door wouldn't completely close.  :(  This closet is in my quilting room (used to be Erin's bedroom) and is where I store my out-of-season clothes.  Unfortunately, it also holds all the clothes that I can no longer wear due to weight fluctuations.  I know that it is not useful to hold onto clothes that I can no longer wear because even if I ever do lose the weight and get back into them, most likely they will no longer be fashionable.  :(
So...I decided to attack the closet today...


I ended up with 3 large garbage bags of clothes to donate to the local thrift store...

I emptied all of these hangers...

And this is what the closet looks like now...

The door completely closes now!!!  YIPPEE!! 

This afternoon I also went and did my couponing at Walgreen's and Rite Aid.

From Walgreen's...

I got $31.43 worth of product, paid $8.42 out-of-pocket, got $14.50 back in Register Rewards, making this trip a $6.08 moneymaker for me! 

From Rite Aid...

I got $13.52 worth in product, paid $2.22 out-of-pocket, got $4.00 back in +Up Rewards, making this trip a $1.78 moneymaker for me! 

I hope that everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend...at least, what is left of it!  :)