Sunday, January 22, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside!


This is what it looks like outside.  The photos were taken yesterday.  It doesn't look much different today.  That pine tree on the left.....the branches are usually facing up, not down.

I worried all yesterday and last night, and this morning about the loom going to it's new home/owner.  My front steps are very icy.  Hubster did his best, but didn't want to put down salt (it gets dragged into the house and it's not pet friendly). 

The people came, we disassembled the loom, they wrapped it up the way they wanted it, and off they went.  I prayed every time someone walked up or down those steps.  I've fallen more times on those darned steps!  It's no fun and it hurts!

But, Lulu went to her new home.  I hope Jan has many happy weaving hours with her.  She will be well taken care of, I'm sure.

I now can move my sewing machine back into the room, and have all my "stuff" together again.  I felt very detached with the sewing stuff in one room, and the weaving stuff in another - especially for those things that have multiple uses.  I was constantly walking down the hallway to the other room to get something or other.  Now, I can put the sewing in with the weaving and everything will be happy again. :-)  I think I may leave the big table in the spare bedroom to lay stuff out on as I have the smaller table in the craft room to use now. 

I will also keep the older BW in the spare room for now.  If I find that I don't want both looms to have projects on them at the same time, then I will go ahead and re-list her. I would really like the money to get the new Janome sewing machine I've got my eye on.

This morning I spent an hour or a bit more, printing out more of my photo greeting cards I'm selling.  I will get them into the photo light box, and photograph them (does it make sense to photograph photographs?) and then I'll start listing them for sale.  I've not decided on a web host yet.  It's so confusing. I've read bad reviews on every web hosting site available.  Even the one that my friend uses in her business of building web sites.

Hubster suggested I wait, and I just try doing craft shows this year.  Well, it's a bit hard to know when and where the shows are, and by the time I find out, it's too late to get a space.  Besides, in reality, the website will cost me less than going to most craft shows!  I've decided to make a go at setting up the website, and starting out there.  Hopefully I'll do a good enough job to get us up and running.....

So I've had this idea for a very long time - someday, I'd love to have a little white cottage, somewhere that is busy enough to get the traffic, and sell hand-made goods from there.  I'd take things on consignment, then when they sell, I'd go ahead and pay the crafter.  Cottage crafts.  Crafts for sale.  I know it's already done online - but I was wondering if I could pick and choose whose products I'd like to sell online, if I could make any money off that?  Etsy is one place that it's done.  I don't necessarily want my site to be that big - after all I am NOT any sort of techie that would be able to handle something like that.  But a few select people that I know, that I respect their hand made items and think they'd that I'd love to do.  My dream is to do it with a real cottage, but hey, that's not in my near future (which reminds me, I haven't checked my lottery numbers from Weds.....)............

But I digress. I plan on getting serious about this website, which means I really need to move forward and quit dilly dallying around about it.  And get my stuff made (I need to get an inventory of weaving and quilts done) and get my photo cards photographed, labeled, and get them going!

Stay safe, stay warm, and have a great rest of your weekend and a wonderful week.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Icky weather

We had some icky weather last night and today.  So we're hunkering down and staying in - well, I'm staying in - hubster has to go out and take care of horses and has taken care of doggies too. :-)  I'm spoiled, and I deserve it!  ha ha

A couple of weeks ago, I was told that I won a hand woven tea towel from Susan Harvey!  I tell ya, I was shocked (I don't usually win stuff).  Here is the link to her blog where she tells the winners!  Susan, thank you SO much.  This towel is really beautiful. 
Then a week or so ago, my cousin (thanks Judee!) sent me a special from Keepsake Quilting.  It was for the pre-cut hearts and I ended up ordering TWO (2) sets!  I tell ya, I'm a fool for hearts...........I can't wait to applique' these onto some charm squares and make a heart quilt!
I spent some of my day yesterday making a photo light box to try to make my photos come out better.  Above you can see where I kinda messed up while taking the photo - you're not supposed to see the front of the poster board!  But I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention.  Now I realize I did the same with the towel. I guess I need some practice!  Here is the photography setup.  This photo (funny enough) came out a bit blurry because I didn't change the settings and I didn't use the tripod.  My hands aren't as steady as they used to be.....

Below,  I have a couple of photos of the photo greeting cards I'm going to start selling.  I took the photos in the photo light box.  I know I need some work yet to get really good, but I think it's working out well. 

I've tried the lighting in front, over the top, and in the sides.  It comes out differently every time.  So practice will make perfect!  Eventually I'll get it all figured out and I'll get good photos.  One of the things I'm going to do is go to Ikea because they have rolls of white paper.  My box is pretty large, and the poster board doesn't really come forward enough, as is evident in the pics of the towel and the hearts! 

I'm working on putting the charm squares together for my next quilt.  I'm excited.  It's Christmas themed (yeah, I know, a little behind but actually, I'm ahead - of next Christmas!).  It's going to be pretty I think.

I finally finished weaving off the fabric I was working on, on the big loom.  The lady buying it is supposed to come pick it up tomorrow, and hopefully the ground will be o.k. for them to come and not as slippery as it is today.  Lulu (Leclerc Nilus) needs to go - weaving this fabric off just proved it to me all over again - my back has been killing me.  I did some of the weaving yesterday, and some of it today.  The smaller loom is much easier on my body.

She is all ready to go to her new home!  This is going to leave so much room in my craft room now.  Maybe I can move the sewing machine back in so everything is together!  We'll see.....

So that's it for today. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crazy Wild Weather and Other Stuff...

The weather has been really strange this winter.  One day it's 60 degrees, the next it starts out in the upper 40s and gets colder during the day.  It's rained, snowed, and been sunny....the cold days are usually sunny, the warm days rainy.  We live in the East for goodness sake.  Where is the hard freeze, and months of cold weather?  We need to kill off the bugs! 

On another note, I've been MIA because I've been putting a LOT of time in on the computer, trying to figure out where to buy those nice cellophane envelope/bags to put my photo cards in.  Geesh, you'd think that would be an easy thing - but the size I need/want, isn't common, and some of the places didn't have much selection, and especially, the size I want.  I had looked at SO many sites, I had to start writing them down so I wouldn't waste time going back and looking again. 

Hubster and I went to Ikea last weekend.  We went looking for a t.v. stand.  I had seen one online that was under $100 and asked him if he liked it.  He said, we'll go off we went on Saturday.  We got into the store and found the section with the t.v. stands, and we were waffling back and forth, finally decided on one that wasn't really our style, but we thought we'd seen them all......till we turned a corner!  We both saw the stand at the same time. It's really NICE and more our style than the more contemporary one we thought we'd have to get.  And.....wait for was $40 less than the others!  :-)  BIG smiles all around.....till we had to put it together....more on that in a minute.

Isn't this sweet?  It really fits in well.  (I have a really hard time getting Blogger to place my photos where I want them.  It likes to place them at the top of my post....even if I don't want them there)

Putting Ikea furniture together isn't fun.  Hubster is great at setting out all the parts, separating them, and yes, he even follows the directions (of course, it's all stick drawings of the parts but if you're careful and go slow, it works).  Well, don't you know, they put 2 different types of these things you put into the wood that hold the screws in place (I'm sure they have a name but widgets is all we could think of), and Hubster didn't notice there were 2 different sizes - the sizes were NOT distinguishable by just looking at we had the entire cabinet put together, and when it came to the drawer (the very last part) we needed the smaller of the widgets....and they were in another part of the cabinet.  Those little buggers weren't easy to remove either!  We had to take the entire cabinet apart, to get the right size widgets, and put it all back together (which went faster the second time).  It took about 2.5 hours all together.  Hey, it's Ikea......we KNEW it had to be put together.
We also bought a small table for my craft room.  I had to move the large table out of there, then I didn't have anything to put anything on!  I needed a small table.  They had a table top they were selling for $5.00!  We got that and the 4 legs ($3.50 each).  The entire table cost less than $20!  Not bad!  The table has a nice slick surface so I can also use it to hold my quilts while quilting them, and they will slide right across without getting stuck there.  Should work great!

I have 3 projects going now....I have the newest Baby Wolf about half way threaded for the pinwheels.  I have my project I need to weave off on the big loom (Leclerc) because someone is supposed to come this weekend to buy it (YaY!) and I want to get that piece woven off instead of cutting it off and wasting the warp.  I also have a quilt started - well, I have all the charm squares all set up in the order I want them.  The table isn't quite large enough to add the extras I want to add, so I guess I'll have to do it on the floor....and haven't started moving them down there yet.  I had the Reindeer Games that I'd picked up before Christmas, but I couldn't find any fabric I liked to do sashing with.  I finally decided to go back to the quilt shop to see if I could find another Reindeer Games, but I couldn't.  I did, however, find another Charm Pack to go with the Reindeer Games, so I am incorporating that Charm Pack into the first, and it's coming out great!  Photos on that another day.

Off I go to start my day.  Lots of weaving to do to get the big loom ready to leave and go to it's new home.  Had a nibble or two on the other BW but haven't gotten anything solid yet.  Sigh....I hate to see it go.  There are expenses that have to be paid.  I have to pay the person I bought the new BW from another $500 before the end of this month.  And Hubster got the bills in for the doctor's visits that he made in December when he felt something wasn't right.  I felt it was nerves and stress, but he was sure it was his heart (every test came back perfect) so there it is - a lot of money to the ER.  Better safe than sorry. But there goes the hope of putting some of that money toward my new Janome sewing machine I'm hoping for.  That's ok, I have a machine, it sews, so I am ok with it.

Have yourself a great day, and think positive!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Am I Happy With Myself?

This is going to be the question I start asking myself, every day, everything I do during the day.  I have decided that I get too wrapped up in things that don't always make me happy....sometimes I think I want something because it will make me happy, or I go after food because it makes me feel better...when in the end, I'm not really happy with why I did it, or what I did to myself.

If I'm going to spend time on the computer, is it because I'm avoiding something else, or because I'm trying to accomplish something, or because I'm enjoying what I'm doing?

If I'm upstairs working on a craft project, is it because I am enjoying it or because I feel like I have to get it done?

If I'm going out and spending time shopping or eating with friends or Hubster, is it because I'm avoiding doing something I should be doing, or because it makes me happy to be doing it?

If I'm thinking about my past, is it negative or positive?  If it's negative, am I happy about that?  Of course not!  Something came up recently and I was getting upset about it - all over again - I had been upset almost an entire year about this thing, and when it reared it's ugly head again, I got into that mode of feeling like I wasn't worthy, or why can't I be good enough?  Ha!  I'm perfectly happy with where I'm at in my life, and that I'm not doing that thing I was involved in when that negative person was in my life and when I wasn't at all happy.

Some people can just go on and act like things going on around them don't affect them.
Other people can get so wrapped up in the negativity of stuff, that it becomes their focal point, and then they bring everyone around them down.

I've fallen into both categories at one time or another.  I don't like being negative, and I don't like people around me to be negative.  I try not to live in my past - cuz it drags me down.

I also don't do well when I'm going along and "acting" like things that have happened are not bothering me.  Heck yeah, I'm bothered.  But, it's how I react and what I do with it that matters, right?

I haven't been taking very good care of myself.  I've been eating horribly, and eating things that aren't good for me.  I haven't been getting enough exercise at all.  I've got more excuses than Carter's has pills.  Yep, do you remember Carter's pills?  LoL

At any rate, I feel like I need to improve myself all the time.  That gets old sometimes.  But, I had a revelation recently and I've decided that I'm going to start asking myself, does this make me happy with myself?  If' I'm eating 30 Kisses in a day, does that make me happy with myself?  If I'm thinking about something that happened four years ago, and it drags me down, does that make me happy with myself?  If I'm upset with someone else, and I want that person to change, does that make me happy with myself? 

Right, so even tho it sounds selfish, I think it's not, because in the end, if I'm happy with MYself, then I'm not worrying about whether I'm happy with someone else.

Anyway, just some thoughts on how to be happy with ones self, and just sharing that I want to improve myself - NOT for anyone else, and not for some New Year's resolution, and not for any other reason than to help ME be a better, healthier, more productive me. 

We'll see how long I can hold onto this!  :-)

On a brighter note, I've had an interest in one of my looms.  I hope the person makes a decision and I get at least one loom sold (but hoping the other one will also sell).  I think I'm going to have to lower the prices on them.....

Oops, gotta go - got invited to go with Hubster (there I go again) and it's a sunny day out so I want to go with him to town for the ride.  I am going to come back and work on my weaving this afternoon.  I'm almost done with winding the warp for the pinwheel towels.  I'd like to get the loom dressed today, so I can start weaving.  I also want to get a quilt laid out so I have the plan done, and then when I get the chance, start sewing it together.  I actually have 2 quilts in mind - one is with charm squares, the other will be a little art quilt. 

Take care

Monday, January 9, 2012

Good things!

Hey there.  Sorry I went missing a few days.  I have had a lot going on again and I have had ADD again - so I'm trying really hard to get back into a routine with posting.  This post will be about my day today.  I had planned on staying home and winding the light color yarn for my pinwheel towels (I did finally get the dark yarn wound).  Well, then a friend emailed me and asked if I was available for lunch tomorrow.  I am babysitting tomorrow, so I told her I was free today or the other days this week, just not tomorrow.  So she invited me over for lunch today and even gave me a choice of what to have - I chose the salad she offered, and boy oh boy, was that an excellent choice!  I wish she could make my salad every day!  She made a TON - yes, I eat a lot, but not that much! lol  I did, however, end up having 2 helpings because it was that yummy.  She has the prettiest plates too - they make the food even more appetizing.

 I took the above photo standing on a chair.   Isn't it just SO inviting?  I love going to Jan's house because it's full of old furniture (the kind that is made from real wood) and comfy seating and it's just warm and cozy - and being with Jan makes me feel exactly like that - warm and cozy!

It was snowing while I was at Jans.  This is the first snow of the season.  She has such a beautiful view out her back deck. Even in winter when all the trees are bare, the view is still beautiful (in my humble opinion).

Snow!  :-) 

That is it for this post.  I have several others I want to do, but I won't jam everything into one post again.  I don't think that's fair to my few readers.  And I think it gets boring.  I'm trying to become a better blogger.

Take care!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yummy Pretzel Kisses Nuts!

On a blog I read (and I can't remember which one so I'll try to go find it and post a link) I read about these awesome treats - you place a Hershey's Kiss on top of a round pretzel, stick it in the oven for only a few minutes and when you take them out the kisses are soft, and you put an M&M in the center.

Well, I decided to do my take on them - first, I couldn't find round pretzels so I used these square ones that look like a grid - they are good for this because they make a little plate of sorts.  :-)  You place the Kiss on the center, place it in the oven (mine was 250* because I couldn't remember where I found the blog!) and I watched closely - did NOT walk away (I tend to ruin food because I get caught up doing something else).  So I watched and tested.  Instead of an M&M in the center (just didn't appeal to me) I used Planters Cocktail nuts in sea salt.  I placed either a whole nut, or a half nut, in the center.

Now I will tell you, they are cooled and still soft and mushy.  I don't know if they were supposed to stay soft.  A friend told me she got some for Christmas in a tin of I don't think hers could have stayed soft....but, the issue might be that I used the Kisses with caramel in some, and ones with the soft chocolate centers in them.  I might have to buy regular Kisses (oh darn) to try them again and see if it has a different affect.

So here are the pics!
Before Baking
After Baking
Ingredients - forgot to get the pretzels in there tho!
They are VERY good - and addictive - hey, who doesn't love chocolate and salt!!!!

I'm very tired today - guess it's been a busy week and it caught up with me.  Yawn.

It doesn't help that it's 64 degrees out right now and it's nice and warm.....I could grab a blanket and pillow and fall asleep in the sun on the porch.  Supposed to be nice again tomorrow although I keep hearing not quite as warm.  But it's pretty danged nice out considering it's January in Virginia!

So that's all I have for today.  Haven't done any crafting of any sort for a couple of days (I did babysit Grand Baby Girl yesterday tho!).

Take care!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sunrise, sunset....

There have been two nights in a row where the sunset has been so beautiful.  I usually capture really great sunrises, as I see them right out my kitchen window in the mornings.  But sunsets are much harder for me.  By the time I see the sunset, I only have about 2 minutes to grab the camera, and get on the porch, focus, find the right setting, and get photos - and hope they aren't shaky. A lot of my photos are shaky because of me.  Sometimes it's the settings I use (as I'm uneducated but plan on changing that this year).  Anyway, the photos will also make nice cards, I think...  Here is one of them....

Isn't nature amazing?  I will work on making some more cards tomorrow.  I asked on FB what people thought about the photos as cards; would they use them; how much they'd charge; and did they think they'd sell?  I had 3 people tell me they wanted cards!  I will make 3 sets of 4 cards each, and send them out, and tell the people there is no charge, on one condition - they have to be totally honest with me that they would actually BUY another set in the future, or not (and why).  They must be totally honest with me!

On my crafting.....I gave the memory cards to my Grand Baby Girl today. She had fun throwing them around - hey, she's only one year old. lol.  I didn't expect her to play with them!  Maybe in the future tho.  If they are still around then................

I have been thinking about the warp I've been winding....considering taking it off the warping board - again!  Can you believe that?  Oye.  I think that I'm worried that if I wind 2 separate bouts of colors, I will get the yarn all tangled and make a mess out of it - see, I've done that twice before.  Wound all one color, then another and tried to warp the loom with it.  Both times I made a horrible mess and ended up tossing the yarn.  I don't want to do that with this, I am considering taking it off the board and back onto the cone, then, I will wind the warp with 4 of the dark color and 4 of the light - only problem with that is when you wind, you get an uneven not sure how I'll fix that problem....I tell ya, this organized weaving is going to make me nuts!  LoL

I enjoyed babysitting today, although it really exhausts me. Oh, I took Grand Baby Girl to the sewing center in Lakeridge that sells Janomes, and I really fell in love with the 6600.....but I'm gonna have to get serious about selling these two looms - even if I have to sell them at lower prices.  The sewing machine costs $2000 with the table and I might as well GET the table.  Otherwise it's $1500 without the table - but, the machine is bigger than your average, I might as well get the nice sewing table with the machine (it's a $700 table so I guess I'm "saving" $200....).  It has lots of pretty stitches on it and that's what I want!  Financing is available and if I pay it off in a year, it's interest free.....only problem is, that's about $175 a month....which I don't have cuz I'm not working!

Anyway, that's a dream for the future...I'll just have to get a photo and put it on my Vision Board!

I'm rambling now, I'm really tired.   I hope you enjoyed my Sunset photo.  Have a great night.  I'm off to watch some t.v. and then go nighty night.  Got a bit of a headache....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I did it!

I figured out how to put my photos on the greeting cards.  I'm leaving the insides blank for now.  But I did it!  :-)  I'm kinda proud of myself.  Just took some patience after all.  I don't know if anyone will buy them, but I'll make up some sets and see.  Only one way to find out, right?

The photo of the cards looks a bit warped - because the cards don't lay flat.  I'm going to make myself a photo booth to start taking better photos of my items - weaving and sewing and other stuff.  But this is what I had today.  So this is what I'm posting! :-)

Today I worked on some memory cards for the grand baby girl.  She's one year old - I simply cannot believe where the time has gone!  Dear Daughter asked me to make these and I finally got around to it.  I was dying to craft something!   The link to how to do them is here.  I did it the hard way tho - I didn't recheck the link before starting.  When putting the backing on I used cotton fabric and did the entire turn-it-inside-out-after-sewing gig....and they don't look near as nice!  So I'd advise, follow the directions on the link!

I had started winding a warp.  I decided I didn't want it as long as I was making it - I did the math 3 different times - first for one towel, then for six towels, then decided I only want to make 4 towels in the pinwheels (I'm doing a weave along on Ravelry Warped Weavers).  I get too bored with doing too many things, and I was afraid I'd run out of yarn.  So I took it off the warping board twice!  Oye.  When will I ever learn????  Anyway, I got tired of winding warp (haven't done it in awhile and I'm out of practice).  So then I started pulling fabric out - I need to put some practice sandwiches together to practice my FMQing.  The fabric pieces are still sitting on the floor!  lol.  I started working on the memory cards and now, it's time to make dinner (warmed up sauce and pasta that hubster made last night!!!).

It's freezing cold today.  The wind has been blowing and I don't know what the high temp was, but now at 4:52 pm it is 24 degrees out and that's not including the windchill!  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr - today would have been a great day for a fire but since I was upstairs working and the wood burning stove is in the basement, it wouldnt' have done ME any good anyway! 

Hubster went back to work today.  Well, he works from he didn't go far. lol
Thursday I go babysit the Grand Baby Girl.  :-)  I'll be tired tho - she's a tough one to keep up with!
I need to get my loom on a few more websites.  I haven't had any nibbles on the big loom.  I so don't really want to sell the older BW loom, but, I need to bring some money in instead of it always going I'm gonna have to advertise it.  Sigh..........

Off to warm up dinner and put on some more clothes - I'm soooo cold.  Stupid heat pumps don't do nuthin for the house once it's below 32 degrees. 

Have a great day or evening!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

I am not making any resolutions per say. I am just setting some goals for mysel which is more like a challenge than anything else.
First, I want to craft more. I want to do more variety. I've missed making my cards, but I want to concentrate on using my photographs for the cards. I want to explore the possibili of printing my photos directly to the card stock.
Which means, I also want to improve my photography both my skills and my use of the camera I have. If I can do that, maybe I can justify a better (more expensive) camera down the road.
I will be working on expanding my quilting skills also. I've joined Sewcalgirls FMQ challenge and I already love this months challenge. I do, however, have to make some practice quilt sandwiches which I tink will be from fabric I find in a thrift shop since I really don't want to use fabric I would use for quilting even tho that is what is advised we do. I just don't have that kind of fabric stash and really can't afford that. Yes, I'm cheap - um, thrifty.
I will also be exploring other quilting methods, like smaller appliqué quilts, as wel as making lap and baby quilts (do you see a theme forming here?). Yes, I am going for smaller projects.
Weaving will also be something I will explore in further detail. Most of my recent Weaving has been simple, plain (tabby) weaving. I am going to explore patterns, but I am also going to keep the projects smaller.

I am selling my large floor loom (I hope). I also have an older baby wolf loom I am going to sell. I figure I am one person, and can only work on one loom at a time. Which means I can only have one project at a time. I bought the loom from my friend who has decided she doesn't want to weave anymore. I also got a lot of yarns from her, so I won't to make use of that and hopefully not hav eto spend money on weaving yarns for awhile.
One other thing I hope to do is to get another sewing machine. I am hoping to get a janome, one that has some embroidery ability (or at least a font to use).
These are some of the challenges I hope to be able to accomplish. I also have some things I hope to get done in the house. My plan is to get at least one project accomplished a month.

So, what do you hope to improve on this year?
I've typed this entire thing on my IPad. I sure do love this thing (except when it auto corrects words and it isn't the word I wanted)
Again, happy new year. May this year bring you all good health, wealth, happiness, peace and all good things.