May 29, 2015

Smalls SAL - May Edition

I missed last month, but made up for it in May.  I had several finishes!

Designer: Palk√≥ 
Design: April and May Monthly SAL

Patriotic Mailart.  This is only a sneak peak since it's for an exchange and I want it to be a surprise to the recipient.

(Details to come later)

Design: Love Is Best
Designer: Lizzie Kate

May 24, 2015

Superb Sunday Update 5/24/15

The weather has been iffy the past couple of weeks.  On the nicer days, I went for walks during my lunch hour.  Who wouldn't enjoy these sights?

Long time readers know how much I've enjoyed my first few years for various reasons.  Last week was promotional products week.  Since my company is one of the top 10 promotional products distributors, we always participate in some sort of activity in support for the week.

Promotional Products Week 2014
Promotional Products Week 2015
My company is also a HUGE supporter of the American Cancer Society.  We do fundraising all year and have Relay For Life Teams.  One of the activities was to vote (with monetary donations) which costume our Sr. VP of Sales had to wear and parade through the office with.  The choices were: Sumo Wrestler, Jail Inmate, and Ballerina.  How does he look?

Finally!  I've recently had some happy dances.  First up is the April Monthly SAL.  The first three months, I had no problem with picking colors and visualizing what it'd look like finished.  For this one, I had more difficulty so I started out choosing two colors.  I stitched them and then moved on to the third and fourth colors.  I think it turned out pretty well.

Designer: Palk√≥ 
Design: April Monthly SAL

Stitched on 28ct linen with DMC Color
Variations 4110, Six Strand Sweets
Cherry Pie, and DMC 564 and 594.

My second finish is the Patriotic Mailart I was working on for an exchange I'm in.  Since I want it to be a surprise to the recipient, I don't want show the entire project.  Here's a sneak peak, though!

I had good timing on my finishes because a 'traveling chart' arrived in the mail from Debbie in Canada. 

Floss Toss
I just happened to have most of the floss colors in my stash.  The fabric is a left over piece  of Silkweavers I had in my stash also.  It's so great not having to go out and buy supplies!  This was a quick stitch. I finished it in one weekend.

Design: Love Is Best
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Fabric: Silkweaver Solo 32ct Turquoise Evenweave
Fibers: DMC, GAST
I ended up making a few floss substitutions.  DMC 930 for GAST Midnight, GAST Asparagus for Evergreen, and GAST Hydrangea (limited edition) for Slate.
If you would like to be included in the drawing for the traveling pattern, leave a comment letting me know.  I'll draw a name on Saturday, May 30th.
So far, it's been stitched by:
•  Kim at Wisdom with Needle and Thread.  Iowa, USA
•  Debbie at Debbie's Corner.  British Columbia, Canada
•  Meari at Meari's Musings.  Illinois, USA
Who's next?
I had to come up with two projects involving hot glue for a survey I was involved with.  Although I've used hot glue in the past, my conclusion is that it's really for craft projects that don't involve precision.  Repairs, forget it... unless again, the glue is not going to be seen... ever.  Let's face it, a glob of hard glue and strings everywhere don't make for good projects.

One of the projects I came up with was to make window clings.  This would be a fun project for older children with supervision.

Yeah, yeah... I know... It's not winter.  One of the snowflakes looks like a spiderweb, doesn't it?  There's actually glitter on the word "Snow", but the photo doesn't show it very well. 

One can attach it to the window with strategically placed dabs of hot glue.  (Or, you could just "draw" right on the window with the glue.  It comes off easily.)

I ended up doing this three times on three different mediums before I got it right.  Waxed paper and aluminum foil do not fare well as a work surface for this project.  The glue adhered to them and I ended up shredding both the paper and foil trying to get the clings off.  I ended up using a piece of steel my brother gave me for another project.  A cookie sheet would work well, too.  I free hand drew the word and snowflakes with a white quilting pencil before wielding the glue gun.  Once the glue cooled, the clings peeled off easily.


Celeste's Life In Pictures: HERE

Last Thursday, I spent a late night in the ER... the animal ER, that is. When I got home from work, my furbaby was breathing funny and I found that she had urinated on the floor and apparently had laid in it or fallen in it as it was all over her rear hip and on her back. She refused to go for a walk.... which is her MOST favorite thing to do. The behaviors she'd been exhibiting just weren't her.

Found out from the ER vet, Celeste has congestive heart failure and a heart murmur. I was sent home with enough meds to get us through Monday. The ER vet said without meds, she'd have days to live.  I feel so bad for her. Anyone have a doggie with this condition? 

I made an appointment on Friday with our normal vet to see how to proceed. Celeste has been put on Vetmedin for the heart condition and Lasix for the fluid and edema. The vet said Vetmedin is the best med on the market for the heart. Since Celeste is so little, I can get a 50 day supply and cut them in half. The cost would be about $35. Lasix is about $7. She has to be on the meds for the rest of her life. So for about $25/mo., I can keep her comfortable. The vet said the meds work really fast, and also said with this sort of condition, dogs can live years but can also drop over in a day. They have no way of knowing when it'll happen. For now, Celeste's personality and appetite is back to normal.  She's not as active in playing, though.


Three Little Words
Lizzie Kate

May 4, 2015

Marvelous Monday Update 5/4/15

Where did the month of April go?  Time seems to fly by so fast these days...

Two wonderful things have happened since the passing of my parents.  Two weeks after my Mom passed away, my niece was married in an outdoor ceremony at a beautiful park in Wisconsin.

The bride's family with her new groom.
The happy couple were high school sweethearts.

 Me with the bride and groom.  Hard to believe she's all grown up!

The wedding party drove to/from the park in my family's classic cars.  All the men in my family love old cars. On the right is my nephew's car.  The red GTO is my brother's car (the bride's Dad), the black Trans Am is my other brother's car, the blue GTO Judge on the left is my Dad's.  He was supposed to drive it in the wedding...  Since he passed away two month's before the wedding, my brother drove it in his place.

The second happy occasion is that I became a great-auntie again last week.  I have a new great-niece. At 5lb. 15oz., she's so tiny and adorable.

She slept most of the time I was there, but did open her eyes from time to time.  I wish I'd taken photos when she was awake.  The baby joins her 3 year old brother who's not quite sure he wants a sister.  My niece (different from the bride above) says sometimes he talks about the baby as if she's a puppy and other times he's afraid the baby will kick him and take his toys. LOL!

The weather over the past couple of weeks has been beautiful which makes me happy because I'm able to get my 10K steps outside on the walking path near my worksite.  I get to enjoy bits of nature every time I go for a walk...

One of my favorite local community theatres had a production going on last weekend.  "You Can't Beat The House is about two minor-league burglars who break into a house only to find it's up for sale.  Before they can leave, prospective buyer's show up.  The burglars can either pretend to be real estate agents or run the run and risk of getting caught. When the actual real estate agent and the police show up, it turns into a recipe for gut-splitting events.  Turns out the house is haunted as well.  Laughs were nonstop with this screwball comedy.  One wisecrack after another proves that "You Can't Beat the House".

The good news is... I've been stitching.  Currently, I'm working on a Patriotic mailart and a marriage sampler.  The bad news is... I can't show progress pics, although I've been taking them.

In lieu of photos, I'll leave you with this freebie:


Red Quaker Sampler
Needle Knowledge

Apr 12, 2015

Overdyed and Hand-Dyed Floss Organization

For years, I've been storing my different brands of hand-dyed/over-dyed floss  in gallon size ziploc bags according to manufacturer (GAST, Carries, SSS, HDF, WDW, etc.).

I organized them even farther by putting the floss in quart size ziploc bags alphabetically (A-D, E-J, K-M, etc). Inside each gallon bag was a checklist (from the manufacturer website) of colors available. I checkmarked the ones I have, so I know at a glance and don't have to go digging through the bag only to come up empty handed. 

I had two problems with this organization method:
•  It took a lot of time digging through the floss trying to find the one I wanted.
•  I couldn't look at the colors very well if I wanted to come up with a substitution for another brand.

After looking at various organization ideas on the internet, I think I've finally come up with an idea that will work for me.

Materials List:
•   Used Medium Flat Rate Box #2
•   White Spray Paint
•   Steak Knife
•   Packing Tape
•   Peel 'n Stick Laminate (i.e. Contact Paper)
•   Velcro Squares
•   3x4" Jewelry Ziploc Bags
•   4x6 Index Cards

Long time readers know I like to reuse, repurpose, and recycle if possible.  I looked through the boxes I have saved in my basement and found a postal flat rate shipping box.  I'm *sure* I received stash in it, LOL.  It is the #2 flat rate box:  Outside Dimensions: 12" x 3-1/2" x 14", Inside Dimensions: 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" x 13-5/8".

I painted it white to cover up the sender/recipient info as well as the printed logos and writing on the outside.  As you can see, I didn't bother with good coverage.  I just wanted to make sure the printing was mostly covered.  I placed the box with the bottom side facing up.  See the front edge where the two sides meet?  If it's facing you, that's the bottom side.

Using a steak knife, I cut through the adhesive and separated the cardboard sides.  I was careful in doing this so that I only cut the adhesive and not the cardboard itself.

Then I cut the left and right sides open.  Not so pretty after surgery...

I taped the sides securely back together using packing tape.  Now this is more like it!

Using the Peel 'n Stick Laminate (otherwise known as Contact Paper), I lined the inside of the box first.  Then the outside.  The best part of using this is there are several colors and patterns to choose from.  I had this in my basement so it's what I used.

Looks pretty, doesn't it?

My next dilemma was how to keep the box shut.  After pondering what I had in my supplies, I came up with squares of velcro.  Perfect!

Four squares were placed along the top edge of the box which acts at the lid, and four were placed on the lip/flap on the box itself.

The box is pretty large, so I created a divider out of two pieces of thin cardboard.  I wanted a removable divider so I made it freestanding.  I just put it in the box. Works great!

To organize the skeins of floss, I bulk purchased 3x4" ziploc jewelry bags and couple packages of 4x6 blank index cards.

I cut the index cards in half and labeled them with the brand of floss, the name, and number (if available).  Three skeins of hand-dyed floss fit into the bags.  Perfect for me since I don't have more than three skeins of any one color.

Once tagged and bagged, they're placed into the divided box.  I was able to fit all of my SSS floss in one box with room to spare.  I may make little tabbed dividers labeled with the alphabet to make it even easier to find floss by name.

If I want to see the colors, I simply start at the back of the box and slide my hand toward the front. Viola! Colors.

For the "finishing touch", I *finally* unpacked the Silhoutte Portrait I won last year.  After practicing on scrap contact paper, I made vinyl labels out of black laminate for my new floss box.

I think it really turned out well.  I'm in process of doing another box for my GAST and other specialty floss.  :)