Aug 30, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 8/30/10

For those of you who stated you'd like to see photos of my hair: Hell No! (LOL) The coworker who thought I was "hip" kept coming to check on the status of my purple hair. :O In the course of a week, it did lighten up considerably, but whenever I was out in the sun or under bright light, I still had magenta hair. I went to the store and bought a soft black root touch up kit. No more magenta highlights!

A while back, Bette from Reflections of a Desert Rat was hosting a giveaway on her blog. I won a cute kitty chart along with a frame that has kitty paw prints all over it.

Thank you, Bette!

I was able to work on Gentle Menagerie this week. I finished up the pig (Isn't he cute?) and most of the goose. It won't be long and I'll be done with this one. Then I'll be scouring the thrift stores for the perfect frame :)

Other WIP photos can be seen HERE.

Have you noticed a "theme" to my GM WIP updates? It occurred to me that quite a few of my updates involve an animal with no head! Do I need help? Bwahahahaha!

Pirjo of Pike is Stitching! was the first person to guess what the pancakes were for last week's contest.

Zucchini Pancakes!

I planted zucchini in my garden this year and had a couple in the refrigerator waiting to have something done with.... when I saw this:

They were absolutely scrumptious. I learned a very "valuable lesson" while making these pancakes. Shredding zucchini works much better if you take the seeds out first! I had zucchini seeds flying everywhere, lol.

Pirjo, please email me with your snail mail addy and I'll get a prize out to you. Congrats on being the first to guess!

In other cooking news... I made chicken fajitas for the first time. There might be "fajita mix" packets at the store, I dunno. This recipe was "from scratch". I changed it up some and it was D-Licious! I had enough leftover that I made individually wrapped fajitas and put them in the freezer. Yummo!!

Over the weekend, I finishing staining the bed I started at the beginning of the month. No new pics yet, but you can see the WIP HERE. I have to put all the pieces back together to form the headboard and footboard. Then it can be set up, which means doing "something" with the junk stuff in my spare bedroom/craft storage room.

Aug 23, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 8/23/10

Last week I worked like a dog getting 5 chapters worth of homework done BECAUSE I thought the week we do reading of said chapters is the week homework is due. Wrong! It's due the following week after we get lectured over the chapters. So, I was a week ahead, LOL.

Like my mother, I started getting gray hairs when I was 16 years old. At 26, I started getting my hair colored. A year ago, I decided to start coloring my own hair due to changes in the finance department: $60 at a salon vs. $10 at home... Hmmm. Granted, I *do* miss my 2 hour "therapy" session with my hairdresser of 12 years, but I digress.

It was *that* time again... so I made my monthly trip to the store and decided to try something different. For those who don't know, I'm brunette -- I was born with black hair. At the store, I chose a color called "Auburn Black". I looked at the pictures on the box. You know, the ones that show you what color your hair will look like if you're blonde, brunette, black, etc? The photo for black hair looked exactly that... black with a slight brown highlight. My inner self said, "Be brave... try it" So I did.

The application went well. No different than any other time I've done it EXCEPT the color had a pink/red tint to it. It wasn't until the next day at work that I saw the REAL color.... my gray/white hair was turned....

MAGENTA!! Not auburn, not even a red... but Magenta!

The brand I used was Feria which is made by L'Oreal. I went to their website to complain and found no email address or phone number for contact. *Grr!*

Carol (Just A Virginia Girl) is doing a stash reduction with some of her Blackbird Designs and Lizzie Kate charts. I've secretly coveted the LK's 12 Blessings of Christmas. When I saw that Carol had the entire set at a fabulous price, I contacted her.

Not only did she send me the charts complete with charms, she also sent the flip-it border and the bonus tree topper. Now... I just have to get busy and stitch them up!

Since I was ahead on homework, I had some time to stitch. Woo Hoo! I almost have the pig done on GM:

Can I count each animal as a finish??

Guess what? Charley laid an egg last night! Of course (as warned by the previous owners) she "poops" it out from the highest perch and it crashes to the bottom of the cage. I was a bit worried about her all weekend because her feathers were fluffed up a lot... then I read that females do that when they're getting ready to lay an egg.

I have been leaving her cage door open when I'm home. When I first open it, she quickly climbs down and comes out the door for a rub on the head and some attention. Then she'll walk around on the door and climb on sides. She's "found" a new toy: The handle on the top of the cage flips back and forth. She has figured this out and will flip it from one side to the other. When she's in the mood, I can get her to "step up" on my finger or arm.

On eBay, there was an auction for "singer treadle parts". There were at least 3 pieces I needed, so I bid and ended up getting them really cheap. One of the parts missing from my treadle when I got it was the bottom bobbin sliding door:

There was a needle plate and both bobbin doors in the package of parts. I spent a little time cleaning corrosion and dirt off the bottom door. Now I can see my reflection in it!

I still need to clean the needle plate and upper door. Doesn't the bottom door look awesome?

I made these pancakes over the weekend. I'd never had them before, or even knew such a thing existed! My photo doesn't show it, but the tops should be slathered in tomato or spaghetti sauce.

Can you guess what they are?

I'm going to hold a little contest. The first person to guess what kind of pancakes these are, will get a little stitchy something from my stash pile. I will announce a winner on my next MM update. :) Plus, I will share the recipe!

Lastly, I found out this morning that I became an auntie again (late last night). I have another niece to add to the 6 others! My poor nephew... looks like he'll be the only boy cousin, LOL. Harlee Ann decided to enter the world early. Weighed in at 6 lbs 3oz, and was 18" long.

Aug 18, 2010

Worst Date #13 - I'd Like To Introduce...

When a guy says, "I want to introduce you to some friends," I don't immediately think, Oh, he wants to take me to an AA meeting.

Now, I'm all for the program. It's helped many people, including friends of mine.

It's just not a place to take a date ever. That's why it's anonymous.

I get that he wanted to be open and honest about where he was in his life, but have some decorum. If not for me, but for the brave souls trying to overcome their addictions in private.

They don't want to see you woo me with your "sharing."

Disclaimer: These are not my dating stories... Just ones I've accumulated.

Aug 16, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 8/16/10

*Whew* The stress has already started after one week of class! I have another group project due this semester. There are 4 of us in the group this time. We have to choose a publically traded company and do a written financial analysis, then give an oral presentation on it. There will be three tests during the semester, in addition to homework problems and chapter reading. All in 8 weeks. I woke up in the middle of last night worried about whether I'd be able to do it with two jobs. Since I couldn't sleep, I read one of the chapters.

After weeks of high humidity and HOT-HOT-HOT temps, the weather has finally cooled down. I woke up to 59F temps this morning. Ahhhhh! Much better.

At 6am on the 11th, I walked outside and saw this rainbow to the west. The odd thing about it was that it hadn't rained for days! My guess is that there was so much humidity in the air, that a rainbow formed. About 3 days later, there was another rainbow to the east. This time due to some light showers.

No stitching this week, but I spent about 30 minutes doing more cleaning on my treadle sewing machine. I have the outside of the machine almost cleaned up.





Isn't it amazing what is underneath all that grime?

Meet Charley

Charley is the newest member of my household. She joins Celeste and a fish who remains nameless. A member of my local freecycle group posted a message stating they were giving away a cockatiel with cage. The owners were told she was a male when they got her a year ago. After she starting laying eggs, they realized HE was a SHE. Then the woman of the house became ‘with child’ and with six people in the apartment, they’ve had to downsize on their birds. Thus, Charley now has a new home.

Charley is a white-faced grey cockatiel, and a member of the parrot family. Cockatiels are closely related to the cockatoo. Average lifespan is 16-25 years. The previous owners thought she was about 2 years old. Cockatiels are extremely social birds and need human interaction. If they are the only bird, they will become attached to their owner.

A friend of mine had a male cockatiel for about 18 years. The stories I’ve heard have been very entertaining. I’ve never owned a bird before so this is new territory for me. I’ve been doing a lot of research, and trying to interact with Charley. I’ve read that females are more aggressive than males and have a tendency to bite – which I have found out, lol. I have also read that they are very smart birds and can be trained not to bite, to do tricks, etc.

The first evening at The Homestead was quite chaotic. Celeste wasn’t sure what to make of the new family member. She paced around the house alternating between whining and woofing. Charley was up in arms being in a new environment. Numerous times, she attempted to bite me. Eventually, she acted like she wanted to come close to me but then would back away. When I walked away from the cage, she’d squawk and again, this was an attempt to get my attention – which I read she should not get if I want to train her not to squawk. That night, all was quiet. Celeste went to sleep, Charley went to sleep, and I went to sleep.

The next day, Celeste was still prancing around the kitchen and woofing, lol. Charley was a little more social. She’d go to the side of the cage I was on and then back away. She even let me rub her head but then tried to bite me, lol.

Fast forward a week:
• Charley no longer tries to bite me.
• She has learned what "lovin" means: a nice rub behind the head and ears. All I have to do is say "lovin?" and she will bow her head to get a rub.
• I can stick my hand in the cage, which the previous owners said they couldn't do without her trying to bite.
• I'm also able to let Charley come out of her cage. If I am sitting next to her cage, she will walk out onto the door and bow her head to get "lovin". Then she'll climb to the top of the cage and walk around.
• If startled, she will try to fly, but she doesn't really know how. She ends up flying into walls and such, which then startles her even more.
• Celeste still tries to "woof" and charge the cage (like she does with birds outside, lol) but for the most part has gotten used to the new member of the household.

A bit of trivia: The Australian government instituted a strict ban on the export of these native birds in 1994, which means cockatiels in the U.S. are from captive bred stock.

Aug 11, 2010

Worst Date #12 - You Want To Do What?

What started out as a normal date -- dinner followed by a long walk -- devolved into something very, very odd. He asked if I wanted to swing by his apartment for some ice cream. Wonderful. Innocent enough. I love ice cream.

His place was very clean and Zen-y, so I wasn't fazed when he asked if I would remove my shoes. We sat on cushions on the floor, sharing a spoon and some Rocky Road.

Things were headed for first base when, out of the blue, he announced,

"I would really love to wash your feet."

"My feet?" I asked.

"They're a window into the soul, don't you think?" he replied.

He then confessed that he also wanted to wash my hair, too. I started getting self-conscious. This wasn't a date -- it was a shower.

I politely declined, but this guy had one more for me. As I started planning my escape, he added that I shouldn't be weirded out -- he's just a giver, so much so that he sometimes liked to give guys BJs.

Since we were unloading all of our inappropriate first-date conversations on each other, I told him that his ice cream made me farty and then booked it.

Disclaimer: While this is true, it did not happen to *me*! lol

Aug 9, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 8/9/10

I'm back at it again. Another semester starts up this week. Originally, I had planned on taking a full class load... but that was *before* I got the second job gig. After some contemplation, I decided to go back to a part-time class load. At least until things get settled with J2 (Job #2). This semester, I'll be taking Business Finance. Wish me luck!

I finished the goat on GM, and started the pig. With working two jobs and going to school, I'm not sure how fast this is going to get done!

Julie from I'll Cross That Leg is hosting a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers. She and her DH celebrated 30 years of marriage last week, and she's also announcing a retreat. Hop on over and check out Julie's latest news!

Cyndi from Cynimin's Stitching Obsession is celebrating FIVE years of blogging with a giveaway.

Bette from Reflections of a Desert Rat is also hosting a giveway! If you're a cat lover, go see what she's got up for grabs.

Jennifer from Feathers in a Nest is hosting a Fall Giveaway. Check out her blog to see what you could win.

Fiona at Peaceful Threads is celebrating 100 followers. To celebrate she is hosting a giveaway. Surf over to blog to see what the prize is!

Lynn from Happiness Is Cross Stitching is celebrating her second blogversary. Go over and check out what she's made for her giveaway. Be sure to check out her lovely creations, too.

~ Treasure Hunting ~

I don't spend a lot of time going to yard sales, but there was one advertised up the block from me that caught my attention. It opened on Saturday the same time as my chiro appointment, so I hit it on my way home. There were cars lined up the block!

It was a "good" sale, meaning lots of "stuff" and not a lot of clothes. People were scooping up all sorts of things... it was as much fun watching them as it was looking through the goodies. Nothing caught my eye.... until....

I saw this:

A Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

Guess how much I paid for this ornate treasure?

Only $30!!!

I've seen "plain jane" treadles sold for $100 on up, so I was really excited to see this one so reasonably priced. Both the treadle wheel and shuttle work very smoothly.

In doing some research, I have found out this particular machine is a Model 27 and made in 1899. The table is on wheels and supposed to have 7 drawers... the middle one is missing. I think it looks pretty darn good for being 111 years old.

The machine belonged to the prior owner's great aunt and had been stored in the attic so it was/is quite dirty. Additional photos that show off the piece better:

In one of the drawers was a Singer Puzzle box. There were 14 different puzzle boxes manufactured with accessories for Singer machines.

Aside from the presser feet and needles, I have *no* idea what the rest of the accessories are.

On Sunday, I started cleaning up the machine. Little did I realize what was under all that grime! I am very pleased with how it's turning out. Five hours later...

Scroll back up to see the "before" shot!

More photos can be seen HERE.

Treasure Hunting - Part Two

I found this jar at a thrift store for 50cents. I've seen a lot of them, but most didn't have the glass lid. I put my small spools of thread in it.

Dressmaker Space Saver 100

As I leisurely wandered around another thrift store, I wasn't finding much. I spied a little box on a bottom shelf....

I opened the box to find a cute little sewing machine! I HAD to check out the specs: 17 stitches including 3 straight stitches and 3 zig-zag, button-holer, quilting guide, and a sewing light (my Happy Lite doesn't have one). It also has a zipper foot and a button foot. Free arm that stores the accessories. Even the manual and original warranty were in the box! The only thing missing was the darning plate.

I wheeled my cart with the sewing machine box over to the nearest outlet to see if it worked, and it did! So for $15, I took my new toy home.

Dressmaker Space Saver 100 Sewing Machine

I couldn't find much history about the machine other than it was manufactured by Nelco which was a Japanese company who made machines for Montgomery Wards, Sears, and other similar department stores.

For a basic machine, it's very solid and sews really well... and it's very portable compared to my full size Kenmore. :)

If anyone is in need of a copy of the out-of-print manuals, I have them for sale for $15 each.

Little did I know when I bought this machine, that I'd be buying a treadle machine a week later!

Aug 4, 2010

Things I Want To Do

Tammy of "I Want To Do One More Stitch" posted this dilemma on her blog:

"Do you have a special place for storing all your brand new patterns or the ones that you want to start right after the one your doing? Where and how do you keep them? I need ideas what I am doing is not working for me. I am keeping them in a magazine sorter but its full lol and I am finding that I am forgetting about some patterns that I did want to start..."

Right now, I store the charts/kits I want to do sooner-than-later in two baskets. As you can see, both are overflowing!

This one is in my living room next to the sofa.
It also contains my on-the-go projects.

This one is in my bedroom on the nightstand next to my bed.
It contains a lot of small and medium kits I've accumulated over the years.

How about you? How do you store the projects you really want to do?

Aug 2, 2010

Marvelous Monday Update 8/2/10

Seriously, where has the week gone???? I feel like I've accomplished nothing!

It was with baited breath... OK, maybe itchy clicky mouse finger... that I waited for final grades to be posted online. According to the classroom gradebook, I achieved 85.6%. A good solid "B". I was happy with that! But then... I received an email from the instructor telling us to add FOUR percentage points to our classroom grade. So, I thought to myself: Could I really be getting an "A"??? An "A" by 6/10 of a percent? Will the instructor round up? Yeah, it was a nail-biter, for sure.

Then life got busy, and I forgot about it until I received an email from Mel asking about my grades. Yikes... I forgot.

Drum roll please..... I GOT AN "A"!!!

You can't begin to know how thrilled I am, seeing as I got a "C" on the 3rd test, and the 4th (and thankfully the last) test was giving me serious fits. C'mon, I was stuck on three questions for two days! I was ready to pull my hair out. Wait... maybe I did.

Back in June, Cindy (Random Stitching Ramblings) hosted Summer Tour Giveaway. This is what she sent me:

A cute little fabric ort bag! I thought this would be perfect for traveling. Her photo shows the "Made For You" charm better than mine does. Thank you, Cindy!

I did a tiny bit of stitching this past week... and that was last night. Here's what Gentle Menagerie looks like:

I've been conflicted on the colors used for the goat. I kept hoping that once I started the backstitching, I'd like it better. A head would help, too. LOL Other WIP pics and what it should look like can be seen HERE.

Last week, I gushed on about the Summer Geisha in the UK Cross Stitch Collection magazine. Look what Viv sent me.....

Thank you so much, Viv!
I am a very happy camper :)

My partner received the Summer Mailart I sent her last week. I was working on this during the retreat. I converted the Rainbow Gallery fibers to DMC and revised the chart to fit a mailart envelope. Also, this was my first time using aida for mailart. Here's what I sent Anna in KS:

Design: Sand Castles
Designer: Erica Michaels
Fabric: 14ct Beige Aida
Fibers: DMC

In today's mail, I received mailart all the way from Australia. Here's what Margaret sent me:

Thank you, Margaret!