Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve

I've been enjoying everyone's year end sewing reviews, but I won't even attempt a sewing review as I did very little-however...

I do feel much more adept at making bags and purses and since I really love sewing them, that's a good thing.

I did not put all of the fabric that I bought in Paris to good use but that's okay because I've gleaned enough info from blogs and pattern review to know what I would like to do with my purchases in 2009. We have a couple of weddings to attend and I'd love to wear something I've made to them. I did make the dress that I wore to my High School Reunion and I was very happy with it.

But you know what? If it weren't for the wonderful people that I've met in blogland I'm not sure if I would have kept up with my sewing attempts. I'm so impressed with what others have achieved and are willing to share with everyone else.

On a personal level, I think I've done more in this one year than I've done if I combined many of my past years all together. In January we bought a sail boat. In April we visited family in Paris and Switzerland. In May we sailed our boat from Massachusetts to Maryland (and I lived a bulimics dream most of the way!). We tried very hard to use Miss Kitty at least once a month this summer and ended up weathering a few storms in the Chesapeake. I moved Baby Girl to an apartment in August and to yet another one last week. I now have a Granddog, and it's a good thing he's so sweet and lovable because he has no manners. And last but certainly not least, Hans asked me to marry him.

So tonight we are going out to celebrate New Year's Eve at the same place we went to last year. It too has had some changes. It's been completely remodeled and added on to but luckily it still has the same crowd and great dance music.

Here's to a Happy and wonderful New Year to everyone and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's wonderful blogs in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here is Hans playing the piano (and enjoying football on the TV) at an 'after' Christmas party this past Sunday. A former co-worker decided to throw an impromptu get together and we had a wonderful time.
There were people there that I hadn't seen in years; some were retirees and some were laid off employees such as myself (9 years ago, Wow!).
First of all, I'll tell you this: No children + no pets = a spotless home, something I myself have never experienced.
Have you ever been in someone's home and afterwards really dread going back to yours? What an incredible place they have. And what wonderful hosts!
I told the hostess that it really wasn't necessary to throw Hans and I an engagement party but that we appreciated it just the same, and by the way we will consider her next party to be our reception!
You can't beat it!
And I'll be more than glad to bring along the entertainment.
As long as Hans is willing!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas and a Big Surprise!


I'm sitting here in my own house recuperating from a huuuuge Christmas dinner and I feel just like a stuffed turkey myself.


We went out to my parents like we always do and this was the first year one of my kids couldn't be there. Vet Tech girl had to work a 12 hour shift so she and Duncan (who's turning out to be the worlds cutest but worst behaved granddog ever!) were not there.





Steiner (marine) binoculars for Miss Kitty.


What I like about them is; you can be looking at something far away and then close up and you don't have to re-adjust the focus. They also work in low light situations and we really could have used these a few times already, like when we were looking for a place to anchor and at the same time avoid all the crab lines. No one wants a bunch of lines tangled up in their engines and the crabbers don't want you messing with their lines! Believe me on this.


Here's my surprise, and believe me I was surprised.



Yes, indeed folks, it's an engagement ring!

Hans designed it himself and lucky for him he was able to pick it up at the last minute on Christmas Eve.

This makes up for the fact that he introduced me as his 'friend' at his company Christmas party a couple of weeks ago!! I myself was horrified and couldn't believe that he'd call me his 'friend' and not his 'girlfriend' (and for the rest of the weekend I was merciless and constantly referred to myself as his friend).


Last night he was finally able to explain himself by telling me that he'd been planning this for quite some time and knew the ring was in the process of being made and when we met his co-workers he started to call me his fiance (how did he know I would say yes?) but stopped in time and the only thing that rolled off his tongue was 'friend' because it started with an 'f'.

Baby Girl says that's probably not true.

She says Hans had to save face, ran out and got a ring, gave it to me Christmas Eve, and made up this whole story because that's the only thing that could save him.

I don't know, what do you think?


Anyway, it's something I said I would never do again (and I meant it!!) but then I hadn't counted on meeting Hans. How I was ever lucky enough to meet the perfect man is beyond me and I often tell him that I placed an order for the standard model and by mistake someone sent me the top of the line model with all the upgrades, bells and whistles, and I absolutely refuse to send him back!

This man is a keeper.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays and I hope I'm done!




Here is the bottom of the Day Bag that I made for Vet Tech Girl's Christmas Present.

Purse Feet!















This inside lining and zipper pocket.


I love the Paw Print and I hope she does too.











I like having a zipper closure for more security and I was amazed at how close of a match I got colorwise with the zipper and the fabric.






I added grommets along the bottom edge of the flap because I thought it seemed a little blah.









And here's Sally Stitch modeling both the purse and the cute shirt that I found at Fashion Bug. I didn't realize at the time that the shirt actually matches the purse.

On Saturday I finished up my year at the Inn and I took today as a vacation day from my regular job as I didn't have any Christmas shopping done. I got home around 4:30 PM and just finished wrapping !

Tomorrow The Beast will go to work with me for Christmas Eve. She's done this for years and since she doesn't want to be grubby I need to get a move on and brush her right now. I use a cat brush and my sweeper and she loves it.

I kid you not, she loves my sweeper!

We call it her 'Day of Beauty'.

For those of you who celebrate the Holidays I wish all of you well!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What's up so far this week



This is what I should be working on.

A second apron to go with my first.



But since I have some time left to get this done, I started another project.








See the paw prints?

What is it and who could this be for?


If you guessed a purse for Vet Tech Girl then you're right.







Here is the paw print with some matching corduroy, zippers, and thread.

Since I made a Messenger Bag for Baby Girl I decided I should make a purse for Vet Tech Girl.

This is going to be a version of the Day Bag with a zipper, and flap closure.

I just bought the fabric tonight and it's already been washed, dried, cut out, and partially sewn.




On Sunday I got to see my Granddog Duncan.
I hate to admit that Duncan might not be the brightest bulb in the box.
I took him for a run and what a nut! Besides the fact that he wore me out, it turns out that he's afraid of almost everything including: seagulls, and Muzak.
When we weren't busy sniffing light posts and shrubs we were running like the very devil was after us everytime he heard the slightest noise. I walked him on a trail near some restaurants and everytime we went past one with music being piped outside, he was horribly confused and once again we'd be off and running.





This is from Thanksgiving but I'm betting that he looked a lot like this yesterday after his big run.














I know just how he feels.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Need Me A Life!!!!! And I Hate December


(The wait staff of Dinner Theater waiting for the doors to open and the hordes to wash in.)









I've referred to December as Hell Month in the past and I still stand by that declaration.


I ended up working in the Dinner Theater last night. This was after many phone calls, from the inn, to me at my regular job constantly switching me back and forth from Theater to regular dinner. I haven't worked a Dinner Theater yet this year and especially wanted to work the Christmas show as I heard it's really good.

So after being stuck behind a salt truck for about 10 miles and zipping along at 30 miles per hour, I breathlessly arrived at the inn and was told, "Oh you're working Dinner after all."

I was not a happy camper.

Anyway one of the other Dinner Theater workers hadn't shown up yet so I bravely marched into the Mrs's office and pleaded my case (a dangerous feat I assure you).

I hadn't worked a Dinner Theater yet. I really wanted to work a Dinner Theater. I left my regular job an hour and half early to get here. I had to switch cars because of the weather (Baby Girl's old car has better tires than mine) and I was here but Jared who lived close by the inn was not here yet and couldn't he work regular dinner instead?!

I was almost in tears.

Mrs. said that she didn't think it would be a problem but then she yelled at me and said it wasn't her fault that I have a full time job.

So I worked the show and yes it was good but I can't help but feel like every time I beg and plead for something and actually succeed in getting what I want, I also get punished because it was a crazy night.

We drew straws for the tables we would wait on and I got the 4 most difficult tables in the house. The furthest from the kitchen with horribly narrow aisles, 2 of them on the top third tier, and right beside the bar where it would be impossible to maneuver through with my tray.

Then one of the buses bringing quite a few of our 228 reservations phoned ahead and said because of the weather they were running a half hour behind.

Guess who had 2 tables of these people?

It wouldn't be a big deal but the show has to start on time so that meant that when they finally showed up, I literally threw their food at them. Salads were already on the table and before they could get to their seats I plopped their soups down too, then out came dinner served family style (on platters that they have to pass around on their own). At this point there was no room on their tables and they were balancing soup cups on half eaten salad plates and trying to figure out where to put the platters.

And then on one of my trips to Siberia I knew I was in deep trouble. Balancing a loaded tray on my shoulder I had to come to a grinding halt because one of the bus ladies was in front of me, with a walker, and she couldn't navigate the 2 steps it would take to get her up to her tier. Before it was over, and even with too many people pushing and pulling her, she slowly sank to the ground and was literally rolling around on the floor. I could feel my back bending into such an S shape that I feared I may never straighten out again. Finally someone rolled her to the side enough so that I could step over her and deliver my food.

They used a wheel chair to get her out at the end of the night.

Of course everyone ran out of gravy at the same time and at one point one of my tables asked for a third refill and with out even thinking I blurted out, "Again!?"

Now, I've posted about Cassie, one of our waitresses, who has sex on the brain 24/7, and last night was no different. During our 2 hour set up, no matter what the conversation, Cassie injected either a sexual innuendo or just a plain old blatant sexual comment.

Examples: "Oooh give me a hug, I want to feel your big boobs!" "If I back into you will you goose me?" "I didn't know you could swallow so much!" This was after one of the waitresses ate a spoonfull of whipped cream. These are the mild, printable remarks, believe me there were many others and they would make you cringe.

I was madly clearing dishes so the show could start when I heard Cassie's voice behind me at one of MY TABLES. She started by asking how the ladies at the table managed to snag such good looking men wink wink. These were elderly, mostly deaf people and I don't even know if they heard half of what she was saying and I couldn't bring myself to stick around and listen to the rest of it.

It occurred to me then that I probably wasn't going to do well in the tip department.

After 7 hours of setting, serving, and cleaning up, we managed to get out the door and I was incredibly relieved that Baby Girl's car (who has developed a bad cough) actually started and I was home in time to share some Gouda with Chlorox.



I was stuck waaay in the back, but you can't really appreciate it from this picture.
















The 3 tiers of dining in the Dinner Theater.















A view down the hallway of the inn to the back lobby.




















The front lobby of the inn and the landing to the upper floors.






A view of the main lobby as seen from the main dining room.










The main dining room. This is where I spend most of my time at the inn.

The main dining room as you walk in from the main lobby.

A while back I asked for tonight off from the inn because we're going to Hans' Christmas party and I'm glad I did. My back and neck need a visit to the chiropractor and my 'tray lifting' arm is actually sore today.
I think I'm getting too old for this stuff.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Cat Who...

...Ate Gouda.




Has anyone ever read Lillian Jackson Braun's books, 'The Cat Who...'?

For years, every time one was published I bought the hardback version.

That says a lot as I'm very frugal (read cheap).
But since I'll be moving to a small apartment soon, I ended up getting rid of tons of books including my Cat Who books and believe me it was NOT easy.




But I realized that most of them weren't books I'd ever read again and even if I wanted to, that's what libraries are for.
So even if I don't have the books, I have the cats, and this one dearly loves her Gouda.
Every night, Chlorox stands on her hind legs and taps on my leg begging for her share of cheese.
How can I ever say no?

Monday, December 8, 2008

a finished apron









Here is the first of 2 aprons that I'm working on this month. I'm really happy with how it turned out. The front has 2 patch pockets (you can't really see them in these pictures as it's such a busy print) and I decided to line them with the vest fabric. I also lined the bottom of the apron. All I had to do was cut out a lining piece the same size as the main pattern. Then sew this sides and the bottoms right sides together, trim the corners, turn right side out and press. It just looks better and feels much more sturdy this way.








Here's a view from the back and you can see that the lower portion is lined with the vest fabric. Sally Stitch was more than happy to model for me.










A full length view.
I took it to work with me this morning to show everyone and all of the men laughed. I had one guy try it on and he asked, "Am I on Candid Camera or something?" I really didn't get what was so funny so he said, "What man wears an apron?"

I kid you not.










What man will wear an apron?????
This one right here, that's who. Even though it's not for him, Hans had no problem trying it on and he even said he really liked it. What a great guy!!


This is a one size fits all and it fits Hans who's 6'3'' very nicely. Needless to say if you're making one for a shorter man then you'll want to adjust the pattern a bit.


We went out for breakfast on Sunday and this is what we got to drive around in. 18 degrees and more than 6 inches of snow.
I worked Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sat, at the inn last week and I have to work tonight and tomorrow night too, so I won't get a lot of sewing done. Just bits and pieces. I do have to say it was fun and easy to wind a bunch of bobbins on my sidewinder and Hans even got a kick out of seeing how it worked.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Traditions

You should check out Claire's Christmas Light post. It's a fun one.

I suppose we all have our own ways of celebrating or getting into the spirit at this hectic time of the year.

I myself haven't put up a Christmas tree for about the last 7 years. Pretty hard to believe if you knew how much I used to love this holiday. But my December working schedule is brutal and I don't even do my Christmas shopping until the inn closes which is a few days before Christmas.

But when I was little it was a whole different story. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was made into the TV special when my sister and I were little. Then came Charlie Brown's Christmas and our all time favorite, The Grinch. (Sorry but I never liked Frosty the Snow Man and I was glad when he melted.)

We lived for our Christmas shows so you can imagine how excited I was when my kids were finally old enough to enjoy these wonderful classics.

My son, who's the oldest was just fine with watching TV with me, especially if it involved snacks.

And then there were my daughters.

They were about three and four the night that Rudolph was to be on TV and old enough, I thought, to appreciate my effort at starting our own little family tradition. I made sure everyone was bathed and wrapped up in blankets and then waited for the fun to begin.

I hoped they would remember it for years to come.



Unfortunately, they did.

It started when Rudolph left home and became lost. That's when I realized that Baby Girl was crying.

Why?

Because, she explained as she sobbed and bawled, "Rudolph needs his mudder!"

She didn't stop crying until the show was over.

Then I thought Vet Tech Girl was going to have a stroke when The Bumble (Abominable Snow Man) fell off the cliff with Yukon Cornelius.

She didn't give a hoot about poor old Cornelius, she was upset over The Bumble.

I pointed out to her that the Bumble survived and even helped pass out Christmas presents, and wasn't that nice?

But she still wasn't having any of it. "Sure!" she shouted. "How would you like it if someone yanked your teeth out?! You'd be nice too!"

To this day neither one will watch this show.

Frankly? I feel that family traditions are highly over rated.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All this and Citizen Kane too


Tonight I cut out 2 Kwik Sew Aprons that are destined to become Christmas presents.

I was lucky enough to find some pumkiny colored fabric and some burgundy fabric that match the wine prints very nicely. I also decided to line the bottom (skirt) part of the apron and therfor bought extra fabric. I was a little worried when it turned out that there wasn't enough of the pumpkin color on the bolt so I bought all that JoAnn's had anyway and figured I could work something out. Luckily, it didn't turn out to be a problem. Since the vest is lined you have to cut out 4 vest pieces; 1 set for the vest and 1 set for the lining. Since the lining doesn't show on the vest and since these are just mottled prints and not directional, I was able to utilize my fabric in a very frugal way and actually ended up with left overs. I think I see potholders in the Apron wearer's futures.





Here's the pattern and some of the fabric.












Last night I was digging through some junk in my basement and found an old Kwik Sew sleeper pattern with fabric still pinned to it. God only knows how old it is.

Well, a man I work with and his girlfriend just had a baby and I decided to finish the sleeper and give it to them.

Let me tell you I've made literally hundreds of these sleepers and figured it would be a breeze.

Except I lost my instructions (which seems to be a new habit of mine) and I actually couldn't remember the sewing sequence. I finally did get it made but it took far longer than it should have (damned crotch gusset!) but eventually it was done.

And then I realized that there should have been elastic sewn at the ankles and there is no way that's going to happen now. I'm going to give it to him anyway as it would be a waste to throw it away.

When I saw that Citizen Kane was to be on at 8 o'clock I made sure I didn't have to go back out tonight so that I could watch it. Believe it or not I've never seen this whole movie in one sitting, so I made myself watch it tonight.

So while I cut out my aprons I watched Orson Welles in his greatest role ever.

Yes, I liked it.

Do I think it's the best movie ever made?

No.

I do think that for it's day, it was a great movie and it still holds up, but not as the best movie ever made.

But that's only my opinion.

And on this blog, my opinion is the only one that counts.

I love the internet!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A finished Messenger Bag



Look at the bag and not me, please. I didn't have time to pick a nice pose or background. Sorry.

This is my latest Amy Butler Messenger Bag.
I actually posted a review at Pattern Review! It's been almost a year since I've done that. I need to go through my stuff and do some updates.

I modified it so that it can also be used as a back pack.










Here is the front tab. I used a D ring and swivel hook instead of velcro.













I added a gromett to the top edge of the strap and a D ring with yet another swivel hook to the bottom of the bag. When you clip the hook to the grommet, the bag becomes a back pack.












The grommet at the edge of the strap.

















The strap is attached to the bag with 'surprise' D Rings etc...












The inner hanging zippered pocket. I made it the same length as the bag. The pattern has this pocket being about 2 inches shorter which makes the bag pull to the inside if you put anything in it.

That's about it for now.

I have more things I would really like to get started on but things are kicking into gear at the inn so I'm going to be in waitress mode until Christmas.
Bah Humbug!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

video

First of all, if I'd known how easy loading a video was, I'd have done one a long time ago. This is my granddog Duncan and his cousin Rambo. Both are around 6 months old and this is what they did for, I bet, over an hour, thus entertaining us one and all this Thanksfgiving day.

I only wish that I'd taped my Beast, chasing Duncan all over my family room last night. Poor Duncan only wanted to play and he just couldn't grasp the fact that Beast wanted no part of his idea of fun. But I have to hand it to The Beast, she never backed down. Actually I think she enjoyed standing her ground. She refused to leave the room and each time Duncan approached, she would raise a paw, and when this warning was ignored, she would then launch herself (no easy feat for a 20 + pound cat) into a hissing and smacking frenzy and chase poor Duncan clear across the room.

The same thing happened at my parent's house today. When Duncan and Rambo weren't rolling around on the floor, one of them would chase poor old Smokey the cat. Except at one point I was washing dishes when a tornado roared through the kitchen. It was Duncan being chased by Smokey and Duncan couldn't run fast enough.

So, while most families bring new grandchildren to holiday gatherings, we bring new granddogs.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drum roll please....



....and the winner is: ME!!!!

Here it is.

My winning Scrabble game board.











Here is the final score.

H (Hans) 369.

L (Laura) 453.





Here is Hans' comments on the previous night's score sheet.

Just because I accidentally 'bumped' the board at the end of the game (therefor ruining any photo ops) Hans felt the need to keep record of this minor occurrence. That man!!


Like I mentioned in my previous post I can't help it if I got lousy letters!!!



We finally got Miss Kitty closed up for the winter. The 'Engine Man' came by and pumped her engines full of antifreeze and then we finished up by pumping even more antifreeze into all of her other openings. What fun. She has two water tanks and each holds over 25 gallons. It took forever to emtpy both of them and then the two water tank indicators played fun little games with us by alternately reading empty and then full.
Again and again.
She does love attention though and we hope that she'll behave herself this winter and not present us with any unforeseen problems when we open her back up next spring.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

still here, still cold, but still blogging

Last October I took some pictures of a boat that we encountered while we sailing in the Chester River in Maryland.

Today we decided to take a drive into Annapolis and from clear across town we saw the masts and riggings of a boat and thought "That's it! That's the boat we saw last month!" So after parking and walking through the unbelievable, unseasonable frigid temperatures that this part of Maryland is experiencing (don't blame me!!!) we finally found the boat. I took a couple of pictures but after getting back to our boat and doing a little research we realized that it was a totally different ship.
But that's ok, we still had a good time.
Did I mention that it's cold here?

Dear God, it's unbelievable. Normally it's about 50 degrees this time of year but right now, outside of our boat it's about 28 degrees.


I took this very blurry picture last night. See the palm trees?

No, they aren't real.

But this is what the wind here is doing to the big plastic fakes!

Fake, fake, fake!

Shame on them!



I'm not sure if you can see the ice on our windows.











Here's another picture with ice on the lines outside and on the windows.

But my Nicole, Belle Bag is ever so becoming, isn't she?









Here is glow-in-the-dark-Hans.

Complete with tags.

He was lucky enough to stumble across some 'end of the season' sales and found himself some very nice foul weather gear.

When I finally got down here he took me over to the same store and we found some gear for me too.

I got my Christmas present a month early.
I certainly didn't mind that, and I took huge advantage today, and wore my own gear while wandering through town on this hideously cold day.


Another cold picture from one of our windows.



And you haven't lived until you've taken a shower in a very cold head.

Hee-Haw!!!















My new BEST FRIEND!!!
It's a space heater!!

With the temperature outside the boat at around 28 degrees, this is a MUST.

Right now as I type this we are at a very cozy 60 degrees.


For me, this has been a lot of fun and I know it's cold but we're having a good time.

Last night we played Scrabble and a certain someone got all the good letters and I got all the sucky ones and I refused to take a picture like I did last month when I won. But tonight we have a rematch scheduled.
Once again, stay tuned.