Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An intricate swap but no sewing yet!

It's been a long time since my life has revolved around other people's schedules. But tonight I had to wait until almost 10:00 PM for Baby Girl to call me from Lacrosse practice so that she could get her car (the garbage can on wheels that I've mentioned in the past) to our local Toyota dealership where I was to meet her and take her back to her apartment.

Tomorrow she will drive my old car which she got possession of this weekend (and is now her new car) to the same dealership so that they can swap the new tires from her poor old car to her new car (my old car).

And if you can figure out any of that gibberish then you're doing better than me.

Tomorrow morning I will meet her at the dealership (I've been using Hans' vehicle) and take her to her class (college girl) while they work on our cars, but only after I've taken her to breakfast.

Just waiting for her to call me reminded me of the many times I waited for my son (who will be 26 in April!!) to call me from hockey practice so I could go get him. For one full year his practice started at 10:00 Pm and ended at eleven and this was on a school night!!!

I kid you not.

Those of you who are currently childless might want to count your blessings.

Tonight had the added pleasure (?) of Baby Girl announcing that she's pretty sure she broke her big toe at practice and has to go get X-Rays in the morning. She added to the drama by using crutches to walk 2 feet from her car to mine (really Hans' vehicle that I've been using).

She was surly and snotty (not like her at all) during the trip to her apartment and after telling me that she planned on playing Lacrosse "no matter what", I didn't argue with her and told her that if that's what she wanted to do then fine (although I bit my tongue, because I really wanted to ask her how she planned to do that if she needed CRUTCHES to walk 2 stinking feet to my car! But she's my third and believe me I've learned a lot!).

After the tire swap we need to get her poor, tired, and almost dead vehicle to a man who's promised me $75.00 (a lot less than the $4,000 blue book value) for its carcass.

But her answer to me was, "I still have stuff in it. I don't have time to empty it".

?????!!!!!!!####&&**##%@ !

She's known for about 3 months that at the end of February when her car's inspection is due that this would have to be done.

And she's my responsible one.

That's why bourbon is my friend.


Hans' nerves are also a bit frazzled.

He had to go to Europe for two weeks on business.

The first week was pleasant. He spent a good deal of time in Germany and this allowed him to stay (a big savings for the company!) with family, but this week? Not so much fun.

At one point he spent over 40 dollars on a 6 minute taxi ride and only later found out he could have taken a bus for about 3 dollars. And believe me this man has traveled around the world many times and it's tough to pull a fast one over on him.

He says he thinks perhaps Madrid has built the biggest airport ever. To get to baggage claim you have to go from point A to point Z (and in so doing, you go past every expensive shop imaginable, and isn't that a brilliant ploy?) (BTW we suffered through the same thing in Barcelona) and even then he had to wait twenty minutes for his baggage to roll in.

His taxi driver blatantly ripped him off for about 20 euros.

On his trip from Germany to Zurich someone stole a liter of beer (Yes a liter! it's Germany for God's sake!) out of his checked baggage.

He forgot his good dress pants on the back of a bathroom door and had to buy a new pair at a 'Big and Strong Man' store (as opposed to a 'Wimpy Little Man' store?) only after being giggled at by a girl at a trendy clothing store and being told "We don't carry your size".

His current (way overpriced) hotel has 9 ounce bottles of beer for 9 euros! And there is absolutely no where else to go for a drink.

This is Tuesday and he still has to go to Athens (where he's scheduled to land at one AM) and then he has to go back to Germany. All of this by Thursday.

He's really ready to come home, I'm more than ready for him to come home. and there had better be some sewing time this weekend!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A busy week, home repairs, and fabric

I basically spent the entire weekend on the road. I drove to my sister's house on Saturday (4 hours each way) and dropped off a truck load of stuff for storage, and then on Sunday I took Baby Girl to the Big City so we could get my car (where it's been sitting for about a month). Her car no longer wished to be a traveling garbage can and gave up the ghost, so she has now inherited mine.

And since my sewing machines are in Hans' apartment and I'm here and not there, I'm not getting any sewing done.



My family room has a typical drop ceiling with a tongue-in-groove tiled ceiling and fluorescent lighting. But it also has carpeting and a working fire place and in the winter it's really very cozy. Anyway, the plastic 'shade' that shields the fluorescent light had yellowed and cracked with age. Actually there are two of them. I found replacement panels at the local hardware store but they were too wide and would need to be cut down to size.

Guess who got to cut them?

Thank God the employee at the store warned me that it was a difficult task and that the panels can break very easily.

So I bought extra sharp utility (razor) blades, loaded one into my utility cutter, and with gloves and goggles (I'm too damned busy to pay any visits to the emergency room!), I carefully scored a line the length of the panel, and then placing the scored line 1/8th of an inch over the edge of my work bench I carefully bent the panel, snapping it off every few inches.



Here is the old panel up in the ceiling.







This is the panel, before I cut it, sitting on my work bench.
















See how sharp the shards of plastic look? They're just like glass and I ended up with slivers all over the place.














Even more pieces.










Here's the finished product up in the ceiling. It bent and wobbled all over the place and I had to take one panel down because it didn't fit and chisel away at it until it was right.

This was one project that had me a little worried but it's done, and just in time too, as I had a realtor over this afternoon going over the place.


The finished product.






I've painted, papered, cleaned, and repaired and yet I was still nervous about what she might think I should do to my house. The harvest gold kitchen appliances? The old carpeting?

No.

The first thing she asked was if I planned on repainting the living room and hallway.

This is because I painted it (or I should say Hans painted it) what I thought, was a beautiful terra-cotta shade, with a slightly lighter shade on the ceiling, a couple of years ago (I also made the curtains).

What was I thinking?

I told her there was no way Hans would ever paint this room again and I was right because when I talked to him this evening (via skype because he is now in Zurich) and told him what the realtor asked, he said, "I will not paint that room again!"

She and I finally decided that if the color (which she mistakenly called pink) is a huge issue, I can always repaint it. Hans said to tell her if someone doesn't like it, then just knock $500.00 off of the bid.

It appears to me that he's being pretty free and easy with my money!!




I just love getting stuff in the mail and unfortunately after a few bourbons in the evening I tend to get quite a few things in the mail. There should be a law about alcohol consumption and credit card usage!

There really should.

I went to go for my run tonight and found this on my doorstep. I made myself run 4 miles before I allowed myself to open it.

Another delivery from J and O fabrics. I believe it's my third order and of course it won't be my last!





Fun, fun, summer fabric.

This will be a bag of some sort.

















And of course my favorite; wine fabric.

See the wine corks, I love them!!! Actually I have a huge wine cork collection and at least one of them will be a part of the purse that I plan on making with this fabric.







I won't get to the Big City until the end of the week when I have to pick Hans up from his two week absence, and since I don't have access to my machines I'll get this stuff prewashed and ready for when I get there. I see that pattern review is having a purse contest (bad timing for me) and since I wouldn't be able to get anything done until the end of the week I'm not going to enter as it would just be too late.

Maybe next time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Jury Duty

Hans is in Europe for two weeks and I'm still cleaning and emptying my house. Today I got to clean the inside of my Harvest Gold stove and considering the fact that I'm not much of a cook, I'd like to know how the inside got to be so filthy! I used up a whole can of oven cleaner, and don't be fooled by the deceptive 'no oder, fresh lemon scent' notation on the can! It smelled just like hot cat piss!

And I thought it might be nice to replace the burner rings and drip pans. Well guess what? My stove is an old Hot Point and you just try to find the right parts!

Anyway, the following was emailed to me and it brought back an old memory. It has nothing to do with sewing and I've never posted anything quite like it but it's true.

The first part of this post was emailed to me and I'm copying it here.
The second part of this post is a true jury duty story. I'll state here and before the second part of this post, that the contents could very well offend and upset some people (and it should), so just be warned.

These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.



ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-one-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: You're kidding me, right!?

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: She had three children, is that correct?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS: None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?______________________________________

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death.

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Guess.

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice, which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people. Would you like to rephrase that question?

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a blood sample?

WITNESS: Huh....are you qualified to ask that question?______________________________________

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

WITNESS: Oral.

______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m..

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?______________________________________

--- And the best for last: ---

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, he could have been alive and practicing law.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's the second part of the post.

Have you ever been selected for jury duty?
I have.
And I have to tell you that I took it very seriously as did all the other people who served with me. Deciding someones innocence or guilt is not anything to be taken lightly and, let me add, I hope to never be a witness at a trial! What those poor people at my trial were subjected to was humiliating.
Someday maybe I'll post about my own experience.

I'll warn you now that the following story contains subject matter and language that may offend some people but it is an absolutely true story.
Imagine how awful it would be to be chosen for a rape trial.
That's what happened to a friend of mine and here is her experience.
Basically, a woman claimed that an acquaintance of hers had abducted her, took her to a hotel, and raped her.
This is her testimony upon being interrogated by the accused man's defense attorney.

Attorney: So you're saying that after you got into Mr. Smith's car, he pulled a gun on you and told you he'd kill you if you didn't do what he said.
Victim: That's right.
Attorney: And then he took you to a bar, is that right?
Victim: That's right.
Attorney: When you were in the bar, were you at any time alone? Did Mr. Smith leave you at any time?
Victim: Well, he went to the bathroom.
Attorney: And where was the gun?
Victim: He left it in the car, in the glove compartment.
Attorney: So at that point Mr. Smith is in the bathroom, the gun is in the car, and you had ample opportunity to ask for help. Why didn't you?
Victim: I don't know.
Attorney: What happened next.
Victim: We went to get gas in the car.
Attorney: After Mr. Smith was done pumping gas in the car, what did he do?
Victim: Huh?
Attorney: I'm asking you if Mr. Smith paid for the gas? Or did he just leave and not pay?
Victim: No, he paid for it.
Attorney: And how did he pay for it?
Victim: He went inside and gave them the money. (This was before you could pay at the pump with credit cards)
Attorney: And where was the gun then?
Victim: Mr. Smith asked me to hold it while he went inside.

Silence while the jury got to digest this.

Attorney: So then where did you go?
Victim: We went to a hotel.
Attorney: And?
Victim: Mr. Smith told me to take my clothes off so I did.
Attorney: And then what happened?
Victim: He made me have sex with him.
Attorney: Did he talk to you?
Victim: Yes.
Attorney: What did he say?
Victim: He said, ' Squeeze my balls.'
Attorney: And did you?
Victim: NO I DID NOT!
Attorney: Did he say anything else to you?
Victim: Yes.
Attorney: What did he say?
Victim: He said, 'Squeeze them harder.'

And folks this actually went to trial.
I kid you not.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

To wine or not to whine!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Hans and I were invited out for Valentine's Day.

Dinner was held at a friend's house and I think there were seven couples in attendance. The men were in charge and in addition to preparing the meal, they served the ladies, cleared dishes, and cleaned up.

It was just too much fun, all the guests were so nice, and believe it or not, the whole idea was a man's!

I kid you not.

I had my camera with me but I just never got around to taking pictures and since I don't like to post photos of people without their permission you wouldn't see them here anyway. But I did bring home a chocolate covered strawberry, so I took a picture of it next to the card that Hans got for me.

I have to tell you, those strawberries were fabulous.

Here's the recipe:

Strawberries.

Dark chocolate, chocolate chips.

Giant Eagle frosting in a can.

That's it!

Melt the chocolate chips, I don't have a double boiler so I put my chips in a Pyrex dish, in a pan of simmering water on the stove, and heat until melted.

Using a toothpick, dip your strawberries in the chocolate and place on little fluted paper cups.

Pipe a stripe of frosting onto the cooled and hardened chocolate. You can create a baker's piping tool out of waxed paper, formed into a cone with the pointy end cut off. Put your frosting inside and squeeze it out the other end.

Simple.

They must be simple as they were made by a very busy couple who have FIVE children aged 10 and under.

Believe it or not there was another couple there who have five kids.

And in addtion to being sane, they were loads of fun.

We had pork, beef, sauteed mushrooms. broccoli and cauliflower, red skin potatoes, apples; baked and stuffed with raisins and cornbread, salad, bread (ala Hans), champagne, wine, coffee, and dessert.

Hans was very helpful and poured gravy all over my pork, beef, and potatoes (I love gravy) and after I took a bite and proclaimed it to be absolutely fabulous, we found out it wasn't gravy. It was juice from the stuffed apples.

I think I've hit on a whole new taste treat.

Anyway, throughout the evening, we ladies never had to leave our seats and Hans said that out in the kitchen the men were very busy and while one man really took over and had everything running very efficiently, the other men would report on what was going on in the dining room. One husband skidded back into the kitchen in a panic when our innocent topic of circumcision was overheard and none of the men would venture back among us until a tamer subject was being discussed.

When we got home Hans was very eager to hear my take on his participation during the evening.

"Did you notice me coffeeing everyone?" He eagerly asked.

I had to smile because I know that before Hans met me he had never heard nor concerned himself with the term coffeeing. As a waitress I've lamented many a time to him about how I have to keep after the younger servers to 'coffee' their tables.

"I coffeed quite a bit you know." He added.

I told him that I did indeed notice and that he did a wonderful job.

"And I wined too!" He beamed at me. "Did you notice me wining?"

And I had to bite my lip because I've never heard the term 'wining' when it comes to pouring wine, but I couldn't bring myself to burst his bubble.

"I did notice!" I exclaimed. "And you were the biggest winer there tonight!"

I was rewarded by a very happy, Hans smile!

He's so stinking cute and I'm going to miss the heck out of him.

He left for Europe today and he's going to be gone for two long weeks.

Now it's my turn to be a big whiner!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

For your listening pleasure...

video

In addition to my moving all of my belongings into Hans apartment over the last month, Hans ended up getting a keyboard. Actually this one is going back because it doesn't work with his computer properly but don't worry there is a replacement all lined up.
I guess we keep forgetting that this is a one bedroom apartment.
I took a very short video of him playing House of the Rising Sun. I don't know why I like that piece of music but I always make him play it.
As you watch it, you'll notice a portrait of a man in the left side of the picture. That's Hans' paternal grandfather and a lot of people think it's Hans. Then on the mantle are pictures of us and actually you can see Hans' bronze baby shoes. Mine are up there too but you can't see them. Off to the right and up on the wall is a portrait of Hans' mother when she was somewhere in her 30's, and to the far, far right is a drawing of Hans when he was a little boy.



Apparently, Sally Stitch stowed away in the SUV last week. Hans says it's very disconcerting to get up in the night for a glass of water and find her waiting in the kitchen. The fact that she doesn't have a head is a little unsettling too.

I told him to be thankful for that; if she had a brain we'd both be in trouble.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Welcome to my life (dysfunctional as it is).

I've discovered that Tuesday is the day that I accomplish the most in my new duty as an idiot attempting to sell her house.

Monday is the day I drive home from the Big City and by the time I get myself settled in it's like why would I really want to start anything big?

Tuesday rolls around and I know I have to get down to business.

Then on Wednesday, I'm all worn out from Tuesday.

Thursday is the day I drive back to the Big City and I have to load the SUV up with all the stuff that I'm moving into Hans' apartment (ie: sewing machines, out of season clothing, bins of fabrics that will never be made into anything, and books I can't live without yet will never read again).

Actually, I believe I read once that Tuesday is also the most productive day in the workplace too.

Why do I remember these things?

Anyway, today I finished my bathroom by putting some wallpaper border around the window. I thought it would dress things up a bit and distract future buyers from noticing the harvest gold kitchen appliances and the living room shag carpet.



Here's the finished product.

I had bought 4 rolls of this border at $10.00 a roll and it killed me to pay that much. I cut the border, lengthwise, down the middle for the window and by the time I was done with the bathroom I had literally used every square inch of 3 rolls. I took the 4th unused roll back to the store today for a refund.

I head back to the Big City tomorrow and as we all know, Valentine's Day is this weekend (you'd have to be deaf and blind to not know this). Anyway, Hans and I were just going to grill steaks and open a bottle of wine as I refuse to go out to a restaurant on this totally over-rated, let's make everyone feel like if you don't have someone in your life then you're a loser, holiday (Believe me, I've been a waitress for too many of these awful evenings and it rates right up there with Mother's Day), when we got invited to an interesting get together.

A couple we know are having some other couples over for dinner, and the men are going to cook. The host is going to provide the main course and the other men are to make something/anything to go along with the meal. Hans immediately offered to bring the bread as he plans on buying it from his favorite local baker.

I say that's cheating.

He says it's not.

And somehow I've been roped into making Sombrero spread (a cheese, salsa, and bean dip) to take along.

Have I ever mentioned before that Hans is the ultimate salesman?

Because he is!

The beginning, the middle, and when will it ever end?




I actually almost cried last night.

I was that frustrated.

First of all, please excuse the different hues of lavender in these pictures. The first two were taken during the day without a flash and the last one was done at night with a flash.

Once again, here is the before picture. I needed to paint the upper part of the wall and cover the obvious line that was still going to show.







The deep purple strip at the top of the wall is painter's tape so that I could protect the ceiling from the primer that I had to apply to the upper wall.

While this dried I took a quick run to the Salvation Army, and upon opening the back of the SUV, a table lamp that I've had for something like 20 years, fell out and smashed all over the pavement. The employee who came out to help me was so nice and immediately offered to throw it away for me. I have to tell you right now that every time I've shown up at The Salvation Army (and it's a lot of times believe me!) with a vehicle full of junk I've been greeted with nothing but kindness. Even in the most bitter weather the employees have brushed off my apologies for dragging them out into the cold to help me unload and I think that's so nice!


Here is the finished product. Not an exact match but it's going to have to do! Like an idiot I decided to start off with a 12 foot stretch of border. I did remember to 'book' the border after soaking it in water. Booking is a procedure where; after getting the paper wet, you fold the pre-pasted sides together for a few minutes before placing it on the wall. This allows the glue to expand and adhere.

Or so they say.


I then lined up 5 chairs along the wall and starting at one end I placed the paper on the wall and tried to walk my way down the room on the chairs. I was almost to the end when the paper at the beginning started to pull away and no amount of my leaping about stopped it. I ended up wearing a 12 foot wallpaper border boa and by the time I was able to sort things out the paper was starting to dry.

That's when I almost cried.

And then I got mad.

So in true Scarlett O'Hara fashion I vowed that as God was my witness I would not allow this wallpaper to defeat me!

Thank God I had not thrown out the sizing mixture that I made earlier. I had about a gallon of the junk and it says in the instructions that you can use it as wallpaper adhesive.

And by God that's what I did.

I cut the 12 foot strip down into more easily handled pieces, slapped the gelled gunk onto them and this time they stuck! I continued to cut and paste my way around the room until I was finally done. Of course I also had to make sure that each strip was the appropriate distance down from the ceiling because I didn't want to come around full circle and find that my paper was either way higher or lower than the first piece that was placed.

I ended up with as much paste on me as I did on the paper and I'm surprised I didn't wind up plastered against the wall ala Lucy and Ethel after their wallpapering fiasco.

This whole house selling thing has turned out to be quite a project and I don't want to do it again any time soon.

Even after all the work I've paid to have done, and that I've done myself, this place is less than perfect and it's really starting to bother me.

I just want it to be over.
NOW!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One small room...

...One big pain.

I'm still working on fixing my house for sale and it's beginning to feel very Groundhog Day(ish) around here.

Everyday it seems like I wake up to the same mess and/or a new nightmare.

Last week I suffered through a day long visit from the plumber and it wouldn't surprise me if I've provided a trip to Disney World for someone at that company.

I thought after painting 3 bedrooms (including the ceilings) that I was done with that fun little chore.

I'm not.

Yesterday I decided to get to work on the bathroom by replacing the wall paper border that I put up about 6 years ago. Unlike the previous owners, I did use sizing (it's a preventative step that you should use with wallpaper, in that if you feel like making a change, you can peel it right off).

I didn't realize that when I painted and papered 6 years ago, I didn't paint all the way to the ceiling. But I didn't. Probably because I didn't want to tape off the ceiling. Anyway after I peeled off the border and saw what I did I thought, "Big deal." Yeah, big deal all right, because my new border is about 3 inches narrower than the old and now the unpainted area will show!!!

Damn it!!!!

The good thing is that I saved a Cool-Whip tub of the paint that I used all those years ago. It's a lavender shade and I mixed it with glaze.

The bad thing is that there is a definite line where the old paint is and where the new paint will begin.

The good news is that I think after I paint the blank strip, I can drop the border down a few inches thus sandwiching the tell tale 'line' underneath the border.

Also, once again it would appear that the previous owners didn't prime the walls in some areas of this bathroom. So now I have to do some priming too.




Here's the lavender paint and you can see the 'line' that I some how created while painting.


Actually I think I painted the room with the original border in place and then later on replaced it with mine.

















A view over the other door.













So today, in between waiting for paint to dry and attempting to apply 9 foot sections of wall paper border by myself (and without a 9 foot arm span this is just not fun!) I will continue to make little sorties to the Salvation Army where everyone groans as soon as they see me pull into the parking lot.


I pray that tomorrow I will have some good 'after' pictures to show you.

Of the bathroom. Not me.

What a shame, because usually after spending an entire day in the potty, one should come out looking beautiful.

I think I'm going to look crazy and frazzled!

Isn't that sad?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blood, Sweat, and Tears...

...is exactly what I went through while putting together my latest bag.

I have to tell you, there is something to be said about this purse/bag making business.

#1: OMG!

#2 : What a nightmare.

First of all, I arrived here in the Big City on Thursday afternoon, carried an SUV full of my 'junk' up to Han's second floor apartment, and then spent Friday utilizing my Rainbow Sweeper by vacuuming every baseboard, nook, and cranny in the apartment that I could get my hands on.

For Hans' sake I will say no more.

As a reward to myself I decided to make an innovative (meaning self drafted, and yes I should know better!) new wine bag for Saturday evening as we'd been invited to dinner by a couple celebrating their third (month) anniversary.

Isn't that cute?

Ok, so Hans and I celebrate every six months together (Mostly because I can't believe he puts up with me and at this stage of our lives every minute counts!).

But anyway, this purse making thing was going to be so easy.

A simple bag, wide enough to hold two bottles of wine and by gosh I'd toss in the hex frame closure that I bought on line last year. Give me a couple of hours and I was going to set the world on fire with my little endeavor.

I'm not kidding when I say that I made at least three templates before I came up with anything even close to what I wanted (and I wasn't even drinking).

I started right after breakfast and 9 sweaty, infuriating hours later, I finished ten minutes after we should have left for dinner.

What I ended up with will work.
Not quite what I had in mind, but yes, it will work.

Actually, when I was almost finished with this bag I realized that the lining side was more interesting, and that some of the construction techniques, instead of being hidden, could lend some fun to this venture.

Maybe next time (Yeah right! Let me tell you, it will be a cold day...).

And let's not forget that Thomas Edison had over 10,000 (yes, 10,000!!!!) failures in his attempt to invent the light bulb, and don't I have a nerve comparing my amateurish endeavors in the same league as Thomas Edison?

Yes, I do.

I know that.

But if not for people like him, who would ever continue to strive.



This is the finished version. I used left over 'fake' leather that I used for my sister's birthday present last year.













This is the open version using the 12 inch hex frame that I bought on line last year.










Here is what it looks like with a wine bottle inside. It will hold two bottles side by side.


An important feature for Hans and me.










A side view of my masterpiece.

















And the bottom with the addition of 6 purse feet.


I just love purse feet!!







We only ended up being a few minutes late for our get together, but I was in such a hurry that while I was simultaneously trying to fix my makeup and hair (I took my grand-dog Duncan for an hour walk earlier in the day and it involved a lot of wind, ice, and me falling on my butt, but that's a whole other story) I totally forgot to wear any of my jewelry and we celebrated the other couple's anniversary sans my engagement ring.


I felt totally naked.


But luckily for the populace of The Big City I did remember to get dressed!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm doing my part...



...for the economy.

Just ask the handy man who replaced two of my outside doors and a porch railing.

Or the electrician who installed a new ceiling fan, overhead kitchen light, and an outdoor lamp.

And don't forget the plumber who was at my house ALL DAY LONG TODAY!
I've lived here going on twelve years and my bathtub decides it needs to start leaking now.

Mr. Plumber showed up first thing this morning (after I got dressed but before I could go to the store because I just ran out of toilet paper!) and promptly buried his van in my driveway. When he finally shoveled himself free he came in and immediately disemboweled my tub. I could hear the God awful sawing and hammering and when he went downstairs I took a peek and could see my family room hallway through the tub access. This means he had to remove, impossible to replace neatly, tongue in groove ceiling tiles!

I know they're impossible to replace properly because I've tried it on two different occasions. Both times when Chlorox, my timid kitty, in an attempt to hide from the boogey man, hid in the ceiling and astonished herself as well as me by falling through to the floor below. If you cut off some of the tongues and some of the grooves, force the tiles together, and then nail them to the wooden support strips, you can get them back up.

It just isn't pretty.

And remember I'm trying to sell this place.

It's bad enough that I have a harvest gold stove and refrigerator.






The overflow cover used to be here (the top hole). The drain is the lower hole and it was replaced too.
















This is the access from inside a closet floor in my upstairs.











This is the ceiling in my family room. I get to try to replace the tiles tomorrow.

It's not like I have anything else to do.







Still, in my one woman attempt to keep the economy going, I went to my sewing machine dealer and bought these two feet. One is for sewing on buttons. Normally I just lower a 'footless' presser foot and try to trap the button in place while zig-zagging. It's a bit nerve wracking and I'm always afraid the button's going to wildly zing into my face.

The other is a Teflon foot. If I ever want to sew leather I'm going to need it and I have a huge hideous leather coat that I bought for about $6.00 at a thrift shop, and it's screaming to be made into a purse.


I haven't bought a dress pattern in a long time but I had to have this. Trena from the Slapdash Sewist made one of the cutest dresses I've ever seen from this. Then I realized that my mother made the same dress for my niece and it was beautiful!

However, I want to make this out of the silk that I bought in Paris last year so I will have to make a muslin for sure! Since my silk is so lightweight I'll really need to stabilize the top and I don't know if the skirt will drape properly either. I guess I'll have to think about what to line it with.

And last but not least is, what size to cut out! My measurements are a perfect size 12 but we all know if I cut out a 12 I'll end up swimming in it.



Tomorrow it's back to packing and cleaning and I hope to have a bath or shower as I haven't had one going on two days now!!!


Be glad you're not here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Black and Gold Sunday

Oh yes folks, it's the biggest day of the year!At least it is if you're a football fan.Today The Big City is swimming in Black and Gold and I felt like like an alien when I went for breakfast this morning wearing ordinary clothes and not a Steeler's Jersey. I'm surprised we even got waited on.

I hate to admit it but if it weren't for Hans I probably wouldn't even watch the game. Absolute heresy I know but that's how it is.

What do I like about Super Bowl Sunday?

If we end up getting invited to a party then it would have to be the the food, the drinks, the halftime show and of course the ultimate fun; the commercials.

In the past when I was married, my now ex would go watch the game with friends and I would stay home with the kids. For quite a few years Nickelodeon hosted The Andy Griffith Bowl (complete with commentary) and all day long I would sew and watch endless episodes of black and white Andy.

It was pure heaven!

But Hans and I are invited to a party (I guess someone likes us) so there will be no Andy, and no sewing, but I know I will have fun because everything with Hans is fun.

I felt a little bet better about not being a football fan when we called Hans' Baby Brother this afternoon and when Hans told him we'd be watching the SUPER BOWL, Baby Brother asked if that's the team that Wayne Gretzky's on!

By the way, Baby Brother lives in Toronto so I guess he has a better excuse than me.

On the sewing front; Hans and I rearranged his apartment yesterday and I at least got my sewing area set up. It needs a lot of tweaking but it's workable and I think I'll like it.



This was Hans' dining room. It's now my sewing room.
My machine is sitting on Hans old desk that he used as a little boy growing up in Canada. Originally it sat square under the window but I moved it in order to make room for my two card tables that I use as a cutting table. I used that storage bin as a seat today and it worked.





Here you can see the card tables with a cutting mat on top. I can store supplies underneath. I may make a skirt to go around the tables and cover up some of the clutter.








Oops, my ironing board is blocking the kitchen! No beer for Hans.









I brought this valance from my house. It used to be in Baby Girl's room but it's not needed there anymore.

Just to get the feel of sewing in my new space I made this potholder to go with the apron that I made a while ago.
It turned out very nice and I think I'll have fun in my new home.
It's time to go folks.
I hear food, beer, entertainment, and commercials calling.
GO STEELERS!!!!
Baby Brother and I hope that Wayne Gretzky scores many home runs!!!