Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I found this among my vintage card images. I think it's for the New Year. Or maybe that little dog is just a lush. (Notice how he isn't wearing any pants.)

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Patty Has Left The Building

How exciting is this? I met a friend and her family at Starbucks yesterday morning, and then I braved the wilds of San Juan Capistrano and hiked to a few other places in town.

Yes, I actually left the house for once. I'm sure you're shocked and appalled.

After I left Starbucks and was heading for the antique store, I stopped along the way to check my blood sugar. It was on the high side so I reached up under my shirt to pull out my pump so I could set it to give me some insulin, and the clip got caught on my bra. The Historic Town Center Park (yeah, I had to look that up) was just down the street so I walked over there, while holding my pump through my sweater, (I was afraid it would fall out even though I knew it was still hooked on to my bra), and found a picnic table where I could sit and un-clip the pump from under my shirt. Good thing the park was empty because I'm sure it looked like I was feeling myself up for awhile. (Memo to self: clip pump to jeans pocket for easy access when you're out in public.) Check out what I saw in the park. (Remember you can click the picture to see it larger.)

Every year, the city holds a Christmas tree lighting event and a candle light procession to downtown, and I never get go because I rarely leave the house. It was great to finally see the huge tree in person.

I headed for the antique store next. I was sooooo tempted to buy a red gingham tablecloth, which would have been perfect for some chicken scratch. One seller had packaged up a bunch of vintage items like lace trim, tiny doll furniture, needlebooks, and miniature crocheted baby booties, and had them all hanging on a rack. I could have spent a fortune at her booth. There were two boxes of Shiny Brite ornaments for eight dollars a piece for sale at another booth and I would have killed to have one of them. But my funds were very limited and I really wanted to get a taco for lunch. Food almost always wins out with me so I left the shop empty-handed and a little sad.

Here's my lunch from El Molino. And, this is after I ate about a third of it. My combo also included chips and four flour tortillas. The dog and I are still working on the leftovers.

While waiting for my sister to come pick me up at the gas station, I took this picture. Notice the palm tree next to the pine tree. Welcome to California.

My sister had to stop at the bank so I waited in the car and got my camera out in case it was robbed and I needed to take a picture of the getaway car. (We've had a rash of bank robberies in town lately, which makes me kind of glad I don't have any money to deposit.) Here's a lovely Bird of Paradise in the bank parking lot.

And, here I am, bored and blowing Bazooka bubbles in the car.

I really enjoyed getting out of the house. I totally need to do that more often.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Back To Blogging

I hope you all had a happy holiday and didn't get any coal in your stockings!

Llyn is having a giveaway for her 200th post. The prizes are her favorite book of the year, a handmade plastic bag dispenser (she made it from a pretty tea towel), and a vintage cake decorating set. She's going to be picking a winner on January 1 so go enter by leaving her some comments on this post.

Llyn shared some photos of her doggies under the Christmas tree on her blog, and that reminded me of one I recently found of Sophie. I only had her for three years and every Xmas she ended up under the tree.

The other night I made English toffee from the recipe on Elsie Marley and dang, is it ever so good! It's so buttery, nutty and chocolate-y. In the past, I've made fudge, and I can whip up caramel for caramel corn but I hadn't used a candy thermometer since home ec in high school back in 1979. But Meg's instructions were really easy to follow and it helped that soft ball and hard ball and dodge ball were all marked on the thermometer itself. Now I want to try making peanut brittle. Good thing there's a recipe for it in one of the 137 emails my best friend Martha Stewart sent me this past week.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

I'm not sure when I will be back to blog again. Maybe after the holidays are over. So I just wanted to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Sunday

I can't believe I haven't blogged for a week. Yes, I am still spending way too much time on Facebook but I also have been busy with a few other things. I went on an interview for a job working with toddlers at a nearby preschool and they asked me if I would be interested in subbing for now. Of course I said yes. I still have to turn in some paperwork and since the school will be closed for the holidays, I won't start for awhile but I am so looking forward to going back to work. And, once I have an income again, you know what that means: blog giveaway time.

Have you heard about CPSIA or the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act? I'm all for making sure handmade toys don't contain lead and other toxins but expecting American crafters to pay thousands of dollars for third party testing of their toys is ridiculous and will drive them out of business. And, this doesn't just cover toys but all products for kids under the age of 12.

Please click the cute teddy bear in the right sidebar for more information on how you can support changing the CPSIA.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Do Ya Think They're Really Cute?

It's raining free gift tags all over the place, people! Fire up those printers!

There are some really cute ones from Inside A Black Apple [via Craft].

At knick knacks & ric rac, you'll find some really cute ones.

And, the Sublime Stitching blog has some really cute ones too. (Thanks, Jessica, for the heads-up!)

I'm hoping Santa will bring me some new adjectives for Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Finished For Friday

Miri of Milk and Honey Quilts is sharing two cute Chanukah embroidery patterns and instructions on how to make a gift bag with one of them.

And, don't forget today is Finished for Friday over at Lit and Laundry. You have to see the project Elizabeth posted -- tutorial included. Edited to add: not only did Elizabeth show off a finish today but so did Sally. And, guess who commanded them do that? Me! I have the power.

I didn't finish anything this week. The only thing I made was my garland which I already posted about, but in case you missed it, look up at my blog header and you will see it in it's pre-garland stage.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vintage Thingies Thursday -- Ornaments

I was just going to a quickie drive-by post and share two embroidery links, but then I realized it was Vintage Thingies Thursday so I'm going to post pictures of two older ornaments that I had hot glued on to a wreath because we had so many of them and not much room left on the tree.

But, first, let me share this link I found on the Sublime Stitching page on Facebook some website I never ever visit. Anyone who's worried about embroidery being a dying art needs to go see the photos in the Children's Embroidery pool on Flickr. I love that little kids are stitching. And, check out this post on Boing Boing (also originally linked on that site I never ever visit). I love that she embroidered the elephant while her parents were out for the evening. How sweet.

On to Vintage Thingies Thursday: this gingerbread man is made of styrofoam and has to be as old as I am (45 years). Notice how he looks like he had a lobotomy. There was a straight pin stuck into his head that held the string to hang him by and it was always coming out. I guess sometimes part of his brains came out as well. Either than or the dog got a hold of him.

The pixie head has got to be close to my age too. His noggin is attached to a stick so I don't know if his back story involved decapitation or they ran out of bodies for him at the factory. I never realized this ornament was kind of creepy until now. It's funny, I see the bear on the rocking horse and consider him to be a newer ornament but I bet he's over 20 years old by now. I'll have to check to see if there are any markings on any of these decorations when we eventually get around to putting up this year's tree. No, it's not up yet and no, it's not because I am too busy on Facebook to do it.

Thanks for visiting my blog and taking a look at my vintage thingies. For more VTT fun, check out Colorado Lady's blog and see who else is joining in this week.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Heart My Garland

Does anyone remember Lola Heatherton from SCTV? She would be a guest on the talk show and her catch phrase was "I love you! I want to bear your children!" I was thinking about saying that to those of you who left me comments about my house ornament (the short, dumpy one). But I thought it might freak you out if you didn't know the reference. So, I'll just say thank you, everybody, for saying such nice things!!

I know someone out there will love this free embroidery pattern of Cute Hate Bunnies by BoT. I like it too and think it would be great on a kitchen towel. To make it easier for you Googlers to find this design : bunny rabbit meat cleaver knife Hah! I just discovered I could post that pattern link directly to Facebook. So I did.

On December 13th, Niki of Pumpkin Country is having her own personal quilt-a-thon to finish up some last minute Christmas presents and she's hoping to get some of you to join her.

Niki says:

I'm having my own personal Quilt-a-Thon...I need to get some last
minute Christmas gifts made up and finished! If you'd like to join me, then grab the graphic, and post a link back to my Pumpkin Country blog
and we'll do this together! We can post updates that day (the 13th of Dec-Saturday) with fun pictures along the way. Spread the word. About 2 wks from now. Who's IN??? Please blog about it, so we have more participants!

p.s. If anyone knows how to make the HTML to my graphic clickable, with
the scrolly bar type thingy (LOL) please let me know. It's a heck of a lot
easier grabbing the graphic that way.

You'll find the graphic for the Quilt-a-thon on her Just Us Quilters blog. My sincere apologies for not posting this sooner, Niki!

Last night, I wanted to make something out of felt and I wanted to blanket stitch it so I went looking for a project that would fit the bill. I decided on Anna Maria Horner's felt garland. (It's been on my to-do list for awhile.) I read the directions but we're nearly out of paper so I didn't print them out. I cut out a bunch of felt circles and first I blanket stitched each pair together, and then I attached them to one another in a row. When I lined them up to figure out the order I wanted, it looked like a preschool matching game to me. Well, except for the extra beige one at the end. I used to make this kind of thing for the kids at work. Not out of felt but with stickers on juice can lids or laminated cardboard. I really miss doing all of that.

And, now here's a shot of my chest modeling the finished garland. Isn't the trash bag hanging on the door knob a nice touch? (I haven't had a bathroom trash can on the floor for years thanks to a little Shih Tzu who would raid the one I used to have.) I really love how the garland turned out. I just clicked the picture and got a good view of my stitching. It's not too bad.

I wonder if there's a Facebook group for People Who Take Pictures in Their Bathroom Without Tidying Up First.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Finished For Friday -- Little House Ornament

Last week, I made the Little House Ornament from the Pimp Stitch blog. I totally forgot to add it to last week's Finished for Friday post so I am doing it now.

Here's the door. I'm such a geek for the blanket stitch. Look at it all up close and personal.
door to little house

And, the windows.
little house ornament

And, here's the little house. It looks like a short, dumpy cousin to the tall and thin original.
Little House ornament

It's way more rounded on the bottom than I wanted it to be. (Just like me. Heh.) Since it doesn't sit flat, the door and flowers look like they're floating. (Yes, those are flowers. It's hard to see the green stems.) This was my second attempt at making one of these little houses. The first one was made of fabric (but the roof and bottom were felt) and it was really lumpy after I stuffed it because my handsewing is really uneven. It's not much better on felt but I'm working on it!

I command you all to join Finished for Friday hosted by Lit and Laundry next week!

And, did you notice how all my links open in a new window thanks to a nifty little trick I learned from Diane?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

But...but...but I deleted that. Didn't I?

I had second thoughts about the six random things tag in my last post so I deleted that part this morning. Can you guys still see it? I also posted a picture of my sister because it's her birthday but I edited that out too since she never reads my blog (and she threatened to kill me for posting the same picture on Facebook).

And, Mary, we did not use my four year old to break in to a house. She was a little girl who lived next door and was part of our little neighborhood group of kids.

I really need to get back to making stuff.

Patty Blogs! Alert The Media!

Remember when I used to make stuff? Me neither. But I do have some links for you.

There's a great tutorial on turning an embroidery project into an ornament on Bookwormbethie - between the pages [link via Needlework News].

They're doing a Christmas stocking stitch-a-long at Meet Me At Mikes [via Pimp Stitch]. Pip says it's especially good for embroidery beginners because she's going to explain how to do everything. Go see the cute patterns. I must stitch that dog.

And, just because Mary has issues with Goodnight, Moon doesn't mean we can't appreciate her Easy Handmade Christmas Gift projects. On her blog, she shows you how to alter a candle (glitter alert!) and how to make an acrylic bookmark.