Monday, November 22, 2010

This and That

We had our big Thanksgiving dinner (for my mother's side of the family) this past weekend. Ri posted our menu and we had no last minute changes this year. It all went off pretty much as I had planned, thanks to my mom. I had told everyone to be there at 12:00 (2hrs. earlier than we normally have it becuase of my older brother's work schedual) and that I wanted to draw names for our Christmas present exchange first to make sure it was done before my brother would have to leave. I had the names ready and waiting in a bowl when everyone arrived and mom took charge of making sure everyone drew names for their family, gathered all the information I needed, and took down gift suggestions while I finished up with dinner. By the time she was finished, dinner was ready to serve. Several people were unable to make it this year so we ended up with quite a few leftovers, but that's alright with me. After cooking for two days it suits me just fine to be able to pull supper out of the fridge with nothing more required than a quick re-heating. We'll have a small dinner with my father, step-mother, and younger brother this coming Friday, and since we had no plans for Thanksgiving Day, Ri was invited by Superman's mother to join them Thurs. for their dinner. His mom was kind enough to extend the invitation to the whole family, but as Grandma is not feeling well (I had to take her to the doctor after our dinner on Sat.), Kay has volunteered to stay at home with her.

I've decided that our ? (computer, sewing, school...) room will, from now on, be called the wreck room.  It sounds kind of fun just saying it. I'm sure people will get the inpression of a room filled with video games/equipment and a foosball or pool table, but you know the play on words will be plenty of fun for me.  I did finish the valance for that room last weekend.
Not exactly your typical "rec" room decor, but hey, just
perfect for room dominated by four sewing machines.
I thought the homespun went well with the bears.
A couple of them even have homespun dresses or bows.
I used a decorative stich to put a small detail on the underlayer.
I do enjoy my sewing machine.

My younger brother brought over all the dirt he used in his buckets this year and put it out on my garden. He uses new dirt every year because growing veggies in buckets tends to deplete the soil of it's nutrients. It wouldn't be so bad if he could compost the organic matter back into the soil, but the buckets won't allow the organic matter to get warm enough to break down and he has no place to make a compost pile, so my garden will reap the benefits. It makes me all ready to sit down and plan out next year's garden. My older brother and I got to spend some time talking with one of our cousins Saturday about gardening. This past summer was the first year she ever grew a garden so we encouraged her and shared a couple of tips. I hope to get another chance to talk with her more about it at our Christmas party; maybe even get both my brothers in on the conversation this time.

Mmmmm, spring isn't THAT far away! 

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Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm already tired...

...and I haven't even begun yet! What am I tired for? Well just read the list below! You'll understand then.

We start tomorrow! NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Help!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"You're Leaving Me!"

That is what I've heard from my "baby" sister T. Lynn ever since Superman and I started courting. I heard this yet again today.
"I'm not leaving you!" I said.
She continued as though I hadn't said anything, "I can't believe your leaving me! What if your husband is mean and horrible and cruel?"
"Then you have my permission to beat him."
"Good," she exclaimed, "but I'm still going to be sad."
"But I don't think Superman is going to be mean and horrible."
She sighs and gives a fake pout.
"I'm not leaving you," I said.
"You are in four or five years," she replied.
"No, I'll be getting married, not leaving. Getting married is different than leaving."
"No it's not. You're going to get married and leave this house which is where I'm at and I'll be all alone!" (She fake sobbed here)
"You wont be all alone! What about Bree, Beenie, Kay and Mommy and Daddy? They'll be here." I reached down and helped her off the floor she had dramatically thrown herself on and made her sit on my lap in Mom's chair.
"But Kay is gonna leave and Bree is gonna leave and -"
Bree cut in, "I'm not going to ever get married, so I'll be here."
"You're going to leave eventually! You wont be here forever, " T. Lynn looked as though that ought to be common knowledge.
"Yeah, when I'm like... 20 or something!" Bree said.
"So then you'll be gone and Beenie'll be gone and I'll be all alone!"
"You wont live here forever T. Lynn." I told her.
"Yes I am. I'm going to always live here and take care of Mommy when she gets old."
Momma sent her a look that let her know she was highly offended.
"At least she doesn't think you are old right now..." I told Mom.
"I guess that's an up-side," Momma said, waving us up out of her chair.
"Yup," I said.
"You are going to get married and have your own home and then you'll have more children than you expected and you'll have to move farther away from me!"
"What?!" To put it mildly, I was shocked.
"You will." She nodded, again positive that what she was saying was completely true. I didn't feel like that was a good time to mention that moving into a bigger house eventually is our plan. There was no reason to stress her out more.
"By the time I get married, you wont even care anymore. You'll be a big girl, 13 maybe. You'll be happy because you'll be closer to getting your own room."
"I wont be leaving you T."
"Yes, you will! And I'll be here caring for the elderly." T. Lynn said in apparent devastation
"Hey" Momma said. "This just keeps getting better and better!"
"I'm not saying you're old now. But you are going to get old some day." T. hugged Mom in apology.
Momma just looked away, totally offended now.
I just sighed.
Needless to say, the converstion went on for awhile; exacerbated by Superman calling me, claiming my attention to give him directions to some place while she wanted my attention to help her make a sun-catcher.
This isn't the entire conversation. Some of it's paraphrased and parts aren't even there, but you get the general idea. I feel like Aunt Bee from Romona and Beezus!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Few New Projects I've Been Working On

I've been working on this valance for the kitchen for about a month.
I used "Aunt Martha's Superb Herbs 4001" for the actual herb part in the center of each 'frame'. I designed the frame part around each herb based on a picture I saw of a corner design for an embriodery machine.

The basil was probably my favorite.

The decorative edging on the bottom actually looked like this, but I thought that while the whole thing would be overwhelming, half of it would make a nice trim. The tan color in the edging (not only in the stripe, but also in the cording between the black cording in the loops) is the exact same shade as the curtain. I ran a line of stitching down each side of the black stripe in the center to stabilize the trim before I cut it apart. I still ended up with a ton of black, gossamer like thread all over the place, but once I pulled out the black the rest stayed put while I sewed it in the curtain.
Then there were curtains for the sunroom. Sheers actually, but what else would you put in a room designed to let in sunlight? I could have taken a picture of the window on the other side of the room as well, but it looks pretty much the same, just a few different items around the window. The little things mixed in with the sheers are beads.
We got the idea for the strands of beads from a set of beaded curtain accents Bree and I saw some time ago in a home decor store when we went in search of a valance for the livingroom window.  Those were big chunky beads on thick ribbons, but while they were cute, they would have been a little heavy for the overall look I was trying to achieve in the sunroom, plus they were $20 per set of three. The girls and I were able to make all the beaded strands (10 per window, strung on pearl cotton embriodery thread) and buy everything else for the windows, including the rods for about what we would have spent on the beads alone if we had purchased just four sets of the ones we saw in the store.  There were five strands on each corner; three having a pattern and two which were more random. Bree and Ri strung most of the beads.
We used this pillow as the inspiration for the strands of beads.
I was using very inexpensive sheers and I wanted a swag effect, but they didn't have a swag available, so I sewed two of the longer sheers together to make the swag. Then I fashioned this little piece out of some of the beads and this semi-circle thing I think was intended for a necklace in order to gather the swag in the middle to hide the seam.  All in all, I think it turned out pretty well. Superman, who doesn't usually care anything at all about home decor, actually complimented us on them and told Ri he would like to have curtains like that in their home one day.
I still have one valance left to make; for the sewing (computer, whatever) room, but I probably won't work on that until this weekend.
For the record, I'ts not that I'm a huge fan of valances or anything, it's just that hubby doesn't really like curtains. He likes the clean, simple (ok - I'm fighting the urge to say stark - and I just lost) look of plain blinds. We have the nice plantation style blinds, and while they are nice for blinds, I just can't stand it anymore. We've lived here for 2 1/2 yrs and I'm getting tired of plain ol' blinds. I figured valances would be a compromise; a little color for me, and not too much "stuff" for him.  The sheers are window length, but they are sheers (plus, I staked a claim on that room - I always wanted one I could cram full of plants). And to give hubby his props, he has been very supportive of the whole thing, even when I bought a curtain rod for the kitchen window that wouldn't work and asked him to go back out that night and buy another one. He made an excellent choice.
This is a rug Ri and I made to put in front of the sliding glass door in the sunroom. She cut most of it out and pieced it. I appliqued the words and quilted it. I know, it doesn't exactly match the colors in the pillow or beads, but it does have teal in it and the red matches some of the pots I have in there. Also, since the piano is in there (and often the flute and guitar) I just couldn't resist this group of fabrics. You can't really see it well, but both of the lighter blocks have music measures in them and the fabric in the center is a toile print of people playing instruments. The black prints are obviously a good choice for a rug. And, if you look just to the right (sorry, just caught that - to the left) of the pillow above, you'll see another pillow we have in there that has colors that are much the same as these.
We got the idea for this rug in "Step-On-It Rugs", designed by Pearl L. Krush.
Something I've had brewing for awhile now is this nasturtium vinegar. Didn't it turn out to be a gorgeous color? I can't wait to try it in a vinaigrette. 

The rest aren't really projects, but I'll include them anyway.
I'm not about to take photos of all my fall decorations (Have I ever mentioned how much I love pumpkins? No? Well I do.), but I would like to show this little fellow because you can't imagine the debate that has raged between some of the girls about how these pumpkins should be arranged. I think some of them change it everytime it's their turn to do dishes.
Then there's T.Lynn's favorite decoration. Mr. Squirrel must grace the table throughout autum, or according to her, just any ol' time. The only problem with him is that the salt runs out of that acorn so quickly you have to be very careful.
I couldn't resist this little lantern I found the other day. I'm not much of a shopper, but every once in awhile I do have to go into a store, and I'm a sucker for lanterns and bird houses. I'll have to get a picture soon of the lantern I turned into a terrarium.
Interestingly enough, this little cutting from one of the pothos, rooting in a jelly jar, is one of my favorite decorations. It's sitting in the kitchen window and I just love seeing that little thing there everytime I go to the sink.
And finally, one of the few full shots you'll probably ever see around here. I figured it couldn't do much harm to show a picture of Grandma on my blog since all my cousins are posting pictures up on their facebook pages.
Not bad for 90, huh?  I might be biased, but I think she's beautiful. She's usually in a hurry to go to bed each night (at around 7:30), but she stayed up 'til 10:30 the night I was making the flowers for the cake, just so she could watch. :D I used two of her favorites; pink roses and violets - don't ask me why they look blue, they really were purple. I got tickled at her Saturday morning after I had finished putting the flowers on the cake. She was quicker than the two little girls at snatching up some of the extra flowers once I told them I had all I needed. I guess she has about 80 years more experience than they have of sneaking sweets.
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!!

She turned 90 today.

I haven't had much time on the computer (I've got a few things to post about) because I've spent the week preparing for her birthday party.
We had a great turn out. It was hard to get a firm count with everyone milling around, but there were more than 80 here today.  We had reasonably decent weather (just a bit on the cool side, but several loaned heaters helped that), for which I'm thankful, because we had to hold it outside. We cleared out the garage and set up several tents. Between cousins and uncles we got ahold of 11 tables and more than seventy chairs. The four tables we had set aside for food were quickly overrun. We had to resort to using the freezer for all the soft drinks, the 3 gallon dispenser for tea and both of the very large coffee percolators, and we also had to tape folding tray tables together for the breads and for extra room on the dessert table, but we managed and everyone had a great time.
Most importantly, Grandma had a blast. She got to visit with people she hasn't seen in ages, and in all likelihood, will not get a chance to see again.
We are all thankful to our Lord for this chance to spend time with our friends and family to honor the birth of our Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, Great-great-grandmother, Sister, Cousin, Aunt, and Friend.
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