Thursday, November 19, 2015

I'm Still Here!

Good morning!  I am still here.  I am reading blogs here and there.  But I know I am missing a lot of what is going on with all of you too.  I hope to be back in the saddle for real, after the holidays.
Here is a little bit of what I have been doing.  Mostly sewing.  Lots of sewing.  I made this cell phone and key holder for Chick Fil A, at the request of my son's girlfriend Christine, who is the events coordinator for Corona Chick Fil A.
This was hung in their break room.  The employees cannot carry their cell phones, so they go inside one of these pockets, and it is hung up next to a power strip so that they can charge them at the same time.  I also made a couple rows of smaller pockets to hold keys.  Mainly for the guys, who don't carry purses.  I made embroidered tags to identify the spaces.  I made it out of a black duck canvas.  It was a very fun project for me to do.  The bonus being I got paid in Chick Fil A money!!!  I will be eating there for a long time!
My nephew Don and his wife Kaylen, are expecting their first baby soon.  I have been working on her gifts for awhile.  It was such fun to make these baby items for them.
Here is a shot of the sofa in my sewing room, where I began to stack the finished items.
I made several receiving blankets, about a dozen flannel burp cloths, lots of bibs, baby washcloths, and my favorite, being this terry and flannel hooded bath towel set.  I called the Spa Set.

I also made a darling little pair of matching Spa Slippers.  I didn't have a pattern, so I drew a mock up, based on other patterns I saw online, and just made a few pairs, til I got the newborn size I wanted, and then modified it so that it could made in other sizes as well.
I did a couple of other pairs of the baby slippers too.  The pink pair is a bit bigger to grow into.
 And since she is due on December 05, I thought she needed a Christmas pair!
I found a cute grey and white stripe basket to match her baby room colors, and stacked it all up in the basket, snapping the bibs on the handles.
This was a pure joy for me to make and put together for them!
For Halloween, I made little zippered bags for my grandkids, and then filled them with goodies.
The two in front are pencil pouch size, for the girls . Noah's is made out of Skylander fabric, and is a little bigger so he can put some of his Skylander toys inside.
And now, I am heavy into holiday sewing and knitting!!!  I have been on a hat making kick.  I am knitting them, and improving my knitting skills and speed!
 The most popular being the slouchy style beanies, as seen on the styrofoam head model.  I made a really cute grey chunky one, that Erika swooped in on.  And a cozy creme tweed one that Greg snatched up.  I also made each of my two granddaughter's a matching hat and cowl for their recent birthdays.  I didn't have my camera, just my cell phone.  Those pictures are on my IG feed.  They turned out really cute!
That's it for now.  This computer is SO hard to work on.  If Santa doesn't bring me a new laptop for Christmas, my blogging will suffer, for sure!
Hope all of you are doing okay!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Finally Fall!

Hello again, and Happy Fall!  I didn't think it would ever get here.  Even though the calendar says Fall now, it won't be cool enough to feel like it for another few weeks for us here in So. California. This is going to be a real mish mash of content tonight.  A little of this, and a little of that. 
Starting off with the freak storm we had a couple of weeks ago.  In the span of an hour, the skies grew very dark, and the wind began to howl, and stir up leaves and debris in the air.  I was picking Noah up from school, and it got more and more threatening as I waited for him.  Just he got into the car, the sky opened up and huge raindrops began to splash my car, and by the time we arrived home, only minutes later, it was obvious this was no ordinary storm.  I have never seen anything like it here where we live.  Terrible wind, heavy rain, thunder and lightening, and what seemed to be a mini tornado that tore through our corner of town.  This heavy redwood swing was tossed over, and the canopy broke. 
The rain came so fast, and so hard, that it flooded the back pretty quickly.
Patio furniture was everywhere!
My neighbor Sue lost a section of her fence.  And we lost a few small limbs in the grove.  Our neighbors directly across had this happen!

 There were a lot of limbs and trees down near us.  It was really something.  The whole summer has been odd.  Terribly hot, humid, and with more rain that we often see in a whole winter.  I am glad to see summer leaving!
We celebrated a big birthday for my husband Greg!!!
We had his favorite meal of burgers and macaroni salad, fruit, and Lay's Potato Chips, and baked beans.  Ice cream for dessert.  It doesn't seem possible that he can be 60.  And I, 55!  We still feel like those kids that met and fell in love over 36 years ago.  We also celebrated our 36th Anniversary a few days before his birthday.  Where has time gone?
Hello Fall.......I am SO glad to welcome you in!  The porch is dressed for some cooler weather porch sitting.

And though I didn't have my garden this year, and shall miss my bountiful display of pumpkins, I do have one fat squash to greet you, sitting atop a Fall Plaid throw that I made a few years ago.
The door baskets have changed colors, and a big pretty Mum sits next to the giant twig pumpkin by the door.

We'll see some indoor Fall later.  The other day, I had a few special ladies come over for a day of quilting.  I am so enjoying my sewing room since I have moved it to what was once the living room.  The space is totally different than any other room in my house.  The colors are all feminine. And the space is divine in every way for me!!  I stood on the piano bench and snapped this photo before they arrived.
I made lunch for us.  But no photos were taken after they arrived, as we were just having too much fun gabbing and sewing.   I made a Chinese Chicken Salad, Fresh Fruit and Pumpkin/Apple Muffins.
I also made this Popcorn Crack for us to snack on.  DELICIOUS!!!!!
It is popcorn, with melted white almond bark dirzzled over the top, and red cinnamon bears mixed in with it.  Spread out onto trays to cool, and then place in Tupperware to store.  SO good!!!!  And of course, there were Goldfish, for my best friend Jae, those are her favorite!!!  We had all sorts of goodies to snack on. 
Debbie brought a beautiful platter of shrimp, and Patty brought fresh baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 
I made each of them a little Fall Tea Towel as a thank you for coming.  BOO for Debbie.
 A Scarecrow for Patty.
And Pumpkins for Jae.
Debbie brought me this darling Halloween Pot Holder she made.
Patty made each of us one of these darling log cabin pin cushions.  Mine is now filled with pins!
Debbie also brought a Halloween Panel that she wanted us all to share.  So we each cut a piece from it, to make ourselves a little project with.  With the piece I cut, I added two border strips and quilted it.  I quilted ghosts up into the top corners, and pumpkins into the bottom corners. I stitched the words BOO, and other Halloween related phrases into the table topper.  I backed it in a neutral weave look fabric, and bound it in an old black and orange Thimbleberries fabric.
It turned out so cute!  Thank you Debbie for sharing your panel with us!
Last night Jae dropped by with her piece from the panel, along with a backing and batting.  She also had a yard of fabric she had just bought for me at the quilt shop, that she knew I would like.  She said it was a bribe for me to quilt her panel too.  I put it together and quilted her panel piece this morning.  Her borders with candy corn fabric is so cute! 

I delivered it to her today, unbound. She will do that part.  Very cute!!!
I also recently finished this Fall wall hanging, also a panel, from Heather Mulder Peterson's Fall line.  The colors are so rich and vibrant.  It isn't something that I would normally choose, but I was drawn to them.  I made a border using a variety like solid colors, and quilted it in loops and swirls.  This was a gift for Jae.
These seasonal panels can be a lot of fun to do, to add some wall hangings and table toppers to your seasonal home.  You can quilt them as a whole cloth, or add borders and make it just a part of a larger quilt. 
I used a brown Thimbleberries print to bind, and backed it in a pretty Fall floral print.
We had a new baby girl join the family recently too.  I made this Snuggle Gauze Blanket for Miss Charlie Rae.
I used this sweet, hearts and loops stitch to go around the entire blanket, and embroidered a nursery rhyme motif in one corner.
Another quick make, is pillows made from placemats.  If you see a placemat you really like, it is very easy to turn it into a pillow.  Walmart has these tapestry looking placemats for 1.97 each.  If you back it and use fiberfill to stuff the pillow, it is a very inexpensive way to add some seasonal  decor to you house or porch.
The two on the left were made last Fall, and the one on the right, I just did.  You can see how similar the two on either end are.  I didn't realize that until I made it and set them near each other.  I haven't done the Fox yet, but it is cute too.
I need to go watch the new shows on tonight!  But I will be back soon with some more Fall around the house.
I am trying to read your blogs, and catch up with each of you.  I will get there!!!
XO  Kris

Friday, September 4, 2015

Thriftin' Thursday

Surprise!!!  It's me again!  I decided that if I keep my posts small, maybe I can keep posting with some regularity before I get my new computer.  I am calling this Thriftin' Thursday, even though I know it is Friday.  But I usually go thrifting on Thursdays, and have thought of doing a weekly post to share my finds.  So this was from yesterdays trip to a favorite thrift, that offers a 20% discount on Thursdays to seniors.  And a thrifting find from a few weeks back as well.
I have been looking for another office type chair for my sewing room.  They are just the most comfortable to work in, and they slide so nicely around the acrylic mats I have on the floor.  My Mom and I had popped into one of my favorite haunts a week ago last Thursday.  Lo and behold, they had a chair.  I wanted it.  But it was 20.00.  I don't like to spend that much.  So I thought I would take my chances and come back in a week, to see if it was still there.  I went in yesterday, and not only did they have my chair, it was now 50% off.  So it came home with me.  I cleaned it up really good, even though it was already in very good shape.  It is my intention to recover it, but I need to find the fabric I want first.
It is very similar to the office chair I have had, which is now on the other side of the sewing table.  Both have the wood frames.  I am thinking about painting those in creamy white chalk paint.
I spied this lamp, and loved the size.  Upon further investigation, realized it was a solid brass Stiffel.  The label was on the red leather lampshade.  When I was cleaning the lamp at home, I tore that off.  The shade needs to be replaced, as it has seen better days.  I have a Stiffel floor lamp, that was my husbands in his room before we married.  His Mother had very good taste.  I toyed with painting it Oil Rubbed Bronze, as I have done with many other brass things in my house, but I am not sure yet.
I only have the one side lit.  The other side needs to have the bulb replaced, and it takes special bulbs.   While I am not crazy about the brass, it seems sinful to paint it.
Above shows the tag that came undone when I was cleaning the shade.   I paid 13.00 for this lamp.  I imagine it was quite costly when first purchased.
This cute little dainty spoon had to come home with me.
Can you read it?  How about now?

 It says TEXAS on the handle, with a Texas Longhorn on the top of spoon.  My beloved Grandmother, "Nana" was from Texas. She was a proud Texan, through and through!!  My Mother, although born in CA, spent a good deal of her time both living in, and visiting Texas as a child.  I saw this and knew it had to be mine.  I had the perfect spot for it too.
I keep a salt pig crock on the wine crate lazy susan next to my stove.  I like to be able to quickly toss a pinch into the food I am cooking.  I also keep black pepper in a little demitasse cup for the same purpose.
 Oh how I love it, sitting there in my salt pig.  I think of Nana all the time and miss her so much.  This makes me smile, and I think it would her too.
The other day, at a different place, but another favorite of mine for good finds, I spotted this sewing machine.  I took the filthy cover off, and was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful, barely used, heavy duty, Sears Kenmore machine.  I plugged it in, and the light came on, and it seemed to operate effortlessly.  Everything in the store was 40%, and I brought this baby home with me.
I know, I know.....I seem to collect sewing machines.  I love them.  I think it is so interesting how they all work a little bit different.
I cleaned the hard case first with warm soapy water, and a magic eraser.  Aren't those things the best???
And then, took it apart, and cleaned the machine.  I sprayed out all of the dust and lint.  I removed the bobbin and cleaned the shuttle.  I adjusted tension, and shined up the machine.  Oiling it at all of the contact points. There was not a scratch to be seen anywhere on it.  I put some scrap fabric underneath the needle, and hit the gas to see what she could do.  What a beautiful stitch!  It purred like a kitten.  I viewed a couple of youtube videos that I googled, on the make and model of this machine, as it didn't have a manual.  The videos both portrayed this machine as a powerful workhorse, and demonstrated how it could sew up to 16 thicknesses of cotton, 8 to 10 of denim, and 6-8 of canvas.  It just hummed right through it, like it was a little Juki or something!!!
The case cleaned up to look brand new.
When I got married, 36 years ago, I bought a Kenmore machine.  It cost 99.00, and I paid for it on time, 10.00 a month.  I loved that machine.  I never did much other than straight line sewing, but when I learned to quilt, I began to use it for my free motion quilting.  It was a dream.  I made the mistake of loaning it out.  It never worked properly again.
These vintage heavy duty machines are a wonderful find, if you are lucky enough.  They don't compare to the new plastic basic machines that they sell today.
Oh, another great feature, especially for a quilter, is the button to drop the feed dogs.
I downloaded a manual for it, and played with the stitch options.  It is a gem alright.  And quite a bargain for 10.00!!!
These two little vintage cow glasses called out to me too.  I sure do wish there had been more! 
On a different trip, a few weeks ago, I found this beautiful Fall platter, for what I think was 3.00.
And what was my find of the summer, this fabulous quilt!  In PERFECT condition.  I saw the lady who worked there setting it out, and I ran right over.  I could not believe my eyes when I read the price tag.  14.99, but it was 20% off for senior day.  I quickly inspected it, and dropped that quilt down in my buggy and went straight to pay, then home to wash it!
It washed up so beautifully!  I spread it out to enjoy every puckery inch.  The dresden plates are all hand stitched down with a blanket stitch.
It graces the back of the sofa in my sewing room, and I love it!!!!!
And lastly, this cast iron door stop Roo.
People always say to me, that I find the best things, and have the best luck, and must have the best shops near me.  I don't know if any of that is true, but I know that I look for certain things in particular.  I look for brands.  I look for things that I know the value of.  I look for things that I personally like.  The list is too long to mention.  Sometimes I go into a thrift and come out empty handed.  Sometimes I hit the jackpot.  Rarely do I ever spend more than 20.00 total.  Do NOT be afraid to offer less.  I did that when I found the embroidery machine.  It was marked 65.00 dollars.  I knew that it worked because I turned it on.  But it didn't have the hoops.  It would be of no value to me, if I couldn't find a hoop for it.  So I offered them 20.00 and they agreed.  I was able to find the hoop for it, after some searching, and I have had an absolute ball with that machine!  Worth every single cent, for sure!  So next time you pass a thrift, pop inside.  See what you can find.  You just might be surprised, and find a treasure!
Til  next time.
XO  Kris
PS  Pat, you can find me at IG as KrisGrover  Hope to see you there!