Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Morning Fog

It's foggy in Manhattan this morning, I just had to snap this photo of the sun shining through it. Fog is fairly common here, we're pretty close to the Gallatin river. Makes me appreciate Montana's beauty.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Flowerbed Labor

I've been wanting to redo my back flowerbed for a long time. The daylilies were choked badly by crabgrass and the sod had grown into the bed. Everything else I had planted had died off. Since I've been seeing a naturopath for a year now, I have tons more energy so I was raring to go. I already had some bark and a roll of landscape fabric, a trip to the garden center resulted in more bark and a flowering cranberry bush. So I started on Tuesday digging the bed.

A nice mess!

I did the digging on Tuesday but I conned Stan into helping on Thursday. I'm glad he did, what a big job!

Rain delay.

Second rain delay. We mostly shoveled mud.

Landscape fabric down and ready to plant.

Ta daaa!!! 5 1/2 bags of bark later that included another trip to the garden center and it's done.
Now just don't look too closely at the deck, it's very old and needs a good coat of stain, plus some repair work. Guess I know what's next.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fun Stuff

We've had a really warm spring so far, actually our winter was pretty mild, a huge contrast to the eastern part of the United States. I've been selling a few things at the shop, but so far I'm just paying my rent. I've been working on some spring things, Deb said they're short on tiny girl's stuff.

So I'm making some sun hats:

I started this shawl a couple of years ago, it was intended for working on while sipping my coffee on my Mexican balcony. But it got too big to take so I worked on it sporadically at home. It's a little long, but I wanted to finish the color sequence. It's mine, I think, lol!

This was also a take-along pattern. I got impatient so I finished it. It's a Drops pattern, the patterns are translated from Norwegian and many things are lost in translation. I persisted and figured it out. It's for my gift stash, I couldn't get enough for it to sell in the shop. My niece is pregnant, maybe she'll get it if she has a boy.

Today is a big day, I'm going to start teaching knitting! My first class is toe-up socks. I rewrote a pattern and added child and toddler's sizes, got the pattern copied and I'm ready to go. I hope I can instill a love of knitting in others, it's been something I've loved to do ever since I swiped my mom's books and yarn and taught myself at age 11.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Busy January

I had decided my jobs for the new year were to first get some things ready to take to to the gift shop, then knuckle down and really clean my sewing room. Got the stuff to the shop and now I'm working on that room. I decided if I didn't have storage for something it was going out, so I ruthlessly sorted my fabric.

I ended up with seven, yes seven bags of fabric to give away! It is a mix of scraps and full pieces. I had a huge bag of fleece scraps, our adopted granddaughter took it to the retirement home where she works and they're going to piece lap robes, a cool idea. I advertised in some of the local classified pages on Facebook and it's gradually going away. I'm down to three bags. A big bag of scraps went to the local 4H group for sewing practice. I thought about giving it all to Goodwill, but I knew if I advertised it the fabric would go to people who appreciated it. Someone is coming in the morning to look at the rest, hopefully she'll take it all.

Here's a disgusting before picture. It had been a really long time since I'd done anything.

Here's the same bookcase after sorting. This is my quilt fabric. I also have places for purse fabrics, apparel fabric, knits, fleece and flannel. Rolling it really helps to keep it neater.

This was in Stan's mom's stash. Made in France-I need to make something special out of it. The bad thing about being a sewer is that when people find out you sew, they give you all kinds of fabric and notions. So far I've been too nice to say no, you never know what treasures there might be, but I'm practicing my "no!" as we speak.
Twirly scarves for the gift shop.

Potato baker bags. These are so cool-you wash your potato, wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it in the bag. They turn out delicious! I also brought in a pile of other things, including bowl cozies.

I'm going to shy away from fabric stores for a while, I still have enough down there to keep me busy until I die!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I'm Alive!

My friends were probably wondering what happened to me. Well, I got sick, really sick. Just before we left for Mazatlan I got what I thought were back spasms. Then I developed a cough and it hurt my back to breathe. I went for acupuncture twice and my acupuncturist was concerned when the pain didn't go away, he felt there was something wrong with my heart and lungs. He advised me to go to a Western doctor if I wasn't better after my trip.

Well, I was sick the whole two weeks, finally the Tuesday before we left for home I called a doctor. I figured it was pneumonia and he treated me for that. But I didn't get better, I started getting worse. We had a long flight home that Friday with three layovers, we left at 6:00 A.M. and got home at midnight. I couldn't walk through the airports so I requested wheelchairs.

The next morning, after sleeping sitting up on the couch I got dressed and had Stan drive me to Urgent Care. They flipped out! They took a chest x-ray and started a breathing treatment. When the x-ray was developed the physician's assistant sent me to the hospital, she said my heart was enlarged. She wanted to call an ambulance but I thought it was silly, given that Stan was in the waiting room and I'd survived 18 hours of flying the day before.

After several hours in the ER I was diagnosed with viral pericarditis. The pericardium is a sac around your heart and mine was full of fluid,  my heart was enlarged and my inflammation markers were off the chart. Plus the albuterol from the breathing treatment put me in a fib. I was admitted and spent two hellish days battling with the staff-they didn't care that I was either allergic or sensitive to ask the drugs they gave me. I was sicker when I left the hospital than when I was admitted.

After being discharged I spent the next few weeks sleeping sitting up on the couch. It became obvious that if I didn't want to be sick anymore I'd have to take matters in my own hands, so I started taking colloidal silver. They had told me that the virus in my heart could be any kind-cold, flu, stomach bug-it was in my body and chose to hit my heart. Colloidal silver is a fantastic antiviral and it worked.

I was really sick a total of about 2 1/2 months. Just before my birthday I went for acupuncture and he told me I had really scared him. He did a moxa or mugwort treatment and by Sunday I was almost completely well! Thanksgiving was tough but our great kids came over and did all the cooking and cleanup. By Christmas I was able to do pretty much everything

I still have to be careful, no jogging yet or heavy lifting but I feel so thankful to have survived. I told Stan the best Christmas gift I got was that I got to live. He was pretty happy about that, too! I actually have been knitting and started sewing again just after Christmas.

It's been so cold I made the dogs some sweaters. Chloe loves hers but Merlin hated his and rolled around on the floor until it came off. Silly boy, wait until he gets a haircut, he'll like it then!

These are bowl cozies. You place your bowl of soup or whatever in it and put it in the microwave and it keeps you from burning your fingers when you take it out. I made 24 and gave them as Christmas gifts. 
The grandkids didn't get homemade pajamas this year, I wasn't up to that until too late too get them done.

I quit my job just before we left for Mexico. I do miss it, but there was a situation I couldn't tolerate. I am enjoying my free time very much and I have a burning desire to do tons of sewing and knitting. And I've been asked to give knitting classes at a new craft/gift shop here in town-that should be a real hoot!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Queen Elsa

Grace, along with every other girl in the United States, is nuts about the movie Frozen. So Gramma had to crank up the sewing machine so she could have a dress for Halloween. She wanted to sew it herself, but she just doesn't have the skills yet to do a project like this. Heck, it gave this seasoned veteran a few headaches! We're leaving for Mazatlan on Saturday and won't be back until late on Halloween so the pressure is on. She's hard to fit but I took copious measurements and it fits really well. The only problem is, even though I enlarged the sleeve pattern, they are still snug. She's going to be cold trick or treating. I might make her a cape-right, like I have time! I did line the yoke with flesh colored swimsuit lining to be warmer and hide her bra.

Just have to hem it, hopefully tomorrow morning. I have to work two days, pick up Sydney from school, go to my naturopath today followed by last minute purchases, and pack. Guess I'll sleep when we get there. And I had a bunch of stress last week, so my shoulders are so tight it's excruciating. I'll get there, I'm sure. One nice thing, after Friday I'll be completely retired.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Following in my Footsteps

Grace has been bugging me since school let out to give her some sewing lessons. I've been MIA all summer because I made the dumb decision to make my gluten free cookies and sell them at the farmer's market. The market was successful, but just took too much of my time. With working and baking and selling the summer flew by and I never had a free minute to sew, let alone teach someone. But Grace is an extremely creative person and I knew she should be taught.

Our schedules finally meshed and she came over Saturday. I set her up with an easy project-a pillowcase. I first showed her some of the equipment and explained what it was for. When I introduced her to the seam ripper I told her to get to know it intimately because even good sewers make mistakes. She was excited and really eager to learn. She did everything I told her and was super careful. I'm impressed with her talent, she will definitely follow in Gramma's footsteps.

Here she is at the machine. I had to keep reminding her to relax, but she is a good listener and did what I told her to do. She worked on the serger too, she thought that went awfully fast!

Ta da! Finished and looks great!
Then we went out for lunch and I took her home. She immediately raced across the alley to fetch her best friend so she could show off her project. Sierra was almost as excited as Grace. Who knows, maybe next time I'll have two little girls to teach!