Saturday, April 29, 2006

Garage Sales v.04.29.06

Tis' the season. The sun is out, the birds are singing and the first garage sales of the year have finally arrived in the great state of Michigan. Halle-freakin-'lujah. My dad and I were out in full force this morning (as we are almost every Saturday morning in the summertime) with my map and pre-written list according to the city's quadrants made from all of the ads that ran in yesterday's paper. (Yes people, I am that organized about this kind of stuff.) I felt like I did fairly well for there being not that many sales out there. I scored a few bags of vintage fabric that I've yet to go through as well as a black leather Coach purse and the barkcloth sewing caddy as seen above. I threw the picture of the white purse in for good measure because I picked it up at the Goodwill this week and I never blogged about it. So I figured I could slide it in here.

Seeing as how my Dad will now be spending all of his free time on his sail boat this year, I am looking to audition new garage sale partners for the upcoming season. (Holly?) You must be fast on your feet and love to go garage saling, just like me! Please let me know what weekends work good for you.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mom's Every Holiday Sweatshirt Jacket

My Mother-in-Law is an elementary school teacher. Because of this she has twenty-seven bajillion holiday sweaters in ever size, shape and color. I've always wondered why they didn't have one sweater that covered every holiday. For Christmas last year I decided to condense her collection down to one holiday sweater. Thus creating the every holiday sweatshirt jacket inspired by a sweatshirt jacket pattern from (once again) an old Sassy Magazine pattern I used back in high school. After my mom saw what I was doing she decided she wanted one, too.

First, I cut the cuffs, crew neck and waistband off. Then, I made a slit down the middle to create the jacket look. I hemed around the edges, found four sew-on clasps and sewed them on for "buttons". After about a year of collecting holiday inspired fabrics I cut them into squares and sewed them on to the jaacket overlapping them around the waistband.

I finished my MIL's in time for Christmas but my mom's was wasn't quite complete and since she was leaving for Florida the day after Christmas and didn't really need it right away, it kind of got put on hold. oops. Now, four months later, it got moved to the top of the UFO pile to be finished by the time they got back home. Now it's finished and in my mother's hot little hands. Hallelujah.

The best part of the project was looking for all of the holiday fabric. I found New Year's Eve fabric, Kwanza, Easter, Fourth of July and Memorial Day (flags) and I even found some Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year fabric online. If only I could find some MLK Day fabric I'd be all set.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy 2.5 Years to Us

I rarely mention birthdays or anniversaries here but I've been looking for an excuse to post a picture of my own homemade bridal bouquet, see above, for a long time. According to my latest magazines costume jewelry and enamel flower pins are all the rage right now. Too bad I'll have to tear apart my bouquet to wear any of it.

My mom and I made all of my bridesmaids similar ones using tussy mussies. The jewelry in mine was all silver, gold, rhinestones and white while theirs matched more of their personalities. My bouquet contained jewelry from both of my grandmother's as well as my husbands' grrandmothers, our mothers, our birthstones, etc. while my bridesmaid who loves all things Irish got shamrocks in hers, and the bridesmaid that lives in Las Vegas got sun pins in hers.

And for those of you who were just DYING to see an actual picture of us (don't blink or you'll miss it) here's a rare self portrait of the two of us on the Cedar Point Ferris Wheel in Sandusky, Ohio last summer. (Notice the beach and Lake Erie on the right.)

Hmmmm. I really like this picture but it didn't turn out very well on the computer. You didn't really want to see what I looked like anyway.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I Went Anvil Shopping

And brought home an anvil. I had no idea one could purchase an anvil so easily. I've wanted one for over 10 years after I took a jewelry making class in college. Granted, it's just a baby anvil, only 15 lbs., but still.

I even bought a rubber mallet to go with it. Oh, the possibilities. You may be asking yourself, what are you going to do with an anvil? Just you wait and see......

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Last Attempt At Knitting

I'm not a very good knitter. I've tried to be. I even taught myself before I enrolled in a beginner's knitting class a few years back. (I'm left-handed and I know how hard it is to try to teach something like this to a left-handed person. My teacher really appreciated it.) I've knitted a few scarfs here and there and a hat or two but nothing I'm proud of, that's fo' sho'. I tend to only pick it up when someone is in the hospital because of the portability issues. Here's the scarf I was working on while I was in the hospital. It's for my 6 yr. old fashonista/princess niece (we've always called her the princess but I think her new name is going to be the "fashionista" because that is what she truly is). Like I said, it's nothing I'm proud of and I'm only showing it because it's probably the last thing I'm ever going to knit. I just can't seem to get the hang of it and I can't even follow the simple pattern of knit one row, purl the other. I'm much more of a Sewer than a Knitter.

Although, I've wanted one of THESE for YEARS. Maybe someday I'll attempt it or find someone who'll do it for me in some kind of trade, but until then I can only dream about doing it as well as gaining better knitting abilities.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Forget Tulips, I Have Tomatoes.

The collection has grown.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What's It For Then?

I've needed a step stool in my craft room for awhile now. At 5'11'' you'd think I wouldn't need one but seeing as how space is limited I have to store things more "vertically". Thus, that one extra step would be oh-so nice. I've looked around and the best one I've found to fit my needs I found at JoAnn's. Before the "ER visits" I happened to be in JoAnn's and found them for 50% off. Looked like it was time for me to buy a new step stool.

So I get it home, sand it down and what does the sticker underneath says? "Not for standing on." HUH? So what's it for then? I can't believe they went to all of this trouble to make a perfectly good stool that you can't even use. It completely boggled my mind as too what this would be for then. But then it dawned on me- one stroke painters paint on them all of the time, but don't they use them afterwards? I guess it really made me think about what I craft for. (It also makes one think as to the difference betweens one's art and one's craft, but that's a whole 'nother can of worms I'm not opening quite yet.)

After some thought I've decided that I am a practical crafter. As in, everything I make can be used for something. Weather it be a quilt, a lampshade or a wall hanging, it can be used for something. Not something that just sits there and does nothing.

So I quickly stamped some flowers on my stool for fear of it not lasting long enough to enjoy it.

IKEA can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Art Glass Festival

Last weekend my husband and I went to the Delphi Stained Glass Store in Lansing for the Michigan Art Glass Festival. Every April they set their store up like a museum with museum-like pieces of fabulous art glass available for sale and competition. It's always amazing and doesn't cost a dime to go see.

I took a stained glass class in college and have loved it ever since. One of these days I'm going to un-bury(is there such a word?) my supplies in my parent's basement and bring them over to my house and get going on it again. You definitely need some space in a well venilated area and now for the first time in awhile I have that so here's my chance to get started again.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Silk Tie Easter Eggs

On Thursday I caught the first few minutes of the Martha Stewart show where they were showing how to dye Easter eggs using men's silk ties. (There's a video tutorial if you look around.) They were gorgeous! I immediately went through my tie collection and tried it the next morning. That batch didn't turn out so well. You need really vibrant ties (nothing muted) and a lot more vinegar than the instructions call for. Like, 2 to 5 times as much depending on how many eggs you are doing.

So Friday night after the Fish Fry I met up with my parents at my brother's house to dye eggs with the kids and try the silk tie thing again. These turned out great! Above are pictures of only the four I brought home showing both sides of the eggs. (I left the rest of the eggs there and the pics I took that night didn't turn out that great. Sorry for all the help you gave me, big brother!) Everybody seemed to like them and I definitely plan on doing them for years to come. It's amazing to see what different patterns the different ties will make.
Going clockwise from the top:
-on the top egg we used a bold striped tie
-on the right egg we used a tie with a harvest-colored grape pattern
-the bottom egg was dyed with a blue peacock-like pattern
-the left egg was dyed with a red tie that had sailboats on it

It was amazing to see how each one turned out. We'll definitely do it next year!

Oh, and Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday Night Fish Fry at the VFW Hall

It was the last one for the season so we had to go. I love them and miss going to them but I'm paying for it this morning.....

Friday, April 14, 2006

April Showers...

...bring me the boots I've always wanted, thank you discount chain store gods!

My photographer friend took me on a shopping excursion to Value City the other day and guess what I found? My dream boots for 20 dollahs! Yee haw!!! They are nice and heavy duty, too. I've worn them every time it's even sprinkled. Whether or not I leave the house. :-)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spring Break 2006

Or rather, what I did on my spring break......

I'm kind of glad we never got around to buying those tickets to Florida because that would have been a big ol' chunk of change wasted. See? The glass is always half full.......

I had to pick up my CAT Scan images to take to another MRI yesterday. Another day spent in a metal tube. Joy of joys.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Princess Playmat

You know those carpet/playmats that tend to be for boys with the roadways and construction buildings printed right on them? Well, a few years ago I came across a cotton fabric panel piece at a garage sale of a shopping mall! How girly! It even has a craft store, a fabric store *sigh* and a beauty shop. So I bought it with every intention of quilting it for my niece, the Princess. (Don't think I'm not a femininst. It's just that my nephew has one and I've never seen one designed specifically for a girl like I have seen them for boys.) Two years later, I came across it again and actually finished it. Speaking of finishing an "unfinished object".....

Check out my new internet friend Spamantha's blog. I came across it a few months ago and it's becoming eerie as to how much we have in common. I know, I know, given our age range and basic interests it's not that wierd but almost daily something new has popped up. What's creeping me out is that I feel like I'm copying her, too. As in, I want to make the quilt she has on her bed (she's posted the pictures!) and in order to do that I have to order the pattern from the quilt shop she used to work at. She also has listed all of her UFO's (UnFinished Object's) on her sidebar so now I want to do that, too. Instead I combined my UFO's and WIP's (Work's In Progress) from the information Bald Sheep provided me last fall and I just never got around to doing. I'll post them as I discover them and really, how do you determine the % of completetion? Some projects I only bought the stuff for and well, that's just too embarassing to post yet.

Anyway, let's just say I'm "inspired" by my new friend rather than I'm "copying" her. I like the sound of that much better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To Slice The Perfect Mango

Anybody who's ever tried to cut a mango knows how difficult it can be. My mother told me about Martha Stewart's way to slice a mango which is by far the best way I'd ever seen. Then I saw this on ljc's blog. Just what I've always needed. And thank you to Alton Brown for showing us the right direction. A mango slicer. Who'd have thunk it. And it actually works, too.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Two of My Favorite Things- Fiestaware and Joaquin

Screen shots from "Inventing the Abbotts".

I'm on a Joaquin Pheonix kick right now. What was funny was that I had 3 movies of his sitting at home from Netflix the entire time I was in the hospital but lucky for me, the one night nothing was on TV they showed "Signs" on network television. Ahhhh......thank you network Gods.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"Only You"

I like to watch a lot of PBS so during the day I'll have the TV tuned into any number of PBS stations I can get and and listen to it through out the house. (It's a small house.) I started to notice when they switch over to children's programming (around 2-3pm depending on what station I have it on) they show a minute or two commercial for PBS Kids. It's in black and white and there are some famous people rolling around with their children on the beach and in the grass. (I'm asuming they are their children.) The most beautiful song is playing during the commerical. After a couple of searches I found this guy's blog and it looks like he did all of the leg work for me over a year ago!

Song: Only You
Album: Uncommon Denominators
Artist: New Rythm and Blues Quartet (NRBQ)
Released: 1986

One of my BFF's already found it on Rhapsody for me and I'll have it by the end of the day! Yippee! (Can you tell I'm a tightwad?)

Here's a clip of the song. (Just click on "only you".) The reason I'm using this clip is because if you leave the clip running into the next one you will hear the song from the best mime fight scene ever from my most favorite movie ever, Shakes The Clown. If you have never seen it you must run out and rent it TODAY.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Shark! Shark!

A couple of months ago my 9-year-old nephew brought over one of those joystick video games that you plug into your TV and up pops about 6 old school video games. I'm hooked. I'm so hooked in fact that I went out and bought the Intellivision joystick as well as the Tetris joystick. Want to know what game I'm the most addicted to? Shark! Shark! It's almost like watching an interactive aquarium only you get to eat the fish and grow bigger. I know, I know, how lame am I when there are millions of graphically intense games out there. I liked it before the head thing started happening and now it's about all I can handle right now.

I've also put the challenge out there to anybody who's every wanted to beat me at Boggle and couldn't before, now would be the time to do it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Things I Will Miss For The Rest Of My Life

Out of the arm's length list of things I can probably never consume again, the three things I will miss the most are ice cream (all dairy), Diet Coke (all caffeine) and chocolate (that caffeine thing again). What really sucks is that I had already whittled my favorites down to the barest of all minimums, but to truly cut them out will be extremely painful. There's a lot of other things I can't have like alcohol and all dairy products, but these are the three things that are really gonna kill me.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Where Do I Begin?

If you haven't heard from me in the last couple of weeks, you might want to read the post below first.

So much has happened since then I don't even know where to begin.

That was Monday and on the following Thursday I had an appointment with my doctor. While I was in the examination room I had another attack. I was sent by ambulance to the hospital where they immediately put me into ICU with a heartbeat below 30. My brother even flew my parents home from Florida it was that serious. I was in the ICU for a few days where I saw a blur of neurosurgeons, neurospecialists, cardio specialists, you name it, I probably saw it. They sent me home on Sunday the 26th and on Tuesday I had yet another attack. I've been home since Friday night. I hope it's for good this time.

To summarize, in the last two weeks the following things have happened to me-
- 3 trips to the ER
- 2 rides in an ambulance
- 3 cat scans
- 1 spinal tap
- 1 MRI
- 3 nights in the ICU
- 6 nights in the hospital
- 1 week of a clear liquid diet (I lost 11 lbs. and already gained 5 back:(
- a dozen diagnoses

OK, maybe not a dozen but close to it. At first they thought it was an aneurysm or a hemorrhage but through all of the testing they pretty much ruled those out. They still want me to have an angiogram to rule out all bleeding in the head and another MRI to rule out a ruptured disc but the conclusion has been Thunderclap Migraines. Right now I'm on meds for seizures and muscle relaxants, but the thing that's working is ibuprofen. (Oh, and the meds make me a complete airhead. Just thought I'd let ya know.) I just hope I get this all under control, and soon.

Thanks to all for the well wishes, flowers, cards, etc. It was scary there for awhile but hopefully we'll get this thing figured out. My husband and family have been awesome and I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things so stay tuned for for me to get back to my regular posting. :-)