Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drunken Parrot Wear

Did I say "Drunken Parrot Wear"? Why, yes.....yes, I did! Here's a picture of some jewelry my niece, Kendra Guffey, sent runs in the family, I guess.....
Kendra is my HERO! She has jumped out of airplanes, scaled huge mountains, scuba-dived in cold waters, and she's been a "pirate" forever. Just how much of a pirate is she? Well, NOT the "bad" kind that have been in the news lately...but the "good" kind. She's a bona fide celebrity! Kendra was in the (ill-fated) Pirate Masters reality TV series. Here's the link to her stuff: Kendra. And here's her pic:

She is my very best favorite niece (not to mention my ONLY niece, LOL!). But seriously, she is sweet, funny, kind, transparent, and fearless...all good attributes. If I had one story to tell about her, it would be this: years ago, we rescued a one-eyed cat from the animal shelter (my husband wanted a lap dog....he and son, Adam, wound up coming home with a damned one-eyed cat! Go figure!) Kendra happened to be visiting from Los Angeles.
She is a REAL, SERIOUS cat-person. She asked what we were going to name the one-eyed cat! I said...uh...we'll just probably call her "Kitty, Kitty" like the rest of the cats we've always had....
That was not acceptable with Kendra! So the first day we had the one-eyed cat, she conjured up 10 cat-names. Gosh, I can't remember ANY of them now, but they were either too cutsie or too convoluted, or too girlie. I said "no" to all of them. She frowned, growled, and slunk away to lick her wounds. The second day, she had 10 more names. Again...none of them fit. Do you see a "Rumplestiltskin" theme here? The third day, she had 10 more. Blah, blah, blah.....Calypso. Hmmmm...Calypso...well, she was wearing me down, and Calypso didn't seem so awful bad. I told her "Fine....Calypso...(but we're still gonna call her Kitty, Kitty....)." She grinned like the Cheshire Cat and groomed herself.....seemingly satisfied. She went back to California, satisfied that that damned one-eyed cat had a proper name.
Fast forward to the next weekend: my granddaughter, Brittney (long post about her below) was about five years old at the time. She came to stay for the weekend. Oh!!!!!! New Kitty!!!! What's Kitty's name? I said her name is "Calypso." Brittney took that in, and nodded. Later that day...we were all out in the front yard. All of us, including that damned one-eyed cat. Suddenly Brittney said "Dish Soap....Dish Soap".....huh????? We all looked at Brittney...and BURST OUT LAUGHING! To a five-year old, Calypso sounded an awful lot like DISH SOAP! Brittney did NOT appreciate us laughing at her...she gave us a look that only a five-year old can give...and we were properly chagrined (for about two seconds). That cat that we NEVER called Calypso, was thereafter referred to as DISH SOAP. She is still alive today, although feeble-minded and -bodied...cranky as heck...but still kicking. Wish I had a picture of her, but she moved to town with our oldest son and is living out her sunset years in kitty splendor...they call her "One-Eye"....but to me she will always be DISH SOAP.
But I love my niece...and love the jewelry she sent me...I am making her a Weads necklace in return. Kendra - you are a very special lady - thank you for being in my life :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Disappearing Nine-Patch - Tote Bag

I signed up (twice) for Aunt Pitty Pat's swap featuring Disappearing Nine-Patch, or Blockheads, as she refers to it. The blocks are so much fun to make, I can't seem to stop! I had a "prize" to make for a contest our "Fun Commitee" sponsored at work, so I made a tote bag using 4 of the blocks. I think it turned out pretty nice :-)

Here are the four blocks I used, after piecing them together with some lattice strips:

And here's the completed tote. I added a fabric flower with a pearl-and-button stamen:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Redneck Newspaper Holder.....

Day before yesterday, I stopped to get the mail after work, and looked at the was getting pretty evil what with the blackberry vines stretching out their prickly branches! I took this picture, and then remembered some pics I had snapped last year, before I had a blog. So, here I am, dredging up old pics to post.... Believe it or not, we have three addresses to our property...and two mailboxes. One mailbox is way around the corner and up a hill from the other. We call them the "downstairs mailbox" and the "upstairs mailbox." Long time ago, we used to get the local newspaper (and our mail) at the "upstairs mailbox" because that's where we lived. For whatever reason (I can't remember), we stopped the paper delivery, then eventually moved to another house on the property, where we now get our mail at the "downstairs mailbox." Are ya still with me? Then last year we decided we wanted to start getting the paper delivered again (of course, I wanted the craft- and fabric-store flyers/coupons!). Well, there was already one of those plastic paper box thingies at the "upstairs mailbox," but none at the "downstairs mailbox." We figured that was the newspaper's problem to we got signed up for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday delivery and waited. It took a few days. There was our first newspaper, lying on top of our "downstairs mailbox." Again, the next day...on top of the mailbox. The Sunday paper guessed it....on top of the mailbox! Another week went by with the same results - by this time, we weren't sure they were ever going to install a paper box, but as long as we were getting the paper, we didn't care.
That's when I noticed that those pesky blackberry vines were really getting obnoxious, coming across the top of the mailbox. I didn't want either the letter carrier or the newspaper carrier to get scratched, so I tossed a pair of clippers in my glovebox, intending to whack those branches back on my way home. But as I started to reach for the paper so I could start whacking, I suddenly realized that those prickly branches were actually HOLDING the paper onto the top of the mailbox! Without the sticker-bushes, the paper would fall off! I returned to my car, tossed the clippers back in the glovebox, and grabbed my camera instead. That's when I thought "Hmmm....Redneck Newspaper Holder...."

A few days later, they installed a REAL paper box...and I found myself being sad that the "Redneck Newspaper Holder" was no longer being used :-( Well, I guess I'd better grab those clippers and get back to whacking away at the current crop before the mailbox disappears entirely!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Surprise" Fabric - What an Unexpected (and GREAT!) Gift!

I came into work on Monday and found a yard of fabric on my chair! What a wonderful way to start the work week! My work-friend, Chris, had been to Idaho to visit her very special Aunt for a vacation. She wandered into a quilt shop while she was there, and spotted this fabric. She just knew I had to have it! Don't we all need friends who think like that? It's the Loralie Designs "Fashion Beach" pattern.
Chris made sure the yard-cut had HER favorite dame - the one with the orange stripe suit and fabulous hat! Isn't she fabulous?
I don't know which is MY favorite - I like them all, but I'm kinda partial to this one - look at those "strategically-placed" flowers, haha!
Or maybe this is my favorite? She reminds me of my friend Robin, whose finger and toenails are always gorgeous (not like mine, which are "naked" and all different lengths).
Now, this one is pretty saucy looking, don't you think? You can just tell she's "trouble" - maybe that's why I like her :-)Well, I will have to think of something VERY special to use this fabric for....and guess what? I'll be whacking off that SELVEDGE real soon! All those pretty color-bubbles will look real nice in one of my selvedge projects. Thanks, Chris! You are a Special Lady, like the Loralie Ladies :-)

Another Up-Cycled Apron

I was asked to be an angel for Aunt Pitty Pat's Don't Ditch It, Restitch It Upcycled Apron Swap. Of course, I said yes! Here's what I started with - two blouses, one with tiny ruffles...
And the other with embroidery on the collar and pocket...I could say that I took this picture as a closeup to show the embroidery...but in reality, I whacked off the sleeves before remembering to take the "before" picture, haha!

I used the chambray shirt front (and strips from the back) for the skirt portion of the apron, and the striped, embroidered shirt front for the bib, retaining the pocket. I used two coordinating fabrics for ties and binding the edges.
I just had to make a small tote bag to go along with the apron - I lined it with the back of the striped shirt and used one of the coordinating fabrics for the main bag. But I took HALF of an embroidered collar and paired it with a THIRD of a chambray sleeve, minus the cuff (more on that in the next pic) to make a pocket!
So, what did I use that cuff for? Well, I thought it would make a great fastener for a tea wallet! It was a little longer than I needed, but I just added a seam in the extra part of the cuff and used it to put a tie through, and attached a lobster claw fastener to clip onto a loop I added to the tote! maybe it was that second glass of wine that figured in here somehow...LOL!
Here's the inside, with the tea in the pockets! I hope the recipient likes her angel apron swap package :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

My G-Daughter - Warning, Very Long Post!

Marcel, of Aunt Pitty Pat's, commented that I don't blog about my granddaughter, Brittney, and she's right! I remedied that this weekend, since Brittney was visiting from Seattle. I drove her nearly crazy taking pictures at the Olympia Farmer's Market, one of our very favorite places to hang out. Now I'm going to drive YOU crazy with the pics I took :-) This is my Sweet-Sixteen-Granddaughter in front of Los Tulenos, our VERY FAVORITE Taco Stand...we both exclusively order the Spicy Pork Tacos (SPTs), and Ice-Tea-No-Lemon - like Grandma, like Granddaughter :-) We are so hungry, waiting for our favorite foodHere's Saul - he's one of the owners. Last year, he "improved" the Spicy Pork Taco recipe - it was even better than before! The "regulars" all noticed.....and approved!

It was a beautiful day, and we both enjoyed our SPTs.....

Right down to the very last Lovin' Spoonful!
Brittney by the big bell - they ring this bell when The Market opens! It's loud!

Brittney by one of the many plant booths - both Brittney and the flowers are beauties, aren't they?
Brittney by the tie-dye booth. How "Sixties" is that?

My "honey" by the honey booth...

This is the lavendar lady - she sells the cutest "chicken" pincushions, filled with lavendar. I've bought several for gifts, and when I use mine, it still smells wonderful every time I stick a pin into that poor chicken, LOL!

Brittney's as sweet as these cherries. Washington State grows awesome cherries!

Another plant booth...

I said "Stand over there by the cheese." She said "Naw, I'd rather stand by the swirly bread." I said "But then the cheese will have to stand alone!" We looked at each other, puzzled, for a minute and then we both started took us a few minutes to remember that was from "The Farmer in the Dell."

Here's the swirly bread. I walk REAL fast by this booth! They have some really tasty stuff!
This place sells metal house numbers and animal statue-thingies. I bought my friend, Teresa, a metal raccoon for her yard since she has all kinds of REAL wildlife that come around for a handout. We dubbed him "MetaliCoon."
Brittney's the apple of my eye :-) Washington is famous for their apples, ya know?
The lady in the background makes birdhouses. We were in 4-H together a billion years ago.

Keep Clam! And Oysters, too!
Some total stranger literally SNATCHED my camera out of my hands, saying "If you're like me, you have LOTS of pictures of others, but few of yourself." And she took this picture! What a nice ending to our Market Journey. There'll be many more, I'm sure :-)

Tea Wallet

Just a quick post - here's another Tea Wallet I made. This is for a friend who loves English Breakfast tea in the morning, so I filled it with Trader Joe's English Breakfast Tea. These are sooooo easy to make, and fun!

And here's the inside, with the tea!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Laughing At Oneself - Parking 101

I went to visit someone for the weekend, and there were oodles-of-vehicles in the driveway. The owner asked me to "please back up over by the Rhododendron bush." Seemed like a simple task, don't you think? I backed up "over by the Rhododendron bush"....but in the cold, hard light of morning, I realized my poor old Pontiac was IN the Rhododendron bush! This picture doesn't really do it justice, but the back end is FIRMLY PLANTED IN/ON the bush, LOL! Poor thing! My rear tires were squishing several branches! Fortunately, when I finally managed to extricate my Pontiac, the bush was none-the-worse-for-wear (other than mass quantities of squooshed flowers on the driveway), but I'm sure it was relieved to finally have that load off!
Now...having said you notice the windshield wipers are standing straight up? That is what happens when you have an offspring who is a mechanic! He previously worked for a private shop, and now he's working for the Olympia Fire Department, so it's not quite as easy to get him to work on my car, since he's tired from working all day on those ambulances and aid cars.
And those windshield wipers are just the dashboard has become a "carnival of lights" - the Low Washer Fluid light, the Change Oil Soon light, the Low Coolant light (which alternately flashes on and off, OR stays lit steady - variety IS the spice of life!), the Low Oil Level light particularly disturbs me, and I have lived with the Check Tire Pressure light for many months (the sensor is broken). Ahh, well.....just like the "shoemaker's children" we are the "mechanic's parents," LOL! At least it gets me where I want to go and home again :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bag for Wheelchair Friend

Here's the bag I made for Wheelchair Friend. Once again, I used some alien-themed fabric, because Wheelchair Friend is kinda spacey, LOL!
Here it is on the chair:
Here's a closeup of the spacey fabric:

I love the spacey eyeball fabric for the ties. This bag isn't really intended for use by Wheelchair Friend - it's more for Wheelchair Friend's "pusher," as I'm referred to. I can put my purse, cell phone, car keys, and earth-friendly reusable shopping bags in it. What shall I make next for Wheelchair Friend?