Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Angel, and An Adventure!

I was an "angel" for Val's Mama Mia Apron Swap. I didn't sign up for this swap because I hadn't watched the movie, but I told Val I would get it and then be an angel if she needed one. I bought the DVD, and then promptly lost it (in the house). I hunted high and low. I finally gave up and bought it a second time. Yep, you guessed it - I FOUND the first copy. Unfortunately, Val DID need an angel...but I was happy to craft this for Jody, just up the road from me in Alaska:

Jody liked green (except kelly green - just like me!), so I used this wonderful line of fabric - I just love that green/black/white combo, don't you? I also made a drink wrap and even put some beads on it, and included a package of green cocktail napkins, and a drink recipe I snagged from Aunt Pitty Pat's blog (more about her later!). I made a card using scraps of the fabrics.

Did you see the boa in the above picture? Jody can wear the apron and the boa...and use THIS to belt out "Dancing Queen" in the privacy of her living room, LOL! It's a microphone made of felt and even has a "mic button" (a black button)...hard to see in this pic.
Here's a closeup of the drink wrap - notice there are two of them - Jody got only one. I'm sending the other one to Val because she loves this particular green color! Sssshhhh - don't tell her!

It was my pleasure to make this package for Jody. For Val's next swap...I'm signing up right away! The theme is "Hot for Chocolate" - would could resist that?
Now...I mentioned "more about" Aunt Pitty Pat above...and here's the "Adventure" part of this post...APP and I are going to meet next week! Marcel lives in Kansas with Pitty Pat and all her other creatures, but she's flying (she and Pitty are in the air at this very moment!) to California to visit her Grandma Peachy, mom, aunt and other assorted relatives. Since I have vacation leave to burn, I decided to take two weeks and come down to Cali to meet her! The "Adventure" will be that I'm driving! Now, probably for a lot of you, that's no big deal, but I'm a Nervous Nellie Driver. But I'm taking this on as a personal challenge.
And I bought myself a CUTE little netbook, and made a CUTE little bag for it. It's so CUTE! Did I mention it's CUTE? So I'm planning on blogging on my way down and while I'm there. It's about 12-14 hours from where I live, but who knows how long it will take me to get there...I'm sure there are one or two fabric/quilt shops along the way, LOL! And oldest son, Ben, gave me his GPS to use, so between the netbook, wi fi spots, and the GPS, it might take me a week to reach my destination! Just kidding...I'm figuring I'll be there in two days :-)

So...wish me luck, and I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2, 4, 6, 8! I Got Pom-Poms!

On August 19, I posted one of those "10 facts your fellow bloggers need to know about you." One of the 10 was:

3. I am the World's Greatest "Work" Cheerleader! I want whatever organization I work for to succeed.

This is very true (or I wouldn't have posted it!) - wherever I've worked, I have been a positive force for trying to make things better. Heck - you want your organization to thrive so you can keep your job, right? So it just makes sense.

My job right now involves composing often complex communications that translate technical system mumbo-jumbo to "plain talk" for end users - about 750 of them! Mostly they are boring. The communications - not the end users. Ok, well some of them might be boring, too...

But once in awhile, I get to write some that are a bit more fun. September 7-11 was National Payroll Week. Since the system I write about pays our Washington State general government employees twice a month, I got to write about this event all week.

On Tuesday through Thursday (Monday was a holiday), I sent out interesting metrics on how many paychecks the system had produced in 2008, error rates, taxes paid to the Feds, etc. By Friday, I had run out of stats, so I wrapped up the week by praising our payroll professionals who make it all happen. I was truly inspired, and laid it on pretty thick, LOL! I think I was seeing flags waving and hearing inspirational music in my head. The Big Boss read it and said it made him "all warm and fuzzy." The Assistant Big Boss shot me an email that said "That's it, Miss Ma'am! I'm getting you a set of pom-poms!" I wrote back and said "I want pink ones!!!"

Lo and behold, when I got back from lunch, there was Assistant Big Boss with....drumroll....PINK POM POMS! So, of course, I just had to put my hair in ponytails, don a classic pink sweater, and pose! I cut an initial "N" out of black paper...and stuck it on my'll notice it's on TILT! Had hubby take the picture and being a man, he apparently didn't notice it was askew. Oh get the idea.
Don't worry, now I'm gonna hang up my pom poms where I can't do any more damage with them...I don't think I want to be the OLDEST "World's Greatest Work Cheerleader"....

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Couple Little Projects Today...

I made a couple little things today, and sewed on an "angel" swap which I'll have to show you later.

I had been wanting a key chain thingie, so I used a tutorial I found and then did my own thing with it. I think it turned out cute, although I think it's a bit long so I'll probably make a new, shorter one. But this will do me fine for now.
And then I found a tutorial for a cup sleeve (although I can't remember where!). A couple of years ago, I had made TWO cup sleeves for my ever-present Starbuck's "Venti Black Ice Tea, No Syrup" that I'm constantly drinking and they worked great...until the janitors threw them out! This happened twice...until I finally told them to please not throw out anything that's NOT in the wastebasket (they are great janitors, and very sweet, but they overdo it sometimes). I like this one because it's adjustable. Actually, come to think of it, I don't know why I would even SAY that, because I always get the Venti, and I always get ice tea! So the cup is always the same size! So scratch that- I guess I just like the button, and the fact that the loop is made out of a hair tie - how fun is that!

Of course, I just HAD to use some selvedges in it!

Speaking of selvedges, I recently made myself a new bag using selvedges, too...but the pictures didn't turn out so great. Here are the ones that are viewable. I used one wide strip to make a selvedge rose and dangled some beads from the center.

Of course, it didn't take me long to fill 'er up!

Friday, September 4, 2009

TV!!!!! We Got TV!!!!! (kinda....)

Now, I suppose most of you are gonna just laugh your lips off at this...but we be kinda backwoods critters here. We have NEVER, EVER had cable TV or satellite or whatever other media by which one receives "all those channels" out there. HBO, Showtime...those are the only ones I can think of, which ought to tell you just how "backwoods" we are, cuz there are about a gazillion channels and I have NO CLUE as to what they are! Our house is more than 500 feet off the road, which means we would have to pay $$$ to get cable. Yes, we could get satellite. Yes, we could get someother whatever they have these days (but I don't know what all that entails). But the fact is, no one CARES enough about all those channels to do anything about it! So we've limped along with ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and one local channel. And when I say "limped" I really DO mean limped! CBS and the one local channel were always "iffy"....SNOW comes to mind...ABC wasn't too bad, but NBC would whig out about halfway through an episode of Law and Order SVU. PBS quit coming in altogether - just got a blue screen. FOX was fairly consistently clear but I was getting a bit tired of 2 1/2 Men, LOL!

ENTER: June 12, 2009 - when television stations nationwide are broadcasting exclusively in a digital format!

Along with not being on the grid for all those cable channels, we also had aging TVs, a roof antenna, and rabbit ears. We procrastinated. We practiced "denial." We thought it was never going to actually happen. We accepted that it would...but then went back to the "denial" stage. Finally, about 3 weeks before "the event" we bought two converter boxes.

Converter Boxes Day 1: we stare at them.
Converter Boxes Day 2: see Day 1
Converter Boxes Day 21: see Day 1
Converter Boxes Day 50: we opened the package. Note, this was WAY after June 12. Don't wanna rush into anything!
Converter Boxes Day 60: we look at the instructions.
Converter Boxes Day 70: we hook one up to the kitchen portable...not very successful
Converter Boxes Day 75: we buy a new set of rabbit ears for kitchen portable...we now get 2 hispanic channels (nothing wrong with that, but we don't speak Spanish!) and 1 children's religious channel....uh....'nuff said. Hubby actually watches children's religious channel for 2.2 minutes.

Eventually, it is September. I finally (I have a LOT of patience) say "Gee...I wish we had some TV!" Younger son hears and actually hooks living room TV up with the other converter box. Miraculously, we get FOX! Not ABC. Not NBC. Not CBS. Not PBS. Not local channel. But we DO have FOX! I am absolutely DELIRIOUS over 2 1/2 men! I would have been delirious over 1 1/2 men! Shoot, at this point, I'd take a HALF MAN!

Where have I gone wrong? My expectations are so low! I wish I could have found some pictures of the early TVs I've had...especially the ORANGE one I had in the early 70s...had to stomp on the floor to get it to quit rolling (do ANY of you know what I mean!?!). And there were NO REMOTES! You had to actually get up off your butts and WALK to the TV to change channels!

Oh my....son just came home (wanting dinner of course) and now I am hearing 2 1/2 Men on FOX! I'll have to get back to you later...I'm thirsting for some TV.....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Taste of The Market - With My Kids

Each year, our Olympia Farmer's Market has what they call "Taste of the Market." It's a fund-raising event that involves some Market restaurant vendors, plus lots of local restaurants. On a Tuesday evening, the Market is transformed into a very special place! Tables are set up under the covered Market area. Linens and china...centerpieces...real flatware - every year, it gets a bit fancier.

Each vendor who participates brings one or two items they are most proud of. We can take our plates around and around and around until either we are stuffed or the food runs out! Whole roasted pig, an incredible mushroom soup that is the stuff of dreams! Tiny Olympia Oysters Steamed in Beer! And micro brews and fine wines from local wineries!

The first time we attended, there were plastic table covers, paper plates, and plastic silverware (and the price was $35 each). Now at $60 a ticket, things are definitely more elegant, but it's one of just a few things I have a real passion for supporting so the money is well spent, in my opinion. I take my sons and their special people. Here's a shot of the festivities.

Here's a group shot of the kids and their peeps:

Here's my older son, Ben and his wife, Autumn. They have plates in hand, ready to "browse" the offerings. (P.S. - Ben made Autumn's wedding dress when they got married! I am going to post some pics as soon as I can find them - it was pre-blog for me....)This is Adam and his girlfriend, Terri, with her son, Kent. (P.S. - Adam sews too...shhhh, don't tell the Olympia Fire Department where he works...they just might tease him....)

Chowing down...the food was great!Look at the very cute box of bread items that one of the vendors supplied on each table - and they were delishusssss! Although, I have to say that SOME of us (who should have known better) took a couple of things from aNOTHER bakery-that-shall-remain-nameless-but-is-near-where-we-live...and I don't know who eats that stuff, but it's awful! It like...tastes like birdseed - actually I think birdseed tastes better! Also, there were some GREAT chocolates from a fancy-schmancy place...and while the one I took was fabulous, one of us took one that had SEA SALT on the top...SEA SALT and CHOCOLATE. I'm here to tell you...that was NOT a winner...

Here's the "remains" of some of our tasty little dishes...

This WAS a fabulous shrimp cocktail, plus a great little plate that WAS scallops in a puddle of rhubarb sauce with some kinda pickled thing (ginger maybe?), and some green stuff. It was perfection, even if I can't remember the entire combination. Who thinks this stuff up?And oh my....this is a Rocky Road Brownie from Wagner's Bakery. There's not much I can say about this except OMG! Can I just die happy now?