Almost three months!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted on here since July 4th!  My sewing room organization came to a standstill due to health issues and then vacations.  Two of them (the vacations, that is.)  We were away for 11 days in August and we have just returned from 9 days away again.  We do love our time at the camper but we are home now till next May. 

I have not been totally without projects, though.  I did finish my curtains for the camper, finally!  I forgot to take photos of them while there, so that will have to wait till next spring.  I also felt the need to make simple, square coasters while there, too.  I got tired of my wood/cork ones sticking to the bottom of the glass and then letting all the water fall on the table, anyway, getting our playing cards, papers, etc., wet.  Not helpful.  Anyhow, I bought some lovely flannel (1/4 yard made 8 coasters!) and I left 4 of them at the camper, bringing the other 4 home. 

These are actually a MUCH darker blue, but it doesn’t matter.  They are functional and washable.  They don’t clink, clunk, stick to my glass or drip water everywhere.  And they were fun and EASY.

After laundry, shopping and a doctor’s appointment Monday, then it was back to my job for the rest of the week.  I actually have two more Md. appointments this week and then next week I begin one month of jury duty.  Not excited about that, but the government doesn’t care.  So how come it’s my second time (last one being over 25 years ago) and my husband, who is nearly 70, has never been called??? Hmmmmm????  How does that happen?

Maybe this weekend I can work some more on the sewing room.  I need to pull nearly everything out and then figure out where to put the two (I hope I can use both) cabinets.  Then put stuff back in the best order I can arrange.  I think some things are going to be edited and some are going back in the “other sewing room.” (don’t ask 😉

I will come back with updates on all of that. 

I did manage to score some lovely things at the Goodwill in Wytheville, though, and will have some photos of that, too.   Coming soon…!


A fun charity project

I love to sew.  Not just anything, of course, because some things are just so boring, I’d almost rather clean a toilet.  I’m only exaggerating a little, but an example is hemming my husbands pants.  ALL of his new pants must be hemmed before he can wear them and most of them are jeans.  My hands are usually battered from pins by the time I’m done and he often buys 2 or 3 at once.  I hate that.

Making a lot of plain panel curtains aren’t much better though I’m not usually scratched to pieces by pins when their done.

But THIS project was fun, fast and allowed me full vent to creativity.  AND it will benefit some little girls who desperately need help.  The design is called a “pillowcase” dress, because you can literally make them from pillowcases, but I did not.  There are various ways to handle the arm holes, straps and bodices, and I tried a couple of them.  Anyhow, I had three of them turned out in no time at all and the fun part was embellishing them.  I had all these yo-yos I had made and some leftover trim from other projects, plus I decided to buy some white rick-rack.  Here are the results:

The dress in the middle was a longer one that I’ve folded up for the photo.

Some detail showing how I used the yo-yos.  One of the dresses also had smaller yo-yos on the back at the base of the ties.

Don’t you just love these bright colors???  And I found these fabrics on a clearance table, for very small $$$$, plus, their purchase also benefited another children’s group.  How great is that?!

The red trim has little white hearts (hard to see here) and was a leftover from something I made years ago.  I have no idea what or when. 🙂

So now I have finished something really fun and sent it off to “Little Dresses for Africa” (see my blog roll link for more info) and it’s time to get back to curtains for the camper.  I bought a number of plain ivory colored panels at Goodwill on my last trip there and some of them worked out fine for the front and back walls of the bedroom, but some will need to be shortened to exactly fit the space above our bed.  They need to fit a rod at the bottom as well as the top, because that keeps them from hitting the pillows and getting in your hair as you sleep.  So precision will be necessary.  It’s only two panels, though, so I can knock that out quickly.  But I’ve decided to use some red and beige fabric my son gave me for Christmas to make some bias trims for them.  I bought bias maker tools and they work really well.  I can get these two panels trimmed and take the rest with me to sew onto the two sets I left on the windows at the camper.  I can easily sew them on with the little Featherweight machine I left there.

I am OFF work for the next four days….State of MD “service reduction day” tomorrow and Labor Day on Monday.  I am looking forward to these lovely days and then, in about two weeks, it’s time to go back to the camper in the mountains for one last hurrah before fall and winter creeps in.

ADDENDUM:  WordPress informs me that this is my 100th post!  Yay!  And for that I get…..wait for it……..nothing 😦  But then, I’m only writing this because I want to.  Readers and comments would be good though.  If you are a regular reader…or even just passing through…please drop a quick comment to let me know.  It would be highly motivational for me.

Back home to reality.

Well, almost.  I still have a few days off, thank goodness, but home brings you back to real life almost instantly.  Laundry, cleaning, garden, groceries.  I decided to be good to myself today and ease in gradually, only doing the laundry (which was considerable!) and some picking up, along with some errands in town.  Oh, and reconciling the bank statment–not difficult, but time consuming and tedious, since we pay for nearly everything with our debit card.  It’s been a quiet day alone, since Jim had a “field trip” with my sis-in-law and her brother.  It was nice to be with myself.  I need that sometimes so I can clear my head and listen to my own thoughts.

But to show you how relaxing most of our trip was, here is a good representation:

The weather was mostly fantastic!  In the seventies and breezy, which was great for napping out by the creek.  Or handsewing by the creek, which was mostly what I did, but I took my turn in the recliner on occasion, too. 🙂

I discovered the joy of making yo-yos, which is quite addictive.  I wanted to have an assortment made up for embellishing some little dresses I’m going to make for a charity.  And of course, they have other uses, too, such as on handbags, sweaters, hairbands, etc.  Real afficionados sew them together and make placemats, table runners and even quilts.  I’m not fond of that look.  Sometimes less is more.

For the non-sewers, yo-yos are little fabric circles that are gathered up, so they look a lot like flowers.  They way they are done, there are no raw edges showing and they are very quick to make with the little plastic discs sold in sewing stores, though women have been making them for probably at least a couple hundred years.  You can make them in various sizes and layer them, or add buttons or beads to the centers. Here’s a sampling of mine in two sizes:

Flowery patterns/colors look great, of course, but even geometric designs like the stripes turn out beautifully.  When I ran out of the scraps I brought with me, I went shopping at Goodwill for something inexpensive to cut up and that’s where I found the flowery pinks.   You can get lots of beautiful fabric cheap if you are willing to shop at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales (and if you only need small pieces.)  You just have to get over cutting into a beautiful garment.  Sometimes it’s hard.

So that’s my vacation.  Traveling a beautiful countryside, laying in a recliner by the creek, visiting with relatives on the deck, marshmallows over a campfire….and yo-yos.  Now it’s back to making more camper curtains and shortening some I bought (also at Goodwill), saving myself a LOT of time.

We did one other exciting thing on our last day and it involves a purchase I can’t talk about yet, so I will update on that in about a week.

Vacation days

We had a lovely time at the camper, despite hailstorms, wind, torrential rain and even our last night being without power all night.  There were some beautiful hours spent sitting by the creek doing crossword puzzles (I got addicted) and lots of time spent playing cards with hubby (I AM the 500 Rummy Goddess for the 2nd time in my history) and practicing piano and fiddle.  Weather was cool when we arrived and we used our small heater the first two nights, but later it was all a/c.  When we arrived home on Wed. evening, it was 92 here!   Strange how it was cooler–and very much wetter–in the south than it was here. 

Hubby got us a simple deck built that will be quite serviceable for eating out and just sitting.  It also does a lot to eliminate mud, grass and leaves from being tracked into the camper constantly.  I’d rather sweep the deck a couple of times a day than the camper every time we come in.  

I’m sorry he had to spend so many hours on a project, but it’s done now, unless we decide to add wooden steps (my vote is that it isn’t necessary….cinder blocks and the old step that was already there will be fine.)  I’m hoping that’s the last project that has to take up any real time from his relaxation.  He’s going to take the router next time and just round the front edge of the deck, so we can sit there without splinters, but that will only take 10 minutes. 

 The recovered cushions looked really good with the table we recovered last summer.  We covered the ugly old brown laminate with a thin layer of batting and then a thrift store damask tablecloth and a thick clear plastic.  It looks really nice and wipes clean easily.  Next up will be new curtains for the booth area and over the sink.  I’m trying to divide the projects up in manageable pieces, so I don’t feel overwhelmed, because that defeats the purpose of the camper.


Here you see the table and new booth cushions, along with one of the items with which I occupied my time. 

And then there were those blankets we brought with us to cover the old gold and brown striped sofa and chair.  They worked out fantastically!

As you can see, the chair is fine and in the next photo, you’ll see the other two blankets covering the sofa, along with another of my camper pasttimes.

All I can say is that it is cozy, comfortable and washable and hides the hateful colors.  Things are definitely improving visually.  We broke down and bought a small LCD t.v. that has a built-in DVD player.  It was quite the bargain.  If it was only me, I don’t need it.  I have plenty of other ways to entertain myself when it’s raining, blowing, etc.  But Jim does not.  He NEEDS the t.v.  Right now, the antenna isn’t working and we don’t have cable, of course, so that’s an issue for another time, but he was able to watch DVD’s when other projects or fishing were not options. We would like to be able to get the local news and weather, but we do have a great radio that provided us with good weather warnings and such, so it is not really a necessity for safety reasons.

Our main source of entertainment, however, is this:

 Sometime I will upgrade my blog services and be able to place videos on here, but for now, just imagine the sounds of a rushing stream and lots of birdsong 🙂

Oh, I forgot…..the other blanket we brought that is brightly colored?  We used it for a colorful extra throw on our bed and at night it is VERY functional when placed over the window where the security light shines in.  Even with the blinds closed that window is too bright just two feet away from my eyes.  I’m so glad we brought that blanket!

 One more image that surprised and pleased us….

This was the lowest gas price we saw anywhere on our travels and it was only 2 miles from our camper.  And right across the street from our favorite breakfast diner, Glenny’s.

It’s just a homey little place where the locals eat and it’s Jim’s favorite way to start the day when we are “local.”  They have a breakfast called a “Black Eye” that includes biscuits and gravy, eggs, sausage, bacon and coffee.  He’s a very happy man when we leave.  (I don’t care for gravy in my breakfast, but everything else is very good, too.  But with Diet Pepsi 🙂

Home again, home again…

We enjoyed our stay at the camper in VA, but it ended with a hurried packing up and coming back a day before I would have liked.  Let’s just say it lends personal meaning to the phrase, “Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”   It was raining VERY hard for many hours, the local stations were putting our area in a “flash flood watch” and we figured if it was going to rain all the day the following day, as predicted, we weren’t going to miss anything by heading home.  We also figured we weren’t going to get any sleep getting up every hour to make sure we were still going to be able to get out, or worse, that a wall of water wasn’t heading our way from upstream in the mountains that surround are campsite.   So we packed up Tues. night and spent the night at the home of a kind family member (HIGH in the mountains, thank you very much), leaving Wed. am and arriving home Wed. around 5:45 pm.

We had a fine time till the rains came, attending the family reunion and relaxing.  Husband got some projects done that had been hanging and will be able to really enjoy the next trip, I think.  Not sure when that will be, but maybe late September.

I think our cat was quite happy to come home.  It was her first trip to a kennel and she’s about 11 years old.  She seemed very confused when we brought her home after being gone a full 8 days.  She is used to coming in and out at will and being fed on demand.  (What, your cat doesn’t have YOU trained yet?)  She was mostly in a cage and not able to go out and hunt or sit in a lap whenever she wanted.  I felt kind of guilty, but I can’t let my life decisions revolve around a cat. Anyhow, after a couple of hours of eating, testing my lap and looking out the front window,  she went out for a bit.  When she assured herself that the backyard was still hers, she returned and took a long nap in my lap while I caught up on “So You Think you Can Dance” and “Project Runway” (after unpacking and starting the laundry.)

I came home to find a message on my phone reminding me that I had an MD appt. for today, which I thought was next week and it was rather important, so I’m glad we came home.  So I got up and out and did some necessary shopping, along with the appointment.  Now I have to go have an endoscopy done next Friday, ick.  But necessary.  

Can’t believe summer is so far gone!  The kids in southeastern VA started back to school this Wednesday. 

I have no projects to share, since all I did while relaxing was read some novels.  I am thinking about Kindle or maybe Nook, since I was in Barnes & Noble and saw one demonstrated today.  It’s a pretty cool thing.

Mountain vacation – Part 1

We arrived at our vacation place just a bit behind schedule, having had our car struck by stones flying off of a quarry truck ahead of us on Interstate 81 about 1 hour north of our Wytheville, VA destination.  We dealt with that by taking the next exit, which happily had a State Police office a couple of miles in.  The windshield is cracked, but useable for now, and the business owner says he will pay to replace our windshield.  Faxing him the estimates soon, and he promised a check.  We’ll see.

The rest of our short vacation was nothing short of blissful.  Probably the least stressful and most enjoyable vacation I’ve ever had.  I did not want to ever come home.  But I still have…and need….my job, so we did come home.  I have never taken so many photos, both still shots and short videos, of anything ever.  The first full day there we  wandered the countryside with my husband’s cousin retracing places where Jim grew up.  Things have changed a lot in 50 years.  But midway in the meandering he took us to the campground where the family reunion was to take place and I fell in love.  I took pictures and just soaked it in for an hour or so and then we returned to visit family and such.

Here are just a few of the more than 100 photos I took of the creek and surrounding area.  This is Cripple Creek and it is located in the town of Cripple Creek, Va.  The stream runs very fast and the sound of it is nothing short of musical.



Alas, I cannot embed videos here without an upgrade, so you will miss the lovely sound of the water, but trust me, I had a hard time tearing myself away from this magical place.

This campground is about 1000 feet long and about 120 feet from the creek to the road and the family has campers parked all along the back edge.  Stay tuned for “Part 2” 🙂