Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Success followed by failure ... oh, my!

As usual, I put too many projects on my plate to finish before Christmas.  I saw a fun project on one of the blogs that I read and thought I could just whip up a couple prior to the holidays.  Will I never learn?

Snowflake Pillow Cover
Wisely, I put all the makings of these pillows away -- and out of sight -- until the January calm returned.  I finished three this week.  So, can I say that I am ahead for Christmas 2011?

The tutorial can be found here.  Noodleheads is one of the blogs that I read consistently.  Anna comes up with some great, simple projects and wonderful tutorials.

The pillow covers, which are in the envelope style and designed for an 18" square pillow insert, are made of felt.  I just bought the cheap felt by the yard when it was on sale at JoAnns.  The only problem I had with the project was that you could see the red color through the white snowflake a bit more than I would have liked.  For the second and third pillows, I fused a lightweight interfacing to the white felt before cutting out the snowflake.  That helped a bit.  If I make any more of these, I'll use a higher grade of felt or a different kind of fabric entirely.  Also, it takes a bit of time to cut all those angles of the snowflake.  I tried the Xacto knife as the tutorial instructs.  I found that I had better luck with the Fiskars snips that I bought a few years ago for making rag quilts.  The inner cuts, however, definitely required the Xacto knife.  I used one of my favorite Bernina feet, the #10C, to sew around the snowflake 1/8" from the edges.  I love that foot!

Alas, not all sewing projects go so smoothly.  I made both of my granddaughters skirts for the holidays and had some leftover fabric.  I found a cute little purse tutorial (you can find it here - scroll down to Lezette Thomason) and decided to make matching purses for each of the girls.  I've had the #62 foot for several years and have never attempted to use it.  Well, I do not love this foot!  I watched the Bernina video, checked out my Feetures book, and even used Google to find a lesson that would help me.  After 45 very frustrating minutes, I just gave up and did it the old-fashioned way turning a narrow hem and ironing it carefully before stitching.  I think I need a personal demonstration about how to get the fabric into the slot of the foot!

Now that the frustrating part is over, I should be able to finish the purses today and post a picture tomorrow.  It feels good to get back to sewing!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the aftermath of Tucson

Warning - political commentary ahead!

The most powerful weapon we have as American citizens, and the ONLY one that can effect change in our government:

As a responsible adult, I am ashamed of those on both sides of the aisle, and on both sides of the airways, for the state of our political "discussion."  I am as tired of indignation and righteousness as I am of slime and fear-mongering.  The art of political debate is dead.  Compromise is now a 4-letter word.  When I see a beacon of hope, they disappoint.

Henceforth, I will be searching for moderates, regardless of their political party, who are willing to discuss, debate, compromise and who value decency, kindness, and respect.  Where are you?  Please, please, please .... step up to the plate.  We need you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's a comfort food kinda night ....

I've been wrestling with what I want to say about the events in Tucson.  I've gone from shock, to anger, to reflection, to political commentary, to sadness, and back to anger.  I realize that I'm not yet ready to translate my thoughts and feelings into words.  So tonight, I made "comfort" food for me and my DH.  This is the simplest of recipes, a characteristic that most comfort foods enjoy.  Tonight, I served it with bacon and steamed green beans.  It was perfect!


2 cups dry macaroni -- cooked and drained
3/4 stick butter
1 pound Velveeta
1 cup whole milk

Cook macaroni as directed. Drain and set aside.  Melt butter in small pan. Add Velveeta and milk and cook until cheese is melted.  Mix into cooked macaroni and serve immediately.
Of course, it was also a martini night.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to tell the holidays are over ... Part 3

The urge to cleanup, cleanout, and organize is as strong as the urge to push in the last minutes of labor!  Well ....... almost!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How to tell the holidays are over ... Part 2

You no longer sprint to the mailbox in hopes of receiving a holiday card from an old friend.  You stroll to the mailbox knowing that it will only contain bills!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How to tell the holidays are over ...

No one will eat the remaining Christmas cookies.