My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pink Saturday Apron Giveaway #2

If you're not a regular reader of mine then you missed this post about the bag giveaway. So I'm not going to draw a name for the winner until Sunday night. If you want a chance to win it, then I suggest you skedaddle on over there and leave a comment. And please leave me an email to get in touch with you if you don't have a blog.


I planned to announce the winner of each preceding apron giveaway on the next week's giveaway, so in keeping with that the winner of the apron on last week's PS post is:

Cindy Adkins

Today is the 2nd apron giveaway. This is the apron for this week. Only people who comment on this particular post are eligible for this one. Just trying to give everyone an even chance, gals. And once again thank you, Beverly, from the bottom of my heart for helping with this. I receive so many blessings from bloggers and friends that it is truly amazing and humbling. I'll also help in any way I can if you need me to, bloggers.


Easy to win. Just leave a comment and you'll be given a chance to win one of twelve aprons I'm giving away on Pink Saturdays for the next couple of months. To see all of them go to this post.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Case for Giving and My Crummy Mood

Have you ever had "one-of-those-days"? That was just a rhetorical question. Silly me, of course, you have. Sunday was one of those days for me.

It was Fast and Testimony Sunday for our church. We fast for 24 hours —I'm horrid at it!—and then give what we would spend on a restaurant for those 3 meals and give to our bishop to help the needy families in our ward. We also bear our testimonies that day. I broke down. I couldn't stop crying from the very first man who spoke. Then a few kids got up and one young man who sobbed the entire time. That didn't help me.

Then in Sunday School I was handed a slip of paper with a scripture to read when the teacher got to that part. He must have given 2 slips of paper because another woman read the one I had. I'm still trying to get used to my iPod and the scriptures on it so I was flummoxed. It didn't get any better. Just one of those days when all goes wrong or the Lord is calling you (ME!) to repentance for thoughts during the week. Oh, who am I kidding? My thoughts in general my whole life! I skipped the 3rd hour, Relief Society, the women's hour at our church on Sunday. I couldn't take the chance that a thunderbolt wouldn't come down, zap me into the next century and the lucky person sitting next to me getting scorched for MY problem. I came home and picked up a book I've been reading. The photo below was a mistake pointing the camera up at the sky when I was taking photos but it pretty much sums up my mood today.

It is said that when we serve others we're happiest. So I'm serving you today. I've decided that I need to give something away to serve y'all. This little bag I made. If I make someone happy with this then I'll be happy. I can always make another one for me. Just drop a comment here and next Saturday when I give away one of the aprons I'll draw another name for this little tote bag. If you don't want it, don't comment here. It's that simple. Remember though that this was a prototype and ain't perfect, chicks. ;-)

P.S. Please do not tell me to be happy; let me wallow in self-pity for a few days at least, for Pete's sake.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Few Thoughts on a Lazy Afternoon

Summer is over or at least coming to an end. Our granddaughter, Mandy, Ivann and Miss Caroline came, camped with us and left. Our daughter, Nan, and her boyfriend came and went home. Hubs dragged me off to the wilds of Idaho for the last time this year. I have gotten the house in some semblance of order. At least most of the house. The craft/spare room is looking like...well, the photos below show what it looks like. I haven't put the craft table back up, but the sewing machine is up and running. This is a room that I can make a sewing mess and shut the door and no one knows the difference unless I choose to show them. You are one of those. ;-)

I'm trying to lighten the load on my shoulder when shopping by making a cute tote. I have a rather plain one that does the job but I wanted a snazzy one. Cute being the essential factor here, lightweight, over the shoulder/neck to leave me hands-free but security plays a factor in this also. I think I've designed one that meets the criteria I want. Less to carry but secure.

The boxes that I piled all the craft stuff into when I knew the kids/granddaughter/great granddaughter were coming still have not been emptied yet. I bought several little shoebox-type containers at Wal-Mart for this purpose but just haven't had the energy to do anything about that. I'm sure some of you understand this.

Yep, the beautiful fringe is still on the floor this morning. Remember: Close door and nothing shows.

You can see it coming together. I didn't have a pattern so just had to go by the seat-of-my-pants here. Lots of mistakes, but it is coming together. Taking notes for the next one though. Select fabrics I already have. Find that beautiful pink fringe I haven't seen for months. Then later I'll measure and cut a few pieces from different fabrics. Then I'll rest or "get away from" it for a while. Then go back and cut more. Leave. Come back. Sew. Little by little. It's taking me several days to complete this. I do it this way to not get frustrated. Didn't work. Trust me. I'm trying to have it done very soon though.

Later in the day:
As you can see I left the fold-over flap off. I just cut it too big for this one. I'll use it on the next one maybe. Plus I'm not that adept at flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. A ribbon rose I made along with a darling little rose button in the center, scraps of ribbon and snippets of lace plus one vintage lace I had on a pillow case that was falling apart—the lace, not the pillowcase. It's so ratty but I just couldn't throw it out so I sewed it on here.

As I've said previously, I love the color combination of pink and yellow so I've put a very bright lemon yellow lining inside with pockets of various colors on the lining for glasses, iPod, cell and a pen. You definitely won't see this little cutie at WM.

I was sitting here yesterday while hubs was at a convention. He goes to a lot of them: train conventions locally and on the west coast, Marine Corps League ones when they're close enough to drive, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) when they're local or close enough to drive here in the west or northwest. He's very supportive of and loves our troops. After all, he is a retired Marine.

The VFW Post in our town helps veterans financially when the need occurs. The past few weeks he's gotten calls from a couple of people who need help with their utility bills. After a few questions were answered, he met them at a local grocery store where you can pay your utility bill there. He doesn't just give them the money or a check. He goes there, meets the person asking for help there, pays it with a check and they both get a receipt. How many other organizations do that?

One such transaction yesterday involved a woman. Her hubby was a veteran (they don't have to be retired, just a veteran of a foreign war) and Love Bunny heard her tale of woe. Hubby was cut back hours in his job, their leased vehicle went over the mileage and they ended up owing a lot of money on the lease—at least to the tune of $600 being taken out of his paycheck for at least a couple of times but hubs didn't know how many times. Then she applied for a job at a local school cafeteria and the background check showed a felony at 17 yrs. of age so they fired her. She couldn't understand that one. DUH. But as hubby was walking out to the parking lot he noticed a big truck and when she opened it there were cartons of cigarettes in the cab. As he was telling me the story and got to that part, I reminded him we're not to judge; we're only to help. (Our church doctrine.) He agreed but had trouble wondering why people buy very expensive cigarettes in lieu of food or paying their essential life saving utility bills.

A few days before he was paying a utility bill for a man who got behind. As they were going to leave the store the man told hubs his wife said they were out of food and asked him if he could buy them some food, hot dogs, hamburger and buns. Hubby told him he was only authorized to pay his utility bill. After all, it's not my hubby's money and he's a great caretaker of money with which he's entrusted. So he told the man sorry.

When he got home and told me that, I chastised him. He could have helped with our personal money and bought the guy a few food items. I think he was sorry he didn't after my admonishment. We are commanded by the Lord to help each other. That doesn't mean judging others when they need food or clothing or essentials. It does NOT mean helping to pay their boat, ATV or car payment! (Yes, I'm a judgmental person but trying to "catch the vision" and am truly doing better on this issue.) But as the Lord says, aren't we all beggars? Yes, we are. So we need to be loving, kind and helpful to our brothers and sisters, but still maintain being prudent. Giving is never something for which you'll be sorry.

Okay, I'll stop rambling now.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pink Saturday Apron Giveaway #1

Here is the first giveaway. But since I wasn't entirely clear on my last PS post that it would begin with this week, I'm adding the names from then to this week. I also want to say a public thank you to Beverly for helping me get the word out for things I want to giveaway. The decluttering continues in this house.


Simply leave a comment on this post to win this apron. The rest of the aprons will be given away on subsequent Pink Saturdays. With a few thoughts thrown in of course.


And those of you who have been long time followers know that I sometimes post just random thoughts, things that just pop in and out of my head while driving or just sitting around.

A few months ago I went to a friend's house to watch her bake bread so I could learn how to do it. While there I asked her why she and her hubby built such a large house later in life. They are in their 50s. I told her we scaled DOWN to a smaller house in our 60s (5,000 s.f. to 1800 s.f.) and couldn't imagine trying to keep up with the housework involved. I never again want to clean 4 full bathrooms. Her answer was that the kids get married and return home with all the grandkids. I just looked at her, smiled and said, "That's what hotels are for, sugar." They just sold their house last month within a couple of weeks in this depressing housing market. I think I got through to her!

Another friend told me she was having a man and his wife visit them and was stressed out about fixing them a dinner; at least, they were staying in a motel for the night. This woman confessed to me on the phone that night that she was so tired lately that she just can hardly get her house cleaned: vacuum, rest, back to vacuum, rest, 3rd try at vacuuming, rest. When she told me about dreading fixing a dinner for a stranger and his wife, I said, "That's what Applebee's is for!" I'm dead serious, too. Many times I loiter at the edge of propriety. ;-)

We have our yard sprayed about 5x during the summer season and it pays off in spades. Our yard is the best looking in the neighborhood with hardly a weed daring to poke its head up. Great service. So this week he told us he's offering spider/bug treatments. I told him no as I rarely ever see a spider or bug, which is great. But I can remember when Love Bunny (hubs to the new readers) lived in the Jacaranda motel in Oceanside, CA. waiting for military base housing and had to wrestle the cockroaches into submission for our meals. We've come a long way, baby.

I know there are some of you out there who want to live in "simpler" times. Are you nuts or what?! Give me a Dyson vacuum, flush toilet—preferably one that can flush 10 golf balls, self-clean and freshens the air, a microwave, frost-free freezer and refrigerator, washers and dryers any ole day of the week. I just cannot see dying early from cleaning house! Stymies the heck outta me.

I was in a house recently and it's pretty hard to describe it but I'll try:
The structure looked like the residence of a troll who had grown weary of living under bridges, without amenities, but who had neither the knowledge nor the industry, nor the sense of pride, needed to maintain a house. It was pretty pathetic. That is not a statement on the people living there. They are kind, gentle, loving and spiritual. They just simply have no sense of decorating.

Even moral acts can have dimensions that scar the mind and wound the heart. Take care.

Have you had enough of me today? Until next time.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Curtain Caper

I've sat here trying to figure out a snappy opening but I'm too pooped to pop or think.

This is the 6th pair of curtains I've had for this window. I have never covered the small window with anything but lace because it's so small nothing will fit there and look right. Anyway, I bought this fabric online and got a fantastic price at $6.95 a yard for higher end fabric. I love the fabric. It's a pink, taupe and white stripe and very pretty. I almost shot myself making them and this is the story.

You would think by now I'd be able to make something without ripping it apart...3 times. Yep, 3 times I took it apart. I wanted 4 panels out of the 7 yards I bought. I'm no fool. I know myself and I always buy more than I need just in case. And just in case applies to ME. First the rod pocket was too small and it wouldn't go on. Rippppp! So after sewing 4 lengths together for 2 full panels I thought it was too full. Ripppppp! So I ripped the seam apart and made 4 panels, very looooong panels and redid the edges after ripping out the rod pocket. Ripppppp! I spent several hours on Saturday doing this and while Sunday is a day of rest, the curtains sat there nagging—yep, actually staring me down and nagging—to finish them up last night because this morning I had to go to PT again and the carpet cleaner was coming.

I need a vacation at this point from just reliving this experience! Still with me?

Okay, so I flipped them over, meaning I forgot the top, just let it go, and restarted from the bottom now. But I kept one with 2 panels sewn together and the other 2 just on the rod squished tight so you can't see they are 2 panels (one on the right in the 3rd photo below.

Now, if you're confused, just think how I was this past weekend. A job that should have taken just an hour or so took me 2 1/2 days. If you've lost count of how many times I've ripped them apart, just trust me. Even I've lost official count. But if you come to my house and try to see the bottoms I just might have to kill ya. ;-)

Last night.

Last night

This morning. I really do like them!

I put the ribbon and rose back up there.

Closeup of fabric.

Very close up of fabric.

But one serendipitous thing did happen. While sitting and waiting for the carpet man, Mario, to finish I decided to redo a few things—plus wash some sheets, but that's another story. These 2 candlesticks were too large for the candles so I decided to stick some tissue paper down there. Lo and behold, it looks just like a ruffle around the candlestick. I'm impressed by my ingeniousness!

They now grace my living room table.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Giveaway for Aprons

I know I'm a pathetic great grandmother but I could sit all day and look at photos and videos of my great granddaughter. Here is that little sweetheart and her mummy, my granddaughter, early in the spring.

She almost always has her sunglasses on when outside.

In this family, we start them out young keeping their skin youthful. ;-)

No, she didn't put it on the kitty. Here she's calling to her kitties by rubbing her fingers together.

Welcome to Pink Saturday and many thanks to Beverly for holding the event. I've been remiss lately in posting for Pink Saturday and I do apologize for that, but life gets in the way and I frequently just stumble through it and then there are the times Love Bunny drags me off to the wilds of Idaho to camp. Such is the luck of this summer but I'm here to stay for awhile.


As many of you know if you read my blog regularly, I am decluttering my house. We've already taken 4 truck loads of stuff to the thrift store and there is much more to go. However, I cannot bring myself to just throw these sweet aprons onto the pile destined for the thrift store and not many of the women I know are into shabby chic, vintage items. (Idaho still hasn't evolved that much, chicks!) So I've decided to give away the rest of the ones I made and never sold. I know that if I give them away they will have gone to homes that will love them.

While they are truly aprons meant to be used, I've just hung them around my kitchen for the past few years. They've been a great decorative item but it's time I let go. They're all washable and many have fabrics you'll never find again. All are sweet and meant to be used. All are ruffled and very girly. Most have pockets and some quirky little items on them, like covered buttons I've made, lace, cute one-of-a-kind buttons, vintage doilies as pockets, rick-rack, toile fabric, tiny roses, polka dots, ticking stripes, vintage bedspread fringe, Waverly fabric in some, and one-of-a-kind fabric you'll never see again in others. I've made every single one with much love in my heart. But it's time, gals.

So, I'll give away one for the next 12 Pink Saturdays. Below are photos of all twelve of them. I'll just put them up on Pink Saturday over at Beverly's blog. There is no catch to win, just leave a comment and if you do NOT have a blog then leave me an email address so I can get in touch with you. If not, I'll pull another name within a reasonable amount of time and that person will get it. I don't want this to be hard and time consuming for me. I'm so into easy!!! So just stay tuned, comment, wait to hear from me and they are yours. Yes, you can enter each time I post a new apron so conceivably you can have more than one. It doesn't get any better than that now does it?!


Another episode with the Love Bunny.

He wore out our treadmill. Actually, it almost killed him as he was walking on it and the power surged in the motor and almost threw him off. He does 3 days a week for an hour but Fridays are his big push. Plus he always lifts weight afterwards. (Trust me, you don't want to mess with a Marine, whether active duty or retired.)

Anyway, he wanted another one and I'm trying to keep our purchases down. So he did the Craiglist thing and found one. Not bad. It was listed for $150 and we got it for $120. It's truly like new and the man who sold it to us said his wife gave up after a couple of months.

So hubs is out in the garage as I type this trying to take it apart to put in the huge garbage can. He's saving every single bolt, screw and anything he thinks might be something he'll need someday. The man is 70 years old! He will never, ever need anything he's saving! Sigh...