Playing Catch-Up

Little bit of this, little bit of that . . . .

  • Named the new sewing machine "Patsy". Patsy and I had a get-to-know you session today and I finished two new t-shirt dresses for Addy. Sent a text picture and got the Addy Seal of Approval, so we're good to go.
(click pic to biggify)
  • Gifted the blankets I made last week- My niece and her hubby are fans of Sugar Skulls and Dia de los Muertos, so when I found this fabric at Joann's I bought all they had left. I think they turned out pretty cute.
  • Leia used to be a total grandma's girl, but lately she's discovered that PopPop is a fun guy (and that she can wrap him around her little finger.) PopPop's been reading a lot of princess books these days . . .
  • And when he's not reading to Leia, he's organizing watch parts. Hubby started collecting vintage Bulova watches about a year ago. He's taken watch repair classes and plans to refurbish some of his collection, so he's also begun buying watch parts. Most of this is from the 20's, 30's and 40's, so it's getting harder and harder to find.
  • Started a new Tunisian hat tonight, using a 2-ended hook. So.Much.Fun. Love the honeycomb pattern and the bright colors.


Bad Experience

Dear Macaroni Grill:

I had lunch at your Ventura CA restaurant today and am very unhappy with my experience. Our waitress dropped an entire tray of drinks onto our table, the glasses barely missing my 6-month-old granddaughter, and soaking both she and I with soda. I'm not upset with the waitress - accidents happen and now she knows NOT to hold a tray over a baby's carrier - but I am annoyed that the manager never came over to apologize or make sure we were alright.

I doubt the manager didn't know about the incident - between the crash of glasses, wails of the baby and people at our table jumping to their feet, everyone in the restaurant knew what had happened.

The waitress apologized profusely several times but the MANAGER should have done so too. It would have taken less than a minute for him/her to turn this situation around and not have an unhappy customer spreading the word about her bad experience.

Macaroni Grill used to be one of my favorite restaurants but between today's mediocre food, the slow service and the manager's lack of public relation skills, I think this will be my family's last visit to your chain.


A former customer


New Toy

Decided I wanted needed a new sewing machine. Did my research* and narrowed it down to two machines. Stopped at my local sewing shop and fell in love with the Janome DC2011 (here**)
Never even went to see the other machine (a Brother). Came home, sweet talked objectively described it to hubby - who offered to buy it for me as a birthday present. A 4 months early
birthday present.

So why this machine?
The reviews were unanimous that it was easy to use and did a great job. No quirks, no 'if only's'. It doesn't have hundreds of stitches, which I don't need and would probably never use. There's a nice variety here, of both useful and decorative.

A hard case was included in the price, a
s were several presser feet, including two quilting feet that I know I'll need.

And best of all? The automatic needle threader!
I can tell already that the A.N.T. and I are going to be the very best of friends.

* Consumer Reports (sewing machine info was from 2009; not as much help as I hoped) and Amazon. Love the 'real person' reviews on Amazon; I've found some great info there.

My local shop had it for sale at $100 less than Amazon, plus they threw in extra bobbins, needles, sewing lessons and a discount on getting my old machine tuned up. Love it!



Is there anything in the world cuter than a little girl in a leotard?? Leia's mom signed her up for gymnastics and the first session was Tuesday.

Leia was willing to try everything, although she wanted the teacher close by until she got the hang of it.

Each of the little ones had a 'dot' they were supposed to sit on when they were listening to the teacher.
Great way to keep them focused and not squirming all over the place. And it almost worked, too.
Can't wait to see what they do next week (and to get some pix with a better camera.)


Gettin' Stuff Done

Got to spend the entire day crafting. The little girls were visiting friends, hubby went to see an Impressionist exhibit in Santa Barbara and I had the house all to myself - except for the kitties, who of course decided they needed to be right. in. the. middle. of whatever I was doing. Despite the 4-legged assistance, I finished four baby blankets - two fleece with turned hems and two cotton, one with turned hem and the other with satin binding. The cotton blankets (top 2 in the photo) are going to a new home soon; pictures of them once they're gifted.

The Tunisian version of the Helix is half done -
and I still love it. Not always the case when I'm flying by the seat of my pants, design-wise.

And my favorite -
I finished my first, bigger-than-a-bookmark bobbin lace project last night. Planning to sew this onto a shirt, so the unfinished edge at the top will be inside a seam. Really pleased with how it turned out and can't wait to start a new piece.


WIPs and FOs

Didn't get much accomplished craft-wise while we were in Colorado - too many grand girls to hug - but a few things have gotten done or are in progress since we got home.

Loved the knit Helix Scarf that was in a recent edition of Spin-Off, but it just screamed "Tunisian" to me. Soooo, I'm working up a new version using Tunisian short rows.
Had a couple of false starts (or 5 or 6 . . .) but think I've got the kinks worked out now. Love how soft this yarn is.

Thought the Royal Shawl would be easy; it's only a one-row repeat, after all. Wrong. This thing has been kicking my b*tt.
Need some quiet time to get it figured out. Love the look of the finished shawl, with its deep ruffle all around.

Two projects have made it off the hook.
A Tunisian shell scarf that's so soft and smooshy, made with Road to China Light - a fabulous blend of alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere. One ball was all I had in this colorway, so that determined how long the scarf would be. Turned out to be just right.

Another Perfect Shawl is done.
I've made a bunch of these, in a variety of yarns and colorways, and each one is just perfect. (Hence the name.) This one is just over half a skein of Zauberball Starke 6. Thought the yarn might be too busy for the pattern but it's not. Love how this turned out; so different from my 'usual'.


Happy 3!

Leia's birthday occurred while we were in Colorado, so we waited to celebrate until she could be home with her daddy. It was such a beautiful So. California day, that Leia's daddy decided we'd party at a local park so the kids could play before we dug into the pizza and cake. One little hiccup - dad forgot to bring a knife to cut the cake and forks with which to eat it. The kids couldn't have cared less about forks and the cake cutting part was solved thanks to grandma's (that would be me) bright idea to rip up a paper plate. Then it was present opening and enjoying time.

Right after this, Leia got off the scooter and told Phoenix, 2,
that it was her turn. So proud of my little monkey

The scooter, these shoes - part of a set of 3 pairs in different colors - and the tutu skirt PopPop found were the hits of the day. And finding friends to help you learn to walk in your new heels? Priceless.


Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We made it home last Monday night and this week has been a blur of catching up on sleep and other things (including finishing the samples for my Fall crochet classes.) Hoping to post the last of our Colorado adventure later this weekend.

But in baby grand news . . . .

Leia, playing while I blocked a scarf, looked up at me and said, "I happy me." Think that's going to be my new motto.
Naia with Leanne, who turned 6 months old yesterday. Leanne's so tall, she's outgrowing her car seat already, just like Addison did. We're going to have another tallllllll girl in the family.


How to Eat Ice Cream

First, you get a cone almost as big as you are.
Then you concentrate really hard
on eating it neatly -
or not so neatly, as you prefer.
Everyone has their own technique for catching the drips,
enjoying the cone sprinkles
and getting their face as messy as possible.
And that's how you eat ice cream in Estes Park. IMG_0210.JPG


Colorado, Part 2

Monday we went to Georgetown to ride the old steam train. We got there early and had lunch in the historic downtown area.
The little girls loved it, celebrating by dancing in the street on the sidewalks under one of the many flower baskets hanging from lightpoles.
Ever since the train trip we took to Santa Barbara, Leia thinks trains - choo choos to her - are the best. thing. ever.
She was in heaven, especially after Auntie Rachel bought matching engineer outfits - with whistles - for all the girls.
It was a pretty trip, with lots of flowers, rivers, and train trestles to keep everyone interested.
Even though we didn't get off the train at the top to do the mining tour, it was still a great adventure. Just right for little girls.

Tuesday's adventure was a trip into Denver to see the pirate exhibit at the Natural History Museum.
It didn't hurt the little girls feelings that that was where all the dinosaurs were too.
In fact, they liked that much better than silly old pirates (hubby was the only one that got to take his time and enjoy the show; Rachel had seen it before, so she took the two older girls out while I tried to contain Leia long enough to read a couple of exhibits.)

But the very best thing for them? Face painting!

Thanks for a fun day, Auntie Rachel!