Saturday, June 21, 2008

Big Birthday Party!

So I have a great group of lunch friends. In another life I was a lifeguard and aquatic fitness instructor. At least it seems like another life sometimes. Well, the ladies in my class (and that of another instructor who left the pool about the same time as me) said they missed us (can't imagine after the torture we inflicted on them, or so they said). So we started meeting once a month for lunch. That was five years ago. See? I told you it was another life.

Anyway, our lunch was today (well, technically yesterday, but since I haven't gone to bed, I think it still counts as today). We celebrated everyone's birthday. We ate and had presents. Doesn't get much better than that. Here are pictures of everyone and their gifts. No me. I am the one behind the camera. (I got two tickets to the movies. Harrison Ford, here I come!)This is Earline with her pool pals hand towel. Sharon made it on her embroidery machine. We all put in orders.
This is Ronna with the most awesome strawberries and cool use-it-for-everything pouch Carol brought back from Hawaii. Someday I'm going to make her take me there. Carol, I mean. To Hawaii. Before I die.
This is Anita. Technically, she's not a pool lady because she never had mine or Carol's classes. But she's Nancy's friend and we like her so we let her come along :-). She got a fuzzy pen!
This is Carol, the drill sergeant. Yeah, for real. I dare you to get in the pool with her. But she'll smell good when she gets out thanks to that nice basket of pretty soap she got!
This is Nancy. you could pretty much call her the ringleader and you'd be right. She's modeling the fabulous fish hat she received. And it's a lovely accessory to her red dress.
This is Sharon with one of the amazing creations that find their way out of Nancy's basement. I hope that maybe someday I am lucky enough to land one of them. They are always the best!
Shirley will join Carol in the smelling-good party. Mmmmmm, Oil of Olay body washes with ribbons and pearls (of extra moisture). Just what the doctor ordered for that chlorine-dried skin we suffer when we spend hours in the pool.
And, finally, Barb with her frog wind chimes. No aquatic fitness class is complete without plenty of frogs, and we have them in droves. And collect them by more droves. And love every minute of it.

And I love my friends. We laugh and have so much fun when we meet for lunch. I am truly blessed. Mwah! A big kiss to all of you for your love and friendship!

My cook

This is my youngest son. He's 12. He's just shy of 6 feet and wears a size 14 shoe. And he loves to cook.

At a garage sale a couple of weeks ago I found him an old copy of the original Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook. I remember having one of those when I was a kid, and i think this copy may have been an earlier edition than mine!

He was so excited, and decided he wanted to make the Italian spaghetti recipe that is in it. So we went to the grocery store and bought fresh onions, garlic and parsley and all the other ingredients for meat sauce. He made it (completely by himself) for dinner yesterday. I haven't had a chance to eat any since it wasn't ready until after I had to go to work, but I have it on good authority that it is excellent.

You can see here that he does a fine job at chopping and mincing the onions, garlic and parsley. I think he's got a future in this!

(Oh, and sometimes I come into the living room and find him watching Rachael Ray on the food network. Maybe his next cookbook ought to be a Rachael Ray one!)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

To fulfill a request...

My sister said she hoped I'd post a picture of all the fat quarters I picked up today, so here it is.

I actually have them stacked in pairs that I intend to use together (although that could change on a whim).

From the top right, the orange and yellow — the orange is a paisley with hot pink and yellow, and the yellow has white dots in a batik-like print. Then the turquoise and pink, the blue dots and orange, the black with flowers and dots and the frogs, the doggies and blue print with paws. Center, blue and blue/red together, then yellow with dots and red, red and yellow with flowers. The two yellows at far left are kind of leftovers. The lower one has all kinds of dog-related word written all over it, so I think I will look for another bigger dog print to go with it. The other yellow would complement tons of other stuff, so I'll just hang on to it till I find its mate.

The spools of ribbon are the ribbon I picked up to use for the bags. The orange is way too skinny because I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I doubled it up with the green for the first bag I made and it worked great. The ladybug ribbon at far left I intend to use with the yellow polka dots/red combination.

Anyway, I definitely see more fat quarters in my future!

One more

I had so much fun making the first one of these that I made another. The swim meet Mark and I were supposed to judge ended up canceling after about 48 (of 84) events because of a giant thunder storm that came through the area. No threat of tornadoes though.

When I went to the fabric store this afternoon, I picked up enough fat quarters to make about nine or 10 of these fun bags. I figure I can make them as gifts, to say thanks, or whatever. Most of the fabric I picked up was only $1.49 a piece, and the ribbon was 50 cents a 6-yard spool. So the cost to make one is only about $3 and some change. A bargain! I loved this little dog print. The black and white puppies remind me a little of Chewie (except he NEVER went into a dog house in all his 13 years!). The lining is a black random-bones-in-various-colors print. They just go perfectly together. I used red ribbon to match the fire hydrants. Too cute!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A great little bag. . .

. . . thanks to my sister! She made a terrific little project bag out of fat quarters. No cutting involved, just some seams, a casing and threading some ribbon through for handles. Voila! A great little bag!

So, once she posted a tutorial on her blog, I had to run to the fabric store and pick up some quarters to try it for myself. Not being much of a quilter, I couldn't remember (or maybe I never knew) what the measurement of a fat quarter is. So, right there, I called the person who would know the answer: Chauntel! Grabbed a bunch of fun fabrics — and I mean a bunch — and came home and tried it out. I mean, you can never have too many bags for crochet projects. And this is just the right size for a few balls of yarn, a couple balls of thread, the bag with all the necessaries in it and a copy of a pattern. Pattern books don't fit so well, but I often run a copy of the pattern I'm making to carry along.

Now, I think I will make some up for my secret pals, and for gifts, and for fun! They are quick and easy. I was at the fabric store at 4:30 this afternoon and by 6 I had this bag. I just love quick easy patterns like this. Great for travel for cosmetics, shampoo etc. I could throw one in my gym bag with that stuff in it. A handy little lunch sack. And washable. You could even sub it for a purse. I added a layer of lightweight fusible interfacing between the bottom layers of this bag. It seems to hold its shape OK. I might pick up some heavier if I wanted the bag to really stand up. But fast and fun. Thanks, sis!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

First doily is done!

And here it is:
It is laying on the ironing board after being pinned down and sprayed and steamed. I'll let it dry overnight. I'm not too worried about getting it perfect, because it has to be folded up and mailed away to Idaho.

Overall, I am really pleased with how it worked up. There are some little wiggles along the outside edges, but that's OK. The pattern was pretty easy to follow, and I only had to rip out one row because I didn't read the instructions closely enough. I really hope my mom likes it.

The thread I chose (DMC Cebelia) is a breeze to work with and shows stitch definition really nicely. Now I can start the one I have planned for the piano!