Thursday, November 30, 2017

Old Fashioned Shoes and Burlap

This shoe print has been in my stash for a long time, although I looked up the blog post where I first mentioned them and it's not nearly as long as I thought it had been. It's a cute print but the fabric itself is almost like burlap and definitely not something that belongs in even the scrappiest quilt. 

I thought it would make a nice zipper pouch and set it aside until I conquered my zipper phobia. And then I forgot about it. It surfaced again when I was stash diving last year and I added it to the pile of fabric that's supposed to become bags. 

Last night,  I finally got around to sewing it up and in my tradition of grabbing whatever is suitable and closest to me I found the absolute perfect lining. I probably did have that when I first bought the scrap bag with the outer fabric in it, but it wasn't in a place where the two of them would have come together.

Sometimes waiting works out well.  

This post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts and Bag It.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

{I've Been Reading} Poison

Poison by Galt Niederhoffer

The story of Cass and Ryan Connor gets off to what feels like a slow start and the writing style keeps the reader at a distance from the characters.  It took a while to get caught up in the story, but once I did I couldn't put it down.  And I hate that I can't tell you what I loved most about the book without giving too much away. There's a lot here about whether or not women are believed and the author refers to current events where accusations were dismissed....and at times I found myself unsure whether or not I believed Cass's interpretation of events. This is one of the scariest domestic thrillers I've ever read. I didn't love the ending, but I sure enjoyed the process of getting there.

Etched in Tears by Cheryl Hollan

This book has everything I've come to expect from the Webb's Glass Shop mysteries. Savannah is working hard to keep up with her busy schedule. She's got orders due and a new class to teach and a malfunctioning kiln...and then her high school boyfriend is found dead after his show at the Salvador Dali museum. The book kept a good balance between Savannah's everyday life and her investigation and the mystery. There's plenty of time spent with the continuing characters and their relationships, a chance to learn a bit about etching glass, and an interesting mystery that fits in with the glass shop theme. I really enjoyed this one.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas

I love haunted house books. This one takes the usual house with a tragic past and makes things a lot more interesting by bringing four horror writers together within its supposedly haunted walls. I've read an awful lot of horror novels over the years and loved seeing how each character interpreted the house's tricks, influenced by the style of horror they write.  There are a few genuinely chilling moments and the whole thing is a fun read.

In Cave Danger by Kate Dyer-Seeley

As soon as I saw the description of this book, I requested a review copy. With Lava River Cave as part of the plot, I definitely wanted to read it. Our family tried to visit last summer, but there wasn't a single space left in the parking lot so I figured that a vicarious visit through one of my favorite genres was going to be the closest I came until at least next spring.

I had a hard time getting through the book. There is soooo much beer, and so much time spent describing the types and flavors of different brews. I was there for the cave, not the trendy restaurants and the other mystery that seemed to get more story time than the murder that this particular book is about. Maybe if I'd started with the first book in the series, I'd have been more involved with the main character and her life.  Or maybe if the author had invented her own cave instead of taking one that's found in online lists of places to go with young children and trying to make it frightening....

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

More Digging Through the Sewing Room

In case anyone noticed that there were two posts on Sunday and none on Monday, I had a post written for each day and manged to schedule both to post at the same time on Sunday morning.   By the time I found the problem they'd been up for eight hours I figured it was too late to try fixing it. I check and double check and sometimes I still get it wrong. 

Monday afternoon, I dug around in the sewing room for the box of cross stitch kits that might or might not exist. I know that I'm missing at least two kits (three, if you count the old crewel kit that I'm sure isn't in that box.) Over the weekend, I saw another kit on Instagram I'm pretty sure I might have bought at some point... that seems like more evidence that there could be another box, right? 

I knew that there was a box of projects I'd kitted up, and some UFOs that might or might not be in that same box. I've been trying desperately to find Circe (the one on the right) and had found the floss (the only time I've bought that brand for a project, so it had to be hers) and what I'm reasonably sure is the gridded fabric and --finally --  the magazine. All in completely different boxes for some reason. In the same box as the magazine was the bow kit. I know that at one point that one was in my sewing box, so I'm not sure how or when it migrated back. 

When I found them, the boxes were in the far corner behind the built in desk, which meant that to get to them I had to clear everything off of the desk and crawl over the top of it. If I broke my neck, the boys would come out to look for me eventually wouldn't they?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Village Serene Update

Part of my would really like to get this finished before the end of December. Another part of me realizes that although it's not a completely unreasonable goal I'll make myself crazy trying to get it done in time. 

There are sections that go quickly, and sections that are filled with confetti stitching, and miles and miles of back stitching to outline those windows and the thatched roofs....and a whole lot of other projects that are calling for my attention... 

{Antique Shop Temptations} Would you Paint a Treadle Sewing Machine?

It's pretty, but I don't think I could bring myself to do it. What about you?

Red Painted Treadle Sewing Machine

What I really really love is this display of old zinc  canning jars. Makes me want to gather all of mine up and give them a bath. (How silly would it be to take out the buttons just to wash the jar and put them back where they came from?)

Trust my boys to immediately spot a two-headed calf. Happily, it belongs to the city and isn't for sale. So I didn't have to have that discussion. (Pretty sure it's out of the budget anyway.)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend Knitting

I think I'll just set all of my other projects aside and work on this one for a while. It's, Another Cake Shawl, a little shawl that changes stitch patterns every time the color in my Caron Cake changes. 

The first color change went off without a hitch and I'm hoping the others will go just as well. Cross your fingers for me!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {11/24/17}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Sock Knitting Update

I started in mid-August with enough yarn picked out for ten new pairs of socks. Now it's the middle of November and I've got seven pairs done. 
Normally, this is the point where I'd empty my little train case and stock it with different yarn to knit over the next few months, but I'm still feeling kind of burnt out on the whole sock knitting thing. I threw in some new yarn just so I'd have something to grab if the mood strikes, but I think I'll let this little project go until the new year.

I've also decided it's time to give up on Super Sock Scarefest for the year. I finished two pairs, Convoluted Clues and Charlie McGee, and made a decent start on two others, Dance Academy and Tales from the Crypt.  That's more than I managed last year.

I haven't pulled Dance Academy and Tales from the Crypt off the needles yet, but they both seem to be headed in that direction. I'll make the final decision when I need either the yarn or needles for another project.

Right now, I'm knitting away on that bright pink Paton's Kroy I showed you last week and looking at one of the Caron Cakes. I think I've found the absolute perfect little shawl that will take advantage of the color changes and make me a very happy knitter. The stitch patterns are written out, not charted, but I think it'll be worth the hassle. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

{I've Been Reading} Caroline: Little House, Revisited

I can't remember where I first saw Caroline: Little House Revisited Sarah Miller mentioned, but as soon as did I wanted to get my hands on a copy. After the first few pages, I was absolutely hooked.
The book covers the events of the original Little House on the Prairie so you probably already know the story. What's different here is the perspective and the details.If you've ever wondered how women managed to care for their children in covered wagons or on homesteads, this book provides a  window into those days...but somehow skips the diapers. (Seriously, how did mothers manage in the days before running water and electric dryers?)

There is a scene near the end of the book that left me very uncomfortable. It's handled delicately, but I didn't need or want a glimpse into the bedroom of Caroline and Charles Ingalls. In any other book, I wouldn't have minded it, but it felt like the author went farther than she needed to and that the book would have been better without that part.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mona Lisa in Ten Shades of Floss

Look what I finished! It's itty-bitty just 2 1/2" x 4" or so. Stitching it without a frame left the fabric skewed and I'm debating whether to try blocking cross stitch for the first time ever or just leave it a bit wonky. 

Mona Lisa Cross Stitch

I've had a plan for her all along, but now I'm fine tuning the details to figure out the best way to bring that idea to life.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

{Thrift Shop Temptations} Fancy Dollhouse Furniture...or it Will be Someday....

There weren't any exciting needlework kits to be found, but just look at these miniature kits I found buried in the office supplies! (That's probably why I so rarely find wonderful things at Goodwill. They're well hidden under the old calendars and scrapbooking paper.) 

I'd actually drooled over this organ kit when we visited the dollhouse shop at the coast and passed it up because it was polystyrene, which didn't sound good. Since then, I've read some online reviews and it turns out that these kits come highly recommended.

My hesitation worked well for me, since I got all three of these kits for half what I would have paid for the organ and although the boxes are crushed the bags inside look undisturbed. (They've got staples, so I'm not positive.)

I'll have to find some special plastic glue before I can put them together, and research the right kind of paint.  And work up the nerve. Fancy kits like this always make me nervous.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Museum a Month -- My New Plan

I've got a new goal. The kids and I are going to try to visit a new museum every month. Seriously, there are a ton of great places within my usual route between the house and the library.  They're always on my list of things we're going to get around to one of these days.

Vacations are a totally different thing -- that's when we go to all of the museums and visitor centers and pull over to read signs by the side of the road. It's the places that are closer to home that we forget to make time for.

Earlier this week, Quinn and Leif and I went to the Linn County Historical Museum. The older kids have been there a few times, but the younger ones were too young to remember it.

Guys, I love this place! There are soooo many exhibits and it's not just labeled stuff sitting on shelves. Remember how it took us four hours to watch a fifty-eight minute video about the history of stained glass? Now imagine us in a museum...

It actually only took a couple of hours, but we did a lot more of the activities than I expected to, like packing the miniature covered wagon and building a cabin with Lincoln Logs.  What surprised me most was how intrigued they were by wool carding. Do you think they'd be half as excited about it if I brought my own set of cards down from the sewing room?

There's a whole little turn of the century town set up in what's actually a pretty small museum. The boys were even intrigued by the beauty shop -- because how could you not be fascinated by that permanent wave machine?

There's a doctor's office, and a dentist's office, and a barber shop, and a general store, and a bank...

It's times like this that I'm glad we live in an age where I can come home and find a Youtube video from 1927 explaining how dial telephones work. (It didn't answer the questions about the switchboard, but it was entertaining.)

I've already got a list that'll last us well into next year, but if you can think of great museums or historic sites between Portland and Eugene -- or actually anywhere in Oregon and Washington, let me know!

The Places We Will Go

Friday, November 17, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {11/17/17}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Socks I Finished in Mid-November

I guess that's as good a name as any. Or they could be The Socks I Took to the Retro Gaming Expo. Or the Purple and Gold Striped Ones. 

It's much easier when the yarn has an interesting name! This is Drops Fabel 674, otherwise known as Heather Mix. Neither of those names is catchy.

They're socks. Toe up, sixty-four stitches, short row heels, k2p2 ribbed cuffs... With pretty stripes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

{Books and Yarn} Fatal, Family, Album

I've got new socks on my needles, using that pink and purple self-striping yarn I bought on Saturday. It's too early to have much of an opinion about them, but I'm all set for when life hands me a few minutes that would be better used for knitting than cross stitch. New yarn and a new book by a favorite author -- who could complain about that?

Fatal, Family, Album by Joanna Campbell Slan

It's been a long wait since Glue baby Gone ended with a completely unexpected cliff-hanger. Fatal, Family, Album came out on Monday and my other plans for the day were put on hold so I could finally find out what was going to happen. Of course there's a murder mystery and it does have a satisfying conclusion that ties everything together, but that's secondary to the other huge events going on in Kiki's life. Reading this book felt like finally getting in touch with an old friend and catching up on all of the gossip. Don't start the series with this one, but definitely do start the series if you haven't already!

Seeds of Revenge by Wendy Tyson

I loved Bitter Harvest, the second Greenhouse Mystery, but I didn't find myself getting quite as caught up in Seeds of Revenge. I'm not sure why. The mystery is complex, with lots of characters who all have possible motives and one of them is a "love chemist" who sells modern day love potions. It's a good book, but I didn't find myself  wanting to read it straight through like I do so many others.

Disclosure -- I bought Fatal, Family, Album myself. I was provided with an advance review copy of Seeds of Revenge by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

There's a Mistake in the Sky

I checked my floss colors and double checked the symbols...and I still got it wrong.  

The more I stitched, the more I began to wonder why two different parts of the sky looked absolutely identical. They have different symbols, so they shouldn't be the same... turns out that both symbols use the exact same floss but one only calls for one strand and the other calls for two. I'm not going back and trying to undo it all now. When the finished project is hanging on my wall, no one will know how it was supposed to look.

Do you fix mistakes, or pick them out?

Monday, November 13, 2017


I spent Saturday morning with the Cozy Covers group, helping cut fringe on fleece for their Christmas event. The kid who attend will get to pick blanket kits and the ladies will help them with the tying. 

Sunday, I cut and sewed some sixteen-patch blocks. They'll either be part of one quilt or part of another quilt. I should really do some measurements and make up my mind soon.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Michaels Ad Said That All Yarn Was on Sale...

And for once they weren't lying. Usually all of the yarn is on sale as promised, but the discount on the stuff I want to knit with isn't nearly exciting enough. This time, the sale was as good as the ad made it sound... and when I couldn't get the extra 20% off coupon to load on my phone the cashier gave me one for 25%. 

I know I said I was sick of knitting socks, but just look at the pretty Paton Kroy. I'll keep a pair on the needles to work on when I need my attention free for other things and those pink skeins in the back are calling to me already.

After resisting for a long long time, I finally succumbed to the lure of those pretty Caron Cakes. I tried to pick color combinations that I thought I'd enjoy in a finished project, instead of what looked good in the skein. With the weather getting colder and colder, my plan is to make some cowls or something. (That's the same thing I've got planned for the Woolike, which I'd never heard of. At a dollar sixty-something for  678 yards, it looked like a fun risk to take.)

Have the holiday sales sucked you in yet?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

{Thrift ShopTempations} The Quest for the Perfect Trunk Continues

I've already got a couple of big old trunks and both are pieces with great family history. But I've got kids who want their own and they can't have mine.  A couple of years back our daughter found one for five bucks at an estate sale and persuaded her father to both pay for it and haul it back two blocks to the van.  It  went with her when she moved out and now our oldest son is looking for one of his own. Everything we've seen so far is way out of his price range. 

Look at this beauty... 

There's a second removable drawer under that one and they're in pretty good shape even if they do smell like an old musty trunk. The funny part is that we've been walking past that same trunk for weeks, scowling at the two hundred dollar price tag. Seeing it open, it makes a little more sense.

Someone who collects old packaging might like this magnetic strip...

It claims to be the "Silent Helper"  that you can use to dry your stockings and hold cigarettes to the dash of your car. I'll take their word for that. 

For one brief, hopeful moment I  thought this was needlepoint. It's printed on canvas, which gives it a neat texture.

I left the store empty-handed this time, but had a lot of fun looking.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Let's Make Baby Quilts! 11/10/17

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

{I've Been Reading} A Fatal Collection

Still not much knitting at my house. I've picked up the socks a few times, but if I'm snuggled in my comfy corner of the couch lately, I'm most likely stitching away on Mona Lisa.

A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes

When a visit to her aunt is cut tragically short by the older woman's unexpected death, Callie Reed inherits a shop full of music boxes and the charming little cottage behind it. She's quick to step into her new life, but as she learns more about Keepsake Cove and its residents, she begins to wonder if her aunt's death was an accident at all. We barely get a chance to meet Aunt Melodie, just long enough to get the impression that she was a really nice lady. I enjoyed this book.  The mystery kept me guessing until the end and the solution left me satisfied. The residents of Keepsake Cove are three-dimensional and I'm excited to see where the series goes with them. There's also a little hint of what might be the paranormal, which is always something I'm happy to read. While I'm waiting for book #2, I think I'll check out the author's other two series.

The Good Mother by Karen Osman

There are three stories here -- a middle aged woman writing to a prison inmate, a college student in a relationship with one of her instructors, and an unhappy housewife taking a writing class. Each woman is living in a different decade and there seems to be no connection between them...except there obviously has to be something tying them all together or they wouldn't all be sharing the same book. Kate, Catherine, and Alison have distinct personalities and I didn't need the chapter headings to keep track of who was who. I was surprised by the twist, but in hindsight I probably should have seen it coming.

Of Spice and Men by Sarah Fox

 A horror movie is being filmed in Wildwood Cove and the head make up artist is killed when someone sets her trailer on fire.  The murder happens early on and things never slow down after that. The third Pancake House mystery is so fast-paced that there's not much time spent at Marley's Flip Side pancake house. I'd expected the remake of The Perishing to be a significant part of the plot, but I never even found out what either the original movie or the remake was about.

Disclosure -- I was provided with advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own.


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