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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
To family and friends, near and far...HERE'S TO YOU!
I'm thankful for it all!
May you be among loved ones - if not, may you know that you are loved deeply, regardless!
Be safe. Be happy.
See you on the other side of the tryptophan and Crown Royal (never, ever Canadian Club - my apologies to my friends north of the border)...
Happy Thanksgiving, 2012! XOXO
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
ALWAYS lead with the Bakelite! For lack of a better post right at the moment, I wanted to show you just what I've been up to the past few weeks, gearing up for the holidays...lots of handmade. Plus a few baby quilts for friends thrown into the mix (one is probably the single MOST "bad ass" baby quilt, EVER!), BUT, you MUST start with the Bakelite! "Birthday" and "Just Because" Bakelite...four of these five pieces came from my folks this summer - I treated myself to the black one. The big "Blue Moon" is to die for, and the one with the swirls is yummy...hell, they're ALL yummy! I've said it before - who knew 80 year old plastic could make me so happy!
I turned some fabrics purchased in Hawaii this summer (the only thing I really brought back, except for 8,000 photos and my most comfortable "Slippahs" ~ Dad told me to leave the pukka shells there, as he still has his left over from the 70's) into a fabulous quilt...free online pattern called NEW WAVE, by OH, FRANSSOM! Goes together fast and easy. I tried to get really artsy with my interpretation...the tan colored fabric in between the "waves" is representative of the sandy beaches. There you have it - that's about as "deep" as I get, and probably the main reason I never made it as an interpretive dancer!
I turned some "local" fabrics into two baby quilts (or quilt tops, at the moment) for friends of my kids...the red Tattoo Dragon one is going to a tattoo artist (my daughter's profession) and his wife.
So NOT cutesy baby themed (and so out of square here in this photo, because of the angle I was holding the camera above it, and over my head - believe me, it is square), but SO perfect for who it is going to...yes, it's been dubbed the "Bad Ass Baby Quilt". The Puppies quilt is absolutely darling, and IS cutesy baby themed, with more retro colors to it.
Soldering for friends, and family...Christmas ornaments up next.
I've been keeping myself awake on the couch at night, watching The Walking Dead and KNITTING! Winter is made for knitting, though my shoulder is starting to turn to mush and I need to take a break this next week. One more Mukluk to be made, and that's it...the bandanna is WAY cool, and super easy (I've done three), and from another free online pattern, PURL BEE BANDANNA COWL.
More sewing - free Infinity Scarf tutorial I worked up HERE, for those that might want to join in the fun on 2 Bags Full's, PINK SCARF PROJECT, HERE.
And even more sewing fun...my friend Jackie was "in want" of a kitchen makeover this week, and I was happy to oblige - new towels, napkins, and a valance, while the sewing machine was still set out - she put it all in place this afternoon (CHECK IT OUT!). Retro looking aprons for Christmas are next on the agenda (and finishing up that one last Mukluk), after Turkey Day. Hope your Thanksgiving weekend is wonderful!
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I'm participating in 2 Bags Full's PINK SCARF PROJECT~ a wonderful, year-long effort to gather pink scarves for Breast Cancer patients. My first instinct was to grab for my knitting needles...however, Vicki is collecting ANY scarves for the project - knitted, crocheted, store-bought, etc. I have been teaching my friend, Jackie, to knit, but she has told me she thinks she will never be able to finish a full scarf in time ~ and has already sent a store-bought beauty. Being a seamstress, first and foremost, got me thinking...Jackie sews too - how about an easy FABRIC scarf, for those that hate the thought of knitting?!
WHAT YOU NEED: 1 yard fabric and thread! That's it! Well, that and a sewing machine and necessities like scissors, pins, etc.
I used three 100% cotton fabrics for these, and one knit that reminds me of a top I had in the 70's. The cottons I chose were all soft to begin with (the one above is almost a "voile" - VERY lightweight cotton. Use what you love - I washed and dried my cottons before cutting, to make sure they softened up, and/or shrunk before they were used.
WHAT YOU DO:
Cut TWO pieces 20" wide X 36" long.
Lay these two pieces, right sides together, and seam across one of the two short ends, using either a 1/4" or 1/2" seam. Press seam open on wrong side of fabric.
With right sides together, fold the now joined fabric piece (20" X 71.5", or so) in half LENGTHWISE (meaning you will have a long piece of fabric with a fold along one long side, and raw edges along the other long side - or 10" X 71.5").
Mark your long side (along the raw edge side) 3" in from each end. Start sewing at one of these marks/pins, and continue along long edge til you come to the other 3" mark. Press this seam open, centering it in the middle of the scarf, and not along the edge. Press just the seam - not the edges of the scarf.
Reach inside this tube and pull right side out.
Center your seam so that it is facing up (so you can see it), and down the center of the length of your scarf. Now for the "twist"...
Fold the left side length of your scarf UP, as shown.
Take the piece you folded UP in the last step, and fold it UNDER and DOWN. Should look like something like a backwards 7 at this point. It doesn't matter where you fold it, as long as you go up, under and down - this will add that "twist" into the scarf.
Bring your short, open ends in towards each other, as pictured.
Match your raw edges, right sides together (pinning if needed).
Sew seam across, from opening to opening edges.
After this seam is sewn, gently pull on scarf and your sewn end seam will roll to the inside, through opening left on end. Press seam allowances on this opening to inside.
Close by hand stitching opening (I use a ladder stitch, which ends up being virtually invisible...YouTube it!)
Your scarf will have a built-in "twist" to it...can be worn long, or twisted once or twice, and doubled over your head, for the short version. WINNING! A snap for everyone on your Christmas list ~ or join in the giving over at THE PINK SCARF PROJECT. Three of these are heading there tomorrow - the tutorial scarf will be in my daughter's Christmas stocking.
Addendum - 11/28/2012: My son's girlfriend was sporting a knit Infinity the other day, and mentioned that she loved them really long - hers was wrapped three times. SO...
This was made with a piece of soft, thin wool/polyester fabric - again, one yard. I cut it across the width of my 58" fabric, into 4) pieces 9" wide X 58" long - THIS GIVES YOU ENOUGH FOR TWO SCARVES! Constructed the very same way as the directions above (use only two pieces for each scarf), it left me with a finished scarf that is approx. 4" wide X 115.5" long (sewn into a round), and a few more options for styling.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Two profound and deeply stirring moments for me this summer, came while in the beautiful tropical paradise of Hawaii - standing atop the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor...
...and walking through the hauntingly beautiful National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu. Both sites moved me beyond words, and should be a requirement for all Americans at some point in their lives.
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (locally known as Punchbowl Crater) serves as a memorial to those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Since the cemetery was dedicated on September 2, 1949, approximately 53,000 World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans and their dependents have been interred here.
Quote ~ Abraham Lincoln...
To our brave service men and women who proudly, and so selflessly, serve today and have served, in years past ~ and to the veterans who have gone before them and given all for this great country of ours...
from my very soul!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
"Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune. Something to make us all happy. Do anything, take us out of this gloom - Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy"...Traffic (1967)
Steve Winwood at the Pearl, inside of the Palms Casino in Las Vegas - a night of pretty heavenly music. Jackie D. and I left the husbands behind and, yet again (I'm so glad she's my concert buddy - I can drag her to just about anything, but she is seeming to balk at Alice Cooper later this month), ventured out for an evening of the music of our youth (OK, at least mine, since she probably wasn't even born yet). We purchased tickets months ago..."the one" responsible for buying the tickets decided we needed to sit on Steve Winwood's lap, and neglected to tell me about a third of the ticket price, just to get us where she did...THISCLOSE - the seats were fabulous, and I will get back at her.
Steve Winwood - 64 years young, having started at the age of 15 with the Spencer Davis Group, STILL has "it"! An INCREDIBLE evening of music, covering the hits of all the groups he has ventured through...Spencer Davis, Blind Faith, TRAFFIC (Low Spark of High Heeled Boys has always been a favorite)...he played it all - or the ones that counted, and I can die a happy camper! Thank you, Chica, for making the decision on the awesome seats, and for another kick-ass evening of music I won't soon forget, if ever. A beautiful version of
my everyone's all-time favorite Blind Faith song (because I couldn't fit the 12 minute Low Spark of High Heeled Boys on here)... Happy Saturday, "Campers"!
Thursday, November 8, 2012
(Ahh - people are still tossing around concert beach balls - right ON!)
A cool, breezy August night took me back to my youth, and provided the perfect opportunity for an evening, all by myself, with the most wonderful man in the world – yes, I drug my poor Dad to a concert. What was anticipated as a fun, “Girl’s Night Out” with my Mom (with Dad looking forward to a quiet night of reading, and snoozing on his favorite couch), quickly changed course with a bout of food poisoning, and Dad stepped up to the plate – not to mention braving CRAZY post-concert parking lot chaos, and a massive amount of steps (and people – lots and lots of people...seating capacity 9,450) leading up to the gorgeous venue of RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATER, in Morrison, CO.
THE concert venue of my youth – I had not been there in years. SSDD - only WAY older! Memories of Jethro Tull, the Allman Brothers, and many other musical evenings (The Grateful Dead, who played for dayyyyyyyyys at a time, or so it seemed) under the beautiful starry skies of home. This time around, it was the Beatles Tribute Band (an August event there, every year, evidently), “1964” – hailed as “The best Beatles tribute on Earth”, by Rolling Stone Magazine. A fun, mindless, 2-1/2 hr. singalong of pre-Sgt. Pepper songs for the entire audience. Dad was a trooper, and I thank him for that!
An annual August event, this year’s performance came two days prior to the 48th Anniversary of the REAL Beatles debut at Red Rocks in, of course, 1964.
That event was the earliest notable rock 'n' roll performance at Red Rocks. The Amphitheater is one of only four remaining, original concert sites from that first American tour.
Originally known as the "Garden of the Angels" and later, "Garden of the Titans” (not to be confused with “Clash of the Titans” - ohhhhhhhh, how I love Liam Neeson) the 640 acre park has always been known by the “folk name” of "Red Rocks", which became its formal name in 1928. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world.
(I'm pretty sure this was the guy with the strong "cologne")
Construction of the amphitheatre began in 1936 and was completed in 1941. Some of the rock formations in Red Rocks slope as much as 90 degrees, while others tilt backwards. The southern monolith, that bears resemblance to a ship, is named "Ship Rock."
On the opposite side of the Amphitheatre stands "Creation Rock." Both of the monoliths are taller than Niagara Falls, standing some 300 ft. tall. Coupled with “Stage Rock" to the east, they provide acoustic perfection. They light these massive rocks once the sun goes down, but my camera wasn't fast enough to catch the beauty of it. These photos were also taken when we first arrived - the seats would fill to near capacity by the start of the show.
(The dreaded stairs...193 of them from the stage to the top of the amphitheater)
Sitting at 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique “transitional zone” where the Great Plains, to the east, meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds and animals of both regions in one setting. On a nearby ridge (or The Hogback, as it’s always been known), you can find preserved dinosaur tracks and fossil fragments from the Jurassic period – the quaint little town of Morrison, CO sits below the park, and offers plenty of dining, nifty little gift shops, antiques, and lodging. Red Rocks itself, offers a variety of recreational options from guided tours, hiking, biking, and, of course, their summer concert series.
(Me and Dad - cool and breezy, at the start)
OK, more like windblown and shivering - I'm a 124 degree desert gal these days! A PERFECT evening, by nights end! This fabulous little tribute band is definitely worth checking out if they land at a venue near you.
(Not a bad shot, considering we were halfway up those 193 stairs - Nikon ROCKS!)
(These, not so good, but that was MY fault - not the camera's)
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to my wonderful Dad...I had the BEST time, and you navigated the crowds and cars like a champ...not to mention those wooden seats! Sorry you missed it, Mom (we dialed her up and held up the phone as instructed, during the evening) - next year, then. With love, from me to you...