2 days ago
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
DISCLAIMER - I still love star gazing, but have discovered I may not be very good at it on ZERO minutes of sleep, and..."the morning sun when it's in your face really shows
your my age".
I feel the need to add this disclaimer atop the blog post of this morning. No sleep the prior night and my delirium at 5:00 am may have caused me to jump the gun, just a bit. Seeing that SUPER brightness in the morning sky, with no explanation for it other than knowing that the International Space Station was scheduled to be visible this week (thanks to the weatherman on the news the night before - it's all his fault, you know), that is what I assumed I was looking at through bleary, sleep deprived eyes.
HOWEVER, upon further research tonight, the planet Venus is set to be at its ABSOLUTE most brilliant on the morning of the 26th (tomorrow morning - can you imagine if it was that brilliant this morning, what I could expect tomorrow if I stayed awake LONGER, and waited?!). In this SAME position in the night sky. SAME as the expected fly over of the International Space Station. SAME International Space Station which my friend Jackie spotted tonight, which led me to said fact checking, which has now led to the conclusion that said Space Station is expected in this same position on March 10th and 11th E/SE skies at the same approx. time in the morning as today - holy crap! Got it? VENUS/MOON MORNING SKY WATCHING - click on that there for more info, if you dare.
I digress - it may be Venus...it probably IS Venus (yeah, chances are 99% it IS, but it was still cool!). YOU think YOU'RE confused? I STILL need sleep! My Dad is STILL a Moon Man. And now Rod Stewart is in on it, and WHY you might ask?! So, did I tell you I saw Rod Stewart here two months ago, because I DID. And it was REALLY him. THAT'S THE FACT, JACK (we're all gonna' miss Harold Ramis - I loved his movies - who we gonna' call now, Ghostbusters?)! Yeah, I need LOTS of sleep before I look for that for-real Space Station in the sky.
I do not own a tripod, but this convinced me I should, just for events in the dark. Not a timed-exposure either, but I did drag a kitchen chair outside to steady my hand. This is the Moon (obviously the larger orb), and the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, as seen from my back yard, early this morning (with some clever positioning to cut out the massive highway light behind the palm tree). There are tiny stars visible in the shot, down and to the right of the moon, so you can compare sizes.
I love star gazing - probably because my dad is a Moon Man (yep, that's right - he worked for the defense contractor, Martin Marietta, for some 30+ years, on all missile launches, etc. That qualifies him for Moon Man, at least in his kid's eyes!)
Need proof? This will segue nicely into my post later today, but this is something we ran into at a museum recently, that he built (worked on - I like built better!) during his years as a Moon Man. I believe he told me it's a Manned Maneuvering Pack for astronauts to jump around the Moon in, or something like that - pretty technical stuff. The kind that he could tell you about, but then have to kill you.
These were shot from the hip as the sky lightened, because I had just enough light to not need the tripod that I will be buying later today. Last night at 6:20pm PST, our weatherman announced that the Space Station would be visible to the naked eye. I immediately ran outside, but could not find it where it was supposed to be - mainly because it was still too light, but also because Vegas has captured the market on LIGHTS, making star gazing really hard, unless you get out of town (I have been known to drive 30 miles at midnight to catch a meteor shower - oh, yes I did). I called the Moon Man but alas, the skies in Denver were cloudy last evening.
These were taken looking south/southeast behind my house this morning - they said that it would be the brightest thing in the sky, besides the Moon, when you spotted it...they weren't lying. Visible through March...if you missed it last night, there will be others.
For more information, and exactly where to look in the skies over your area (if you're not a Moon Man and know already), check out SPOT THE STATION.NASA.GOV (just click on the highlighted link there). Back later on with highlights from Wings Over the Rockies @ Lowry Air Force Base. This one was for you, Moon Man! XOXO
Saturday, February 22, 2014
* 2-1/4" bias cut strips of fabric, 38" long ~ OR (if you don't want to make your own) ~ packages of 1/2" wide double fold bias tape, available at most fabric stores.
* Scissors, Pins, Iron
* Sewing Machine
Packaged Bias Tape is absolutely the easiest way to go, as all the work is done for you. If you want a little variety in your ties, Bias Strips are extremely easy to make on your own - the longest time you will spend on them will be ironing. "Bias Cut" means at a 45 degree angle across the face of your fabric (great little explanation HERE) - this allows for "give" around curves. If you have cut your own strips (2-1/4" x 38"), fold them in half lengthwise (so they are now 1-1/8" x 38"), and iron a crease along the fold (this will run down the center of your strip). Open the strip out and fold one raw (long side, still) edge in to the fold line, and iron that (you will now have two creases running along your long edge - one down the center, and another halfway between the center and one side).
Fold your remaining long raw edge in towards the center crease, but leave almost a 1/4" gap (we are going to make one side of your folded tape wider, so as to make sure your stitches catch it from underneath - packaged Bias Tape is made this same way). Iron this side down as well, and then fold your strip together along the center crease again, (your folded edges will now sit atop one another, with one jutting out just a bit, under the other)...
like this. Do this for all your strips.
Cut yourself a 4" diameter circle (don't use your good fabric scissors...get the paper scissors out). Fold this in half - it's now 4" across the fold, and 2" from the fold to the bottom of the circle. Fold this once again, and you have a 2" X 2" wedge.
Determine the top/neck edge of your bib, and fold the washcloth in half, lengthwise (you will be cutting the neck hole). Pin your wedge pattern along the fold of your washcloth, and cut out.
Finding the centers of your bib AND bias strip, and with the WIDER edge UNDER the neck edge, insert the bib into the folded bias tape (clear to the center crease) and pin in place. I pin around the neck edge, but leave the ends free from pins - if you need to pin the entire edge, go for it! Make sure you catch the back side of your bias tape while you are pinning. Check this as you go along - you want to have enough "overhang" to catch with your pins, so that you know you will be catching it with your bobbin thread when you are sewing.
What the back side of your bib should look like - see how there is a little more below the pins than on the top...this way your machine has enough material to ensure that you get both sides stitched in one pass.
You've got two options for finishing off the tie ends - I took the easy route on these. I sewed across my starting end at an angle, then down the strip along the folded edges (your wider folded edge will just be peeking out as you sew, and that's what you want - you can see how you are catching both sides as you go). Continue sewing around the neck edge, removing pins as you come to them. Sew the remaining length of the tie, pivot at the end and sew another angled end to match your starting one. You will trim close to the stitching on each angled end, and Fray Check them. There really is no ravelling of the ends, since they are stitched across - the Fray Check is just something I like to do.
~ OR ~
For a totally finished end, open out each short end, fold ends inside your strip, refold and iron. Stitch across your squared off end, along the entire tie, and back across the opposite tie end. Either way you do these, they are going to be fabulous. Hint - take the easy way out. They will look just as great and save you the frustration of sewing over extra folds of fabric and chancing skipped stitches at the ends.
Favorite bibs EVER - I never worried about ruining these because they were SO washer friendly (they're also big enough to cover LOTS of area). Fast cleanup of "messy parts" (not to mention the highchair tray, and/or floor...obviously clean your little one before the floor) - rinse and toss in the wash. FAVORITE!
Bon appetite, Baby!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Short on words today - quiet like Santa Fe in January. Those who read here know how much I love this beautiful Southwest town. Craving Margaritas and a change of scenery, we made a quick trip a few days into the new year. Luminarias were still in place atop most buildings around town - shadows were long, and it never reached higher than 30 degrees daytime.
Night shots through margarita colored glasses - feeling warm enough (on the inside, at least) for a quick walk through town...no tripod, but a few "acceptable" shots of those little paper bags, lit. Most of these are electric, as they burn all night. SW charming, for sure! HUGE pocket watch stands at the side of the Plaza. The closer I got (damnable drink!), the "huger" it seemed to get...tick, tick, TICK...
And the stranger 100 dollar bills looked through Gallery windows - like they were looking back at me, and I couldn't figure out who that President was!
Daytime in the Plaza/winter - not as bustling as the touristy summer months, which leaves plenty of space available for hacky sack among friends.
Sights around town under crisp blue, New Mexico skies - ristras, flags flying, bronze bovines, and the St. Francis Cathedral looming over the Plaza.
Another beautiful bronze outside a Gallery. Had I seen this the night before, under Margarita skies, I might have believed it real!
Adobe walls, the Loretto Chapel, and antique blankets hung in windows- this beautiful town speaks volumes of history.
And those beautiful blue skies tend to turn into...
this, in the evenings. Captured on our way to dinner...a quick shout to "Stop the car! Please!", and a run back to one of the standout spots in town.
Just west of the Santa Fe Plaza, stands the El Santuaria de Guadalupe Church. Built in 1781, the church is now an art and history museum.
Housing the Archdiocese's of Santa Fe's collection of New Mexico Santos (carved images of the Saints), as well as Italian Renaissance paintings and Mexican Baroque paintings.
I must admit to not being inside of this, as I really thought it was just a beautiful old church...it was a spectacular focal piece for the sunset that night, however.
The town of Santa Fe is SO full of art, up and down the main streets, that we have never really thought to look farther than the "old stomping grounds"...
This, however, just made it onto the "to do" list for a future trip.
Always worth a look, the town of Santa Fe - go for the local beauty and charm...stay for the sunsets, and then head for the Margaritas!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Regina by Carina Spencer). Started last night, during the Men's Combined Skiing...this is in the semi-final heat and should be finished up, in Gold Medal Style, by tomorrow - darling little cloche for next winter. The outside will actually be what is considered the inside right now. I know, tricky on the mind as that quadruple toe loop, but SUCH an easy pattern.
These were finished this week, during the Olympics as well...Honey Cowl and a pair of Boot Cuffs (just how much of that yarn DID I have?!) - just getting a ski jump on next winter's gift gifting! SCORE (and how bout' that Hockey Team of ours this morning?!)!
This is an Etui Box that I took a local class in several years ago - I never finished the "guts" of the thing, but fully intended to...some day. Made to hold scissors and small hand sewing items, plus a pincushion - that was where I dropped the ball (sitting inside, but unassembled, for the past four years). Fabulous out-of-print fabric (don't ask - it might be a Robert Kaufmann, if I remember right)...a Halloween masquerade ball from the 40's.
Glass drawer pull graces the padded top - this was made from the bottom up, literally. It started with heavy cardboard pieces that were all covered with fabric and assembled to make this little box with the green satin drawcord...
which, when pulled, reveals a secret stash of sewing fun. LEGS - I thought that the fun Halloween fabrics deserved a fun pincushion, so ditched the rest of the doll for just the legs. Finished, just this week - 10.0!
Quilted a bit this week, too...someone had a blog post yesterday about how many projects does a person keep going at any given time..bwahahahahaha - yes, my hobbies are as many and varied as my brain is apparently scrambled. This beautiful LARGE scale (those mermaids are around 13" tall, and I know that right about now my Dad is reading this and hoping this is coming to HIM) Alexander Henry print is a hard one to figure out what to do with...almost too large for quilt blocks, but this will be a fabulous large duffel bag when done. Again, not finished yet, but heading down the slope towards the finish line!
The blue was quilted with ocean waves, but the individual mermaids have been quilted around separately. One of the funnest things I do when quilting (and something I taught for getting the "feel" of your machine when free-motion quilting), is "tracing" around these large prints. You get in that groove, and it's like a fluid, relaxing drawing done with your machine.
But enough of the creative shenanigans - without further ado, (and the crowd goes WILD!) the GOLD winner in this post is MELINDA @lapayasa. Drawn the old fashioned way of the west - out of a cowboy hat), Melinda will receive the quilted makeup bag and Annie Oakley pendant.
And then, because I thought EVERYONE this week was "puppy worthy", and had a hard time leaving it at just that, I drew three more names, for a pendant each. I had 86 entries...a few were in subsequent posts from the original blog post, but I included them all. All three of these are across the ocean from me (well, actually one is across land, but WAY across land, up in Canada, 'ay). Pam @ Pambustin.com; Tammy @ T's Daily Treasures; and Hannahpat @ Cosmos & Cotton - I will be contacting each of you for your mailing addresses. To all who landed here via the Blog Party, a hearty thank you for visiting. I've made quite a few new acquaintances, and revisited old friends...you're all winners in my book!
Friday, February 14, 2014
The little girl who, long ago, cherished the sweet Valentines I've shared this week was my aunt, Violet Elizabeth (license plate behind her looks to be about 1932, which would make her about 3 years old). There were lots of "puppy/kitty worthy" Valentines in her collection, so she was obviously loved.
THIS is a pretty frazzled kitty!
Violet and her sister, Barbara Jean (Bobbie), my Mom - there was a 9 year age difference between them. Sisterly love is a pretty wonderful thing...don't you dare cry, Mom (I already brought her to tears with the Shirley Temple post - HAPPY Valentines thoughts today! XOXO)
This may be a "puppy worthy" Valentine, but that puppy looks to be an ankle biter! See, you're smiling NOW, aren't you?
"Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved"...Victor Hugo
"Oh, if to be choose and call thee mine, love, thou art everyday my Valentine"...Thomas Hood
"Shake and shake the ketchup bottle. First none'll come, and then alot'll"...Richard Armour
From my heart to yours, family and friends alike -
Happy Valentine's Day!