Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Busy Busy December

First up, we took a trip to Disneyland.  This is my daughter Ashley and my granddaughter, Emily.  Living just a few miles from Disneyland, it seems we have several friends who work there and lucky us, we sometimes get into the park for free.  Woohoo.  This was Emily's first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth so Aunty Stephanie bought her a Minnie hoody to wear that day.  It was chilly for us sissy Californians.  :)
Everything is SO beautiful at Disneyland at Christmas time.  I have been lucky and have gotten to go the last few years.  I love Christmas anyway but add twinkly lights to the already amazing rides and castles...it just doesn't get any better than that.
I didn't think I'd get any holiday baking done this year with my little "distraction" but my daughter (and Emily) went to her in-laws for a week before Christmas.  That freed me up to do some baking.  There is something about a toddler grabbing your pant legs and "oohing" to be picked up while you're trying to work in the kitchen.  I can't say no and I know this time will be short lived so I cave.  Heck, this time next year, she'll be wanting to play with the dough so I guess I'll have a helper from here on out.

I bought a book from Current when my kids were little about some "gingerbears" who are like the shoemakers elves and help a couple prepare for Christmas by baking for the wife, putting a toy together for the husband, doing the baking and the dishes, etc.  I love that story (probably because I WISH I had gingerbears help me at Christmas!!) and I like to cut my gingerbread into little bears.  :o)
There's a lot of Emily in this post but tis the season to enjoy a 13 month old at Christmas.  We took her to see Santa even though she is being raised Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah, I wanted a photo for me so off we went to the mall.  She didn't cry which surprised us.  (We did bribe her with a candy cane.)

This is our tree this year.  I was a little worried about how dry our tree was last year so this year we bought a live tree from a tree lot where they cut it down after you chose it.  Five days after Christmas and it still feels good and it's still drinking water, thank goodness.  It was hard to switch from a Noble Fir to this Douglas but once all the decorations were on it, it looked good and to not be all dried up...totally worth it!

I made Emily's stocking when I went to visit my sister last month.  I made this one for her and my sister made two for her twin grandbabies using the same pattern. 

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Have a safe New Year and let's finish some quilts this year!!  :o)

Friday, December 5, 2014

December Already???

It's been a long dry spell with no posts on my blog.  I didn't mean to neglect it so badly but I'm going to try to be better.  I have just been busy with life and traveling.  Things have settled down since my last trip to Turkey.  We celebrated my granddaughters first birthday last month.  My, how time is flying by with this little one.  She is such a character and I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
A few weeks ago I decided to actually attempt a quilt job on my domestic machine.  It's a queen size for our bed and I got all the stitching in the ditch done around the sashing and borders.  I got a few diagonal rows done and now here it sits.  Why?
Because of this!  The Bonnie Hunter mystery, Grand Illusion Mystery.  I am doing turquoise, red, and green as my main colors and following Bonnie's pattern with the black and yellow.  A mystery during the holidays!!??  What a glutton for punishment!
 I hope to have some updates on completed steps as the weeks progress.

Friday, June 6, 2014

New Machine in Turkey

Well, Saturday, hubby and I went to Ulos, one of the many shopping areas here in Ankara.  We somehow communicated to a store clerk that we needed a new adapter (mostly by pointing to the broken adapter).  Luckily, the man spoke just enough English to tell us, "Light...signal...right...elektrik."  Okay, got it.  Off we went, got the adapter, walked around some, I got prices on some inexpensive machines should the adapter still not work and I found a fabric store that carried some cottons!  I bought a few gingham-type checks and got a few colors as fill ins for a few projects I had.  ;)  And then home.  I tried the new adapter with my Janome Jem and still nothing.  I get power and then an error display message so it must need some work or it's just not taking the 220v power. 

I've been cutting "kits" and pinning project pieces together so I was staying busy during the day.  I'm not sure but I must have had the most pitiful look ever on my face because on Sunday night, hubby told me I should go back to Ulos on Monday and get myself a new sewing machine.  Saturday they had a Singer for around $200 US dollars.  I really didn't want a Singer but hey, I didn't want to complain.  I'm unemployed now, you know.  lol

So, on Monday, I got out the English/Turkish dictionary and wrote down a few phrases like "left" and "right" for the taxi ride and "how much".  :)  Before I was ready to leave, I called one of the wives that I've become friends with, Debbie.  I told her my plan and she eagerly said she would go with me.  I almost climbed through the phone line to kiss her!!  lol  I would've gone alone but she's been here for three years and knows a little Turkish, how to get to Ulos and is just knowledgeable about things here.  Talk about relief!!

This photo is behind the main street.  The shops go for blocks but the "main street" is where the sewing machine stores are.  They have Pfaff, Juki, Singer, Janome....just about anything you would want.  A lot of friends and family have asked if I have to wear a scarf or keep my head covered.  There are many Muslims here, from the full black dress with just their eyes showing to ladies who wear the trench coat and scarf to just a head scarf.  I know there are names for all of those garments but I don't know them.  If I take time to look it up, I'll never get my post done!  lol

So, below is the machine I got.  It's not a Singer and it wasn't $200.  lol  I'm telling you, it's a wonder Richard even lets me come to visit him!  :oD  This week I blew up the iron!!!  lol  Anyway, this hobby machine was just over $400 US dollars so it's not horribly priced and I'm hoping when I come back in September, toward the end of that visit, I'll be able to sell it on the expat site since it's 220v and I won't be able to use it at home.  So far, she's been doing a great little job.  Since I had some of my "kits" ready to go, I was able to start sewing strips together for a Yellow Brick Road quilt.  She's nice and quiet and would've been a nice extra machine if she wasn't 220v.

None of the fabrics I brought with me looked good with the YBR monkey fabric so I sure was glad I picked up those ginghams on Saturday.  The brown seemed to work just fine. It looks kind of crazy in the photo but it's just a small check.

I also sewed my granddaughter Emily a little soft counting book.  It was an easy panel and it was all cut and pinned together.  I just had to sew it up.  I can't wait to see her and give it to her.  I'm sure it'll go right in her mouth!  :)

Well, it's raining heavy hear and it's after 10:00 a.m. and I'm still in my jammies!  Love, love, LOVE days like today!  TGIF!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Munich, Germany

I was only in Turkey for a few days before we went on a little vacation.  Hubby took a week off of work and we went to Germany.  I had no idea how close Austria, Italy and Switzerland were to Germany.  I believe I was gazing out the window during high school Geography!  I really need to study a map!
Anyway, hubby picked this fabulous hotel in Munich.  The people who own it are very nice.  The staff was all fluent in English which made asking "tourist" questions a lot easier.  We stayed here for two days.
We arrived at the hotel at about 5:30, or maybe later.  It's all a blur.  lol  The staff told us we were about 3 or 4 blocks away from this palace.  The grounds/garden was open but the palace was closed.  He let me use this book so I could read about it.  I'm glad we were so close to it because it was worth the walk!

The first thing we came to was an opening and we could see this beautiful garden.  We walked in and strolled at first and then picked up our pace as the sun was going down and we wanted to see as much as we could.

There were several buildings on the property which in the book said were "guest" cottages.  (Bigger than my house times 3!)  Then we came to an opening and saw the palace.  Oh my.  To think this is a working palace.  So beautiful.

I'm having a heck of a time loading pictures with this weak Internet in Turkey. I hope to share a few more pics soon...if it doesn't cause my blood pressure to rise too much.  :) 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Being out of the country, I almost forgot it was Memorial Day.  Hopefully, my friends are enjoying a nice long weekend and having a chance to do something you enjoy.  Lastly, I hope you make time to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  To those families who lost loved ones in the military, no words can express what you have gone through.  Thank you for fighting for our freedom.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Darci's Dress Up, Part 1??

Look at me trying to be a good little blogger and post some updates!!  :o)

I haven't figured out the sewing machine situation yet so in the meantime, I'm plugging along on prep work.  Doing what I can to prepare for when I have a working machine here in Turkey. 

I've had this pattern and layer cake kit for...oh, about two years I guess.  That must be my "simmer time" because that seems to be my average of projects I brought with me.  I guess I had to bond with my fabrics and kits first....like raising a family.  Hold 'em tight and then let them go.  hehe

Anyway, no sewing but there is quite a bit of prep work for this project, Darci's Dress Up.  The dresses need to be fused onto squares of background fabric.  I'm using Steam a Seam 2  I'm hoping it doesn't make them to stiff but I'm guessing this will be a wall hanging and hopefully, it will be fine.  (Sorry for the poor quality photos.  My camera's on the charger.)

The need to be fused, attached by blanket stitch, blind stitch or whatever your choice is.  I'm probably going to blind stitch them on.  There are collars, sleeves and pockets.  You can also add embellishments like lace, rickrack, buttons.  I brought a few things but not a lot.  We'll see how far this project goes.
I brought a charm pack of 30's but not big pieces.  I'm not thrilled with all of the fabrics I have to use but I'm going to go for it.  The background blocks and dresses are okay but once I pulled all that I liked, there wasn't much left for the little "pinwheel" border. 
I'm guessing it'll take me some time to get the dresses done so who knows, I might be home by then.  lol 
We'll be going to Munich in a few days and will be gone for a week.  Thus the Part 1, question marks.  Who knows what I'll get done while I'm here.  :o)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Attempting to sew in Turkey...

I have my little sewing space all set up in the living room of my hubby's apartment.  We moved me out of the back bedroom so I could have access to the internet to use the wifi for music on my tablet or to watch tv while sewing if I wanted to.  Um....since I blew up the tv in the back room last time I was here.  lol

I brought a suitcase full of things to sew since I'll have quite a bit of time to myself while the hubby is at work.  When we're not traveling, I'll be playing with fabric.  Things I bought quite a while ago and didn't have time because of work or because of someone named Emily.  :)

The first thing I thought I would try is this little kit that I bought probably two years ago on a quilt run.  I bought it at a favorite little shop called Stars and Scraps in Corona.  I always find something cute in that store!
I got about almost to the last step of adding the bottom binding and my machine went kapooey.  The machine quit working, gave me a beep and message on the screen that I'm sure has something to do with the power difference between our 110 and Turkey's 220 power.  Grrrr.  And this is with the surge protector I'm using.  I was "very" persistent and turned the hand wheel to finish the binding.  This might be my only finish while I'm here.  :(
This caddy is a pretty generous size of almost 9" across and almost 6" tall.  I love the fabrics in the kit.  They were very generous with the amount of fabric that came in the kit too.  
Pockets on the inside although they're flimsy so my stuff wants to fall over.

Well, off to see what I can cut up and get things ready for sewing....whenever that happens.  When I thought I blew this machine up on my last visit, hubby took it to have it fixed.  Maybe he'll remember where he took it and we can take it back in.  Either that or maybe I can find a little used machine in one of the shops here.  There are about three machine stores we've seen in sopping area, Janome, Pfaff and Singer.  I ought to be able to find something, right?  lol

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Another trip to Turkey

My bags are packed and by the door.  I'm off to Turkey again for six whole weeks!!!!  I'm going to spend time with my hubby, do a little traveling and a little (hopefully a lot) of sewing!!!!
I will miss my girls and especially my little Emily something awful.....oh, and my friends and family too.  lol  I think it's just worse with Emily because I am lucky enough to see her little face every day and I know she's going to change sooo much.  Good ol' Skype might keep me from being too homesick.

Happy sewing to you all.  I'll share any finishes I might get done along the way.  Sheesh, in six weeks with no grandbaby distraction....I should hope I could share something!  :) 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

And the winner is.....

Drumroll pah-leeze!!!!!

I used a raffle drawing program from the internet called RandomPicker.  Pretty easy and the best part, it was free.  Yay!  I had to plug in everyone's names but that wasn't too bad.  Sooo, without further delay...

The winner of the Bonnie and Camille fabric bundle and little red polka dot sewing kit is.........qltnmom!!!  Congratulations and thank you everyone for playing along. 

qltnmom, I'll email you for your mailing address.  :o)


Monday, April 28, 2014

Baby Quilt, Turkey bound

If you haven't yet, go to this post from last Friday and leave a comment to enter the drawing for some free goodies to celebrate my 500th post.  Now onto post #501.  :o)
My husband asked me if I could make a baby quilt for a lady that works with him in Turkey.  I was able to get enough fabric from my stash to make the quilt but ran into a little problem when it came to the binding....arghhh!
I wish I would've intentionally made the binding scrappy but since I thought I had enough and didn't think I would be short, I had to get very creative.  Ahhh, hindsight!!  I was able to piece scraps together and make it work but it wouldn't win any prizes.  It is a quilt to be used and loved and 'hopefully', the recipient's mommy won't see the flaws in the binding.
While I was quilting this quilt, my little granddaughter Emily needed a little babysitting while her mommy took a shower.  These pictures are from about a month ago and she has since mastered sitting up and doesn't need this little seat anymore but with that being said, she is "grabbing" everything in sight.  I doubt she'll be sitting on my sewing table from now on.  Well, until she wants to sew something.  I'm guessing that will be at least a few years from now.  :o)
Do you see the collection on the shelf?  She already stares at everything in this room and my paper crafting room.  She can't focus.  I think I give her eye-overload or something.  lol


The quilt was given the (Emily) seal of approval!
This was the finished quilt...minus the slobber.  lol  The quilt is from a charm book my friend bought at Road to CA.  It's a great quilt for charms but I used the same focus fabric in the center blocks and the border because I had enough.  I had already used this fabric before so it was nice to try and use it up and make a little room (very little) for other fabric.

Friday, April 25, 2014

500th POST!! FABRIC GIVEAWAY!!! Longest No-Blog-Post-EVER!

I don't know where the time has gone or why I haven't posted on my bloggy.  A quilty/bloggy friend, Michelle, mentioned she was at 499 back in February and already had her giveaway way back when!!  Sigh...

I wanted to do something for my 500th post and that must have stumped me because I never did a giveaway...until now.  I have been very busy with family health issues and when that got better, I hit the ground running with crafting.  Lucky for you, I had to do some shopping.  :o) 

Leave a comment with your name (and an email address if you don't have a blog) and I will draw a name on Thursday, May 1st. 

I hope you like the fabrics I chose.  The line is Moda and wouldn't you know, the name was cut off of the selvedge.  From doing on online search, I believe the first line is Paisley by Bonnie and Camille and the second two are Scrumptious, same designer.  They really are "scrumptious"!  lol  They are half yard cuts.  Woohoo!! 

And I saw this little sewing kit and had to add it.  Red....polka dots....c'mon!  I should've bought two!  I can't believe I didn't!  I'll have to tell my hubby about this monumental moment.  He doesn't think I share very well.  ;o)

 Good luck!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stamp Workshop

My daughter had a stamping workshop today.  We made two cards of each design.  Good thing.  My stash of cards was getting thin.
This card was made using Circle Thinlits, various punches and Another Great Year stamp set.  Love the color combination and paper designs.
Here are the two cards I made.  We used a paper stack called Fresh Prints.  You get 48 sheets in the pack of 4x6" so it's great for making cards.

This was the second card.  We used stamp sets and a punch from Sale-a-Bration.  Stamp sets, Banner Blast and See Ya Later and the punch is called Banner.
This last card was made using the cloud embossing folder for the background, Sweet Sorbet designer series paper and Summer Sun cardstock.  The stamp set is the same See Ya Later used above.

Love these designs.  They were copied from various cards on Pinterest.

Craft Space Redo

I've been so busy and have been taking pictures of projects but just haven't sat down (empty handed) to post them on my blog.  "Empty handed" because after work, I am usually holding little Emily for a while.  Gotta have priorities, right?
A few weeks ago, I redid my spare bedroom that is now my bedroom until my hubby comes back from Turkey.  I packed all the 'stuff' sitting around the room and piled it on the bed.  I took down the small 4' table you can see in the left of the photo and got started.
I got me some handy-dandy tools and put a desk together from Ikea.  (Yes, I made another "couple" of trips there!)  lol
I put together this end unit for one side of the desk.  I already had a drawer unit I was using under the 4' table for the other side.
I had three kitchen rails up for punches.  Yup, these are my punches.  I put up more rails and a couple of DVD racks for stamp sets.  I'm telling you, if I didn't have hobbies, I'd have million dollar purses or shoes or something else that I would spend my money on.  Maybe a mansion.  I wouldn't save it so I might as well spend it on something.  And now that I'll be retired in a few weeks, I hope I'll have more time to spend playing with these toys!
I keep my Stampin' Up! ribbon separate from my craft store ribbon because it matches my inks and markers.  It makes it easier to coordinate my projects.
Here is the desk put together.  It comes with a leg for the center of the table but I purchased an extra one for more support.  I drilled new holes so I could add one to the front and back.  I figured if I'm pressing down stamping, I don't want the table to give and this is working great.

This is working out really good so far.  I have room to use my Cricut or Sillouette or room for stamping, computer work, etc.  So far, two thumbs up.

I still have some sorting to do.  I need to sort through my ribbons, wooden stamp sets, etc., etc.  I swear, it's an unending job.  If I keep bringing it in, I guess I better get some out too!