Ramblings...

Welcome to my blog! I hope to make your visit worthwhile and reward you with some new inspirations, sewing and recycling, crafts tutorials and recipes. Please add yourself as a follower, so that you will automatically be updated when I post something new! Please comment, I appreciate sharing mutual interests, like sewing, crafting, cooking and of course eating well! I am a former Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, I sub in 3 school systems and moonlight at a retail ladies clothing store. I also am a licensed realtor with my hubby's company, which sometimes allows me to indulge my creative energies. A wife, a mom through adoption, Christian, boomer and a member of the sandwich generation I hope to share my unique perspectives and help you with some of yours!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Teacher Getting Schooled and Linky #11

Less than 2 weeks ago, I was an out of work teacher, and today, I am the student and the teacher, all at once! I am still trying to learn as much as I can about each of the machines,  I got to teach how to make an accessory bag for new Bernina machine owners today. 

  Luckily, I had made my bag last Sunday with a loaner sewing machine from the shop at home.   I think it turned out great, though I have to admit, I made a few mistakes.  But that is how we learn, right?  Teaching how to make the bag, using many different feet and pointing out the features as I went along, went well, up until I decided to warm up my soup in the microwave, while the AC was on, and the iron and the sewing machines...well I blew a fuse! That caused me to lose my train of thought, and I misdirected my student on one part, that I was able to correct with my boss, Nancy's help.  At the end, I think our student was pleased with the results, and enough to sign up for the rest of the new owner classes we are offering in the future.  Along with selling machines, my job will be to coordinate the classes we teach, making sure we have the right materials and time set aside.  My days go so fast, I miss meals and potty breaks.  I hope to get into a routine each day, so I can pace myself better. 
The black tote, was unseamed, and given to me by one of my bosses.  She gave it to me when she saw I was trying to add a panel to an existing bag, but it wasn't working well, and I didn't want to rip it apart to add it.  So using the unfinished bag, I made a pocket, using the embroidery panel, created on the amazing 830 machine, top of the line, pictured in my last post.  I made the square, then framed it with prints I had in my stash.  I lined the panel, and then sewed it on 3 sides to create a pocket.  I used some matching pieces to fashion a cell phone holder, just inside the bag, to keep my phone accessible, not in the jumble that travels with me!

I think it turned out great, it is my new everyday purse/tote.
A trip into my garden at the end of the day yielded a reward. This is one of two bowls of berries I was able to pick, even though I haven't spent any time cultivating...I so love perennials, they treat us every year, with little effort!

Loved the links form last weeks party, not too many this time, but I so enjoyed them all.  Hope to feature a few in coming posts. 

Well, it is getting late, and I am dead tired, here is this weeks' Reap What You Sew Sundays, it closes up by Monday night, so please stop by, and post a link of something that was inspired by nature!  Please comment, add yourself as a follower and put the linky party badge somewhere on your site.  I really want to build this as a weekly event, but I don't know if there are too many of these out there,  time will tell.  Have a great week, talk to you by next weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lovin the job and Linky #10

 
I am so loving my job, at Abigayles Quiltery!  I have spent the last 3 days learning the machines, and am in the process of assembling my samples so that I can teach new machine owners and prospective ones how amazing all the features are.  Pictured here is the top of the line, retailing around $13,000.  Yes, I am not kidding, though it is on sale for $9,999.  It is an amazing computer and it is so intuitive!  Here is a pic as I am creating an embroidery design with the shop's name for my tote bag.  I will share pics of the tote, after it is finished, I left it at the shop today, as I want to sew it onto the side as a pocket. (See the amazing quilt, behind the machine, it is Friends Garden? with lots of embroidery and applique, one of the many classes teaching techniques)

Check out all the "feet", that allow you to do so many different things!  I have been working my way through them all and it is amazing how simple it is to change them, as the computer reads which you have put on and then gives you a readout of available options. Of course it is self threading, cuts and lifts at the end of a sequence.  You can see the amazing embroidery options, one is on the screen above, I am attaching it on the side of a tote.

Meanwhile, I want to thank the bloggers who posted their linky's last Sunday, don't you think these are cute!  From the Victorian Rabbit, these wonderful scrubbers!
Tawashi's 003
 
And from Something Created Every Day, this great mixed media craft for Father's Day!

Love your links ladies, keep visiting each week, I try to have the code up by mid week, closing the day after Sunday. Please post a link this week of an idea that reminds you of summer! Grab my button on the side bar, add yourself as a follower if you aren't already that is, and comment if possible.  Thats it, I hope to have a giveaway again soon.  Keep visiting, and have a great week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A New Job, and Country Fair Fare

I am so excited to report to my blogging friends, that my efforts to find a job have materialized!  Not to say I haven't been working; as you know, I have been a substitute teacher since losing my full time teaching job, in 08.  I still help hubby with data entry and the occasional buyer/seller for real estate.  And I sell my wares on Etsy and the occasional fair.  But my visit last week to job interviews, one was a law firm, looking for a receptionist, and the other, a quilt shop, looking for a sales associate, and teacher of classes.  Guess which one I chose?  Yes, my trip to Abigayles Quiltery yielded more than some quilting yardage.  I met with the owners and it felt like choosing the shop over a job in the legal world was a no-brainer!  Like I was always meant to be here, at this shop at this time in my life!  I am so jazzed!  Somehow I just know this is where I have been headed for most of my working life!  I did own my own craft/consignment shop for a short 2 years in the 80's.  Having the experience of selling, organizing, managing and taking out the trash makes me appreciate all that goes into what the customer sees when they shop.  It is alot of work and can be challenging.  I will love not being the owner this time, and hopefully enjoy working with people and as a team to promote sewing, both as a hobby and a necessity (like breathing) that it is for myself and many like me!  I hope I don't bore you with my work life too much, I hope to share what I learn!  A main component of my job is to sell sewing machines, and I already have spent some time with Bernina 830, top of the line machine that does everything but make coffee!  I have alot to learn, since I have such an ancient machine at home, I kept reaching for the flywheel, to start it, LOL, a high tech machine doesn't need hardly any touching! The hard part is trusting that the machine is a computer, and it doesn't make mistakes.  The operator does, I already tried to sew using the wrong foot, because I didn't read the screen's instructions.  I hope to learn quickly so I can be effective and prove my worth!  Stay tuned!

This past weekend went so fast, I worked the Bay Village Country Fair with my good friend Crystal.  She was a hoot to watch, she hauled two Victorian couches, a sewing machine and all her tools including an electric staple gun.  She was a whirling dervish, (if I spelled that right,) as she worked the crowd, teaching, sewing, laughing!  I tried not to complain too much taking down the tent, but a big thanks to my hubby, who showed up just at the end, to help us take it down.  It is big and the poles are tough to pull apart after baking in the heat and humidity!  Thanks hubby!

Love you Crystal!  Your laugh is contagious! So happy to be your "cohort in crime"!
And a few items I teased you with last post, I started making those fabric necklaces you see all over the blog world. These are my take on them. Inspired of course by my many of you, I used very inexpensive pearls and plastic beads...burned my finger on the glue gun...but you be the judge. Didn't sell the large ones at the show, but little hair clips and pins always go. Guess I should focus on those!

Fabric and Beads Bib Necklace
Gather some strings of beads, below you can see some inexpensive strands I picked up at Good Will.  Then cut out a "bib" out of felt, and glue different ribbons, beads and roses, using a glue gun.



Glue the bib piece over the beads in a few places, then flip the bib over, and secure a second piece over it to cover up the gluey mess!

Below are two others I created by making a band out of felt that I hot glued the roses and earrings to. 


I love the birds nest look to the one above!  I found the silver and pearl bow, and glued this to a band, with bits of lace.  I think keeping the elements white on white make for an elegant necklace. 

I will feature a few of my favorites from Sunday's linky party on my next post. For now, I am really tired, new job and all, so I will post more later this week and put up Linky Party #10

A few more pics from my yard...the rain makes everything so luscious!



Enjoy your summery week, stop back to post in my next linky!  Love your ideas!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Fun and Work, Linky up with me, #9

Reap What You Sew Linky #8 was interesting.  Lots of girly stuff, maybe Father's Day brings these out.  I enjoyed seeing how to make the fluffy flipflops, and zipper rose!  So summery and fun!  Thanks ladies for posting. 
002 

It has been only a few days of summer vacation, and already, daughter is posting on Facebook that she is bored!  I have a craft room brimming with projects to make, but she just can't be coaxed into learning or trying.  She took a home ec class this past year, cooking and sewing, the latter, she wasn't too happy about, as her project looked a little sad!  I subbed in the class, and there were almost 30 kids with one teacher and maybe 10 machines.  Controlled chaos, and probably quite a few kids were lost as they attempted their projects.  One of my two districts I sub for, is cancelling home ec at the middle school and plan to discontinue at the high school level after next year.  I am so sad that this will impact quite a few kids, especially those who might not be college bound, but for most, losing classes that teach practical skills.  Please comment on whether your schools should offer practical arts for their students, like cooking and sewing, balancing a checkbook etc. I am of course biased since I have taught these subjects. But if we lose these programs, who will teach the kids how to cook, take care of practical concerns? Hope that the pendulum swings back, but for now, I am just sad!


There has been an uptick in participation in how to sew and cooking classes in our area, through other sources. A great resource, for sewing is your local quilt shop.  I visited one the other day to check it out.  Abigayles Quiltery, happens to be in Olmsted Falls, just a short 20 minute trip from my home.  A charming shop nestled in with others in a picturesque little shopping village, called Pacific Junction.  I am lusting after the beautiful Bernina machines for sale there.  I talked to Beverly and Nancy, just today, I am hoping to reveal why in an upcoming post.  Let's just say, I hope to continue to use my passion for people and creating in a new avenue. 

We have a local arts guild  in my town that holds classes, I signed my daughter up to be a helper with the children's classes.   Hope she can get some extra time in learning some techniques, even if it is only for a few sessions. 
Well enough soap box, here are a few pics of stuff I am working on for next Saturdays Country Fair, in my little town.  The historical society is putting it on, I hope you will come and see our little booth, Crystal's Upholstering and The 4Rs!    To the left, is an old quilt that is quite worn in some places.  I have used pieces of it to add pockets to totes, and this week, I made two doll blankets, by cutting to size and binding the edges with fabric from my stash.




The mystery beads are something I am working on, inspired by something one of my bloggers linked up last party.  I will show you the end result, as soon as it is finished.  I am combining jewelry and fabric elements, to create something new!


Another quilt top, this time, I believe Dresden Plate? that was probably made from feed sacks, you can still see the writing faintly on the edges. The fabric looks like it is from the 30's or 40's. Parts of this quilt top were badly stained, and because the whole thing was pieced by hand, I had to go over the seams with the sewing machine to make sure they wouldn't have holes.  I used an old sheet and home dec fabric to back it, as I didn't have anything else that would work.  I think it came out nicely, and I have enough to make 2 baby sized quilts, with leftover for pillows or other projects.
I leave you now with this weeks Reap What You Sew Sundays Linky Party.  Please post a link of something you made recently that was inspired by a fellow blogger.  Leave a comment, and add yourself as a follower if you haven't done so yet.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yummy Summer No Bake Dessert

Chocolate Eclair Dessert RecipeI promised I would post a yummy recipe, and it was my 14 year old daughter who discovered it.  She had to bring a typical Guatemalan type of dish for her Spanish class. She googled for it, and this no bake Eclair Dessert came up. It was so easy, and comes together fast. I like that it was economical too but fed her whole class! This would be lovely for a Fathers Day gathering, or any time you want to serve something refreshing and not too unhealthy!  I found the recipe in many places under different titles, it most resembles an eclair, so here are my easy steps with pics.  Actual recipe can be found below.


The first step is whipping up the instant puddings with milk. You will add the thawed cool whip to the mixture. Start layering graham crackers across the bottom of a 9 x 13 or large pan.  (we used cinnamon, it gave it a nice kick!)

Here you see blobs of the mixture on top of the first layer.  Add more crackers on top, and then layer in more of the pudding mixture.



 After the third layer, melt the frosting in a microwave safe dish, just till gooey, mine took around 40 seconds, be careful you don't burn it! Pour and spread on top of last graham cracker layer.  Chill for at least an hour, and enjoy!
Here is the recipe as it was written from All Recipes.com
Eclair Dessert
Ingredients:

2-3 individual packages graham crackers
2 (3 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix


3 cups milk


1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting (or make your own)


Directions


1.Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with graham crackers. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Stir well. Stir in whipped topping to pudding mixture. Spread half of mixture over graham cracker layer. Top with another layer of graham crackers and the remaining pudding. Top all with a final layer of graham crackers and frost with chocolate frosting. Refrigerate until serving.

Daughter had her last day of 8th grade today, we celebrated with a huge party at the local pool, I was on the volunteers committee.  We had a huge outpouring of food and water donations, people were so generous!  I think the kids had fun!  Now we have the whole summer to get ready for high school! 

And just a few comments about our crazy weather!  We have had record heat many days that were preceded by record rains, April and May.  Here are pics of the result in my yard



Guess Roses like it!

 Don't forget to post your linky on my Reap What You Sew linky #8. Something that reminds you of your dear old dad!  Add yourself as a follower and comment if possible!  I changed the closing time to Monday or Tuesday each week, so everyone can get in.  I plan to pick my fav's and feature on a post during the week. See ya on Sunday!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Flea Market, Linky Party # 8

 
Yesterday, (Saturday) a local vintage/craft store held a $10.00 table rental Flea Market.  Crystal (my upholstering friend) and I spent a pleasant day under the shade of our tent, selling our wares. We brought alot of our "flea" treasures to sell along with a few regular items.  The fleas went the fastest, priced to sell of course.  We lugged a lot of or usual stuff, and in the 93 degree heat almost passed out dragging everything back home. We both agree it was an interesting day, though possibly not as profitable as a fair or show.  I am commited to try a few more, but admit that it can be pretty strenous!  I draw strength from my friend's energy and enthusiasm!

Check out Crystal's child's traveling sewing machine! (picture on the right)   Made in early 50's it is so cute, it is a hand crank, and clamps to a table.  She found out it didn't work well with the crazy quilt squares she was trying to sew through.  She made a stack of lined squares before the show to sell for folks to make bags or quilts with.  She sat embroidering her squares while I crocheted.  Later, I realize that my one arm was not in the shade and suffered a nasty sunburn, farmer tan style.  

 We each made a little money, but of course spent it on must haves! 

For me, I bought a few vintage linens and baubles, Crystal saw a small fold up table she couldn't live without.  We both laughed our way through the day, chatting up prospective customers and making new friends. We both agree, sitting outside and shopping are our favorite pasttimes.  We will be "partners in crime" again in 2 weeks for the Bay Village Historical Society antique show.  And again in July for the Westlake Historical Society's show.  I am praying for cooler temps, as I don't relish setting up and tearing down in such oppressive heat!  Watch for some yummy recipes and tutorials this week, I hope to have more time as subbing winds down for the year.


Check out these two great ideas in this weeks linky...
Tinkeranniebelle talked about this cheerful necklace and

Sarah , showed how you can upcycle a farm implement!

I have so enjoyed seeing what my fellow crafter/bloggers have been up to!  I hope you are stopping by each week, by Sunday, to see all the great stuff!  I hope you will spread the word about my linky party, I hope to feature more giveaways in the future. 

Reap What You Sew Sundays, LInky # 8...please post your linky this week of something you made or cooked that reminds you of your dad, in honor of Fathers Day.  I will pick my favorites to feature in the next post.  Add yourself as a follower and leave me a comment and of course visit each week to see what we all have been up to!  Thanks!!

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