Friday, April 24, 2015

Houseful!

 I watched down my road Thursday to watch for the Georgia visitors!
 They're here!  First thing in the morning, Will declares it is tractor time.
 David tried out his new block and tackle (pulleys) and mt.  climbing rope to conquer the Live Oak trees!  (Our belated birthday gift to the new teenager! )
 After breakfast, Will spends the rest of the morning here!
Ice cream cones for mid-morning snacks!  It's nice to sit with a cousin!

(Might I mention that having two mothers here (Marsel and me) is a wonderful way to care for children, it more than divides the work required and we more than doubles the joys!)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Aromas and Spikes!

There is a sweetness in the air which is incredible!  It is coming from our two Chinese Privet trees.
They are the closest we come to lilac like trees here in the south!
So many flowers are beautiful in my yard but it is rare to have a delicious aroma floating on the air;  these make up for it!
This is what the Chinese Privet tree looks like;  it is about 12' tall and has a pleasing shape.
Our roses smell wonderful, too;  the bushes are filling right in and budding like crazy.
This one is so fragrant!
The other attraction in the front yard, our Jasmine!  I can smell this from 30 feet away.
The shape is so ingenious-it is made of 5 tubes that the bees love!
The aroma is zero on this cactus bloom but it is so pretty!  The cactus usually bloom in May-this one is early!
It will soon have tons of company!
All of the aloe are blooming-isn't this cool?  All of the 'petals' are tubes.  This is the choice of humming birds.
The sago palms get a fungus down here so in the winter, Bill will cut back the leaves and then in the spring, they grow new ones-it is so interesting to see the growth in inches each day!
Yes, inches of growth daily.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

It's in the Bag! (A tutorial)

 I have had my eye on this project bag for months but am just getting around to tackling it.
(I heard about it on the Knitmoregirls Podcast!)
 I cut out my fabric pieces and seamed them into a long line.  (All measurements on her blog)
 I folded the long stretch in half and pinned for my stop and go spots.
 This is where the casing will be for the drawstrings.
 After stitching, I then measured and marked by corners for squaring up.
 This is what it looks like!
 Ahh, now it is looking more like what it should!  I gave it a good press now.
 Next, I marked my stitching lines for the casing.
 And stitched them!  Sometimes, the air erase marker disappears before I get it to the sewing machine but today it is dry out and the lines are still there!  Figures!
 Time for the drawstrings to be pressed....
 ...but the right tool or gadget makes the job SO much easier!
 Perfect every inch of the way!
 Now to the sewing machine to fold them in half and topstitch.
 This is a handy foot if your machine has it, an edge stitch foot.   It keeps the edge right next to the flange on the foot so you get a straight seam without wrestling the skinny strip!
 Speaking of gadgets, and I love each one I own, this one is great for pulling elastic or ribbon or drawstrings through casings!   (Even if I don't use a tool real often, I find that having the right tool makes the job so much easier when the situation calls for it!  Once bought, the gadget is in my tool box forever and worth its weight in gold to me!)
Oh, yeah, just what I pictured when I heard about it so many months ago!
 This might be the last sewing project for a bit.....This lovely family (middle son and wife) stopped by today to drop Will off for the week while they go on a company vacation to reward Matthew for the excellent year of sales at work!  They are going to Cancun!
Will transitioned great, he will be ordering my steps causing us both a lot of wonderful moments!

Blocks and Logs...


 A tree fell in our bamboo grove.  Bill had to cut the dead ones down and then get to the tree.
 Our neighbor came with his grabber attachment that reached in and could 'grab' a bunch of branches at a time;  it was a great time saver!
 It shaped the bamboo area up in good order!  We were afraid the whole grove was dying because of the drought last year but it is budding like mad and looking  like a full recovery is happening!
 I made a log of lavender soap!  It smells so good in here!  I will cut it up tomorrow!
 I am plugging away at the yellow Ohio Stars-only 5 more to go!
 I am halfway done with the lace knit edge for the latest shawl!  I love doing the 20 row repeat, I can do several each evening.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

LUXURY LOTION

 Since beginning my soap adventures, I have taken a bit of a detour into the making of moisturizing lotions.  I use my makeshift double boiler to simmer the oils and green tea.  (recipe at the end of this post!)  After simmering for an hour,
 I pour it into a bowl through some cheesecloth to strain the tea from the oils.
 Carefully pick up the cheesecloth and let all the oil drain out.
 Give the oils a good whip with the stick blender for 4-5 minutes.
 Scrape the bowl down and blend for just a bit to keep that beeswax and cocoa butter in the oils because they want to separate.
 Quickly pour the lotion into containers, place the lids on and
 put them in the fridge for 12 hours!  No, you do NOT have to keep the lotion in the refrigerator but this ensures the mixture will not separate on you.
In the morning, you will have your lotion!  It is so luxurious on your skin!  Give it a try!

RECIPE:
1 C COCONUT OIL
2 TBSP BEESWAX
2 TBSP GREEN TEA (LOOSE)
2 TBSP COCOA BUTTER
1 TBSP SUNFLOWER OIL

This lotion is great for your skin-it is especially kind to your feet-I put lotion on at bedtime for the softest feet ever come morning!  You will feel like you've been to a spa!  Enjoy.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Goliath and Me

 I pulled the beginner quilt off the frame and ripped out the areas that were unacceptable.
The good news is that with just a few snips, the bobbin thread came right out of the back.
 I had a pile of thread but I didn't go crazy pulling out the 9 blocks that were rats nests on the back.
 I purchased new bobbins and a new bobbin case for Goliath.  The old one had lost his spring and the bobbins were backlashing on me;  hence the nests and broken threads.  Once I got the right tension on the new bobbin, it worked like a dream!  I not only loaded the quilt back on and quilted those blocks, I pulled it off the frame and put the binding on, too!
 While my motor skills need work, the machine is humming right along with me not against me any more!
 In fact, I loaded this little quilt of Millie's that was languishing in the cache on the frame and finished it for her in no time.  It's amazing what you can do when everything is just right.
I even got it done before the Fourth of July!  This machine and I are going to get a lot of quilts finished together.......!