Sunday, January 7, 2018

Thanks Everyone

Thank you. everyone, for your kind words and understanding.  Milo was such a lovable little kitten--I'm not sure we'll ever stop missing him.  Needless to say, Christmas was rather subdued here.  It's hard to say who is missing Milo most, but
 
there are three strong contenders.  I'm hoping the amount of grooming I've been subjected to is more about her loneliness rather than a statement about my personal hygene. So, after much debate and soul-searching, meet Valentino,
who clearly understands sewing.  He's a Maine Coon, and while we have generally been animal shelter supporters, FIP is found mostly in shelters and larger catteries and between having a senior kitty to protect from disease and still being heartsick over losing Milo, we happened to find a small, local breeder with one kitten left.  It took a surprisingly short time for the kitties to all get used to each other,
and I have (mostly) been left to my own devices for bathing.  We're still really missing Milo, but it's nice to have a friend for Venus again.  She and Milo were inseparable.

There has been some sewing around here,
including two pillows for friends squeaked in before the year end.
and this weekend I decided to finally felt these a bit so they were actually wearable:
We're trying for a theme of "use it or lose it" in the new house.  If it works, I'm going to try it on my thighs....

The really stunning news is this:
6786 yards of yarn from the stash DONATED.  Really, like the same day so I couldn't change my mind.  I gave away yarn.  Sure, it would have made more sense to do it BEFORE moving, but shlupping the entire stash down a flight of stairs in the old houise, then up a flight of stairs in the new one has been incredibly motivating. And decent exercise........

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Goodbye Little Guy

We hope we gave Milo one last weekend of love and cuddles, because he started going downhill fast on Monday, so on Tuesday we said goodbye to our sweet little Milo.  As much as we hated to lose him, we couldn't see him suffer.
 
 
 
 
 
We are simply heartbroken and not much in the mood for Christmas.  Venus has been very lonely without her buddy, but thankfully Theo had started playing with her more as Milo lost interest.

Hope everyone else is having a happier Christmas.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

:(

Our little Milo is sick, and the vet says he's dying of a virus called FIP.  He's neither eating nor drinking on his own and I've been force-feeding him for a week now.  The problem is that there isn't a definitive test for FIP--it's more of a matter of elimination and I kind of feel like this vet is basing her diagnosis on something that might be unrelated.  We have him on an antibiotic for what the other vet in the practice thinks might be the problem and we're just keeping our fingers crosssed.  He's not showing any deterioration and aside from being lethargic and really hating the force feeding, he seems to be in decent spirits, and we're enjoying having some extra time with him if we are losing him.  The other kitten was very lonely when he first started feeling bad, but now Theo is playing more with her and we're spending more time playing and cuddling with her, so she's doing okay.  It's just been a very sad and emotional week.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

That Was a Fast Month

Well--that was a fast month.  The new job is going well, though it was a rough start.  The company has so little turnover that there just isn't a training program, so the first weeks were overwhelming at times, but I'm getting the hang of things now.  My coworkers are so nice and help me all they can, so I'm enjoying it.

There hasn't been much crafting time, though I did step off the fabric wagon for this:

It's a laser-cut quilt kit, and is a perfect project for spare moments here and there after work.
I'm going to hang it on the wall when it's done--which will hopefully be soon. 
I've also done a little machine embroidery, but mostly crafting has screeched to a halt.  We've gotten more unpacking done, lots of fall yard cleanup, and have had a few friends over--something we haven't been able to do since March when we started the whole house journey.  We still have so much unpacking to do, but the new neighborhood is so lovely that it's all worth it--especially right now with all the fall colors.  The drive home through our neighborhood is spectacular.

Maybe I'll have to be happy with finishing 50 projects.......

Thursday, September 14, 2017

And Vacation Is Almost Over............

Okay--so it's time to admit that I'm NOT going to have all the boxes unpacked before going back to work, but that's okay.  I've made progress, though, and some of the time we can even find stuff.  It's worth it, though.  About 2 weeks ago there was a wreck at the intersection leading into our old subdivision because of the crazy school traffic, and the only surprise is that it didn't happen sooner.  And that's before the new subdivision of overcrowded homes has gone in.  Even if the F35s are sent elsewhere, it's great to be out of there. 

I took yesterday off to sew AND get some pictures of my sewing progress.  I'm very proud of this:
I have no idea what I intended to do with this fabric--especially since there wasn't enough of it to do most patterns--so since there was no emotional stake here, I convinced myself to embroider the bottom edges of the sleeves. 
With embroidering, there's always a chance it won't work, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut out new sleeves if it went badly, so I did the sleeves first, so I wasn't throwing away a half-finished shirt.  It's a bit stiff in the picture because I used tearaway stabilizer, which is a bit stiff, but will soften up and come out. I'm thrilled with how it looks and excited for cooler weather.  I also finished the microsuede pants, and
have embroidered the pocket of the next shirt!  I don't have all the pieces for this shirt cut out yet, partly because
 
the kittens have discovered sewing.  Also house plants, ankle biting, bubble wrap, and the joys of sitting on keyboards.  Theo is doing better with them--sometimes  even playing with them, which is fun.  Sometimes he walks off muttering under his breathe about those pesky kids, but we think he likes the company--at least when Milo isn't pouncing on him.  We're very careful to give Theo time without them, because they are exhausting and he's 11. All 3 of them in the sewing room can be challenging, but I did manage to sort out some fabric to donate:
It's only 2 1/8 yards, but admitting that I'm never going to do anything with these was very freeing.  Let them find a better home, while I move on to fabrics I really want to play with, like these:
I watched a video making tumbling blocks look fun and relatively easy, but partway through I decided it was a bit monotonous with just three colors.  Luckily a humongous fabric stash has its perks, like providing lots of options if you can find them, so I added a few lavender blocks scattered throughout the quilt:
Because I have space now, I was able to add a design wall, which has been SO helpful with this project!  I love it.  I played with the layout a lot, and now I'm sewing everything together into strips and it's keeping them straight for me.  I'm not sure what I'll do to quilt it yet, but I'm thinking either a variegated blue/purple thread or purple thread.  The darker blue print has shades of purple in it, so I think it will be a nice accent and a bit of a creative stretch for me.  I can get a bit hung up on whether or not something will work, but having just moved my fabric stash, I keep reminding myself that I have an INCREDIBLE amount of fabric, and if I mess up a project, I can just start another one from stash and it won't really matter.  Maybe I should paint that on the wall in the sewing room.......I have a lot of fabric still to get through.....:)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

There Has Been Sewing!

And a LOT of unpacking.  We've made progress, and I've already emptied one more box this morning, but there are so MANY!!!  The sewing room is especially hard because I left behind all my wonderful shelving, so there is literally nowhere to put things as I unpack them.  I did run across my rope stash, so the first project in the new house was a large storage basket,
and I could use a bunch more.  I'd saved a bunch of Andy's old jeans to make hanging storage for his old closet, and since I found that box, I've been cutting the denim into strips and I'm trying a new idea:
twisting the denim strips into rope AS I sew.  The beginning was a bit rough and the bottom is puckering a bit, but as it's just for storage I don't really care.  I could be wrapping the denim around rope, but I was worried about how heavy that might be, and if this works, it's a great way to use up denim.  Besides, the rope stash has been commandeered:

I also found my Easter fabrics, so Theo and I have been working on a Christmas present

with a new layout
and I have to admit, this one was much more difficult to keep straight.  I'm pleased with how it turned out, and didn't even sew anything the wrong way round.  I saved that for the small runner for us with the leftover triangles,
and a layout I've used before and should have been able to do without incident.  Should.  Ahem.........

It was while free-motion quilting the runners that I discovered that the lowering mechanism of the sewing table doesn't really work for me.  I wasn't positive it would, and I was really just interested in it for the side drawers, to be honest, so
I don't know what this board is actually from, but it's doing a nice job holding up my sewing machine.  We're running into lots of mystery objects as we unpack.  We tried to be really good during the moving process to get rid of such things, but once you get toward the end of packing, those last just-dump-the-drawer-into-anything-open boxes are always challenging.  It's my suspicion that this is REALLY how Jimmy Hoffa disappeared.  Some mobster was moving, and just got down to those last few boxes that are never really labeled and that one never gets around to unpacking......

You might think that with EVERYTHING that we've done this year, I'd have given up on my 100-projects for the year goal, but it's only September and I only need just over 60 projects to go, and I have an embroidery machine.....

and I was able to locate both fabric AND pattern for a new microsuede shirt,
as well as a microsuede shirt/pants set, which is Theo's favorite:
When these are done, about 8 yards of fabric will be out of the stash, and I'll have some new clothes for my new job!  Funnily enough, for all the applications I've filled out and resumes I've sent, I got an email from one of my favorite clients from when I sold phone systems saying that if I were ever looking again, they had a place for me.  We've met a couple times, I already know several of the people there, and the NEWEST salesperson they have has been there 3 years.  The one I know has been there 18 years.  So, I join them on September 18!  Over the years I've sent them referrals, so I know they treat customers well, treat employees well, and I already like the people there.  I was going to wait and start the first of October, but I'm ready to go to work and REALLY ready to do something besides unpack.  :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thanks Everyone

Thanks for your kind thoughts everyone.  Callisto wasn't always the nicest cat, but I had her for 13 years and when she wanted to be, she was funny and charming and used to hide in my closet and the only way I would know she was in there was when the closet started purring when I walked in.  Theo has taken to sitting on my feet, so I think we're both missing her.

We knew she wasn't going to last much longer, and after watching Theo searching the house for her, we decided to find him some friends.  Meet the latest additions:
Venus and Milo are settling in well, and so far Theo mostly isn't interested.  We're introducing them slowly as recommended, but Theo wasn't showing the least bit of interest in them through a closed door, so we've let him get a few glimpses of them here and there. It's been a pretty eventful time for him, but luckily he likes the new sewing room,
including the view, and sometimes I find him up there without me.  There hasn't been any actual sewing yet, but at least it sort of LOOKS like a sewing room.
Although with all the liquor boxes everywhere, maybe the sewing room of an alcoholic.  The temporary desk Andy built for me years ago survived the move better than we anticipated, especially since we never had any intention of taking it apart and moving when he built it.  Funny to realize we weren't even THINKING about moving at this time last year.

Unpacking feels like it's going slowly.  Last week I didn't break down any of the boxes as I unpacked them just so I could see some progress,
but when we stopped being able to get through the house, we had to haul them to recycling.  There's another truckload almost ready to go again, so I must be making progress--whether or not it feels like it.

My plan for unpacking in the sewing room is to examine everything as I unpack it to make sure I really want it.  These
didn't make the cut.  I don't even know what I intended to do with it, but 405 yards out of the stash is what I AM doing with it.  A few books and magazines have followed.  We got rid of a lot before the move, but a second look can't hurt. And maybe a third and fourth......... 
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