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  1. #91
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I finally finished up the little beaded tree cross stitch. I don't think it's very satisfactory. The kit came with dark blue paper for an ornament, so I put it on dark blue Aida. Since the tree greens are pretty dark too, I think it would have looked better on a lighter background. If I use it for Christmas cards some year I will make that change.

    I started the winter sampler last night. The poly cotton blend floss is fine to work with. There is a band at the top with a dark blue as a background for snowflakes. I don't much like the dark blue it uses. I may pull the deep bright blue in DMC to use, 820 I think it is or something like that, if it isn't too intense. It seems to be, at least in what I do, a seldom used color. The model is done on cream and I liked that, but I'm doing it on white. There are randomly places medium blue backstitched snowflakes and I thought they would show up better on that. It's fun to be cross stitching again and these are simple patterns. It's good to have some easy pattern reading for a while.

  2. #92
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    Things are warming up here. I will actually try a walk outside during my lunch hour today.

    I saw a snow white owl today. Not up close, it was on the courtyard roof across from my office at work. Well technically the office across the hall. It is pretty rare for them to be this far south (Washington DC). It must be the frigid weather we had last week.

    Last week lunch time was taking my jigsaw puzzle into a conference room week. I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles, but I miss my walks. I am not optimistic about the plants outside. The pansies will survive all winter, if the winter is mild. I do not think they made it though the latest cold snap. I hope they replant them. As a clarification, this is not my garden, just the one I walk through during my lunch break. I like looking at gardens, but I am not a gardener.

    I am working on the shoe project. Previous failures have told me that if the fabric is too floppy it does not look right. So I need a stiff fabric like canvas or vinyl. Or I need a backing/padding between two layers that is stiff. My first attempt this year is using some fake (supposed to look like) leather. This is thin enough for me to hand sew, but it rough on the fingers. My finger get a little stiff on cold winter days. Sewing through this makes my fingers worse. So the plan right now is to switch to a different fabric and start over.

    I will try to come back to the original. Or maybe work on it a little at a time. I do not like to just give up on projects. I also realized that a choose a color - pink - that does not match with anything in my winter wardrobe. I probably should have thought that out better.
    KathyB

  3. #93
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We've had an owl around here lately, too. I think it's a barn owl. We haven't had a snowy owl for years because they usually don't come down out of Canada unless their food is scarce there. They're really beautiful.

    I got the $5 sewing cabinet in place and I really like it there. I was afraid it would be too big. I'm hoping getting the plants up a little higher will discourage Shadow from eating them. The LR windows have a southern exposure and they're really the only place we have for plants. The kitchen windows, where I've had them, face northwest and the plants do okay there, but do need to get more sun. I hope she leaves the plants alone now.


    I think this cabinet needs something sitting on the treadle, but I can't come up with a good idea. I have a sauna bucket, but I don't think that's tall enough. I was thinking if I could find a wicker basket or something I could put an afghan in it with a cloth dust cover. It's probably going to be one of those things that if I decide it really does need something, I'll know it when I see it. Maybe I should see if I could find a decorative basket to hold dog toys. They have a basket but we're always tripping on it.

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  5. #94
    Registered User earlybird's Avatar
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    SD - I love the denim planter! I had one years ago and I am going to look and see if I kept it.
    What a nice blast from the past.

  6. #95
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I've always loved that planter. I got it years and years ago at a rummage sale. (What a shock, eh? LOL) I have a small one, too.

    I hope you can find yours.

  7. #96
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    More thoughts on the shoes. One of the keys for me is finding a material I like that gives the right amount of stiffness. I suppose I should say, something that gives enough stiffness to look right, but is still comfortable to wear and and easy for me to work with.

    Thick, stiff material can be difficult to get a sewing needle though. This can make my fingers sore after a short period. It is possible that I could use some of this material as a filler layer without sewing through it. That is, sew two bits of fabric together and push it in the space between the two fabric layers to give it shape and stiffness.

    The shoe sole material is unavoidable, but for the rest of the material I want to avoid things that make my hands feel sore or stiff. I have had good results with the shoe soles by putting the needle in Vaseline every stitch or two. It takes longer, but it goes in pretty easily.

    So even if something works and looks good, I will not use it if it is tough on my hands. After all I am doing this partly because I enjoy it!

    That mean modifying the pink pair I started on. Instead of one side being fabric and the other side the fake leather stuff, it will be both sides fabric.

    So for the stiff inner layer I have three options:

    Felt. I like working with felt and I have lots of it. I am not sure if it is stiff enough.

    Interfacing. I do not like it as much as felt, but it sews pretty easy and goes through a sewing machine okay. I think it is also stiffer than felt.

    The fake leather I am using, which is actually a heavy duty paper. It is probably the stiffest of the batch. It is hard to sew, but I could use it as an insert I did not need to sew through.

    I could just try making the shoes with heavy canvas. But I do not have heavy canvas on hand. I am trying to do this with the fabric I have on hand. I will be buying more interfacing though.
    KathyB

  8. #97
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    SD, my plants are all in southern windows, too. It's all we have for them, and they do ok. Granted, the ones in the sewing room are augmented with a fish light. But they do all right. The old sewing table looks nice. I think I'd leave the space empty. Sometimes open space is just refreshing and calming.

    Kathy, good luck with the shoes. I know you want to hand sew, but have you considered using a machine to punch holes in the thicker materials?

    Had my last visit with the ortho surgeon today. Bandages off. Foot looks good, xrays look good. It will be a few months before it is completely done, but I am free to walk on it at my discretion. I think it will be another few weeks at least before I feel up to driving out to go shopping. A supermarket is too much. I'm going to ask a friend to take me (and the scooter) to Aldi on Thurs. DH still has a cold and we are running out of fresh food.
    Stop trying to organize all of your familyís crap. If organization worked for you, youíd have rocked it by now. Itís time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

  9. #98
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    Kathy I was also going to suggest running the stiff fabric through the sewing machine w/ no thread to punch holes for you to hand sew through. Also using a thimble.

  10. #99
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Working with stiff fabric can be really hard on your hands. Be careful not to turn the flywheel on a sewing machine by hand to force the needle through fabric. I broke one off my old Viking doing that once. An industrial machine can take that kind of abuse. A residential machine, not so much.

    I'm excited! I've been meaning to make olive loaf from a cookbook I have called More Make Your Own Groceries, but never got around to it. Today was the day! I was pretty skeptical but except for being way too salty, it's really good! Definitely a keeper. It's made with lean ground pork and lean ground turkey, so lots less fat than the deli version. I just love it when I find a new interesting recipe. The recipe mentions freezing it, too, so I'm hoping that goes well. I only made a little less than a half batch to try it out, and that's enough it needs to be frozen. If it really does freeze well I'll be able to make an entire batch. Husby doesn't like olive loaf but he couldn't stop eating this, so that's a plus. I have some other recipes for HM deli meats so I'm hoping I can find some more good recipes to help make up for not being able to eat deli meats anymore.

  11. #100
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have been thinking more on the shoes and the idea of learning from past mistakes.

    I have two pairs of "shoes" I made last year. The shoes fit okay. But somehow they just do not seem like shoes. It is hard to put into words. My ballet shoes, which do not have an actual sole, still manage to at least look a little bit like shoes. As opposed to slippers or bits of cloth wrapped around my feet. So now I am pondering what it is exactly about the shoes that make them not look like shoes in my mind.

    At first I thought it was thickness/stiffness. But one of them has a felt lining and is at least as stiff as the canvas ballet shoes.

    So I want to tweak them a little bit to see if I can make them more "shoe like." One difference is that my dress shoes - and the ballet shoes - have a bias binding edge around the top opening. So I am going to try adding that to them. Another thing is that the dress shoes I have generally have lower sides than these shoes, so I may tweak that as well.

    Some shoes have an extra bit of fabric around the heel for reinforcement, but not all of them. I might add that.

    On of the previous shoes was a green suede material. I have seen shoes in that type of material before. The other in a burgundy with subtle stripes. It was mad from a men's dress shirt. I have added felt backing to it for stiffness/shape.
    KathyB

  12. #101
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm trying to figure out why the stupid dishwasher is leaking. I've eliminated a bunch of possibilities but not come up with much for probabilities. Hope I can figure it out because I hate issues like that. At least I got the kitchen all nice and clean which will last about another twenty minutes.

    Making ciabatta bread again. I wish we didn't like it so much. This batch will be put in the freezer as ASAP, because it stays fresh that way but mostly because it's a lot less of a temptation if it has to be retrieved and thawed before it can be eaten.

    I checked again to see if I could fit a regular quart canning jar on the shelf in the pot rack, the one I wanted to make more space in to fit taller jars. I had checked using one of my clear regular jars and it wouldn't fit. But today I checked with my vintage blue glass jars and it fit! Some of my clear jars are also vintage, very old with different brand names and not quite the same as Ball jars. I must have grabbed one that was just a hair taller than standard. Now I have to dig out the blue ones and see how many I actually have. I got a great deal on a box of them a few years ago at a garage sale but don't recall now how many I got. I'm excited I'll be able to use those because I love blue glass jars.

    I'm getting a better idea now what I'm going to want to do with the shelf in the pot rack that I modified yesterday. I just have to make that space work harder for me.

    The snowplow just went by. It's not snowing but the blade was down and they were spreading salt and gravel already. That means they think the storm will be significant. I hope the greenhouse survives but it's not looking good. That roof is so darn fragile.

    Now that I've successfully made olive loaf, I'm going to try some more recipes for HM lunch meats. Why not? That's one of the hardest things for us to give up, so if I can figure out how to replace them for quick meals when we're working and quick picnics to pack when we take spur of the moment day trips, I'm sure going to do it. If I can find even three or four different kinds of HM sandwich meats that will freeze well and be ready to go when we need them, that will be such a big help to keep us on track.

  13. #102
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    SD, what's an olive loaf? I figure it's a sort of meatloaf type situation with olives? I think I may have seen something similar at the grocery store. Since I tend to stick to mostly roast beef, ham, and turkey, I don't think I've tried it. I've also seen olive breads so the term "olive loaf" makes me think of that rather than lunch meat.

    Coming along with my friend's afgan. Haven't finished skein# 5 yet, although I probably will within the next couple of days. They're the 6oz skeins so they take a bit longer than the 4oz obviously but go ~a lot~ quicker than the 1lb skeins. I usually go through one a week if I can focus on crocheting. Still, it's over my knees now and I think I won't need to get more black yarn. I learned my lesson with the scarlet-n-grey afgan - wait until I get close to the end of the project before I pick up any extra skeins (unless I know I don't have enough).

  14. #103
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Olive loaf in my case is lunch meat. I love it from the deli, so much I usually buy it two thin slices at a time so I don't eat much of it. It's very bad for me.

    There's also pickle loaf, which is similar except it has pickle relish in it. Usually it has pickle and pimiento in it. Both are made in loaf shapes, like a meal loaf is.

    I've been looking at more sausage recipes and have a variety of them I want to try. First up, salami. I'm going to try it without curing salt which is where the nitrates/nitrites come from and see what happens. It won't look the same but maybe it'll taste similar. I won't know unless I try.

    I made the ciabatta with some tomato powder in it and I don't think I like it as well as plain. Which I wouldn't have known if I hadn't tried.

    I dug up twelve vintage blue glass jars which should make a nice storage system. I also have six new wide-mouth green jars, so I might use those too, if there's room and need for them. I'm looking forward to getting the pot rack revamped so I can put most of the baking stuff there in an organized manner. I see the shelf above where the jars will go is warped so some of the jars won't go back to the wall. I hope I have a belt sander that works so I can just sand off some of the shelf on the bottom. It's so close I'm sure I can make it work.

  15. #104
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    Ok, that's what I thought you meant when you mentioned it was a lunch meat. For some reason, I never had it. Then again, I rarely have olives on sandwiches or hoagies/subs. Most of the time, I usually have olives separately, as part of an appetizer. Not sure why I don't tend to like it in anything else. Probably because the olives I get are pretty salty due to the brines they tend to be preserved in.

    Then again, I didn't like figs until I finally had some fresh from the farmers market.

  16. #105
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Olive loaf was my favorite when I was a kid. I guess it was expensive or something because mom rarely bought it. Don't see it too often any more. You kind of have to like the texture of bologna, which I know a lot of people don't.

    Anyway, I did a bit of cleaning and crafting this morning. Recycling some old holiday cards into gift tags for next year. Then spent the afternoon at the dentist and doing errands with DH.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, our oldest cat is not well. He's been a bit wobbly these last few weeks, but today he was not able to stand. He is not eating. I got him to take a spoon of milk and a few bites of kibble later. He is not interested in canned food. He is just laying there softly crying, and I can't do anything for him. We have made the decision. He cannot care for himself, eat, or move, and he has no quality of life left.

    Storm moving through tonight, supposed to leave us with ice and snow. I will call the vet tomorrow and see what can be arranged once the roads clear.
    Stop trying to organize all of your familyís crap. If organization worked for you, youíd have rocked it by now. Itís time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future. KH

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