Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Know You Are A Redneck When...

While out biking around the campgrounds at Keuka State Park, we found this little wonder hanging.

It's a wind chime.  Really, that's what the proud owners said, and it does make a lovely sound.  You can see it blowing in the wind a bit in the photo below.  It is my all time favorite bit of campsite decor.  I must have a little redneck blood somewhere back there.
I know you want one.  Come on, admit it.  I'd make one, but the boys have all been drinking their beer from bottles lately.  My diet ginger ale cans just don't seem right for this kind of project.  So here's a close-up and tutorial for those who need a beauty like this hanging in their yard or campsite.
You tie the first can on the string with a knot using the ring of the flip top, slide the others on the string through  their rings, and tie the last one on with a knot.  Be sure to use a long piece of string because you know you're gonna to want to continue to add to it.  If you look at the first photo above you can see that the string is dragging on the ground.  These people have definite plans for future partying. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pinned It and Did It!

Here is what I pinned:

When I pinned this quote, I wasn't planning on doing it or, at least, not quite this soon.  However, remember back on August 9th when I posted that I would finish the Arrested Development embroidery piece in two weeks?  Well that deadline whooshed by and this is how far I've gotten:

I had to chuckle.  My intentions were honorable, but life so very often has other plans. Embroidering on an over-sized pure white cloth while camping in a tent turned out to be a really bad idea as other tent campers will, no doubt, attest. What was I thinking?!?!  Then there was all the laundry and cleaning up of tenting stuff that took a couple of days, and the shopping to restock the kitchen.

I did get that one sentence of the embroidery done, though.  How fitting is it that it contains the word "buffoonery." Buffoonery, such a fun word, and so fitting to this pinning/embroidery experience!  I still remember learning it in elementary school.  I worked at finding every possible excuse to use it for months afterward. 

Nonetheless, I'm on a roll with this project now--two sentences are finished as I type this.  Should be done...well, soon.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Year of Jogging--Care to Join me?

Day one complete!

Kiefer came home yesterday and said that a friend's mom had just successfully completed a year of jogging every single day.  Wow!  Sounds like a something that could make exercising a bit more fun.  I have a two and a half mile route around my neighborhood that I generally use for jogging.  However, I've been the queen of excuses for not getting out there on way too many days.

They say that publicly stating your goal makes it more likely you will complete it.  So here it is:  I'm gonna do it!  There is my countdown meter on the sidebar.  If I cannot make any given day, I will start the counter again.   

The only real rule is to get out there every day.  Preferably I will do it outside rain, shine, hot, or cold but not on icy days.  I've got a treadmill for the icy days.  I want to complete at least two and a half miles if not more every day. 

Only 364 more days to go!  Feel free to join me.  I'm using a counter from Countingdownto.com.  It was free--free is always good.  If you know of a better one, let me know. 

I'm really not just doing this as an excuse to get new running shoes, honestly!  But, they do look a bit worn, don't they?  Poor me, I'm gonna have to go shopping for shoes! I don't know why that exclamation point is there.  I meant to use a period. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me About Ewan McGregor's "The Long Way Round"!

Am I the only one who missed this 2004 documentary?  I found it on Netflix while surfing around and love it!  Ewan and Charley Boorman going from London to New York City on BMWs by way of France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Canada, and a few other places.  I claimed a headache so I could sit and watch the whole 9 episodes in two days. 

They've made UNICEF my new favorite charity after seeing some of the work the organization is trying to do in places like Mongolia.

I'm a motorcyclist at heart.  It was the first vehicle I wanted and the first one I bought.  However, I think anyone would love watching these guy and their crew on one funny, scary, magnificent adventure.  Now I've found they did another documentary called The Long Way Round.  How do I miss these things?  The British are hiding the good stuff from us.   I hope Netflix has it streaming. I may have to get another headache.

I've not had a motorcycle since I was in my twenties.  After watching this, I am seriously thinking about getting one again.  I won't be trekking through Mongolia, but would like to see some of the Alaskan wilderness and Montana and, well, if Mongolia gets actual roads, who knows.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Watkins Glen Gorge Trail

They say there are 800 steps built into the Watkins Glen Gorge like these:
When you have views like these to admire and photograph, it sure doesn't seem like that many.
I read that there are nineteen waterfalls.

The Conservation Corp workers did most of the bridges and steps in the 1930s.

Okay, maybe those last three flight up will get to you if your not in shape, but there were tiny kids and lots of older people easily making their way.  Besides, you can always take the shuttle up and walk down. 

It's well worth a visit. For all it's beauty, it is a relatively short hike. We walked up and down in a couple of hours despite my constant stops for photos.  If you are staying at a State campground anywhere, show them your paperwork and you don't have to pay to get in.   A nice little extra for campers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Camping at Keuka Lake

Home again!  While we camp in a tent, we are definitely not die-hard, back-to-nature kinda people.  Our  campsites have electricity if at all possible.  I know, it's weird.  There we are in a tent with Ipods, Kindles, and phones all charging on the extension cord.  I would have brought along the Keurig, but Brian thought that was a bit much.  (I think he regrets his decision, but he won't admit it yet.) 

In the meantime this:

served nicely for a five-day trip to the Finger Lakes wine country. 

My favorite wine tasting place in the Keuka Lake area is definitely Bully Hill.

They have red grapes,

 and white grapes,

fields of grapes,

and shelves of wine!

That photo has my favorites--Sweet Walter in all its varieties.  I like my wine sweet and whoever Sweet Walter is or was, he nailed it with these.  We also stopped at a few other wineries and added another bottle here and there.  My cabinet is officially restocked! 

We didn't spend all our time wine tasting, however.  We managed a few other things--hiking and biking.  Brian did most of the biking cuz  there are more hills than I felt like conquering.  I'm more of a casual bicyclist.  I shall post about a couple of the hikes later.  There are some beautiful  trails in the area.

Must leave you with a few pics of a couple of the places we dined.  First, this beautiful upscale restaurant--Esperanza Mansion.  Great food and this beautiful view of the lake from the patio.

Then this:

 I swore I would not do it, but finally gave in.  I just couldn't leave without trying Big Doug's meaner wiener.  No bad, not bad at all.  Sweet potato fries were pretty good, too.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pinned and Did It--Ribbon Necklace Holder

Such a simple solution. One of those, "Why didn't I think of that?" things. Two pieces of ribbon, four tacks and all my inexpensive necklaces (and a bracelet) are hanging neatly inside the doors of my armoire.

Pinterest ideas that I've seen either use tacks across the ribbon (the kind that stick out) for hanging the necklaces or tied knots across the ribbon to keep the necklaces separate.  I chose to close the necklaces around the ribbon so that they wouldn't fall when opening the doors.  Had the ribbon sagged causing the necklaces to slide together, I would have used a few more tacks. Didn't need to do that, though. 

One pin down, thousands more to try!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Q Snap Embroidery Frame Has Arrived!

It finally arrived!  I've been spoiled by Amazon's quick shipping.  This took almost two weeks to arrive from Overstock and the USPS--Kentucky to New York.  I've gotten orders in China in half that time. Lesson learned.

On the bright side,  the Q Snap frame is great! Slides together quickly, no hoop burn on the fabric, easy to tighten and loosen just by rolling the snap-on covers, lightweight, sturdy, and comes apart for easy storage when not in use. 

A minute after opening the package, it's all set for that Arrested Development pattern.  I knew I'd like it because I have the mother of all Q Snaps, the full-size quilting frame complete with extenders on the back legs.  The leg extensions give it a nice slant for easier quilting
I've had this one for over twenty years.  Still love it. 

I'm setting a goal to finish this embroidery in two weeks.  I'm hoping the public humiliation that should result from not completing it on time will give me some extra incentive.  Yeah, I know.  That's silly!  Like that has ever worked before.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Great Little Hike Near Lake George, New York

Hiking with my lovely husband Brian is one of my favorite things, and we managed to get away for one on Friday.  While some people disagree with me, I consider Lake George to be in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.  As with all things like this, everybody has their own opinion about where these things start.  I'm sticking with Lake George!  (Don't even think about getting New Yorkers started on where Upstate New York begins.)

There are some nice little mountains trails close to the lake.   We chose the trailhead that leads to either Fifth Peak or Montcalm Point and opted to head up to Montcalm Point. 

In New York, our trails apparently have accents as one gets to the higher levels.  I never even noticed, but then I'm a born and raised New Yorker. I'm probably just used to the accent.   I've not hiked in the southern states.  Perhaps I would notice it  there.  That is the story I will be sticking with as opposed to admitting thinking that the word on the sign should have been ascent.

If you are in the area, you really have to try some of the hikes. We may not be able to spell, but we have some freakin' amazing wilderness trails. 
The Montcalm Point trail is well marked and pretty easy.  It was still a bit muddy in spots even though it has been dry lately--make sure you have appropriate footwear.  
It was perfect for feeding my fascination with tree fungus, rocks, and toadstools.  Forgot the camera AGAIN, but I had the iphone to get a few shots.  I don't ever recall seeing bright orange toadstools before.  They were beautiful.

I usually grab a rock or two to take home, but this one was safe from my thievery.

I find rocks like this to be regal.  Wouldn't mind having it in my yard!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

If You Like Arrested Development, You Might Like...

Okay, that doesn't look as nice as this finished product Janalyn shows you at her Etsy shop where you can buy the embroidery design shown in the top photo. 
Arrested Development Sampler Pattern

It's only $5!  No, I'm not making anything off this--just a huge fan of Arrested Development who is so glad that Netflix produced another season.  Yay, Netflix!  And while we are talking about Netflix, you have got to watch Orange is the New Black.  With these two series and House of Cards, Netflix is fast becoming my favorite place for television watching.  Oh, and yay, Janalyn for making this available.

So far, I've done:
I have a good reason, though.  I accidently ordered the pvc pipe frame for embroidering it from Overstock instead of Amazon.  I plead temporary insanity.  I could have purchased it for less, gotten free shipping (I have Amazon Prime), and quick delivery if I had ordered from Amazon.  Instead, I ordered from Overstock.  Here I sit, a week and a half later, still waiting for it to arrive.  The mail carrier has already been here, so it won't be arriving today.  Yeah, Overstock shipped using the U. S. Postal Service.  And, yeah, it's gonna be a while.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Singer Fusion Thread

Is it just me?  My Singer Fusion thread spools keep disintegrating like this.
They start out nice like the ones on the top, but seem to develop brittle spool disease.  With the slightest pressure, the tops of the spools start breaking and crumbling like the one on the bottom.  I've already thrown out a couple rather than risk getting those bits of plastic into the innards of my machine.  Those that haven't broken are used with a REALLY light touch now to avoid damaging them.  It's not that these spools are that old--can't be more than a year or two. 

That said, the thread itself is fine.  I don't get much lint from it even when I've used it for machine embroidery.  I also like the colors.  Just wondering if anyone else is having this problem with the spools. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Those Lutherans!

I saw this bumper sticker in a parking lot and made a fool out of myself standing there all alone laughing .
I hope it's legible, but, just in case it's not clear, it lists a Lutheran church on top with this saying, "Where God Makes Us Better Lovers".  I guess that's one way to get people to attend.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Inexpensive Way to Keep the Sewing Machine Pedal Foot From Sliding

As I sew, the foot pedals slowly slide farther and farther back until I'm forced to go crawling under the tables to retrieve them.  Consequently, I've been lusting after what the Keepsake Quilting catalog calls the "Pedal Betty" forever.  The catalog price on that sweet little device to solve my problem, however, is $27.99 to $37.99 depending on size. 

While staring at this remnant of Grip Stop fabric I bought at Joann's,

I decided to try a much less expensive solution that worked out really well!   I sewed two squares of the fabric of the size I wanted wrong sides together, flipped so that the grippy dots would be on the outside, and top stitched around the edges.

These are the serger and embroidery machine pedals

and these are for the two sewing machines
 Joann's charges way too much for the fabric IMHO, but coupons and/or remnants bring that down.  I paid about $4 for the piece I got and have quite a bit left over for other projects.

Also happening in the sewing room:  I'm trying a new configuration for the sewing machines.  The sewing tables are now back-to-back away from the wall rather than against the wall individually.  The thought is that I will be able to put the serger and the embroidery machine on the floor for extra space when machine quilting.  The back table should provide support for the heavy fabric as I'm sewing. Well, that's the plan. We shall see how that works out!
Yes, that is fabric stored under the table.  I really have to stop buying fabric.

This furniture moving does count as housework, right?