Monday, January 28, 2013

Homemade Christmas Roundup. Yeehaw!

Howdy y'all!  The Christmas season is here and gone, but I wanted to share with you some of my homemade gifts from this year.  I took a little siesta from quilting and ventured out into new crafting territory.

Crafted Gift #1: Some personalized playing-card wreaths for my great-grandma, grandma and great-aunt (and first dive into my new hot glue gun!).

And a closeup of those snazzy little playing-card flowers…

Group shot; everybody smile!

Crafted Gift #2: Some little pieced stocking ornaments.

Crafted Gift #3: My first dive into embroidery!  A "She Splash" hand towel for my brother Adam (it's a quote from our very first home video in 1987).

Crafted Gift #4: Some homemade silhouettes for my mom! (One of each of her 4 kiddos)

In order of appearance into this world: Me, Adam, Luke and Karli.  Please note that the silhouette of me is, in fact, me, and not a llama.

Crafted Gift #5: Country Western Coasters for Grandpa Marvin!

Hold up…let's take a closer look at that Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton coaster.

In the words of Grandpa Marvin, "Well…hoooowdiieee do!"

I also ventured into the "personalized tea towel" world, but, alas, I don't have any proof.  You'll just have to believe me.

One last thing I have to show you…I did not make these.  Nor did I buy them.  But I most certainly did rock them in the store.

Let the zoom-in commence…

Heck yes these are moon boots.  I can't believe no one snatched them up!  Perhaps everyone else had the same thought I did.  "Well, these are really cool, but…what am I thinking?  I'm just not her."

Nor do I have the matching star-horse.

Happy 2013, everyone.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hardee's: My Job and My Drug Bust

Not too long ago, the hubby and I were out on a mini-date to the brand spanking new Wendy's down the street.  And I have to say…this Wendy's is the most swank of any I've ever seen.  It's deluxe!  It has not one, but two space-age soda machines, and a lounge area complete with a modern fireplace.  Anywho, whenever I go to a fast-food place (which is a rare occurrence these days), I am immediately taken back to the days of old…more specifically, high school.  I had a variety of jobs in my growing-up years, but job #3 had the added perk of wearing a cool hat.

Now, I was only fortunate enough to wear the Hardee's uniform for a few months; I had to throw in the towel when track season started.  But I remember nervously going in for my interview, dressed to the nines in my black dress pants and fancy shirt…oh yeah, and don't forget all that makeup caked on my face. I was trying to look professional, after all.  At the end of the interview, the lady told me I was hired, but then lowered her voice and said, "But, uh…when you come in for work, wear a lot less makeup."

And thus, I started my short journey in the fast (food) lane.  I had to buy some really classy black or navy blue pants.  You know, the kind that make anyone look like their lower half is a hot-air ballon.  And some black slip-resistant shoes.  However, I went more for comfort and style and less with the all important slip-resistnancy.  Hello, Dr. Scholl's loafers!  I paid the price for my vanity, though, as I slipped and slid all around the greasy floors for the entirety of my shifts.  Why, Dr. Scholl, are you so stylish yet so reckless?

I also remember the sheer terror of being sent to the walk-in freezer to get more bags of fries.  I always tried to time it so I could grab the fries before the freezer door would close on me (and avoid having a mini panic attack).  But, alas, I never made it in time.  Thanks again, Dr. Scholl, you slippery fiend.  Supposedly the door was rigged so no one could ever get locked inside the freezer, but all I could picture was my obit on the second page of the Journal News.  "Local Teenager's Last Words: Would You Like Fries With That?"

But, really, I am grateful for my time at a fast-food joint.  It made me appreciate all those who work in the service industry; I tip my Hardee's star hat to you all.

Good news, though…my fast food loafers have made a surprising comeback as part of a certain youngster's Halloween costume (Severus Snape's grandmother?).

Oh yeah…I almost forgot the best story from Hardee's.  It was that time that my brother Adam dropped a Hardee's onion ring somewhere in my little red Cavalier…which then resulted in my one and only drug bust.  Some cops and canines came to our high school one day to do a random drug search.  I was in P.E. when they called my name over the school intercom.  I think all the blood in my body went straight to my face in that moment.  I went to the office where a couple of police officers met me and said that they'd like me to escort them to the parking lot.  The dogs apparently "picked something up" on my car and therefore they would need to investigate.

I walked down to the parking lot, knowing full well that my classmates' faces were plastered to the gym windows watching this all go down.  I nervously unlocked my car, and they searched everything.  I knew there were no drugs to be found, but I still shook like a leaf.  My only suggestion was, "Maybe it's that onion ring we couldn't find?  It's somewhere in there and my car reeks."  The cop politely informed me that his canines were highly trained to pick up the scent of drug paraphernalia only.  Then I thought, "Oh shoot…now he's gonna think I'm making up excuses to hide something!".    I really needed to brush up on my dealings with the law, watch more Night Court or something.  When their search finally resulted in nothing, they sent me on my way with a firm reprimand to "thoroughly clean and vacuum" my car.  I think it was the onion ring stench that got them in the end.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I blogged a blog.

Well hello, blog.  It's been awhile.  After I write something new, I tell Michael that "I blogged a blog."  And then I get made fun of.  Apparently that's not the proper lingo.

'Tis the season for sewing.  Christmastime warms my heart.  I love sewing gifts for people, so this time of year is a lot of fun for me.  Slash super stressful.  I always get in up to my eyeballs somehow, and then freak out…I have how many more presents to make?  And there are how many days till Christmas?  And then I watch those warm Christmastime fuzzies float out the window.

You know what will usually snap me from crazy grinch mode back into Suzie Snowflake?  A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Something about that smooth Vince Garaldi jazz and hearing Linus read the story of Jesus's birth stops me dead in my tracks, and (dare I say it?) even make me tear up a bit.  You can add that to the list of things that make me cry.  It's so simple, really, and I make it all chaotic.  Bah humbug, me!

Moving on…

This year, for the very first time, my husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving at our house.

Yes, I know.

It is a well known fact that I am not culinarily inclined.  I cook because I have to, not because I want to.  This is a big moment for me, folks.  We are making dinner for our parents and siblings.  The tables have turned.  When we decided we're doing this, my husband immediately made an excel spreadsheet in his excitement.  (He's one of those.)  I immediately started praying.  "Lord, thank you in advance for Bellacino's Pizza right up the road, for when my house burns down with the dinner on Thanksgiving Day.  Amen."

In light of the recent election, I thought I would share with you my own political aspirations.  When I was in the third grade, my teacher had us write a paragraph on what we would do if we had a million dollars.  I recently unearthed this paper in my memory box back at home.  In list fashion, here's what I said I'd do:

  1. Use some for my college education.
  2. Give some to the "poor and starved people", most of it going to Somalia.
  3. "I would buy a good paying job when I'm grown up.  A good job would be a congresswoman.  I would feel really special being a part of the president.  I think it would be a good job."
My teacher must of thought I was a strange bird.  "This 9-year-old has a million dollars, and she wants to buy herself a good paying job?"  I've said it before…I was born old.  America!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cry Me A River

Wouldn't you know I just about bawled my eyes out in the grocery store this morning?!  Yeesh.  I ran into a family from my block, said hello, and asked what they were up to today.  The mom said, "Oh, just spending the last few hours with my son before he leaves for the military tonight."  I knew this kid was leaving soon, but I didn't realize how soon.  It caught me off guard.  I barely know this family, and as they walked off down the produce aisle, it took everything in me to not start weeping like a willow.  I was literally holding my breath, repeating to myself, "Don't cry…don't cry…don't cry….".   Luckily, Gene Kelly stepped in to save the day.  I don't know if they have this in your grocery store, but at mine, they play a little bit of the song "Singin' in the Rain" right before the sprayers turn on to mist the lettuce.  One of the top 10 best ideas ever, hands down.

I'm not a huge cryer.  But some things get me every time. 

  1. Anything to do with the military.  
  2. The curtain call of any live musical (amateur or professional)
  3. Cutting onions
  4. It's A Wonderful Life (Especially the part where all George's friends come over to his house and give him money so he doesn't have to go to jail.  Harry Bailey, toasting: "To my brother, the richest man in town!")

Hold on, let me wipe my tears.  Darn you, Bailey brothers!!

That's me in a nutshell.

I am so happy to show you my latest quilt, which will be given to my friend this evening.  Actually, it's for her sweet little baby boy.  I hope it brings him lots of warmth and comfort in these cold midwestern winters.  

I did a little sneaking and found this pattern on my friend's Pinterest page.  You can call me Detective Ree.  It's the Jungle Path Baby Quilt by Jessica over at Moda Bake Shop.  I used Riley Blake's Mod Tod fabric line.  Here are some other shots:

I'm going to end this little post with something I'm REALLY looking forward to next week.  My little sister is participating in her 5th grade talent show with her best friend.  They're doing stand-up comedy. It should be amazing.  And I just may cry.