Shot at the Historic Car Museum in Roscoe, Illinois.
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Creative living in a down economy
22 Nov 2013 6 Comments
20 Nov 2013 Leave a Comment
My DH, at many times in his life, has been a youth leader at church. This year, after a hiatus of doing other things at church, he’s back with the youth and so he wanted to revive an old Thanksgiving tradition: The Annual Turkey Shoot.
The young men were supposed to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for about 30 invited guests, including empty nesters and folks who might be alone or away from their family for the holiday. The young women were assigned the job of decorating. They provided table decorations, fresh flowers, fall leaf garlands, and these crafty little ornaments and fridge magnets that they put together ahead of time so each guest could have a memento of the event. DH ended up getting some already cooked turkeys and pumpkin pies from Honeybaked Ham. The only real cooking was minimal: baked sweet potatoes, mixing up packages of cornbread stuffing, throwing packages of frozen green beans into a pot of boiling water and simmering for 10 minutes, and pouring jars of turkey gravy into a pot and warming it up. There were also packages of rolls from the grocery store and margarine sticks on the tables, and pitchers of ice water. About 35 people sat down to eat.
Each youth was to serve as a personal waiter to a guest, asking what they wanted (i.e., “Would you like gravy on your stuffing?” “Would you like whipped cream on your pie?”) and then going to the kitchen and preparing and serving each plate of food.
More than that, the youth were asked by the leaders to go and sit at the tables with the guests and talk with them. “We know you might feel like you want to sit with your friends,” counseled one of the leaders. “But go and sit with the guests. Ask them to tell you stories, things about their lives and some Thanksgiving memories.” The kids learned that one lady had been in the military, and another man had once lived in Cebu, the island in the Philippines that is now serving as a staging area for the relief effort after the Supertyphoon went through last week.
Then came the entertainment portion of the evening. Traditionally, the turkey was shot using whatever implements of destruction the young men devised at the time, be it paintballs, slingshots, blow darts, bow and arrows…but this year one of the boys had a friend who taught him the art of throwing knives. So he passed along his instructions and let everyone who wanted have a go.
Calling on his woodworking and engineering skills, DH made the turkey out of two sheets of plywood and bolted them together with a screwed-on panel across the back. He transferred the design onto the boards by using the graph method. He drew a grid of squares onto the picture and then a larger grid onto the boards. By eyeballing and drawing what was in each small square into the corresponding large square, he had a pencil outline of what he wanted it to look like. He wanted to use latex paint, but alas, the only colors he could find at the hardware store were red, yellow and black. That’s why it is an orange turkey instead of a brown one. I discovered that I liked the idea of painting something that was going to be riddled with knife-wounds by morning.
15 Nov 2013 14 Comments
I’m part of them, they’re part of me.
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13 Nov 2013 1 Comment
Here I am at the gym. Looks like today they’ve added some fake greenery for the holidays. Oh, BTW that’s not me; I am behind the camera.
Weekly Photo Challenge
19 Oct 2013 11 Comments
For this weekly photo challenge
we want to keep it simple: share a photograph with a prominent color (or assortment of colors) that reveals more about you. It could be a symbolic, meaningful shade; a color that expresses how you currently feel; or a combination of colors that excites you and tells a visual story.
Nothing says much more about me than my fabric stash: the hues and patterns that call out to me. It’s a little disorganized, the boundaries between the colors are a little jagged, some important items are hidden behind others. It’s a collection of possibilities and permutations.
People ask me my favorite color; I say green. But most of the clothes I like to buy are blue. And yellow looks terrible on me, but I have yellow-gold dishes and I loved my yellow-painted kitchen and dining room. It would appear that the hues of me are not all that simple…
17 Oct 2013 Leave a Comment
I didn’t have an entry for the subject “infinity” until this morning in yoga class, the teacher quoted Iyengar. I’ve never associated yoga poses with infinity, but there was a prompt for me, staring me in the face!
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15 Oct 2013 3 Comments
I visited a relative recently, who is living in an assisted living apartment building. She lives on a way upper floor, and I noticed that when she goes down to get the mail, she would hold the letters in one hand while trying to maneuver her walker at the same time. After I got home, a subsequent search of the Internet revealed that lots of creative sewists have posted many awesome free patterns for “walker bags;” I had plenty of designs to choose from!
I picked this one from Debbie Colgrove at About.com. I liked it because it has pockets, looks like it holds its shape, and has sturdy straps to attach it. I snagged some collegiate sports fabric while I was in the vicinity, knowing that it’s football season and boy, does she love football! Of course, in my remnant bin I happened to have some pre-quilted fabric for the body of the tote, which the pattern called for, in a relatively decent color match! I thought personalizing it would be a nice touch, and I love the script lettering in bold crimson red (I didn’t say Crimson Tide, here, slow down, buddy.)
The bag’s wide top straps button over the upper bar of the walker. It also has two bottom straps that can be fastened to the walker legs by lacing through D-rings. Hmmm, I just might have some D-rings in the old button box here—wait, here are some! Just the right size, too (1-inch)!The best way to sew those D-rings to the straps was with a narrow zipper foot. That foot is a trouper! Er, pay no attention to the fact that you only see one D-ring in this pic: I had to rip out the seam because I forgot to insert TWO D-rings onto each strap. No biggie: I also have a LOVELY seam ripper that gets more use than any other attachment!
I had buttons galore to choose from, stashed.
Thank you so much, Ms. Colgrove of About.com, for the wonderful free pattern. The changes to the original pattern that I made were the embroidery and the center button: I sewed a velcro strip inside rather than adding another button right over the embroidered name. Why? Because I thought the button might detract from the embroidery and make it look even more off-center than it is. Plus, I don’t have the greatest button-hole making capability with my machine and my teeth were already grinding plenty enough enamel after making two buttonholes and having to trim bird nests off the underside of the buttonholes and repair with a satin stitch.
The only other little quirks I noticed with the pattern were that it directs you to do something with one side of the body: if you personalize it with a name, it does make a difference which side you do some things to, like attaching the straps. And in attaching the top straps, it directs you to place them 2″ away from the seam but the picture shows 2 1/2″ from the seam. I chose the 2 1/2″ distance. I thought the collegiate fabric added a nice touch, what do you think? An elderly person has seen lots of purty flowers in their lifetime, but what’s not to love about a touchdown? Northern Illinois University actually played the Florida State Seminoles last year in the Orange Bowl. At the time, we were all saying “NIU who?” But it looks like a pretty good little football team!
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