Category Archives: Uncategorized

Is Summer Really Almost Here?

So here we are at Memorial Day weekend.  Does it feel like it to you?  With the rhythm of the weeks and months being so different this year, it is hard to believe we are at the end of May.    The weather here has not been consistently giving the signs of us coming up to the unofficial start of the summer that’s for sure.   But I was happy that over the last couple of weeks we have had some pretty nice days to tease us a bit.   This gave us the opportunity to spend some time outdoors working on weeding and getting our flowers and veggies planted.

We also had one of my favorite irises bloom as well as getting to enjoy the first rose of the season.

Last year we had a robin’s nest in a tall shrub outside our bedroom window.  It was visible from one of our windows and we enjoyed watching for those little blue eggs to hatch.  I wondered if there would be a nest again this year.  I had noticed a couple of robins spending a lot of time on the fence and on our air conditioner in that area.   Well, on Friday while working outside, I noticed a bit of straw-like material hanging down from the shrub and sure enough, there was the nest.         wp-1590272569888.jpg  We can’t see the eggs this year but we will be sure to be careful when we are in that area to not disturb the little family.

The houseplants are now in their “summer place”   wp-1590268629166.jpg   and I got my fairy garden set up   wp-1590268354710.jpg .

As far as what’s been happening in my sewing room,  well, as you might expect,  there are still masks in production.

There are some kiddie size ones,   some masks with extenders and some from my teal and purple day.    But there was also other sewing that happened too.

 

I made a couple of cell phone pillows and I have been working on my Christmas hexagons.  I’ve got 32 completed and ten more ready to go.   I think I will make a hexagon version of the zig zag tablerunner.  I am excited to see how it turns out in the end.

And yes, BFF, I have done a bit of work on the Farmer’s Wife blocks we picked a couple weeks ago.   No pressure.  🙂

And so, as I said, here we are at Memorial Day.  Today is a rainy day and I actually have been enjoying the sound of the rain outside.  I do enjoy a day with rain instead of just a day of grey drizzle.  It makes for a nice day to read.  The plans for the rest of this “long weekend” (it all feels the same to me) will be to be outside and enjoy the nice weather that is supposed to be here for a few days starting tomorrow.   We will watch the virtual Air Show tomorrow and  grill some burgers on Monday.   I will probably do a bit of summertime decorating inside.

There will be some creative time too of course.   I have been checking out things for Christmas.    After all, as my snowmen friends have reminded me ……20190605_180216.jpg …. only 7 months until Christmas.  🙂

Whatever is happening in your neck of the woods, I hope you have a good weekend.   Do something creative.   Stay safe.

Bye for now.  See  you soon.

Ginny

 

Day #150 of Stay at Home

OK, so it isn’t 150 days but it sure does seem like it.   And our governor has extended our PAUSE, as it is called here in NY, to May 15.   And, not unexpectedly, the Air Show scheduled for Memorial Day weekend has officially been cancelled.

What, you may ask, have I been up to these last umpteen days?   We did get out to deliver the Easter baskets to the grandkids.   We were properly socially distanced, of course.  Here they are four of them, all lined up and ready to go. wp-1587175673302.jpg  The two California Easter bunnies were sent on their way the week before just to be sure they got there on time. wp-1587176039423.jpg

Other than Easter Bunnies,  I have been making masks, masks, masks and more masks for family and friends.  We now  need to have a face covering when out in public and in a place where the 6 foot socially distanced safe space may not be able to be achieved.

 

Some with ties but most of them with elastic.   I am getting faster at making them.  Tomorrow I will be finishing up a few more pleated masks and then I am going to try a new pattern that is made on my embroidery machine.  We’ll see how that turns out.

The weather hasn’t been exactly ideal to really get into some of the projects we would have liked to be able to tackle.   But I’m sure nice yardworking days are coming.  Right?  They’ll be here won’t they?

Looking ahead to the next 4 weeks at least (ugh) of “stay at home” time,  there are a number of projects on the “to do” list.     There are quilts to finish, actually some to start too.   Garden beds to get ready for their new residents.   Closets to go through and get organized.  And, of course, books to read.   I am on Book #7.

Since we are only in Phase 1 of  opening up our state and, being of a certain age group and in that vulnerable population they keep talking about,  I know that we will not be heading out the door to some sort of normalcy for quite some time yet.

In the meantime I will try to keep myself busy and sane and just take it one day at a time.  How are you dealing with this crazy, insane, unbelievable time?  Have you joined the army of mask making  sewists?  If so, do you have a favorite style/pattern?  Wherever you are, I hope you and yours are all well.

Stay safe and healthy.  Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

 

What day is it today?

I find myself asking that question each morning.   Everyday seems a lot like the day before, and the day before,  on and on.    Sigh.   How are you all dealing with the sameness?

When it is nice outside, we try to get outside for walks or a bit of yardwork.  We are really enjoying all the spring blooming that’s happening.  This forsythia makes me smile every morning when I see it.    wp-1586210392181.jpg

Inside we keep ourselves busy with chores,  small projects and coming up with some twists on dinner to try to change things up a bit.   How many ways are there to make chicken?  Apparently,  quite a few.   Did a bit of decorating for Easter.

The sewing room has been getting a bit of use too.  Not everyday.  I must admit it is sometimes difficult to get my motivation in gear.  But I have gotten some things done.

There is a thing going on about putting teddy bears in your windows or somewhere prominent for kids to see when they are out taking a walk with their parents.  It’s like they are going on a Bear Hunt.   So, I put one of my teddy bears in an upstairs window waving to any little hunters that may be passing by.wp-1586210436035.jpg

And I made a little teddy bear on my embroidery machine to sit in my kitchen window.

I am working on some bunnies for Easter baskets.  The hardest part is getting the ears pinned onto the hoop in just the right place.  The stitching only takes about 3-5 minutes.    Since I couldn’t get out to do shopping for bunnies, I just went with bunnies I had left from last year’s Easter orders.  Luckily I had enough for all 6 grandkids.

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This one was made for the newest addition.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell Aviendha she is getting a yellow bunny for her first Easter.

 

There have also been some masks being made.  Some with ties and some with elastic. I have a bunch more cut now and I’ll get to sewing on them over the next couple of days . wp-1586211571149.jpg

At night I have been making progress on the hand sewn hexis.  I’ve got 24 done, with 18 more waiting to be stitched.

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I work on them while watching tv at night.   I got a few more done last night while watching two really great Country music shows.   I enjoyed that night of music so much.

That’s what I’ve been up to the last couple weeks.  What have you been doing during this time of quarantine, sheltering in place, staying home… whatever the words are that you want to use to describe it?

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Take care.  Stay home.  Stay safe.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

Checking in

How are you all doing with this very weird time we are going through?   I’d love to say that I have been sewing up a storm but alas, I have had a hard time keeping motivated.  Not that I haven’t been doing any sewing.  I have been working on my log cabin quilt, made some face masks just in case hubby or I get a cold (the masks are not effective for the Covid-19 virus) and want to keep from coughing near each other , and I also have my hand sewing for the evenings.    wp-1585255006772.jpg

I have made pretty good progress on the quilt.  I only have 3 more rows to add.  Yay, the end is in sight.  wp-1585254689869.jpgWell, hold everything.   Just to add to the craziness of the times,   the machine I was using to do the decorative stitch on the “in-between” rows decided it wanted to start acting up.  I spent over an hour on it  and twice I thought I had fixed the issue but nope,  just a short line of stitching and back the issue came.  So, to keep my sanity, I just shut it off and walked away.   To borrow a line from Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day”.   And I’ll be here.   I can use my Brother machine to complete the quilt since it is both an embroidery and sewing machine.  I will just have to take the embroidery unit off and set it up as a regular sewing machine.   At this time,  I will not be taking a trip to the repair shop.  If hubby and I can’t get it fixed, it will just wait until things settle down and I’ll use my other machines.

I have been reading a lot.  I am on book #5.  The other night, because I didn’t want to hear anymore about the corona virus, we decided to watch a movie  instead of regular tv.   We chose The Two Popes on Netflix.  It was a very interesting movie.  I have also been re-watching  all the seasons of Call the Midwife because the new season will be playing on PBS soon.   And Emma is available On Demand now so I might talk hubby into watching that with me this weekend.

Weekends.  I remember when weekends were different than the rest of the week.  I teased my non-retired friends by responding with “What’s a week end?  to them when they spoke of what they did on their weekends.  Well, now that I don’t have to be anywhere on any day at any particular time,  I truly don’t know the difference between days.  I really have to think about what day it is when waking up.  I differentiate the days by what programs are on HGTV that night.

And one more note….. I miss baseball.  This was supposed to be Opening week.

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  How have you all be doing?  Getting used to the social distancing?   How are you keeping yourselves busy, entertained and productive?

I hope you are all feeling well.  Take care.  Stay home.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

Social Distancing

The phrase of the month.    I was looking forward to going to see the movie Emma last week…… nope.   We also had plans to go to a local flower show and get some ideas for this seasons garden beds…….. nope.   We luckily had done a good amount of shopping a couple weeks ago so our pantry and freezer was pretty well stocked.  Just needed a few things and our dear Kathryn braved the crowded stores to get what we needed so neither of us had to venture back there and  we are all set for a couple weeks now.

OK, no movie, no flower show, no shopping, no picking up our grandson after school.    What shall we do to keep busy?

Well, first of all, I headed up to my sewing room to clean up and rearrange a bit to get set for some extra sewing time.

Rearranged my jelly roll and layer cake storage cabinets,   hubby helped me add a pegboard  to the wall by my embroidery machine so I can hang my hoops there and then I organized my scissors and rulers and templates.   Ready to continue work on some projects.

After I got done with that,  I prepped some hexagons for handstitching while watching tv in the evenings.   I had finished all the ones I had brought with me for my “retreat” time at my sons’.   Emma was replaced with some Call The Midwife episodes and a Svengoolie movie on Saturday night.

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We didn’t get to go to the big flower show but we took a walk around our gardens and enjoyed the show our own bulbs gave us this week.

The weather has been fairly nice so we get to take walks around the neighborhood.  We are getting started on our spring cleaning,  we are trying out new recipes and I have already read two books since last week.

I don’t know how long this new normal is going to last.   I miss seeing our kids and grandkids.   I miss baseball.  I was looking forward to the start of the season.  I hope hubby and I don’t drive each other totally crazy.   Without the schedule of school pickups,  lunch with friends, the occasional trip up to see my sister and my sons and other plans that were on our calendar, the days seem to all blend together.   I am looking forward to when we can get back to our old normal again.

In the meantime,  we will make the best of it and if the weather continues to warm up, we will get to do more work outside in our gardens which will be great.  We will enjoy walking up and down blocks we usually just drive by.   We will watch movies on Netflix and Prime that we have been meaning to check out.   We will get some painting done and closets gone through.   I will finish the log cabin quilt and a seat cushion for a friend (although I don’t know when I will get it up to her).   I’ll plan my next quilt.

So,  as you maneuver through this new experience,  look for something to make you smile each day.  I know it will be harder on some days than others.  Like today was for me but the smiles did come.  What are you doing to keep yourself occupied?  Are you home with your children because school is closed?  How is that going?  I would like to hear about how you are all getting on.

Wherever you are,  be well.     We will get through this.

Bye for now.   See you soon.

Ginny    

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

As of March 1st, there will be new regulations for the use of plastic bags in New York State.  Are you ready?

I am trying to figure out just what an “exempt” plastic bag is.  Also,  does this affect me at my craft fairs?   I do usually use paper bags for my customers but I do put my hooded towels in a plastic bag.  Do I need to change that?

My hubby does the grocery shopping as a rule and we have been using reusable bags for that for quite some time now.    Now I will need to keep some bags handy in the car for when I do shopping, grocery or otherwise.   I am experimenting with a couple of different styles, including one that I can easily keep folded up in my purse.  And, of course, I am going to make them colorful.   I’ll post pictures of what I come up with soon.

So, if you want to find out what might, or might not, be changing come March 1, you can read about the new regulations and who can and cannot offer plastic bags, you can go to The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation website here .

I’ll be in my sewing room making bags that will make shopping fun for me.  Ok, no, they won’t but they sure will make me smile more than the plastic bags did.

See you soon.  Bye for now.

Ginny

 

A scrappy, snowy Saturday

The forecast for Saturday was for snow, sleet, some ice then rain.

wp-1579395898526.jpg A perfect day for spending some time in my sewing room.   So that’s where I headed.  What should I work on?   I took out some fabric for some plate cozies and worked on them for a bit.   However,  even after doing the post-holiday clean up,  I still had lots of piles/small bins of scraps around that were totally not organized and they were staring at me.   I find that I enjoy my time at my sewing machine more if the area around me is fairly neat and organized.

So I got my rotary cutter and ruler out and my iron turned on and I set to work to organize and tame my growing scrap monster.   I decided to start out by simply separating the scraps into two different categories…… longer strips and squares/rectangles.   Then I opened a bin and was surprised to find a project that I had started a while back and had forgotten about.  It was a whole bunch of tumbler pieces that I had cut as well as 4 rows of tumblers that I had already sewn together.  wp-1579395797725.jpg It was from a Bonnie Hunter leader/ender challenge from last year?  The year before?  I don’t remember now.  But I did recall what my idea was for this quilt.  I was going to call it Tumbling Seasons and cut tumblers in four different groups:   Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  I have obviously only gotten the Fall tumblers worked on.   I got all the tumbler pieces pulled out of the bin and ironed them and the strips and put them all neatly back into their own bin.  I need to see how many rows I get out of what I’ve already cut, add more if needed and then I will work on the other three seasons.wp-1579395771127.jpg

Ahhhh,  but I am getting ahead of myself.  There was still the matter of the rest of those scraps awaiting my attention.  At the end of the afternoon,  I had gone through seven of the bins of scraps.   I didn’t get to the two bins of flannel scraps that were up on the shelf in the closet or three with cotton fabric.  I ended up with three bins emptied out and four bins of fabric pressed and organized and ready for further organization into color groups.  Then I will need to decide whether to  have one bin for each color or combine colors like blue and green, red and pink, etc.   I suppose that decision will be made by how much of each color group I have.   Sizes and shapes will need to be determined also.  I know I will keep some as strips because I want to try a making some strip blocks.    I will need to go back and read  Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap Users Systems’ suggestions again to see what the best sizes for the rest of it would be. wp-1579395923489.jpg

Three more small shoe box size bins to go through.  Although I am pretty sure I have a larger bin of scraps hiding somewhere.   But I’ll not worry about that one just yet.

It was a good day’s work.  No sewing or organizing happened in the sewing room the rest of the weekend or today.  I will be back there tomorrow doing some actual sewing.   I will take the bin with the tumblers over to my sewing machine and use them as my leaders/enders  while sewing and get two projects worked on at the same time.   Love it!

I hope you all had a good weekend.   January always has me thinking about organizing, re-organizing,  de-cluttering, etc.   Do you have those same thoughts?  Are you working on any particular room/closet?  Besides my focus in my sewing room, we are also working on going through “stuff” in closets.    Good luck with your clearing out projects if you have any.   I’d love to hear about your progress and if you found any forgotten about items or projects like I did with the tumblers.

Keep warm.  Stay cozy.   See you soon.

Bye for now.

Ginny

Reflections on 2019

Happy New Year!  Here we are at the start of a new year.  I was thinking about all that 2019 included for us and Wow!!,  what a year.    We began the year with the birth of our granddaughter, Tessa.

At the end of January,  my son, daughter-in-law and grandson Zeke arrived from California for a visit.  And boy, was it cold when they arrived.  Zeke enjoyed adventuring out when the weather warmed up enough to warrant a bit of time outdoors to get the wiggles out.  And we got to Zeke’s first hockey game  … it actually was my first as well.

The beginning of April found hubby and I in Connecticut staying at our favorite Inn.  And I finally found a treadle machine at an antique mall up there that said “Take me Home”.

wp-1578330425719.jpg       And so I did.

                                   

Later that month,  I worked on getting the baskets all made and ready for grandkids on Easter.  And Max turned 9 years old!   

On that trip, we also had the opportunity to visit Yosemite.  Absolutely awesome!         

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June and most of July was spent getting our flower and vegetable gardens all set for the season, working in the sewing room on products for craft fairs that would be happening later in the year,  trips to the beach and enjoying evenings doing some porch sitting.

The end of July was here and we were off to California again to celebrate my son’s 40th birthday.  That is when they revealed what the new grandbaby arriving in December would be.

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                                    It’s a girl!!!

August was a busy time of prepping for the three craft fairs we would be doing in the following three months as well as taking a road trip to Vermont with a stop off in Massachusetts on the way back to visit the Norman Rockwell museum and a couple of stops on the way home to visit with family.  It was a wonderful trip.

September had arrived and with that, our first craft fair of the fall season was here. 

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  We had great weather in October for our second craft fair,  some help from Max getting our vegetable beds ready for winter and also for Lily’s 4th birthday. 

 

We had another trip to Connecticut and this time we finally got to take the Essex Steam Train and Boat excursion on the Connecticut river. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for the trip.

November was a jam-packed with our final craft fair,  orders received from the fairs, birthday celebrations — including a surprise one for hubby and me — and, of course Thanksgiving and the beginning of holiday shopping. 

 Thanksgiving was celebrated a bit early since I would be heading out to California on Thanksgiving Day which was the baby’s due date.  Aviendha waited  a few days past that and made her entrance on December 3.

                               Welcome Aviendha!                Zeke getting to know his little sis.

There were a few other fun and exciting things that happened this year including a day spent in the city with my sis culminating with a Hugh Jackman concert….. he was fabulous by the way…… and going to a Yankee playoff game.     

That brings us to January 2020.  What will this year bring?  Last year was certainly an eventful one.  Will this one be too?  Right now,  the calendar is a fairly blank slate but I am sure that will change.  There are spring craft fairs to be chosen,  new items to be researched,  lots of family events to enjoy,  a few trips to be decided on and projects around the house and gardens to be tackled.  January is a sort of quiet month that I like to use for planning and dreaming.

What are your plans and dreams for the new year?     Oh, and just a little reminder from my snowpeople friends: Countdown

Just 12 more months until Christmas!   

Bye for now.  Be well.  Happy New Year.

Ginny

 

 

Craft Fair Tomorrow

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to post.  We had a wonderful vacation in Vermont, even if it was a bit chilly and the wifi was a bit sporadic.  It was actually nice to disconnect for a bit.   Especially knowing how busy we were going to be when we got home.

It is time for our first craft fair of the season.  It is a new one to us.  It is set in a park around Argyle Lake in Babylon, L.I. and the weather looks to be pretty nice now that Dorian has gone on it’s merry way.  We had rain yesterday and now it is a nice, sunny day and it should be the same for tomorrow’s fair.

Needless to say, the sewing and embroidery machines have been humming.   Here is a peek at what’s been coming out of the sewing room these last couple weeks:

I think I am going to need a bigger basket.

So, if you are in the Long Island, NY area tomorrow, head over to Babylon and check out the Argyle Lake craft fair.   There will be so many wonderful vendors there and the weather will be beautiful so come and take a stroll around.  Stop by our booth (A117) and say hello.  We’d love to see you.

Time to start packing things up and getting everything organized and the items on the checklist checked off.  Wish us luck.

Bye for now.   Have a wonderful weekend.

Ginny

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday Thoughts

I know it’s July but I had a little reminder today from my little snowmen friends

Yup, just 5 months ’til Christmas.  Of course, those who know me are aware that there are signs of Christmas around my house all year long.   Just a “few”.  Like my snowmen…. but they are actually a winter decoration right.   And I love Christmas trees so why not have one up all year long.   I just change the decorations for the season or the holiday.   There were hearts on it during February,  Shamrock’s in March, Easter eggs after that and now my year-round tree is all decked out for summer       

Luckily, I have a hubby who likes Christmas as much as I do.  Ok, maybe not quite as much but enough to be a Santa collector.  We keep a few of his Santa’s out  all year round too.  Like this little guy      He is just hanging out on a shelf waiting for the rest of his friends to come out of the bins and join him.

When July 25 rolls around each year,  first my thoughts are to say  Happy Birthday to  son #3.  Then my brain kicks into “only 5 months to go” mode and I start thinking about  Christmas gifts, Christmas decor and Christmas products for the craft fairs.  Some really cute snowman fabric is sitting up in my sewing room just patiently waiting for me to work with it.   And I must confess that I have watched a couple of Hallmark’s “Christmas in July” movies.  It helped to see snow while getting through the heat wave.

I have already gotten a few gifts for people and my goal is to be done with my Christmas shopping and wrapping early in December.   Of course, that is my goal every year.   Have you started thinking about your lists yet?

As the thermometer is climbing to those 80’s and 90’s or, ugh, even higher,  sit down with a glass of iced tea and let your mind wander to days with twinkling lights, snowmen dressed in colorful hats and scarfs and that jolly little elf in the red suit.  See if you get any inspirational thoughts for that perfect gift for a special someone.

I’m off to write some lists.  Keep cool everyone.  Bye for now.

See you soon.

Ginny