Thursday, July 31, 2008

This is a monogram I put on a laundry bag yesterday. It is for a customer to give as a gift to a student going away to college. That's the only sewing I accomplished. I have another digitizing to complete and the hankies to embroider. I did work on lesson plans and making a reading list for the little bee keeper.

Speaking of the little bee keeper, he was taking pictures with my camera yesterday.

Here is a new picture of the bee hive he took. The bee numbers are up these days. Today I will hopefully be as busy as these bees. I need to water and pick in the garden. The kitchen needs cleaning. I need to sew and digitize. The laundry needs some attention. Captain Kitty finished all her last year's books, but LBK still has some lessons in Math and English to finish. There are meals to fix and the lesson plans to work on. Definitely never boring around here!

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our eldest and two of his friends went hiking up Dragon's Tooth yesterday and this is a picture he took from the trip. I love the mountains where we live. I have always lived near these mountains, either in this valley or in the Shenandoah Valley north of here. The mountains played a big part in my growing up years and I have a love for them.

I finished embroidering the four shirts that ended up being five over the weekend. I digitized a design for a customer and that was about it on the sewing front. I still have these hankies to embroidery and a laundry bag to monogram. I have loads of ideas twittering around in my mind of things I would like to work on. First I need to get through school planning for the next year.

This is a bloom on one of our okra plants. Don't you just love the blooms of okra? They are so lovely. Last night I fried up some for the General. The little bee keeper picked a mess of green beans this morning and ask me to fix them with supper tonight. So I will snap those and cook them this afternoon. Oh, we have had three tomatoes off the vines! When I got the first one yesterday I came and made biscuits for breakfast. Oh, the taste of home grown tomatoes.

Sew Long for Now!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I can't believe it's Friday already! Boy, has this week flown past. I embroidered 7 shirts for a customer and then found I was out of stabilizer. Yesterday was Bernina club so I picked up some more stabilizer, big spools of black and white embroidery thread (which I seem to go through a lot), and a varigated with purple and green to try on a project. Don't you love the bright bag the store put my purchase in? I love the bags this store uses and save them to wrap presents in.

A customer had brought me 204 hankerchiefs to embroidery for a wedding on Wednesday with a swatch of the color used in the wedding. I totally forgot to find matching thread yesterday so I went back today and picked it up. While there she had another customer for me to digitize something for and a drawing to give me an idea. I love digitizing. It is so fun to play with stitches on the computer and then see what that produces when you sew it out. I also have another customer to call tonight to see if I can help digitize something for. I also have four more shirts to embroidery for some one by Sunday.

On the garden front, I picked more green beans yesterday. I put up another four quarts. There is okra and kale that I need to do something with. I am waiting for my tomatoes to turn. I can just taste a nice homemade biscuit with fresh warm homegrown tomato slices...yum.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I have been finding a strange insect on my green beans. I found it left the leaves full of holes and lacey looking. I decided to do some research.

Here is what it looks like. I found it is a Mexican bean beetle larva. I have never seen these before. I have been picking the leaves with these insects on them off and discarding them. Also, this morning while watering my herbs I saw my parsley was either brown on almost gone. I looked closer and found this culprit.

A black swallowtail catepillar. They love parsley and this guy had almost eaten all mine. I removed him from my parsely.

Part of growing things is dealing with the creatures who like what you are growing.

I redid that shirt yesterday for Captain Kitty. It isn't great, but it will do to wear around the house. It looks good on her so I think I will make her another one in a smaller size.

Stay cool today!

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, July 21, 2008

It is going to be another hot day. The last couple of days have been. I have been working on the shirt I was making myself. I am almost done, but I tried it on and had the General look at yesterday. We both decided it didn't fit my body type. Oh well. I tried to make a wrap around shirt, Butterick 4469. I have a strange shaped body; big hips, a tiny waist, no chest. I think I am probably a pear shape. I have a couple of other top patterns I wanted to try. Since this was some old material I had in my stash that I got on clearance I don't feel so bad that it didn't work. I will just cut it up and do something else with the fabric.

Captain Kitty and I picked beans on Friday and I snapped 11 quarts. I cooked some and froze the rest. I picked again this morning. My tomato plants are full of green tomatoes so when they turn I will have a lot to do putting those up. The children are taking care of a friend's animals while they are on vacation. I got an e-mail from them yesterday that there were some peaches off their trees that they forgot about on the back porch and for us to take them. I got a huge shopping bag full of peaches. I will have to do something with those also. We are just being blessed with produce!

Saturday the General, Captain Kitty, and I went to a homeschool book sale. It had new and used vendors. I found some books I needed and some I wanted. I saw lots of friends I don't always get to see. It was nice. Of course Captain Kitty was in heaven. I had given her extra money for helping me around the house and she bought books. She loves books.

I have lots of embroidery to do for customers so I will spend a little time on the computer and then I am off.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I sewed out the embroidery pattern I digitized yesterday twice. It stills needs a little tweeking. I fittled with it and then saved it. Today I am going to sew it out again.

I was so happy to get the bottom two gardens caught up on weeding yesterday. I was going to work on the top one, but I had a horrible headache this morning and when I came home from the paper route I took some sudafed and went back to bed. If I don't get to it today (it's suppose to be really hot) I will work on it tomorrow. I will need to be picking beans again anyway.

My parents stopped by yesterday. I didn't know they were coming. They made a trip down south of here to pick up something and came by on their way home. Today is my Daddy's 78th birthday. My sisters and I went together and bought him a Garmin. He was so thrilled. Men love toys! He put in his home address when he left to listen to it and see how it told him to go home. I was laughing because it's not like he hasn't driven from my house to his hundreds of times.

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nothing interesting going on here. I have been working on the digitize of a design still. I will sew it out today and if it looks good I will get it to the customer. Then I have four shirts to embroidery. I am almost finished my shirt. I haven't worked on it since Saturday. I crochet about two rows on my shawl everyday. We have been working in the gardens. Lots of beans coming in right now, okra and cucumbers also. Trying to finish up those last lessons still for school. We are just enjoying the sunshine and slow summer routine.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My day started at 2:30 a.m. when the alarm went off. I called to see if the papers were at the distribution center. They never arrive at the same time every morning so I have to call until I hear they have departed. This morning they were early and so I got dressed and got the the little bee keeper up, it was his turn to help me.

The paper route went pretty smoothly except during the last part the van started to make a strange noise. I was praying it wouldn't break down until I finished. I really didn't want to call the General this early since he had to work today. It didn't and we made it home before 6 a.m. The General drove the van to work to see if he could figure out what the problem was.

I decided to take an hour nap after he left for work. When I got back up I got up Captain Kitty because she had an appointment to get labs drawn. I made the bed and folded a load of laundry while another load washed and CK got ready. I had to get LBK back up before I left.

The visit to the doctors office was only suppose to take a few minutes to have some blood drawn. Of course with CK nothing is never works out that way. They couldn't find a vein. The first tech tried in the crease of her arm and dug around a little and gave up. She put us back in the waiting room until another tech showed up. He tried in the top of her arm and couldn't get it. Finally, he tried in her wrist and was able to get her blood. She was in tears by now. We left and I took her to Sonic and got her a shake. She deserved a treat for being a human pin cushion!

When we got home I hung out clothes. The oldest son was back from running with a friend. I had some calls to make and the General called me about the van. The idler puller needed replacing. He wanted me to check around and find one. So the oldest and I went online and found the part. The oldest went off to pick it up for me. I worked on making some calls and read some e-mail while I did that. Afterwards I hung out the rest of the clothes.

While I was doing those things LBK had picked a mess of beans in the garden and CK had cleaned the living room. I had to show her some things she missed and how to do a couple of tasks. After that we got lunch and started lessons. We read scripture and history first. Then while LBK practiced his piano I did Latin with CK. She had practiced her violin earlier. She did English while LBK did Math. I got the beans ready to cook while they both worked. LBK did English and that was it for today. We are only trying to finish last years school work right now. We would like to start with a new slate in August. By this time the General was home from work. I talked to him a few minutes while crocheting some on my shawl and then went to work on some sewing.

I am working on digitzing a design for some one so for an hour I worked on that. Then it was off to make supper. I had brought in one load of clothes earlier and there was still one on the line. While I put together supper CK brought those in. I had the green beans ready and I made Macaroni and Cheese to go with them. During supper the General's Dad called from Kansas and we talked to him a little bit. By this time I was really tired. I got ready for bed while everyone else cleaned up from supper. I went to bed at 6:30 p.m. The children each came to say good night and then the General. I wasn't feeling too good so he stayed with me until I fell asleep.

Sew Long for Now!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I found myself with the unusual situation of being caught up in my sewing for others so I grabbed a pattern and some material out of my stash and began a shirt for me.

Besides that I have been working on crocheting my shawl. With the General home from work I haven't gotten much else done, but spend time with him and run around.

Our a/c went out last evening. Eecks it was 90 degrees and humid. I called the service man while the General tried to fix it. The General is a very handy man and can usually fix about anything, but he thought the a/c had gotten hit by lightening. The service man couldn't come until today. We live in a brick house on a hill with no shade around. Our house was hotter inside than it was outside. We all had an uncomfortable night sleeping. I got a call from the service man at 7:30 a.m. and they were here by 8:30 a.m. He and the General went out and took the a/c apart. They thought they were going to have to replace a part. The a/c man just happened to spot a bug, an earwig, in between the contacts. It was blocking the contacts! They removed the bug and the a/c came back on. I was so thankful that was all it was. I told the General that was one area of going green I was going to have a hard time with. Living in this brick house on this hill with no shade I just can't stand how hot it gets in the house. I just can't give up my a/c yet.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My city children took a field trip to the country yesterday.

We went to visit friends who live on Bent Mountain. They collect antique John Deere tractors. I counted 23 in the building we where in. The couple let the everyone drive some of the tractors. Our little bee keeper drove every tractor they brought out. He was in heaven. One comment I overheard was, "It wouldn't be hard on us to move and live in the country."

This couple has helped us tremendously in our bee keeping endeavor. After the tractor driving the boys got to get suited up and look through some of their bee hives. They have 14 hives. They were trying to help show the boys how to see the queen and other things to check for. It was a very enjoyable trip!

Captain Kitty gets her first driving lesson.

The little bee keeper thinks he is a pro.
Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sunlight reflecting off the water at the lake.

I reflect today also as I read,

"I would encourage every family to live within their means. If there be a way-and such a way there certainly is-of living as comfortably and happily, on very small means, as we now do on much larger ones, it is certainly desirable to know it, especially in times like the present. 'But suppose the means are very small, what then?' Why, then, live within very small means."

William A. Alcott, Ways of Living on Small Means, 1837

"No one will deny the importance of urging rich and poor alike, in the present state of things to try and economise the fuel and food which they may have at their disposal. The sooner we make up our minds that what we regretfully speak of as the 'good old times' with their good old prices will never come again, the sooner we shall cease to look fondly back on a cheaper past, and brace ourselves helpfully and bravely to face the increased cost of the necessaries of life."

Lady Barker, First Lessons in the Principles of Cooking, 1886

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Stormy skies. We have been having quite a few storms around here lately. Last night it was lightening almost the whole time we delivered papers. Sunday and Monday they had those ticker tapes across the screen during the news for storm warnings with hail and flooding. I wish we could send some of it to California to help those poor people who are having such a terrible time with fires.

I haven't been able to get any sewing in yet today. I hope to later. I need to make a lot of cards today. Yesterday we had more cucumbers and I made a salad. We also had zuccinihi and I sauted that with sweet peppers, onions, and basil out of the herb garden. That was good.

Sew Long for Now!

Monday, July 07, 2008

We made it to the lake for the 4th. It was an overcast day, but beautiful all the same. I enjoyed getting away for the day from the busyness of everyday life. We swam, sat on the beach, and walked the trail around the lake. This picture is taken from the earthen dam on the opposite end of the lake from the beach. In the afternoon we went to my folks and visited for a few hours and then came home. I went to bed and did not get to see any fireworks. So sad because I really like fireworks. On Saturday we piddled all day. I did sew one thing! I finished a pin cushion. Besides that I didn't do much. I have been getting some crocheting done in the evenings before bed. I am working on a shawl.

Because it was stormy on Saturday most of the day the boys didn't get into the bees until Sunday afternoon. They are still trying to find the queen. She has been very elusive. The bees are busy though.

This is a picture of the lower garden. I picked my first cucumber this weekend. I have been getting kale, lettuce, radishes and lots of herbs. My tomatoes are looking good. I didn't plant as many as in years past. We have had some rain lately and that has helped me not have to water.

Sew Long for Now!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yesterday I embroidered four shirts for a customer. Since I embroidered both the front and back it was like embroidering eight shirts. I had a nasty time with two of the shirts because they were made out of some type of stretchy lycra type material. They were Izod brand. To embroider stretchy material you need to put an iron on stabilizer on the material to keep it from stretching while you embroidery. This material did not take the iron on very well. To top it off where they wanted the back embroidery was over one of those new labels printed on the fabric. You know it is on the inside like in t-shirts and undies. When I put the iron on stabilizer over that area and tried to iron it down the label words melted onto the iron and stabilizer. Yuck. Thankfully it didn't mess up the outside.

Tomorrow is Independence Day. It is also the start of a week off for the General. I am not sure of our plans, but I am hoping to go to the lake for the day and then stop by my folks in the afternoon/evening. I would like to see some fireworks, but I don't know if I can stay awake that late.

The General told me when I got home this morning that I have cucumbers and zucchini ready to pick. Oh, that makes my day. I don't know if I will get in any sewing today. This is payday and I need to get lots of groceries. Our cabinets are bare. Captain Kitty also has an orthodontist appointment today. I promised to take them by the library also. Today will most likely be errand running day. I hope every one has an enjoyable and safe holiday.

Sew Long for Now!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yesterday was such a great day. I worked in the garden, hung out clothes, spent time with my family, and got in sewing. I love days like that. I didn't have to leave the house after I worked in the morning and so everything went smoothly. I finished the hand work on the bag. I made a needlebook. I also made up some more napkins out of the homespun you see here.

This is a close up of how I finished the napkins. I did a rolled hem on the serger using wooly nylon in the lower looper. I used yellow wooly nylon and navy blue thread in the needle and upper looper. I love the way this looks. We never seem to have enough cloth napkins. I stopped buying paper napkins and paper towels a while ago. I have some pink, green, and yellow plaid that I bought around Easter and have never used; I may make some more napkins out of. When the napkins get worn and stained beyond repair I use them as dusting and cleaning rags. By then they have had so many washings they are soft and the homespun fabric seems to be nice and lint free. To wash windows and such I used newspapers. I get mine free for delivering them.

I had a customer stop by yesterday with some shirts to embroider, so I will have to get that done next.

Sew Long for Now!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Here is one side of the new bag I have been working on.

Here is the other. I haven't quite finished. There is some hand sewing left to do. The pattern called for using 7 different fabrics and I only used five. I think I would even prefer to use 3. I like things a bit more uniform and matching. I like the bag and I like the way it went together. I would just like more uniformity in look.

Today looks like it's is going to be beautiful. It is cool and there is a nice breeze blowing. Yesterday was quite lovely. I weeded some in the upper garden. I sewed, cooked, cleaned, hung out laundry, and crocheted. I spent time with my family. It was a nice day. For supper I made an egg casserole and used some sage out of the herb garden in it with some deer sausage we had. It turned out pretty good. I have some lemon balm and white peppermint cut to use in tea on the counter in a pitcher.

Sew Long for Now!