Saturday, August 31, 2013

Serger Sue Gets New Threads!

Poor Serger Sue.  She arrived 2 months ago and I have done nothing more than look at her.  But, what's a body to do without thread? 

I went to Hobby Lobby this morning - finally - and bought 4 cones of white serger thread.  I want to have 5 main colors of thread on hand to work with...white, black, brown, grey, and taupe.  That should about cover any fabric I use.  Perhaps I will feel the need for more (or less) colors as I progress.

Threading a serger can be somewhat of an undertaking.  Fortunately, the company had pre-threaded Serger Sue, so all I needed to do was tie the new threads to what was already there and pull them through.  I was relieved!  

Naomi Janome stood by to give moral support as I played with her cousin, Serger Sue.  All went well.  So, now I am able to move ahead with the doll clothes I want to make.  Using a serger makes everything look more professional.  In my opinion. 

Yesterday, I was thinking about how it was Friday...and how I normally would be very excited to have a 3 day weekend ahead of me.  Three days off work.  But, now that I am RETIRED, I have every day off work!  ~grin~  Sorry, I could not resist saying that.   

I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 30, 2013

Started...and Finished!

Two weeks ago, Rachel of ps i quilt fame shared with her readers that a project she designed was in the 'Quilts and More' quilt magazine.  A thread catcher!  Dang cute, it is!  Go here to see that post.   She also supplies a direct link should you desire to download the pattern.

I did download the pattern.  And, today...I made one!  Took less than an hour from start to finish. 

Just so you know, I made a mistake when cutting my fabrics.  The light floral that is at the bottom of the thread catcher is supposed to be the body and the dotted fabric is supposed to be at the bottom.  ~sigh~  I caught my mistake right away, but didn't want to cut up more fabric.  Because, of course, it is for me and it doesn't really matter.  Too much, anyway.  

(FYI...had I been making this for someone, I would have cut more fabric so that it looked the way I had planned it to in the first place!!)   

At any rate, here it is...
The finished size is approximately 7 x 3 x 3 inches.  The perfect size to sit next to Naomi Janome!  And, the perfect size to catch all my threads!

Thank you, Rachel!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I received a Priority Mail box on Friday.  One of those 15 x 12 x 3 inch sized boxes.  When I picked it up, it had no weight to if nothing was in there.  The return address was the vet school (where I worked).  


Did I leave something personal there that someone mailed to me?  Why not just call and have me pick it up??  

I was bewildered.  

Here is what was in it.  A giant red card...
See the embossed crest?  That's the UW Veterinary Care crest.

Well, it is not really a card.  Inside was this certificate...

It is signed by the Human Resource person on the day after my retirement.  

Isn't that nice?  

It is great to know that I am appreciated!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Home Again...

You didn't even know I was gone, did you.

Well, I was!  I was away from home for 48 sitting for my friend, Claire.  Out in the door to where I used to live.  (yes, she's the former landlady and current friend/vet)

It was nice to be back out's so quiet in the country!  Outside and inside animals to care for...I am tired.  And, poor Tag.  He was not happy out in the kennel building all by himself.  Poor thing.  He's exhausted and glad to be home.  As am I.

I had nothing to distract tv (I don't know how to work their remotes and I wasn't about to mess things up), and no computer (they don't know their Wi-Fi password).  So, I did some knitting.  AND, I ~gasp~ read 2 and a half books!

A very relaxing time.

I took no photos.  I don't know why I didn't.  

But,  here's one of Twist from a few years ago.  He's a nice horse. 

This next week is all about sewing.  Can't wait to see what happens when I transfer what's in my head to actual fabric.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Done and Gone...

I finally finished organizing my bedroom and closet, and I am happy, happy, happy!  I am feeling very good about all of that work.  What a pain, but it definitely paid off.  I now know where things are and I don't have to search for them (I know they're here somewhere!).  And, I made sure that there was room for more of this moving something to do something.  

I was ruthless when going through my fabric.  Small scraps...GONE!  Old fabrics (mostly those I had from years ago when I sewed clothing) with no immediate plans...GONE!  Sure, I could have saved them...just in case.  But, I could do that with everything, and then I think I would be a hoarder.  ~grin~   

So.  That is that.  I am looking forward to the day when I will, once again, have an actual room just for sewing.

I found a new home for Kisa.  I always knew this wasn't her forever home, but I'm not sure if you all knew that.  A young worker at the vet school fell in love with Kisa when I took her in for vaccinations earlier this summer.  Kisa is doing well in her new home.  

So.  It's back to just Tag and I.  And, we are fine with that. 


PS  I saw this photo in my files and now have a huge craving for pizza!!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 16, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

I've been remiss. I mentioned my big a** star rug in my previous post and it didn't occur to me that not all of you would know what I was talking about.  And that, even if you knew, you may want a reminder of how it looks.  Thank you for the gentle reminder, Lauren of Rugs and Pugs.

So, I give big a** star rug aka Stars and Fans by Sally Kallin of Pine Island Primitives.
I bought this rug in 2008.  I last worked on it in September of 2010.  This rug measures 30 x 60...the star measures 21 inches across.  BIG.  I did the star in no time, but when it came time to do the background, I got stuck.  I may reverse hook what is done on at least part of the background. Someday.  When I finish this rug.       

Here is Sally's version.  She added a proddy edge...wide wool fringes.

Both of these rugs with their primitive colors are so much more dramatic in real life. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Totally NOT Wordless Wednesday Here!

As many of you know, I am a voracious reader.  Have been all my life.  Would it surprise you, then, to know that I have not read a book since March 18?  It surprises me!  In my entire life, no matter what I was doing or where I was, I always took the time to keep up with my reading...with my favorite authors.  I almost always had a book to read on hand.  So, why haven't I read a book for almost 5 months?  No idea.  

Well, a little bit of an idea.  I got u-verse, which means that I have watched a ton of television.  4 seasons of White Collar.  2 seasons of Flashpoint.  5 seasons of Burn Notice.  3 seasons of The Glades.  And, I am now on the 5th season of Psych.  Plus, the primetime tv shows that I have caught up with on On Demand...and those recorded with my dvr (gotta love that dvr!)...and the movies, of course.   (And, in case you're wondering, some of the time whilst watching all that tv...I was also knitting or stitching.)

I have had a lot on my mind...most of which started right around mid-March.  That would directly affect my focus/concentration.  The entire me Mum and moving to Eau Claire scenario.  (And yes, I am moving...but not until next spring.)  Retirement.  Editing 4 volumes of poems for a friend.  Starting a business.  

Still.  It does take me aback a bit that I haven't even wanted to read!  I get notices of free books for my Kindle and I grab the ones either written by authors I've read, or that I think will be interesting.  Yet, I have not read a single one of them.  My sister, Joyce, tells me about the books she is reading, and I tell her to keep track of what she's reading so that I can catch up someday.  When my interest in reading resurfaces.  

In the year 2011, I read 84 books, and in 2012, I read 90.  Thus far this year, the total stands at 12.  What? 

That number will change, though.  By tomorrow, that number will be 13.  woohoo!  I took my Kindle down to the laundry room with me yesterday and actually started reading!  Relief! 


This photo has nothing to do with anything.


And, in case you're wondering how I'm doing with that mess I created on Sunday...I am still working on it.  What a mess!  Bigger mess made when organizing!  You know, it always helps to have an idea of what one wants to do before one begins a big project like that.  I did not.  Have a plan.  I just knew that I needed to do something.        

My bedroom and dining area are total disaster areas.  YIKES!  What was I thinking?  ohwell.  I am chipping away at it a bit at a time.  Now that I do have a plan.  And, I am being ruthless in decluttering/destashing.  Luckily, I have a neighbor who belongs to a group of they are receiving any/all fabrics that I no longer have a use for.

Sorting fabric.  How to organize it.  That's quite a challenge.  First, though, I put all the fabrics that I had purchased - or been given - for specific quilts together in their own separate bundles.  They total 12.  Yes, twelve!  Then, I put together the quilts tops that I have finished with their backings and bindings (I always get them ready at the time I do the top and back).  They also total 12.  They are listed on my sidebar under 'flimsies'.  

So, mostly what I have left are fabrics that I can use for doll clothes.  I labelled my plastic containers:  colors (red/pink, orange/yellow, green/blue/purple, black/brown, and neutral), seasonal, novelty (adult and kid), flannel, etc.  The sorting begins!  

I have my knitting organized...finished products, needles and other tools, yarn.

Then, of course, there's the big a** star rug.  I sorted through that tote and yup...I need all of that wool.  I looked at the rug and remembered how much I am going to love it!  I almost wanted to start working on it!  But, I remembered that I have other things that need to be done.  Like, sewing doll clothes.

I have yet to do my shelf unit.  That will hold my sewing tools and patterns, the jar of leftover binding that I mentioned and showed in a previous post, embroidery floss/tools, and all kinds of stuff.  Plus, a plastic container with my 'snow days' fabrics/stitcheries/pieced blocks. 

WHEW!  I just hope that, when the job is done, I will be happy with the results.  ~grin~ 

Instead of clearing off my bed each night, Tag and I have been camping out on the sofa...and will likely be doing the same thing for at least the next two nights. Thankfully, I have a very comfortable sofa.

At any rate.  That's where I am.  In the middle of a mess.  But, hey!  I am reading!  Fully engaged...enjoying the peacefulness and pleasure of it.  We shall see where it goes from here.

This photo also has nothing to do with anything.

Have a good rest of the week!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, August 12, 2013

What a Mess!

It's not like it was a spur of the moment decision.  I had been thinking about it all week long.  At least for this one past week...perhaps longer.

I am feeling cramped in my living space.  Mostly when I want to sew, or cut some fabric.  It seems as if when I want to do something sewing related, I need to move something in order to do what I want.  I have been getting a bit frustrated with that entire process.  

Plus, I need to get my light table set up so that I am able to trace the rest of the Snow Days stitching (on the pieced blocks) and there is no place to set it up and leave it set up while I take a few weeks to get these tracings done.

So.  Yesterday, I decided to move some furniture around and reorganize my fabrics (doll clothes vs quilty and everything else).  I pulled a shelf unit out of the bedroom and into the dining area.  I moved the furniture in the living room to make more room (so I could bring out the shelf unit).  I pushed my dining area table up against the wall.  This is where I'll do my sewing.  I emptied out my closet...well, mostly.  Probably about half emptied out my closet.  And, then I quit.  Here's what I had when I went to bed (slept on the sofa, which is very comfy, by the way).

dining area

ohyeah, and I also got out my pc because I need to transfer some photos from it to my laptop.  

So, this week is set aside to get everything rearranged to make my life easier.  That does depend on how thorough I am when sorting through this mess.  ugh.  Hoping I get done sooner rather than later.

In the meantime.  I finished this carrycot (fabric doll bed).  It measures about 15 x 8 x 5 and includes the carrycot, mattress, pillow and quilt.  It will go into my Etsy shop for my business, The Chocolate Puppy.  

What do you have planned for this week?

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, August 9, 2013


I'm in trouble!  I am losing track of days.  What day it is, that is.  I thought Wednesday was Tuesday.  I knew Thursday was Thursday, but then today, I thought it was Thursday.  Just for a few moments while I sorted things out in my head.  But.  Still. 

I think I need a calendar so that I can cross off the days.  Something, right?

I've been working on my business sewing.  Nothing finished to show, yet.  Soon.

However, I do have something to show...I whipped this up the other day.  Just a nice, simple zippered pouch.  I love this fabric by Laurel Burch!  (Love the dog fabric even more, but I don't have any of that.)

I opened my business page on Facebook.  YAY!  Please stop by and 'like' my page, won't you?  The Chocolate Puppy.  There's not much there, but there will be soon!

Have a great weekend! 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11


I know you've heard me say (write) that I wasn't going to purchase any more fabric.  I have enough to last for 2 lifetimes.  Truly.  However, sometimes...I see something that shouts, "buy me!" so loudly that it cannot be ignored.

I present to you, Doglandia by Peter Horjus for Blend Fabrics.  The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have some. 

I mean...who could resist that brown dog??  ~grin~  Seriously!
(Course, the brown dog didn't come with the fabric, much to my chagrin.  Oh well.  I guess I'll have to make my own!) 

I could not, I ordered some.  

I have big plans for this.  I see embroidery, sewing and quilting...something to design that is totally me.  Perhaps it will be a wallhanging rather than a quilt.  And, pillows.  I want pillows.  I guess only time will tell how this will end up.  Course, I have a million other things to do first.  But, I had to get the fabric now...I really did not want to miss out on this fabulous fabric! 

What 'million other things'?  Mostly all for my new business.

I am designating my other blog, The Chocolate Puppy as the official blog of my new business.  The making of Waldorf doll clothes and accessories.  I'm not sure I need a blog for that, but that's what I think is good to do right now.

I have a new Facebook page, too.  The Chocolate Puppy.  (what else?)  I tell you, my head is crammed full of plans and ideas!

Have I said lately how much I love retirement? 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, August 8, 2013






Since I retired, I no longer have the need to get up at 5:00 or 5:15 every morning.  I think that 6:00 is a good hour to get up.  To get Tag out for a short walk.  To start my day.  Since I retired, I no longer set my alarm.  No need to, right? 

Tag used to wait until my alarm rang before bothering me to get up and feed him.  Apparently, he has noticed that my alarm no longer rings.  I say this because he has designated himself to be my personal alarm clock. 

Since that first day.  Every morning.  Rain.  Shine.  Whether I've had 8 hours of sleep...or 4.  Whether I want to get up or not.  Course, I always want to get up, but he doesn't know that.  

Every. Single. Morning.

Tag has been my alarm clock.

My chocolate alarm clock.  He is spot on with the time, too.  I'm not joking.  When he nudges me...or woofs if I don't immediately react to his nudge...I open my eyes and roll over to look at the clock.  It reads 6:00.  Or 6:01.  He has an amazing clock inside that head of his.  And, he is determined to use it to help me out (of bed).  (I'm not stupid...Tag is helping me out to help himself out.  He gets me up so that I can feed him.  After all, food is his number one priority.  ~grin~)

I love this brown boy.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, August 5, 2013

And So The Adventure Begins...

Not only is this the start of a new week, it is the official start of my new business.  (I've alluded to this before - here - but never actually spelled it out for you.)

What, you ask?

Isn't it exciting enough that I am retired?

Well, yes.

A big, emphatic, YES!

However, one must have goals and plans and things to do.

What, you ask?

I don't have enough to do?

Well, yes.

A (not quite so) big, emphatic, YES!  

But, one must follow the path that opens up before one.

Do you not agree?

(lots of questions in this post!)

One must use one's talents.

One must do fun and exciting things.  

One must do what one is led to do.  

Therefore.  I have - with God's help - decided that I am going to make a business of making doll clothes.  Let's call it, "The Chocolate Puppy".


Remember when I received Aubrey from Cathy?  (Her blog is here and her facebook page is here.) 

Since then (2010), I have been fascinated by the Waldorf-inspired dolls.  I have closely followed Cathy's business and stalked been fascinated by others who also make these wonderful dolls. 

It was when I was sorting woolens a few months ago, that I had that EUREKA moment!  That it hit me.  What lovely pieces of wool...ohmy...wouldn't these make lovely hooded capes for dolls?  ohmy.  YES!

And, I was off and many many plans.  I am inspired and motivated.

In my retirement, I am going to work at something I love!  Though, truth be known, I don't actually consider this work.    

One step at a time, though...I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.   

First up, then, is to make some carrycots and sleeping bags and pillows and blankets.

Are you with me?


So, this a.m., I was cutting fabric for a carrycot and was all set to start sewing when I realized that I didn't have enough fabric for the binding.  oops!  What now?  ( didn't really say/think that.)  What I did was this...I went to my jar of leftover bindings.

And, lo and behold!, there was a nice little roll of binding in the fabric I needed...ready to rock and roll!

I knew I was saving those leftovers for something!

Besides the fact that they look darn cute in the jar on my shelf. 

Hope your Monday is as fun as mine is!!!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Kaylynn Marie


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.". Jeremiah 29:11