Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Official.

Apparently...a little past 11:30 this morning...I became a Senior Citizen.  Now, I can order a Senior meal at my favorite restaurant...if I grocery-shop on Thursdays, I'll get a 5% discount...and gosh, I can hardly WAIT to see what AARP is going to do for me.  

The Mailman...who is 5 years younger than me...thinks all of this is just hilarious.  For the past several weeks, he's taken every opportunity to remind me...and this morning, before work, he took me out for breakfast JUST so he could request the discount.  The joke's on him, though.  You see, for the past 17 years, I've been doing my best to age him...discreetly, of course...and according to my diabolical plan, by the time he retires he'll be 5 years OLDER than me.  BWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!

All kidding aside...when I think of the woman I was 30 years ago, there's NO WAY I would go back.  Apart from a slimmer physique and perkier bewbs, there's not much I miss about being 25.  Today, I have a wonderful man who loves me...a home of my own...work that I enjoy...and a certain level of comfort in my own skin.  And a profound gratitude for all that I've been given.  I had none of that at 25.  And as for the body and the bewbs...well, that's nothing a diet and a good bra won't fix.  Right? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Selfish Tote

Earlier this month, I was chatting with my friend, Kim...who works at our local quilt shop...and is also a "Bag Lady" (i.e. a lady who makes bags).  We were discussing the curious fact that neither one of us carries our own creations...a consequence, I suppose, of being so focused on sewing for "business" that we've forgotten how to sew for pleasure.  We both agreed that this situation should be remedied immediately...and since I've dubbed this "The Year of Sewing Selfishly,"  I decided that my first project would be a KatyDidStitches Tote Bag just for ME...and this is it! 




I began with this beautiful print by Jennifer Paganelli for Sis BoomI was thrilled to find it on clearance at one of my favorite fabric shops last year.  It has ALL my favorite colors...jadeite green, orchid, cornflower blue, pale lemon yellow...and I knew it would make a fabulous Tote.  Although I loved the design, I wanted to change it up a bit...


...and so I decided to do what I like to call "mosaic patchwork."  

Now, I'm sure this has been done many times before...by many other sewists more talented that I...so I certainly don't want to take credit for the idea.  It involves cutting up a large motif into fairly small squares (in this case 3"x3")...and piecing them back together in a random fashion.  I like the texture that the piecing and diagonal machine-quilted stitches create...and it's a great way to utilize fabric that may be the wrong size for a whole-cloth project.






I added a cute fabric daisy...my own design that I've used for several years.  When I make these to sell, I attach them to a pin-back so that they are removable...because not everyone appreciates a daisy on their Tote!  Personally, I LOVE this look...and so MY daisy is constructed as a dimensional applique.  The button center is from a HUGE jar of buttons that I bought at an auction a couple of years ago.  (As an "auction virgin," I was terrified...and made my friend bid for me!)




I also included an inside zippered pocket!  Since I suffer from "zipper phobia," this is a major TA-DA for me. 

There are also three slip-in pockets...a small one for a pen...another that's wide enough for a checkbook...and a third accommodates a cell phone...which I don't have...so I use it for sunglasses.



I must say, this Tote was an absolute JOY to make.  I worked on it all last week...sewing when I felt inspired to do so...and setting it aside when my interest waned or the garden or The Mailman needed my attention.  This was a welcomed break from the intense concentration and "time is money" speed that sewing for my business necessitates.  I like it...and I intend to do more!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dancin'

I'll admit it...my favorite guilty pleasure is watching "Dancing with the Stars."  It's must-see-TV for me.  So much so that The Mailman bought a little TV for our camper...JUST so I could watch it on our recent camping trip.  (Truth be told, he probably just didn't want to listen to my whining over missing it.)  When the show premiered a few years ago, the premise sounded pretty lame to me...and so I didn't bother to check it out.  Then...midway through Season One, my MIL clued me in...and I've been hooked ever since.

I think this season's cast has been the best one yet.  We had no ringers that were expected to win from the get-go (Kristi Yamaguchi, Evan Lysacek)...no one was head-and-shoulders above the rest (Mario Lopez, Brooke Burke)...and there was no painful lingering (Master P, Kate Gosselin).  There were some nice surprises.  I found Romeo to be a delightful young man who embraced the experience with gusto (unlike his father).  The guy that was the first to go...Mark Catherwood, is HILARIOUS...and Kirstie's transformation is remarkable!  Even Brooke has improved in the last few weeks...moving beyond her constant "How does it feel?"...to actually interacting with the others.  And Tom Bergeron was stellar, as always.


Although I thought Chelsea and Mark deserved better scores on a couple of occasions...and Bruno's remarks to Ralph and Karina on Monday evening were inexcusable...the judges, for the most part, have been pretty fair...and I appreciated them refraining from personal insults (remember Michael Bolton?) in favor of constructive criticism.  

Who's gonna win?  Well, Chelsea is absolutely charming...and probably the best remaining dancer.  And Hines is SMOOTH...the kinda guy we'd all LOVE to dance with.  But, my fifty-something heart is with Kirstie.  I'd love to see her win. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bacation, Part Deux

Since my dislike of camping is no longer a secret after Bonnie ratted me out (see previous post)...and since I'm usually a pretty good sport about the whole thing...The Mailman surprised me with a romantic middle-of-the-week get-away that was a little more my style.  Now THIS, my friends, is camping!

This is the STUNNING Martha's Vineyard Bed and Breakfast in South Haven, Michigan...on the coast of Lake Michigan.  It's a beautiful 1850's house...with a wide veranda, lush landscaping and a pond with a fountain and resident ducks!  







We had a lovely room...with en suite bath... a fireplace and our own private balcony.  The owners, Lou and Ginger, serve a four-course sit-down breakfast every morning...and the food was most delicious!  I especially enjoyed the Caramel Apple Omelette...while The Mailman raved about the cinnamon rolls (baked in individual flower pots)!  Good conversation around the breakfast table with our fellow guests made for a wonderful start to the day!













After a day of biking, golfing and lounging, we had worked up a pretty good-sized appetite...so we went into South Haven for dinner...to Clementine's, which occupies an old bank building.















Inside...soaring tin ceilings, aged brick walls, and gorgeous oak woodwork.This is the view from the dining area into the bar.  I love me a pretty archway!

Good food here, as well...shrimp and crab with melted cheese and grilled tomato on a toasted French roll...and asparagus soup...yummy!

















These chandeliers are MASSIVE...and original to the building.
















After dinner, we strolled down to the end of the pier for a look at the lake and little bit of people-watching. 








Our waitress at Clementine's recommended the ice cream at Sherman's Dairy Bar...so of course we had to go!  Chocolate Covered Pretzel! The perfect ending to a very sweet date with ma hunny!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bacation

Hi Everbudee!  This iz Bonnee.  I am back from bacation an I fought you would like to heer bout it.  Wee went to Maumee Bay State Park!  That iz in oHIo.  It iz close to Toleedo.  Up by Lake Eerie.  They gots a bootiful camping ground, a big lodge, a beech, bike trails...an a golf course!  That made Duddee most very happee!






Heer iz where wee stayed.  It iz are camper and it iz my most favrite place to stay.  You can see mee in a pitchure.  I am guardin' it!












Duddee had to mow the lawns so's Clydee an mee had a good place to potty.  Fank you, Duddee!













Wee did lotsa fun stuff.  Like sun-sittin'.














An goin' for woks.















Duddee duz all a cookin' when wee go campin'.  Heer is a brekyfest hee made.  See?  It gots a smilly face!












 
Heer is Clydee on a trail.  Hee gots a smilly face, too!





I like campin".  Clydee likes campin'.  So duz Duddee.  But I gots to tell you sumfin'.  I don't fink Mommee likes campin'.  I fink she tolerhates it.  Becuz she likes us.  But she iz kinda prissy.  An so today Duddee iz takin' Mommee campin' someplace that she WILL like.  Clydee an mee, wee are not goin'.  Wee are stayin' wif Ant Beverlee.  Which iz OK.  Wee like her.


Bonnee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lost April Revisited

If you've been following along with my little perennial garden, you may be interested to see how much it's changed in just a weeks' time.  The mini irises are in full bloom...the creeping phlox is still going strong...and the peonies have grown about a foot!  Mr. Lincoln is putting on quite a show and the lilac fragrance is heavenly!  The trees are leafing out...and I saw the first Hummingbird yesterday!  Ahh...Spring!