Saturday, January 24, 2015

Feeling Crafty

All of this upholstery
has put me in a crafty mood!

But I'm waiting for my new, improved staple gun.
(my old one, from Home Depot, has been malfunctioning, which is scary when it happens,
 and also uses really big staples which aren't perfect for upholstery)
I'm excited for the  new tool but it means that
 I can't work on my upholstery project until it arrives.

I did get the old chair all taken apart.


So I started organizing and putting away my sewing/upholstery stuff.

Which led to a couple of projects:

First I made this little needle book.
A girl in my neighborhood made one of these for herself and brought it to a sewing
activity at the church a few weeks ago.
When I asked for a needle, she whipped out this cute "book" full of needles.
What a great idea!
For some reason I have been keeping mine in a ziplock bag...
which you might guess doesn't work that well for sharp objects.

So, I made one for myself.

I know it looks like a fabric swatch folded in half.
that's exactly what it is...
I had ordered several swatches when choosing the fabric for my chair
so I used it for this project.
So perfect.

I just sewed in some "pages" of cotton batting
(felt works great too but I used what I had on hand)

Next I found this cute blog post about a crochet hook organizer

I liked it so much I recreated it almost exactly.  
I even had red polka dot fabric.

I made mine to roll up rather than close like a clutch.

with pockets for crochet hooks, small scissors and yarn needles.


A fun Saturday project.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Upholstery Project

I have finished my first upholstery project.
The first one I have done all by  myself.
All. By. Myself.

It was harder than I expected considering I made a point of choosing a simple chair to do.

And now its done
and I can see everything wrong with it.


I look over at the chair next to it that I purchased from a furniture store
and it has flaws too.
So, there you go.

(I'm doing that chair next. Heaven help me and my family)

Remember when I took that upholstery class
and I was the messiest person in the class?
Still a problem.

I was planning to do a whole tutorial thing with pictures
but then it turns out
I am busy thinking of what I'm doing and what to do next
and not thinking about taking a picture.

Here is my only "in process" photo

I'm pretty happy with how my double welt came out though...
and somehow I took a bunch of pictures of this part
because I couldn't find any tutorials about making double welt with only one seam.
And I learned that in my upholstery class.
Yay me!

And I didn't even realize until partway through that I wasn't using the right foot on my machine.
I'm such a dork.

Here's my finished chair

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to Darryl

My brother Darryl would have been 53 on January 16th.

He loved apple pie and didn't really care for cake,
so he always requested an apple pie for his birthday.

After his death in 1986
we sort of took up this thing where we celebrate his birthday
by eating apple pie on his birthday.

Sometimes it was McDonald's Apple Pie.
Sometimes it was homemade apple pie.
But we tried hard to always have some apple pie of some kind on January 16th.
This year we got to have a big family apple pie get together.
It was awesome.

We enjoyed some great pie
and told some "Darryl stories"
and just enjoyed more family time.

Back in about 2003 my brother Dion made a video about Darryl.
He interviewed each of us and put it all together with home video clips.
It's a really awesome video
and we generally watch this on his birthday too.

Mom, watching the Darryl video.

Happy Birthday Darryl!
You were an awesome brother and good example to me.

2014 in Review

2014 in Review

I like this thing that my cousin Emily does so I'm doing it too.
  1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before? Moved to Utah
  2. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? Family reunions of all kinds! :-)
  3. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Considering how bad my memory is getting, I doubt any dates will be etched on my memory.  But hopefully I will remember April 13, 2014 since that's the day my second granddaughter was born! :-)
  4. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I followed the promptings that we received to move to Utah.  It was a BIG decision.
  5. What was your biggest failure? This will take some thought.  Biggest failure? I'm sure if we asked my kids they would come up with something.  Possibly moving my 16 year old away from MA will be what he sees as a failure but I just can't honestly say I would do it differently.
  6. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major.  Same ol' stuff with me.
  7. What was the best thing you bought? A new house in Utah with a basement apartment for my son, daughter-in-law, and grand babies!
  8. Where did most of your money go? Moving expenses and house/house expenses.
  9. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being near my family.
  10. What song will always remind you of 2014? Hmmm Probably "All about that bass" because my kids love to sing just a piece of it around me, knowing it will get stuck in my head and drive me crazy.
  11. Compared to this time last year, are you:
    a) happier or sadder?
    tough one.  Happier to be near family but moving away from your friends of 10 years is super hard and moving your teenager away from his friends is super hard which makes me sometimes feel sadder.
    b) thinner or fatter? ugh fatter.
    c) richer or poorer? feels like more money is flowing outward...
  12. What do you wish you'd done more of? spending time with friends
  13. What do you wish you'd done less of? hmmm...facebook? haha such a waste of time most of the time!
  14. What was your favorite TV program? I finally watched Gilmore Girls. :-)
  15. What was the best book you read? I read so many!  Um, I loved Unbroken.  But since I didn't keep a list this year I can't remember all the books I read.  Keeping a list in 2015!
  16. What did you want and get? A new bike, to live near my grandkids/kids/siblings/parents
  17. What did you want and not get? wood floors
  18. What was your favorite film of the year? No idea.  Seriously, I have a baaaad memory.
  19. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 48. lunch and movie with my friend Annette.
  20. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? comfortable and usually unattractive
  21. What kept you sane? chocolate?  Although it also helped cause 11b so...
  22. Which celebrity did you fancy the most? Don't care about celebrities.
  23. What political issue stirred you the most? Don't care much about politics either.  But I can get going about some things in private.  Not a "put my politics on the internet" kind of person.
  24. Who is the best new person you met? Kaylee Elizabeth Hill
  25. Who did you miss? All my MA people (after July). 
  26. Tell us a valuable lesson you learned in 2014.  Even if you know you are doing the right thing, it might still be hard.
  27. What were your favorite photos from 2014?   

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I've been MIA in pretty much every part of my life for the last week or so.

My migraines are completely out of control.
Every day I get one.
Maybe there are some days I don't
but I can't think of any at the moment.


On the evening of my birthday I got
what I consider to be the absolute worst kind of headache
(at least out of the kinds that I usually get)

It probably has a name
but every doctor seems to call it something different:
Ice Pick Headache
Cluster Headache
Stabbing Pain Headache
and more...

But what it comes down to is that I feel like someone is stabbing me in the head
with an ice pick (or similar small, sharp object)
randomly and repeatedly.

It is always in the same spot on my head during an attack.
So next time it might be in a different spot
but while this episode is going on, it's always in the same spot.
Make sense?
Not really, but you know what I mean.

I can handle it for a day or so.
Then I start to lose it.

I grimace and cry and flinch and occasionally scream.
I say "I'm going crazy" a lot.
I am easily annoyed/angered/made emotional.

And nothing makes it go away.
I usually end up in the ER and they knock me out with meds.
Sometimes this works and it goes away after that.
Sometimes it doesn't.

This one has lasted the longest ever.

I'm on day 9?
I can't even keep track.

The plus side is that I have gotten some shots (at the doctor's office) and IV meds (in the ER)
that have given me 5 hours and once even 12 hours of relief.
Otherwise I might have jumped off a bridge by now.

The last few days I have had several hours without the pains
but they always return...
just when I start to think that it is finally over.

So, I'm figuring out how to get a few things done during those hours.

But overall I have not done a whole lot in about a week and a half.

Sometimes its hard being me.
But I feel like it also awfully hard living with me.

I'm glad I don't have small kids because the dinner situation around here has been grim.
Teenagers (and above) can fend for themselves.
They do their own laundry.

I don't have any words of wisdom or lessons learned...
But I'm still alive.
If a bit cranky.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy Birthday to me

It's my tradition now
(for 3 years running)
to post what I did on my birthday.

This year the celebration actually took place on January 4th.
I wanted a big family get together now that I'm here with family
I mean, I'm here with the family so I need a big family get together! 
So the only day everyone could come was the 4th.

But since I'm all for having multiple day celebrations it was no problem.

Frank made stew
(Pioneer Woman recipe that I provided for him)
and my favorite made-from-scratch vanilla cake.

I might need to change my "the birthday girl never makes her own cake" rule.
I have become a person who only likes baked goods made from scratch.
And that kind of baking is more difficult.
Frank is also a very messy cook.

Both of the cakes we made
(two were needed for a big family get together after all)
And it was only after I saw the first one fall that I remembered that you have to make changes when you bake at high altitudes.
I have no idea what changes to make, I just know some have to be made.

-but that is a task for another day-

So the family came over at 6 PM for dinner:
Stew (us)
Potato Soup (Diane)
Home made rolls (Doneen)
Grapes (Dad and Mom)
Cake (us)
Cookies (Ryan-Diane's hubby)
Ice Cream (Dion)

We were well fed!

It was total and complete mayhem.
My house is kind of boring for kids.
I don't have toys really anymore
(just a few toddler ones)
so the kids entertained themselves with chasing and hiding and all those things kids do to entertain themselves.
My one poor young teenager niece was bored to tears I think...but she's a good sport.
The adults talked and enjoyed themselves.

Poor bored kids...

They actually put 48 candles on my cake
which made some of the kids nervous...
so much fire!

Then, the men did dishes! Yay!

It was a fun night
and made me grateful, yet again, that I live near my family.

on my actual birthday
I started the day by enjoying my very quiet house.
Carter and Ryan were off to school
and Frank was at work in his office
and I curled up in a chair and just enjoyed the quiet.
It was blissful.

Then I went out to lunch and a movie
with my good friend Annette.

We did some browsing at a cute store at Thanksgiving Point.
Ate soup at Zupas
And saw the movie Annie.
I knew that was a safe one in my family will be mad I saw that one without them.

Then we had leftover stew and rolls for dinner.
Leftover cake (of course!)
and watched Back to the Future.

Now it is 10:45 PM
and I am once again sitting in a chair enjoying the quiet.

48 is getting up there.
Forty Eight!
I don't like the way that sounds.
I'm beginning to understand why people lie about their age...
and why people get face lifts.

But I feel happy.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Frank's cancer diagnosis...
and he is still with me.
He feels good.
I really couldn't ask for a better gift.