Monday, July 31, 2017

Princeton Days Talent Show

At Princeton Days, there was a talent show....and, of course, Lilly wanted to sing HAMILTON.

(I'm sorry, folks -- but this is just not getting old for me...)

It's another one of my TERRIBLE videos. And, of course, I once again start with the camera turned sideways...

But then, this crappy thing happens when Lilly is about halfway through her song. There had been a big wonderful car show in town -- and the cars were leaving. One of the hot rods began  REVVING his engine (they think other people love to hear the sound of their big loud mufflers...)

Some people in the crowd started to yell at the guy -- which only made it worse. I was so worried for Lilly....She couldn't even hear the sound of her own voice...

Since it was the first time she ever sang in front of an actual audience...and the first time she ever used a microphone...well, I figured was about to turn into one of those bad moments.... She will stop singing.... She will cry.

My Happy Hamilton High will be O.V.E.R....


MMWI: 237.4

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Princeton Days

One of the recurring themes of this blog is HOW LUCKY I AM TO BE ALIVE RIGHT NOW (no -- wait -- that's another Hamilton Lyric)...

I often write about how much there is to see and do in my area -- and YOURS, TOO, I'M SURE. You've just got to look around and be open to it...

Also, trust me -- many worthwhile organizations are looking for YOU -- they are always in need of volunteers.

Just about every weekend during the summer, some small town is hosting their "festival". We have Low Moor Days, Eldridge has a Strawberry Festival, McCausland has their Labor Day Car Show, and Princeton Days happens the last week in June.

Even though we'd had torrential rain the night before -- the little parade went off without a hitch.
This is not my bank...and I'd have to actually study this float for it to make any sense...there is a panda, right?
The pink firetruck, to bring awareness to breast cancer, is a feature at every local parade during the summer.
Five or six neighboring towns send their fire trucks...
THIS float I understood.  It's the haunted maize, just north of town. 
Kids carnival games were set up at the community center.
Lilly and Warren had a great time!!
I'm going to have to take him bowling now...
I ran into lots of people I beautiful niece Amy (on the right)
WHO CAN RESIST a bouncy house!!  Right in front of the library, too.  Genius...
There were bands playing throughout the weekend -- and a wonderful show, right on the Mississippi River, from the Backwater Gamblers!!
But the BIG FUN is always the mountain of sand.  Where the kids dig for buried treasure.  These two spent about an hour working on this pile...and I think they'd still be there if I could've tolerated it...
BUT WE HAD MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO...Did I tell you there was a talent show??

Friday, July 28, 2017

Frankensewed Outfit

There is nothing more fun for me than having somebody comment about something I'm wearing...and I get to say, "thanks. It cost 25 cents."

Honestly...every article of clothing I wear comes from a thrift store. I simply cannot pay retail...and, after all these years, even Walmart feels expensive to me.

The thing is -- when you're only paying $1 for something -- you can TAKE A CHANCE...mess with it, do some alterations, or try to make it work.

And if it doesn't work (hey, it happens)-- IT GOES RIGHT BACK TO THE THRIFT STORE...
This is a poor picture -- but the neckline of this turquoise top is what I just wasn't big enough.  So I added the white panel on both sides.  Now -- PERFECT.
I found this great pair of WHITE JEANS (with the tags still on them) for $1. at the Salvation Army.  They were too long...and had a BIG WIDE BELL BOTTOM. I narrowed the bell, and shortened the pants. Because of the interesting zigzag stitch,  I reattached the original hem.
Also, I LOVED this bejeweled sweater, but my butt is still too big, so I created side vents.
Vents can be a fat girl's best friend, and I've been doing this for YEARS. But there IS a trick to it. I learned this from Mary Mulari (many moons ago). Instead of making the cut and THEN sewing a facing in place --  do this:

  1. Cut a piece of black t-shirt knit into a rectangle...and place it over the UNCUT side seam. (Right Sides Togethe
  2. Sew up one side of the uncut seam,  a few stitches across the seam, and down the other side.
  3. THEN, cut through the sweater and the black t-shirt facing.
  4. Turn the facing to the inside and stitch. 
After I turned the knit to the wrong side, I ironed the new facing into place with some hemtape before I stitched it.
So, let's see.  Pants?  $1.00.  Shirt?  44 cents.  Sweater?  $2.38

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Our THIRD Splendid Sampler™ QUILT REVEAL..!

It's hard to remember way back to February 2016. I had interviewed Pat Sloan for Inspired To Sew Magazine...

AND I learned about Pat's new internet quilt-along-project -- the Splendid Sampler™. With 83 designers participating, there would be two new designs released EVERY WEEK FOR A SOLID YEAR...and my crew -- the TMBC -- all decided to saddle up for this fun project!!

I don't think we really knew how much work it was gonna be.

Four or five of us started...but only two survived...(Pat Sloan -- did you ever think about selling this concept as a new reality show?)

Linda P. made TWO quilts for her two twin daughters, Whitney and Kim.  You saw those quilts already...

Week #1, Sandy and Linda P., comparing notes. 

Sandy NEVER MISSED A WEEK...she completed every block, and actually stapled the finished block to the printed-out instruction sheet.  (she's an accountant by nature)...
Her confidence grew with each completed block...
Every new block represented a new challenge...
SO MUCH TO LEARN!!  Paper piecing, applique, flying geese...half square was like learning a new language.
But Sandy NEVER MISSED A DESIGN...No matter how hard it was, or how many times she had to rip it out and start over...SHE COMPLETED EVERY SINGLE BLOCK....and EVERY POINT WAS PERFECTION...
Sandy did not choose to go the QAYG method.  She decided to shadow every block...
Which was so dramatic!!
And using the gray and white, creating the shadow box -- brought all those various fabrics together.
It is stunning!!  And these two should be SO PROUD...
Sandy purchased the Splendid Sampler™ label for the back of her quilt
The back is stunning, too.  It looks like a finished Modern Quilt, don't you think?
Every block is a work of art...
THANK YOU, PAT SLOAN and JANE DAVIDSON for creating and then shepherding this wonderful project. We learned so much...and IT'S NOT OVER.

The TMBC is getting together, we're going to have a "Featherweight Sew-in"...and put the "reject blocks" to some good use.

I am excited to see how it turns out...Because I think every work of art should have a name -- I'm gonna call it "The Fourth Quilt"...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How it feels vs. How it tastes

Monday, I posted the BEFORE pictures of my pre-fat-camp body. Tuesday I posted the NOW pictures. Looking at those pictures brought things into perspective for me. BIGTIME...

Here's the thing. Throughout my life, I have often been annoyed by people who recently lost weight -- coming up to tell me HOW THEY DID IT. UGH.  I wanted to yell...STOP BEING SO SMUG....I FEEL BAD ENOUGH....LEAVE ME ALONE....NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU ATE FOR BREAKFAST!!

There are a million ways to lose weight. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Fat Camp, online support groups...self-imposed diets. But what works for one person may not work for another...there is no perfect answer...

So, I have no intention of using this blog to tell you what I ate on any given day...or to get preachy about the importance of exercise. But, for those of you who may have given up hope -- I want to say this.

What has helped me the most is to focus on HOW IT FEELS... as opposed to HOW IT TASTES.

My life today feels terrific...and it's full of active VERBS. I travel, swim, walk, lift...I am DOING STUFF every day -- and life has never felt better.

This is a photo collage of RITA-ON-THE-MOVE....trains, planes and automobiles....