Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Takeoff Tote

Ahh... I get to show you the results of some of my sewing busy-ness! Would you believe it's from another Erin Erickson pattern? Only this one isn't even out yet. I got to test it for her! Yay! It's called the "Takeoff Tote", and it will be released very soon! I got the pattern last Saturday morning, set aside everything else, and actually made the tote in only 3 days!

I've had a couple yards of Jessica Jones's Outside Oslo Wildflower print here for a long time, and I just never knew what to make out of it. Well, this tote seemed to be the perfect thing. Here it is:

It's a good-sized bag - 16" wide x 5½" deep x 13" tall, so it will hold a lot of 'stuff'. It has a zippered pocket on the front...

... and a slip pocket on the back. The slip pocket is actually meant to be left open at the bottom so if you're traveling, it can fit over the handle on your rolling carry-on luggage (thus the name "Takeoff Tote") and ride there, so you don't even have to carry it. I chose to sew mine shut, because I don't have any plans for going on an airplane anytime soon (ever?), and one can never have too many pockets, right?

It's nice and wide at the bottom,

opens wide at the top so it's easy to get at your stuff, and has a couple of slip pockets inside.

I'm very happy with this bag! The pattern was easy to follow, as are all of Erin's patterns. She just has a knack for explaining the how-to's and taking excellent photos that demonstrate them, with meticulous attention to every detail. She works hard to make sure every pattern is 'just right'!

Now I need to fill it up and go somewhere again, since it wasn't ready in time for our Thanksgiving trip to Cincinnati. Maybe somewhere south and warm, since our temp is supposed to get near zero tonight! So much for our lovely "spring" weather.

On a side note, I had no fabrics in my stash that matched the colors in that print, so I ordered some, hoping the colors would go together well. I ordered both the red and wine canvases from Fabric.com. I really hit the jackpot when I ordered the red! Have you ever gotten one of these?

It meant an extra foot of fabric for me - hurray!

Update: The word from Erin is that she hopes to release the pattern tonight (Wednesday) at midnight Central Standard Time! Still enough time to make one for a Christmas gift! ;)

Monday, December 15, 2014


Update: We did get freezing drizzle, freezing rain, sleet, and it's snowing. Not a lot of anything, but enough to let school out at 1:00. It's also very windy, and our power flickers out once in a while. The temperature has also dropped about 35° so far from yesterday's high.

Also, I finished a sewing project that I CAN show you. But with it so cloudy and dark, good photos just aren't too be. Later.....

Our weather's been so crazy! We have had several days of warm, cloudy, foggy weather. This was our temperature at about 9:30 yesterday (Sunday) morning:

Yeah... 52°! That, after having already been below zero a couple weeks ago. It even got a bit warmer during the day. As I write this now (Sunday evening), we're under a Winter Storm Warning for all day Monday! Rain>freezing rain>snow. Interesting, huh?

I'm feeling a bit insane myself. I'm trying to get some major sewing done before Christmas. So the blog is gonna have to take the back seat for awhile. Sorry. I'll show you what I'm sewing when I can, but most of it will have to wait till after Christmas. ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ya gotta feel for 'em

Rushed time of year. Temporary drivers. Temporary trucks.

This is what showed up at our place about 10:30 a.m. yesterday:

It was UPS. Not our regular driver. The guy spent about 10 minutes sorting through stuff. Finally he brought a medium-size package into our garage. Then he brought it out with him again. He searched through boxes for another 5 minutes or so, like he was trying to find something. Then he grabbed a couple other packages and brought them into the garage... and left them. He searched some more, looking frustrated and talking to someone on his bluetooth headset. Then he grabbed up the first package again, closed the truck, got into the cab with the package and drove off hurriedly. I went out to see what he'd left me... and thankfully, they were the packages I was expecting. Hopefully the poor guy got things figured out and had a better rest-of-the day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thermos to lamp

What do you get when you take an old vintage thermos,

break out the glass and drill some holes,

stick in a cord,

and add a bulb at the top?

You get a lamp, of course! And if you're lucky, you found a pair of thermoses...

... and made TWO lamps to decorate your office with, like Jess did!

The perfect bulbs had just the right filaments to give the lamps an extra bit of interest!

Whodathunkit, huh? :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cincinnati trip highlights

We ate. A lot. :) Being there over Thanksgiving, we of course had turkey and all the trimmings. Just look at this bird! It was smoked on the Big Green Egg grill, and done to perfection. It was so juicy and delicious, I think the best turkey I've ever eaten!

We ate in their lovely "grand hotel" (so dubbed by me) dining room. So pretty!

There was, of course, dessert, too!

The toppings were each delicious on their own, but nearly overpowered the pumpkin pie. I ate my second piece (the next night) with only whipped cream. The cinnamon crumbly stuff was yummy for snacking, which we did plenty of (there was about twice that amount to begin with) because the recipe made a huge amount for just one pie! Grandpa decided on the addition of the grated chocolate.

We spent a lot of time in front of the fireplace which contained a brand new gas insert. Jess will probably want you to know that it's not finished yet. She's going to paint the rest of the bricks black (after the mortar cures) and add some 'stuff' around the base of the logs to make it look more realistic.

During our week there, this was my view quite a bit:

We drove around to many places, one of which was the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Unfortunately, there were very few horses there at the time. No photos. It was also quite chilly walking around. We did, however, wander through the horse museum, which was nice and warm and also interesting. During our week, we also took in a distillery tour, a craft show, a couple of antique shops, did some other shopping, etc., etc.

Oh, yeah... we ate some more along the drive. :)

We purchased and put up the Christmas tree...

... which made for such a cozy scene in the parlor.

The outside lights were also hung...

... so their house is ready for Christmas! Now if only mine were. So much to do... so little time. Don't be surprised (or worried) if I don't blog a lot between now and Christmas.

We had a great time which went by much too fast. That's all the photos, except for one interesting project Jess and Grandpa worked on. I'll show you that later.