Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dress Form Makeover

I did it!  I recovered my dress form!
I've been putting it off because I knew it would be a difficult.
It turned out to be one of the most challenging sewing projects I've ever done.

I found her at a thrift shop a few years ago.
I was so excited to find it but not so excited about the purple color.
I wanted to use it for photographing my hand knit and crochet items.
But, purple doesn't go with most of them.

The Acme label is fun...

But, the purple had to go!
I started creating a pattern with tissue paper, pins, tape and a pencil.

Next, I used used the tissue as a pattern for some white muslin.
I roughly cut it out and pinned it onto the dress form.
I made more adjustments, sewed sections together and tweaked until it worked.

Then, I trimmed the muslin pieces (with seam allowances) and un-stitched them to use as a pattern
for the fabric I wanted to use for recovering.  I still had to do a lot of tweaking to get it just right.
I did a LOT of sewing and seam ripping!  When I got all the pieces sewn together and just right
(with one side left open), I slipped it on the dress form, smoothed, stretched and pinned the final
seam together.  Luckily, I was tired that night and left it until the next day.  That created a crease where it was pinned and I was able to take it off the next day to fold it over and press it into place.
I put it back onto the dress form and that folded edge made it much easier to hand stitch together.  
Lastly, I made gathered fabric flowers to fill in the armholes.

Ta da!

I think the total cost to re-cover her was about $6!

 I imagined the flowers and ruffles from the beginning.
I absolutely love how it turned out.  So frilly and pretty!

 I'm excited to have a neutral dress form to use for photographing my future projects.
She's very pretty to look at too!   :-)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chilly Morning

These chilly mornings after a long, hot summer are so refreshing.
I'm enjoying a hot cup of tea this morning and a little fun with mazes.
I'm wearing jeans instead of shorts, socks instead of flip flops and I even have a jacket on.

Enjoy this wonderful Fall day!

The Letter Q

The Alphabet Photo Challenge letter of the week is "Q".

"Q" on the old "Antiques" sign hanging over my staircase.

Some of the Quilts I have...

This is one that I have hanging on a ladder in my craft studio.
The crochet bed cover was made by my grandmother.

I got this one from a church rummage sale...

I made this one for my daughter when she moved away for college...

This is an old yoyo Quilt that my mom inherited and gave to me.
I have no idea how old it is.  It's really big!

 Here's another photo.  It has a lot of colors in it.

 I made this one to hang over the loft wall above our living room.
The colors are better in person.




Quick release on one of our bikes.

Quirky new wine bottle cover I got last night.
It's an actual sock!  I couldn't resist getting it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Goodbye Summer

 Hubby and I spent the last day of summer doing something we've been wanting to do for a long time. 
We went hiking in the mountains above Idyllwild, CA.

There was a huge fire up there earlier in the summer that threatened the mountain communities
and many of the trails we love and use often.  The trails were closed for a while after the fire.
Eventually they re-opened but it's been too hot up there to hike (it's not as cool as the Big Bear
area on another mountain where we've been mountain biking and camping at a lot).

When the weather started cooling last week we wasted no time in planning a hike.
We headed up early Saturday morning, stopped at the ranger station
 for our trail permit, and we were on our way!  Woo hoo!  

We hiked the South Ridge Trail that day.  It was so great to be hiking up there again!  
I only brought my phone and a small camera for photos and took very few.
I wanted to just soak in the day.

The mountain had recently been washed in flash floods.
So, all the trees and bushes were extra clean, green and pretty.
It was interesting to stop at various lookout spots along the way to see where the fire had burned.
It had burned a lot but it's still beautiful and the views are spectacular.
We enjoy stopping at this pile of huge boulders to climb around and have a seat.

Here's the view out from inside that pile of boulders...with my cute hubby!

When we got to the top of Tahquitz Peak it was awesome to see the fire lookout stand.  I'd worried about it during the fire and couldn't wait to get back onto our trails again and go see it.
We were surprised to see that the tower was open.  There was a volunteer up there for
the day and that night.  I've wondered what it would be like to stay up there.  
She said the sunrise and sunset are awesome!

There are windows all around with views of the ocean, the desert, and more mountains.
And, there's a deck that runs around the entire outside of the building.
There was a thick marine layer in the lower areas that day but the views were still great.

The stand in the center has a map and a device to help calculate where fires are when they're spotted.

It even has a little cook stove and heat stove.
There's a bed just to the left of the heat stove.

This is the National Forest Service volunteer that was up there that day.
She was really nice and we enjoyed chatting with her.
Here, she's filling out a visitor card for my husband.
He has one from when he was about 16.  It was fun to get another one so many years later.

That's me sitting on the rock near the tower...

And, hubby...

It was quite a hike!  There was over 2,400 feet of elevation climb in just over three miles to the top!
The steepness was tough for the trip back down too.  What a great workout and great day!
The weather was awesome...warm in the sun and chilly in the shade and super blue skies.

We ended the day as we often do when we go to the Restaurant Gastronome.
I keep finding myself ordering the same thing because it's so yummy...a turkey sandwich
on ciabatta bread with tomato, lettuce, purple onion and a spicy cranberry sauce.
It's delicious...especially when I'm really hungry.  Hubby had a turkey sandwich on a 
croissant with fig jam.  It was yummy too.  The beer was icey cold...Yum!

When we were at the ranger station that morning, I got a cute little pair of 
Smokey the Bear earrings that I've been eyeing for a while.  Fun!

That day was such a great end to our wonderful summer!
How did you end your summer?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Fall!

I'm so excited!  I finally figured out how to put text on a picture!
I know, it took me long enough.  I've started playing with Picassa.
This is a photo from one of our trips to Zion.
Happy Fall, everyone!  :-)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Excited for Fall

The extreme heat of this summer has stayed way too long.
I'm excited for Fall!  So, over the past few weeks, I've been doing some 
Fall-ish things in hopes of hurrying it along.

I bought some adorable Halloween decorations.
I'd like to find a spooky tree to decorate with these and others that I have.
And, wouldn't you know...usually I'm wondering why holiday things are out
so early...this year I'm wondering why they're so slow to show up.
I found these at Pier One (the cute characters) and Hobby Lobby (the glass balls).

When we saw New Belgium Brewery's Pumpkick beer we had to get some.
We visited their impressive brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado a few years ago.
We love trying their limited edition "Lips of Faith" series and their other seasonal brews.
My favorite, so far, was "Kick" a couple of years ago.  So, when I saw this had the word
"kick" in the name, I had to try it.  I'm glad I did!  It's yummy!
The label says it's brewed with pumpkin and cranberry juices and spices.
Sounds weird but it works!  Oh...and I had to find a football game a couple of
weeks ago to watch while I drank it.  Even though it was about 110 outside, I tried
to imagine cooler temps and my favorite season, Autumn.  Ahhhh!

Who knows?  Maybe it worked.  It finally cooled down this week and we haven't needed
to use the air conditioning for a couple of days now.  It's even cool enough to have the windows open!
Wooo hooo!  Yippee!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Couldn't Help Myself!

I know...I'm on a yarn diet.  I'm trying to destash.  I've been resisting buying more yarn.
I've been working like crazy on projects using stash.  I've been doing really good! could I resist this?!...

It's Berroco Boboli Lace and all of those colors are irresistible!

It kind of makes it ok because I'm going to use it for a yarn store sample.
And, hopefully, the FO will look so great that it'll bring me more crochet students.
So, it's all good...right?  lol  Of course it's yarn...yarn is great!

Oh goody...time to start a new project!!!  :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pretty Pink Post Plus

This week, the letter for the Alphabet Photo Challenge is "P".
It's a Positively Perfect letter with a Plethora of Possibility.
And, an opportunity for alliteration...which I love to do.

A Pink sea shell...

Pink Purls on Pink Pointy needles...

 Pink Posies on Porcelain...

Pink Patterned Pillow...

Penelope's Pink Padded Paw...

Plus, Probiotic Pills...

A Positively Pleasing Project with a Precisely Perfect Product.
Created by a very goofy blogger!

Friday, September 13, 2013

O is for Ocean

Looks like I ended up behind on the Alphabet Photo Challenge again.
But, I have a very good excuse...sort of.  I've been gone.
But, this might make up for it...the letter this week is O and...
I went somewhere that starts with "O"!   The Ocean! 

Hubby is lucky to work near the ocean.  And, one week every ten months or so, he has to work at night.  So, to avoid him having to make the hour drive home in the middle of the night, we took
our RV down to Carlsbad (northern San Diego county) and stayed by the ocean.
It was only about 10-15 minutes from his job.  That was much nicer for his drive "home".
And, we were able to escape the heat at home and enjoy perfect weather...about 75!

We made very good use of the day time hours.  One morning, we rode our bikes to Cardiff, turned around and had a delicious breakfast at the Encinitas Cafe.  Then, we made another stop at Pannikin for coffee.  It's right on highway 101, in an 1888 Santa Fe train station.  Isn't it cute?!...

The inside is fun too.  This is what you see when you walk in one of the doors...

They have a cute, old fashioned looking store that sells coffee, tea, teapots and other fun things.

Then, you turn to the left and follow the line (they're always busy) to place an order...

Their bakery case was overflowing onto the counters with yummy looking treats.
Some were even gluten free!  I had to resist because I was still full from breakfast.

More fun things to look at above the coffee making area...

What a great use of an old stove...they use it to hold cream, sugar, honey, etc...

Their coffee is delicious.  But, I think it's a little weird that they serve a hot vanilla latte
in a large glass....there's no handle and it's TOO hot to hold!  I had to use several napkins
to pick it up.  I was hoping for one of those big cups with coffee art on top.  I love those!

We went outside to sit down and enjoy our coffee.  Parked at the curb was a 
TV news van with their tower up.  They were getting all set up to cover a story...

There was a group of people that had started early in the morning for a run from Camp Pendleton to San Diego for a children's charity of some kind.  It was fun to get a behind-the-scenes look
at what it takes to get a news story.  We heard them making arrangements to meet
 the runners at the finish line later that day.  They were going to run about 46 miles that day.

This adorable little dog was waiting outside for it's owner.  It was so cute!

Our RV that was just a little cabin in the woods a few weeks ago
became our little cottage by the sea this week.  
Yes...that's the ocean right behind it!

Salsa seemed to love the cooler weather.
She took naps on her little pink hammock every day.

We could tell that she was thoroughly enjoying the shade and the cool ocean breeze.

Hey...this starts with O...sort's an Old tree!

I had hoped to bike more but I'm not used to my road bike and the long ride earlier in the week
made my neck too sore to ride again.  But, the week was filled with lots of other fun stuff.
Hubby did more riding in the mornings and boogie boarding in the afternoons.
I went for walks and beach combing for more rocks to crochet lace around.
Of course, I did some knitting, a little shopping, and relaxing.

We finished our stay with a walk along the beach this morning.
The water temperature is really nice right now.  Ahhhh!
We really enjoyed watching birds...especially the different sand piper types.
There were teenie tiny ones, larger gray and white ones, and big brownish ones.
The bluff to the left is where our RV was parked.  We heard the sound of the ocean
all the time.  And, we enjoyed sunsets and and watching the moon set every night.

There are stairways like this one that lead down to the sand.

The lack of crowds during the week (and, since school has started) was wonderful!

The size and shape of the waves improved a lot today and there were lots of surfers.
You might be able to see some of them if you click on the photo to enlarge it.

Well, there's my O post.  It's not a lot of things that start with O.
It's one very large thing that starts with O...Ocean!
And, it was much more fun than some of the things I had planned on like olive oil and onions.
I didn't even take my camera out of the case....I used my cell phone for pictures.