Monday, March 22, 2010

Fashion advice and my favorite kitchen gizmo....

"Mom? Does this basket make my butt look big?"

I recently purchased some new catnip from the place where I get the buckles for the cat collars that I make our kids. Man, it must be some seriously good sh!t! lol I caught Beeswax pulling the packages of batteries out of this Longaberger basket this morning, in his quest for a fix. I'm talking packages of D cells! The heavy ones! I keep the catnip in there, with the lid down, but he wanted in and he wanted that stuff NOW. So I gave him some and put it away and he went after it again. Then he wanted in the basket. *snork* We were cracking up, watching him. He's so funny.

Nosey Parker wanted some too and after Beez vacated the basket, she climbed in. A slightly better fit, but not great! Daddy brought Beez a bigger box.

I have to share with you my favorite kitchen gadget- the Sunbeam Egg-cetera. I've had this forever, I just love it, it makes the best poached eggs. You put some water in the bottom, up to a certain line and plug it in, when the light comes on, they're done! And isn't it cute? The little egg shape just cracks me up, no pun intended. One egg on a half of an English muffin and I'm thrilled at breakfast time. It'll do hard boiled in the shell, too, if you want.

Cute, huh? I hope it never dies, I'm sure they don't make it anymore.

And finally- you all know about Nosey Parker, the white kitten. We also have a black cat, Sammie, short for Sambuca. Well, he's the only one that will play with her, the other boys have each other and that's all they want. They wouldn't play with Sammie either, so when we got NP, he was kind of happy, until he learned how tough she is and relentless! lol She pounds on him all the time, but sometimes he likes it. Anyway, when they're together we call them Salt and Pepper. And when she's beating him up, we change the names again to "Assault and Pepper".

Somedays, I feel like I should call the cops on her, she's mean! Poor little Sam, he's been known to scream like a girl and he goes on and on about it. rofl He's got super thick fur, though, so she's not really hurting him.

Fun and games at our house. Stoned out cats and kittens and wrestling matches. It's pretty entertaining sometimes!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I just can't have anything nice anymore!

About 25 years ago, my husband gave me the coolest birthday present- basket weaving lessons. I loved them, learned all the basics and all about different supplies and then I bought some books and branched out on my own. This basket was the hardest one I ever made. I had to mold the spokes to the handles and then let them dry in order to form the nice round, square shape. I think it's called a Margaret Basket, but I'm not positive anymore. It looked great, I dyed it green after it was all done and it served us well for over 20 years until some big doofus stuck his big fat foot thru it!

It was partially my fault, I left it on the floor and it was dark. I knew it was there, but I guess he didn't. It still worked, the holes were mostly on the sides, but it was bothering me and he felt awful about it. So I fixed it! I had a lot of twill tape in stock so I wove that thru the bad spots and voila! It's better. Not perfect, but better. And the poor thing is very brittle. Hopefully I bought it a few more years of gentle use.

Because our old dog is having a few problems and needs to wear a "bikini" with Poise pads in them, we have to keep the pads real handy. I got tired of them being out in plain sight all the time, so I broke into my Fassett materials and made this.

It holds both size pads that we use and hangs on the wall, up out of the way. And it goes well with the wall color and other things in the room.

A simple project, but quite needed and rewarding.

Directly behind you as you're looking at the new bag, is this-

I've been pretty busy upstairs this week- I'm making more of the coffee cup organizers that I sell in my shop, I am down to only 3 all of a sudden. I'm making some to match the sewing caddies for those people who like sets to match. People like me! lol

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Home repairs and a finish....

First the pretty- I made a purse for a friend. Jennifer doesn't sew or quilt and HATES going into quilt shops because she says she feels like an imposter. (Probably feels like I did the day I had to go into a Junior League meeting to pick something up- 50 beautiful young women in power suits and I was in my work jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt.... lol, I wanted to crawl under a linen-draped table!) Anyway, Jennifer sucked it up and went to her LQS and picked out the fabrics and sent them to me. LOVED them, so pretty and spring/summery! This purse is from my original pattern, The Parker Purse, only it's a bit bigger than what I usually make. Jen hauls more stuff around than I do, but I'm starting to find my little ones just a bit too little, so I make myself one like this.

Anyhoo- a batik for the exterior and a Jane Sassaman pink and blue dot for the interior. I gave her a cool, iridescent glass button for the closure, too.

Then the home repair- all of a sudden our electric bill jumped up by about $40 a month! What the heck!? So we thought- maybe it was the water heater. We did an experiment by shutting it down for 22 hours to see what it did to our meter reading and it was a big difference. So that meant our water heater was running too much. Jim got all his big tools out and spent about 2 hours trying to get the element out of the bottom of the water heater, under the house in the crawl space. I'm really proud of him, I would have been screaming obscenities by this point but he had a smile for the camera.

Just behind him in the first photo, the ground drops away and there's a ditch about 4 feet deep. (That's where we're heading in case of a tornado!) The garage is on the other side of that wall. Anyway, not much room for him to work in.

He ended up having to cut a bigger hole so he could get the pipe wrench in there, that element did not want to come out. It was to the point where I was about to go shopping online for a water heater to replace this 20 year old one. He finally was able to unscrew it and pull the thing out, though and then the built up lime and calcium/hard water deposits started pouring out with the water. He got his little copper tool and started scraping, while I watched. Usually the scraping is my job, don't why I escaped this time, but I was happy to squat there and ooh and aah over the massive quantity of it all! We have really hard water here.

He scraped out about 10 pounds of this crap. No wonder the heater was working so hard, the element was buried in it! We're going to do this once a year, now, instead of waiting for an element to go bad. Well.... we SAY we'll do it, but it's such a crappy job and it's so hard to get the elements out, we'll probably wait as long as we can. Procrastinators Unite! So here's how we spent our Monday afternoon. I hope our next electric bill is much lower.