Still Kicking

Still not sewing but beginning to come out of my funk (I think).  Nothing to report, really but I haven’t posted this month and my last entry sounded bleak when I read back over it.  I gave up on giving up the sleeping pills; it was killing me, so I’m just going back to using them moderately (as prescribed always).  The anxiety seems better most of the time even though I did have one panic attack this week.  The depression seems better as I’m beginning to get some joy out of life again.  So I’ll just hang in there until I’m back to my usual silly self once more.  I have a few dog pictures to post.

Vegetative State

No sewing lately.  All I’ve done is embroidered 1 book bag.  I’ve created a lot of designs but my emotions have prevented me from accomplishing much at all lately.  Again, life has kept me too busy and when I catch up I’m too tired to sew.  Lately I’ve been buying and upgrading laptops.  My brand new, still-under-warranty laptop died one night…just like that!!! One minute I was typing a reply on a sewing forum, the next minute the screen was black, the buttons were no longer lit up…nothing at all.  And no matter what trick I tried it would never restart.  All my information was still on the hard drive but it was returned to the vendor……which left me without a personal laptop…again.  Wah!  So I wrapped it up and delivered it to FedEx.  Bad day at Black Rock!  I loved that computer!  So, I bought another, different one from somebody I’d bought from before and hope this is the ONE!  It’s due to arrive next week.  In the meantime, I bought 2 used laptops from Ebay–one for $89 and one for $139.  I’ve upgraded the HDD on the first one and maxed out the RAM.  Currently updating to Windows 8.1 then to Windows 10 and it’ll be ready to loan/donate to anyone who needs it.  The other cheap one will be here next week and should need less upgrading.  That’ll give us 2- 14″ laptops for whoever needs them.  Can’t beat that!

Diva canvas book bag
Diva canvas book bag

I’ve had some health related issues and am transitioning off the sleeping pills lately which means sleep is at a premium and I go to bed when I fall down because I don’t sleep naturally anymore.  I’ve never slept well and 35 years of shift work have done their number on me.  Now that R and I are both retired I’ve decided to try to just stop trying to normalize with the pills and see if my body can learn to sleep again without them.  It’s a painful process though because I lose a lot of sleep every time I try this.  I’m committed to doing it this time.  I am.  I am!  And my depression has had me in its clutches, too, so motivation has also been at a premium.  I’ll figure it out.  It just wears me out emotionally and with little to no sleep, it makes me an unhappy, grouchy woman.  Who would have known?  LOL

 

Where?

…Have I been?  I have gone through another burst of crap, too busy doing living stuff to do any creative stuff.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel (I hope).

My sister needed a computer; the one she brought for me to fix wasn’t worth the money to fix so I’m giving her the 11″ laptop I had recently bought for my sewing room and ordered myself another one from Ebay.  Before it got here I talked myself out of it and ordered another, more expensive one from the same vendor on Ebay.  When the first one arrived I never opened the box, just printed out the mailing label and dropped it at the post office.  So, that is 1 computer worked on not worth fixing and another I reloaded fresh for my sister.  Third computer went back to the vendor.  Fourth computer arrived and I have spent the better part of 2 days customizing it and reorganizing my filing system from the Alienware (which I put in my sewing room) and the new Envy in my office.  So that is 5 computers I’ve worked on.

Then yesterday someone hacked a website I manage so I’ve spent the better part of the last 48 hours on the phone with security people and reorganizing website and account details.  Cost about $200, too.  And SUCKED!

Before that I started making tote bags.IMG_5002 IMG_5004 IMG_5008I also did a turquoise webbing tote with a peacock on it but I’ve given it away.  I have approximate 17 more to make (5 on my work table and 12 more ordered online but not received).  I also bought rose-colored napped fabric to make envelope cushion covers for 2- 18″ throw pillows.  And I just got in fabric I ordered to make hammocks for bearded dragons.  I’ve also just committed to make some beds and sleeping envelopes for them.  And when I find the time I’m going to make me a summer purse.  I hate the one I have now (too dark) and I can’t see buying one when I have the fabric to do it myself (and I like my own better, too–they don’t fall apart and always have the exact number of pockets I require).

Prior to this I made these blankets for a friend:

IMG_4998 IMG_4996

 

 

 

It looks like I’ve done so much but it doesn’t feel like I have, so…back to the drawing board!

May II

Spent the better part of the day in the sewing room and have nothing to show for it.  Everything was moving along just fine when I found out my machine had stitched the top to the bottom of the blanket.  There was too many stitches to save it; I had to cut the hoop away from the blanket to keep from throwing the whole thing away.  Wah!!!!!!!!!  It was frustrating but a learning experience at the same time.  Learning a new machine sometimes hurts!  So, tomorrow I’m planning on doing the same design on something else; I won’t have to take the chance of making today’s mistake two days in a row.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah, I was going to post pictures of my sewing room.

Fabric and thread sorted by type/color
Fabric and thread sorted by type/color
New machine sitting sleekly in its corner, mini=laptop for design manipulation
New machine sitting sleekly in its corner
Armoire with NOTHING stacked on top under a Texas painting by my best friend in the UK
Armoire with NOTHING stacked on top under a Texas painting by my best friend in the UK
Sewing machine and shelves for books, manuals, notions, etc.
Sewing machine and shelves for books, manuals, notions, etc.
4K Smart TV with Roku 3 hung above my fabric totes and serger on the cutting table to the left
4K Smart TV with Roku 3 hung above my fabric totes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else could I ask for or need?  I have a little private haven to retreat to and only think about creating something beautiful.  It sure makes days like today easier to bear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Already May???

I can’t believe how fast this year has passed!  It seems life has been so busy of late but sometimes I just wonder where the time goes.  I’ve been going to post here since the middle of April but either I didn’t have the time or the energy to do so.  So, here I am again.  Made it through Mother’s Day and actually got to make some gifts again this year…and not one blanket!  I’ve made so many blankets for family that I’d feel bad giving anyone another one.  Even the dogs have too many blankets!

So, what have I been doing?  I bought some clothes for the first time in several years.  I bought maxi-dresses, lingerie, pants, shirts, jewelry and shoes.  Surprisingly since I bought it online, it all fit the first time.  I hate, hate, hate to try on clothes so 4 packages of clothing sat on my dresser for over a week before I even opened them to try them on.  Today, R took me to Esteban’s for dinner and I got to wear a new dress, earrings and shoes.  I felt like a model!  Definitely felt stylish and pretty.  I think I bought 4 dresses so I still have some to try out.

I have done some embroidering though not a lot.  I’m planning on getting back into the sewing room tomorrow.  Projects are stacking up.  This was the last thing I did that I really liked.  I made 2 towels and a wall hanging for Mom’s bathroom.  She has a butterfly shower curtain so I made her more butterflies to go with it.  She liked them, thankfully.

Mother's Day for my mom
Mother’s Day for my mom

I made a few dog blankets to donate, did a project for a friend’s baby, and a few more Mother’s Day projects (aprons and dish towels).

These toddler blankets were done for a friend:

IMG_1368 IMG_49461 (2) IMG_4951 IMG_49441 (2) IMG_4948 (2) IMG_4946 (2) IMG_4938 (2) IMG_4934 (2) (2) IMG_4933 (2)

So, this is part of what has been taking up my time this year.  Recently we got one of our fosters back, so now we’re back up to 7 (6 Chis and Bandit—I always feel bad saying we have Chis and leaving Bandit out of the group).  For the most part they’re all healthy now.  Fancy has had some tummy issues and the vet has added another prescription which has seemed to get her back on track.  Her heart is doing better now so it seems we have her heart medication at the right dosage.  She takes medicines morning and night, and eats mostly soft canned food now since she doesn’t have a mouthful of teeth anymore, but she’ll be 16 years old in November so I’ll take her any way she comes.  We’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old and are not ready to part ways yet.

We’ve pretty much been doing our own house cleaning since R retired.  Our lady comes in sometimes but not as often as in the past.  She does a great job and I hate to clean bathrooms!  I’m not allowed to sweep or mop because of my spinal issues (which are on good behavior for the most part) so R does most of that.  It works out.  Since I bought the new embroidery machine we’ve been reorganizing my sewing room.  I’ll try to post picture of that in my next post.  Gotta go.  Things to do.

Buffy’s Ready for Primetime Now

From 7/15/2012Pretty Buffy after her rehabbing became complete.  Freshly groomed and ready to go see my mom and  dad to integrate back into their family…..She stayed with them yesterday for a few hours; today will stay a little longer, then perhaps tomorrow she can stay overnight, just ease in and make sure her owners don’t get overwhelmed.

Winkie

Mr Winklestein
                 Mr Winklestein

From 10/6/2014

Okay, you have to admit this little guy is cute as hell!  This is “Roy” I wrote about in August who’d been attacked by a bigger dog.  He’s mostly healed from his injuries and has had his first heartworm treatment.  I go visit him every Thursday and take what I’ve begun to call “Winkie burgers”.  I took a child’s sized plain cheeseburger to him and one for another dog that was in the next cage.  He wanted it so much that he couldn’t even wait for me to tear it apart for him.  He was taking the other half of the burger out of my hand.  So, last week when I went in, I went prepared.  I took 5 cheeseburgers.  I fed Winkie one and left the others for the rest of the dogs ( I wasn’t feeling good that day so I didn’t stay long enough to pass them around myself).  When I go this week I’m going to get bigger burgers.  Those babies love their Winkie burgers!

I haven’t had much time to sew lately because I’ve been working on computers for the family—9 of them so far.  I have one in the shop that needed a motherboard so was out of my league, and one was scavenged for parts because it was beyond repair.  We ended up with one old laptop that is ready to go to some needy person as yet unidentified.  Ronnie says one of his coworkers is going to bring us another laptop so I know I’ll have at least one more coming in some time soon.

I’m also participating in the Windows 10 Technical Preview program so I have that loaded on an extra laptop.  So far I like it, much better than Windows 8, though 8.1 was an improvement.  In order to use my “sewing room laptop” for Windows 10 I purchased a cheap laptop (yes, purple!) from HP that’s supposed to arrive by the end of the month.  Even custom-built it was only $400, and it will give me a new machine for my sewing room and allow me to play with the one that was in there.  Windows 10 is supposed to be released to manufacturing next summer so this will give me time to evaluate the preview.  I did the Preview program on Windows 7 but not on Windows 8.  I hated Windows 8 on sight and wanted no part of it, but it does grow on you once you’re familiar with it (never thought I’d say that).

Today was my follow-up at the pain specialist.  I don’t know what happened but he’s no longer there–just like that!!  I asked his PA if he was moving the practice or if he’d retired.  She paused, looked away then back and said, “in his mind I think he thinks he’s retiring, but he won’t be practicing anywhere else”.  What the hell does that mean????  He was a good doctor; both Ronnie and I went to him and we’ll miss him terribly because he was so good and funny.  Dammit!  On the good side, I am doing much better and not dealing with as much pain as I had the first part of the year.

Daisy
Daisy

This is our Daisy all healed up and learning new things–like how to cuddle, be still and wear a muzzle.  She is beginning to come out of some of her puppy stage and is easier to handle now.  She will wear a muzzle (she has 3 of them) while she’s out when the little dogs are also out (like first thing in the morning for potty and breakfast time).  It’s funny that when she’s wearing the muzzle it’s like, besides keeping her from being able to bite/attack the little dogs, it muzzles her brain, too.  While she’s wearing it she is calm and will not move around much especially toward the little dogs.  She will lay on the couch and cuddle, sometimes not even going to potty until the little ones are back in their crates and I remove her muzzle.  And once the muzzle comes off, Daisy is super-charged!  She runs and barks, grabs toys and throws them in the air, chases her tail, jumps on the furniture, etc.!  She’s a different dog.  Weird!!  We are still wanting to rehome her but she’s so damned sweet that sometimes I forget to post her stats.  LOL  I’m definitely a dog person!

Been A While

Before Stand
Before Stand
On The Stand
On The Stand

I’m still alive; really I am.  It’s just been hectic lately; too much going on and not enough sewing time.  I did some fleece blankets for a friend on my new machine and all of them turned out pretty well; it gave me a chance to get familiar with my machine and gave her blankets to give as gifts and a couple to sell so that worked out for both of us.  It took 4 weeks for the shop to get the stand in for my PR1000e–4 damn long weeks!  In that time the 100 pound plus machine sat on a 6-foot table.  Every time I used it I just prayed the table legs wouldn’t buckle under and dump $15,000 onto the floor…we made it.  The new stand gives me a stand-alone counter/desk/stand with 2 metal storage shelves, all on locking casters so I can move it all around as is necessary to either change threads, frames or hoops.  It allows me to get enough light in all the places I need to see in order to change threads or to re-thread all 10 needles like I did today, and install hoops with huge fleece blankets shoved into the space between the hoop and frame.  It’s also 6-8″ taller than the table so I can get under it to change needles, oil the hook, replace broken thread or broken needles, or an empty bobbin.  Much better attitude all round.

On the stand
Blanket Stitching Out

R got the TV hung on the wall out of the way, too, so that gives me more table space to work on.  I’ve done some more cleaning out and reorganizing, too, but have still managed to lose a package of mylar that’s never been opened.  I know as soon as I buy some more the package I already have will levitate and show me where it’s been hiding.  That’s the way it seems to work.

TV's Up Now, too
TV’s Up Now, too
This is the first thing I made with the new machine
This is the first thing I made with the new machine.  It matches the motif in the hall bathroom–dragonflies.

This week I made 4 more fleece blankets, 5 bandannas, etc., to donate for the adoption event next Sunday.  Now I’m starting on Mother’s Day gifts.  I’ll do my own mother’s first and go from there.  I also have those tote bags to finish, etc., and more purses; there’s always something.

Preliminary

New toys (as promised)
New toys (as promised)

Here, as you can see, is the thread rack R built for me.  I’ve put all of my embroidery and all of my sewing thread on it.  I still have 2 totes of serger thread that will NOT fit at all (and doesn’t need to really).  It changes the entire look of the room because it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door and flip on the light.  Very dramatic introduction to the sewing room.

On the left, of course, is the new Brother PR1000E 10-needle embroidery machine.  They didn’t have the stand in stock so it’s sitting on my cutting table for now.  They also owe me the monster hoop which also wasn’t in stock; both are due to arrive next week.  I have yet to run the machine as we’re still figuring out how it works, how to thread it, etc.  I did the OS upgrade and then the camera upgrade, so the software is done and it’s registered.  On Monday R and I will attend a 4-hour class so we can learn all the tips and tricks that make it magical.  Can’t wait!

Babylock machines
Babylock machines

This is my Babylock Ovation serger on the left and my current (old) single needle embroidery combo machine (Babylock Ellisimo Gold) which will become my backup and sewing machine once the new machine is ready to pull its own weight.

This is the purse I just finished.  It’s silver gray faux suede and sooo soft.  The embroidery design was a tangled circle that I put in my software and revamped, changed colors and shape, etc., until it was what I wanted.  Inside is one zipper pocket and one slip pocket.  It’s the perfect purse style for me; I’ll probably make more of these, perhaps even to sell eventually.  I’ll have to write down the pattern so I can make it again as I kind of cut and sewed as I went along only using information from a previous class I took on Craftsy as a model.  Great class that paid for itself as this is the 3rd bag I’ve made in various iterations and I keep going back to it and re-watching the videos for tips.  You never know what small things will make a great difference.

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Slouchy bag hanging
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Slouchy bag sitting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slouchy bag interior
Slouchy bag interior

At least I posted this update before midnight, although just.  I have a roast in the crock pot I need to go check on; it smells heavenly.  Tomorrow I have a hair appointment and I’ll try to finish threading the new machine.  I started it yesterday but I’m so blind I couldn’t see the thread I was trying to put through the threading path so I’ll have to move some lighting around to help out.  I’ve got to finish reading the operating manual, too, but the print is small and light which is a terrible combination for 64-year old eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

Leap Day 2016

I never seem to find myself here before midnight but it’s the last day of another month and I’ve posted nothing.

We have finished redecorating the house.  All the furniture is set up, lamps and furnishings complete, and we love it.  It’s been stable long enough now that the dogs don’t wander around looking for familiarity anymore.  They are beginning to gravitate toward their own spaces again but have shifted somewhat.  For instance, Bandit never goes in his crate anymore, preferring to lay on the new loveseats instead.  However, Mimi has adopted Bandit’s crate for her own with a smattering of other Chis joining her from time to time.  None of them care much for the new wooden crates/end tables but we have 5 soft beds in the living room that they play musical chairs on all day.  We have another big soft bed in the sewing room and 2 new ottomans in the office that they lay on, too.  It’s still a dog’s world around here.

I haven’t done a lot of sewing lately but I did finish my purse, sell a Babylock sewing machine, and reorganize my sewing room to accommodate a new machine we’ll be bringing home probably the end of the week.  I’m finally buying a 10-needle embroidery machine and I’m like a kid in a candy store.  Can’t wait to play with it!  R is finishing staining the wooden thread rack he started a year ago.  The color is a little darker than we intended but it should still suffice.  Since I now have a little more space to cut fabric on, I hope to get the tote bags cut out this week.  I have appointments some days but not all so time will tell.  I’m not planning on using the single-needle embroidery machine I have for embroidery anymore but I have the designs I stitched out last month to go on the tote bags so I can work on them without dismantling anything in the room.  My Babylock Ellisimo allows me to sew or embroider so it will become my swing machine once the Brother 10-needle takes over embroidery.  I still have a backup combo machine and a Singer vintage mechanical sewing machine for tough sewing tasks.  After this week I should be able to do anything I want and perhaps go back to donating items and/or selling some things.  I need to sell enough to finance my sewing habit!  LOL