Friday, July 31, 2015

Say good bye July with a Blue Moon, patterns, books and bikes.

July ends just how she began with a big ole full moon hanging in the sky, though tonight's moon will be a blue moon.
We have been getting lots of rain, thunder storms and more rain over the last two weeks, with the humidity so think I swear you could part it with a shovel.  The days are just not pleasant at all, or may be I'm just cranky.  I am looking forward to the end of the summer, this year the heat, humidity and even the rain has gotten to me in ways I would never have imagine.

Anyway on to more interesting things then the weather and my cranky state of being.  I am trying to decide if I want to take an upcoming class on raw edge applique at our local quilt shop.  Here is a link if you are unsure of the method
I  have used this method of applique on a small scale and would like to try something a little larger.
In the meantime, on the needle crafting side of my day, work is slowly progressing with the hand embroidery of my Hocuspocusville quilt.  I have been under the weather for a brief period and then my hands and fingers were giving my troubles so I put aside any type of hand stitching for a while, I even put aside letter writing briefly so my hands could rest.

I did buy two more new patterns with a witch theme these are actually two blocks from a new block of the month series by McKenna Ryan
blocks are number 3 and 8
I don't plan to make the entire quilt I just wanted the two witch blocks.  I also bought two patterns for Autumn from Prairie Point Junction, I stumbled on the shops webstore last week and as luck would have it I hit on a 20% off sale.
acorns and oak leaf
I thought I would use the hand embroidery motifs on tea towels, napkins in addition to the pattern projects.

I am currently reading Happiness Key by Emilie Richards recommended by a dear friend of mine so I checked the library site and found a copy available in large print so it's easier on my eyes right now.
I usually read one or two books every summer with a seaside location and this is the first one.  I will also be reading the two non-ficiton books below.
And here is a preview of the bicycles I  have been looking at, I am considering buying one at the end of the summer, right now I am still in the viewing stage.
Shwinn 3

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Time for an Eye Exam

Tomorrow I have an appointment for an eye exam, lately I noticed things around me are out of focus and a few days ago  my vision was quite blurry and my eyes felt strange, too big in my head and filmy which I attributed to allergies.

Anyway I called and made the dreaded appointment, I say dreaded not because of the near poking of the eye or the dilating of the pupils, no my dread is finding frames I like. Which for the last decade seems nearly impossible.

I love large frames, not those miniscule little bits of lens and plastic that pass for glasses. Ugh!  I am a hold out for oversized frames, like my sunglasses.  This time I will shop around a bit until I find what I want.
If its just reading glasses I don't mind if they aren't too big,  but I think I may be at the point in life where reading glasses give way for all the time eye glasses.  I will know more tomorrow after the exam.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Giving into a Craving and Eating a Rainbow

I may have mentioned earlier this month that I have once again join Weight Watcher's to help me lose those excess pounds that seem to have lovingly wrapped themselves around my hips with a very suffocating hug.  For most of the month I have been working the program like a pro which isn't too hard because I have always been one to eat healthy or mostly healthy, but this week I caved into a most obnoxious craving.

Now for me a craving materializes days in advance, it starts with a little nagging feeling in the back of my mind, you want something sweet, salty, yeasty, or decadent, (all of those at once).  Day one I can usually ignore it and it will go away, so it wasn't a real craving, but some days it doesn't go away and by day three if I don't give in to the craving I find I will eat several other foods in hopes of satisfying the craving which it never does. By day four or five as in this case I give in and apease the unhealthy food goddess once again, the culprit this time Pizza: carbs, fat, greasey carbs and more fat because yes it had to have pepperoni on it.

Did the nagging craving go away after I ate the culprit?  Oh you bet it did, did I fall asleep after indulging? oh yes a sound 2 hour nap. Did I make amends for giving into such a craving? I did, I put on those walking shoes and hit the trail at the park and walked 30 minutes.

I did manage to find a few positive things resulting in me giving into the craving:

1. Being on WW I can count the points for the 2 slices of pizza I ate, which I did and since I ate it midday I counted it as my lunch. Which is fine but I could/should have made a healthier choice.
2. Walking it off I added a second walk to my daily exercise which is good for my heart health and overall health.
3. I went shopping at the local farmer's market the next morning and made sure I came home with a  rainbow of foods.

The negative results stayed with me longer after the pizza box was stuffed in the trash:

1. Heartburn, bloating, general stomach upset, the main side effects that have wreaked havoc on my digestive system for years.
2. The next day the sluggish feeling stays with me and so does the upset to my digestive system.

One of the best things about Weight Watchers is you can eat anything and everything as long as you stay within your daily points, which is great, for me I try to avoid those carb ladden foods I know are not good for me when weight loss is what I seek.

Bread, pasta, potatoes and rice are all foods I love but I can't eat them too often or the pounds won't budge. I know this from years of experience, these are the foods I crave most often when a craving hits me.  I am not much of a sweets person but I do indulge once in awhile, though now a days I usually grab a protein bar with oatmeal and raisins. I found these nifty V8 bars a few days ago, they are lower in fat and have more protein then some of the bars I keep on hand when I want something sweet.
For me a protein bar usually satisfies a craving for something sweet, and if I want something creamy and cold I go to Peachwave for frozen yogurt which I can easily weigh for an accurate counting of my daily WW points. All fruits are zero points so if I want to add a few fresh berries I do.

In keeping with my eating a rainbow I made these nifty kabobs again, they are simply white mushrooms, red onion, jalapeno pepper, red bell pepper, fresh pineapple. I drizzle olive oil over the kabobs and popped them under the broiler for a 4 minutes, then reduced the overn to 450 for about 15 minutes.  Next time I plan to add zuchini and yellow squash.

One of  my favorite dishes for a quick summer lunch is a simple tomato mozzarella salad here:
I chopped up one small tomato or use grape tomatoes if I have on hand, I cube a 1 ounce slice of fresh mozzarella chese, chop up 5 or 6 black olives, and I added sliced dill pickles because I didn't have a cucumber on hand.  I drizzle with 1 ounce of Wishbone Romano Basil Vinaigrette.  This is my spin on a Greek salad. I don't eat raw onion often so I came up with this dish using mozzarella cheese instead of Feta.

For a more balanced meal I'll add protein, either a hard boiled egg, 2 oucnes of chicken breast, or a 2 ounce pouch of flavored tuna. My favorite is Star Kist sweet and spicy.

This is how I usually eat, but I'm human and give in to cravings now and again, as much as I know I shouldn't I'm sure I will give in again.  I just need to remember if/when I do all those negative results will surely follow.

For today the fruit bowl is full of fresh fruits, there are fresh greens in the fridge and fish in the freezer. I have all the makings for a few great meals and the desire to see it through.  My scale moved down a pound this week so walking off the pizza was a smart move and tomorrow is another day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Which Witch Will I Make Next? I

Just a short update posting, All the blocks for the Hocuspocusville Quilt witch themed houses are traced and ready for me to begin doing the hand embroidery.
I have a few other witch quilt patterns waiting in the wings, some use hand embroidered blocks, some are applique and some are pieced blocks.
I have the fabric to trace the embroidered blocks and once I read through the applique and other patterns I will check my stash to see what I can use up before buying any more new fabric. I do need to get a few small take along projects ready too.

Time is moving so quickly, I don't plan to have any of the quilts completed by Halloween but I plan to have at least one other started, not to mention a few autumn themed projects.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July TUSAL Report

My TUSAL report this month comes a few days after the July New Moon and my threads are few.
The Ort threads are from the Peace Square I did recently. The Peace Square has been sent off to the Artist for Peace project.
Peace Square
 The Four Goddesses piece is waiting for me to make up my mind how I want to use it.  I have a few ideas so I may do another one.
Four Goddesses

I'm not sure what happened since the last new moon but I am about to remedy the lack of threads. I have been tracing the Hocuspocusville quilt blocks and should begin stitching them soon, with the initial drawback I had to scrap the first fabric because it wore down the point of my micron pen tracing the first block, in doing that I had to select a new fabric which was easy I went with plain unbleached muslin which I was planning to use as the stabilizing fabric on the blocks, so yesterday I went out and bought fabric to replace the back of the blocks.

I now have 10 blocks traced with two more to go and then I can start stitching.  Well that's my TUSAL Ort report for July, my next ort report should have lots of black threads.
Not sure what the TUSAL is, simply put Totally Useless Stitch-Along, though for me its not useless at all, its a motivator for me to stitch more. Are you curious about TUSAL click here for more details,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hocuspocusville: Tracing the blocks for hand embroidery

Well the planets have aligned and after a few minor set backs I have finally started tracing the hand embroidery blocks for Hocuspocusville.
block 1 potting shed
When I first began traicng the patterns a few weeks ago the tone on tone fabric was a bit too rough I guess, while tracing the first pattern it wore down the tip of  my micron pen , so I decided to change fabric.
block 3 bubble and brew

I am using plain unbleached muslin, as you can see the tracing went much easier and in the long run my needles and fingers will probably be grateful as I imagine stitching on the other fabric would have been a bit difficult. 

Yesterday I traced 5 of the 12 blocks which take about 40 minutes each to trace depending on the detail, not to mention lighting and my ability to see what I am tracing even with the lightbox.
block 4 morgana's apothecary
If all goes as planned I should begin stitching this week.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

It's always good to be back home.

Things are returning to normal after my short time away. I ended the month of June with a trip to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Saturn V rocket launch at Cape Canaveral, the launch went as scheduled however there was a problem at the separation stage so the rocket was not able to complete it's mission.
lift off
On the way to Cocoa Beach I made a stop at the Canaveral National Seashore to take a short hike on the Turtle Mound at the national park. There was a wooden walkway to hike along (this one without stairs) and lots of greenery to view as well as huge spiderwebs along the trail, luckily most of the webs were off to the side of the trail, but a few times I had to bend over and do a little duck walk so I didn't get a face full of webs.
walking the boards

On the way into the park as well as exiting we were greeted by a few turtles munching the fresh green grass along the road side.
turle walk

For those of you that know me, time away wouldn't be the same without a stop at the beach, this time New Smyrna Beach where pretty flowers grew right up out of the sandy beach entrance, showing me there is hope for my garden.
blue skies, sand and surf
out of the sand

While driving along the interstate heading for my hotel the car began to vibrate rapidly, so following instinct we headed for the upcoming exit and a slower pace, within a mile the car swerved and wobbled a bit and then there was a snap! Pulling into the nearest parking lot to see what was happening.

While on the phone with AAA two gentlemen pulled up behind us, had the tire off and a spare on in less than 5 minutes, then had us follow down a few the road to a gas station so they could put more air in the donut spare. While heading on our way to the hotel we stopped at a tire center to replace the ruined tire that way we didn't have to continue driving on the spare.

On July 1 there was a lovely full moon to enjoy as I celebrated my 60th birthday, this month will bring a blue moon when the second full moon of July rises on the 31st.
from Betty Cakes
There was plenty of birthday cake with an overload of frosting that set my son into sugar bliss, I had to scrape most of it off, I am not a sweets person by nature and buttercream frosting one inch thick was just too much,
frosting overload
 My sister sent me these little petit fours which are quite tasty they could pop nicely in the freezer, the petit fours are from 1-800-Bakery, and arrived on ice via Fed Ex as fresh as if they were baked right here.
one inch of goodness
 She sent me them because our late mother always made petit fours during holidays, and wanted me to have a part of mom with me, what my sister didn't know is when I was a senior in high school I chose to make petit fours for the annual Senoir Tea and I made several practice batches at home which my mother enjoyed,  she had a very active sweet tooth, and when I removed the lid from the box you can bet those days in my mothers kitchen came rushing back.

On Tuesday, July 7th I once again joined Weight Watchers to aid me in losing those excess pounds that tend to creep up and stay with me, more so in the last year and with the added calories from those cakes it won't take long before they wrap around my hips with a forever hug, who needs that kind of love!

Here are a few more photo's from the Kennedy Space Center
view of the rocket garden
rear view
Atlantis space shuttle retired
inside Atantis shuttle and the arm from Canada
Rearview Atlantis
I enjoyed my visit to the Space Center seeing the exhibits and watching the rocket take off up close was exciting for me as a young woman I had dreams of being an astronaut but a pronounced heart murmur put a damper on that particular dream.

I'm going to make my 60th year all about exploring new places in and around Florida.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015