Sunday, November 19, 2017
For those of you who follow me on FaceBook you already got my opinion of my local Post Office. I was so proud of myself for completing 17 Pocket Letters for my International mail recipients. I had taken one to my local Post Office and confirmed with the clerk that my International postage was sufficient to send my envelope on its way. So I came home and completed all 17. I mailed them. Two days later I collected my mail in the pouring rain and there were all 17 of my envelopes. I have no photo here but I did on my FB post. They were wet and soggy and the imbecile at the post office had rubber banded them all together with a note. It said these must mail as a parcel and I would need to add an additional $12.35 postage to each one! Excuse Me!!! I am not wealthy and therefore that cannot happen. To put it mildly, I was incensed!!! I have had lots of issues with my mail being delayed and returned by the idiots at the Post Office but this tops them all. I am sad and angry and feel the worst for my recipients. I had to switch up my plans...
In the meantime I was able to sew 10 Origami Coin Purses using fun Mahjong themed fabrics. I found this on Sew4Home and here is the link. I love these coin purses and they have lots of uses. I won't divulge the purpose for this group so as not to spoil any holiday gift idea. I may need to sew a few more. I enjoy being able to sew these. The first ones I made, I hand sewed metal snaps and it took lots of time and work. Then my friend Donna of Brynwood Needleworks introduced me to Kam Snaps. WOW! So much easier and quicker. Thank You Donna. Check out the links and you will find the pattern so you can make some for your gift giving.
On our Home front, Mr. C and I have removed our home from being listed. We kept at it for an entire year and had NO Buyer and NO offers. Only a handful of showings and nothing positive. After meeting with our broker and the VP of Sales and Marketing for Coldwell Banker Grass Valley, we heard nothing new to encourage us to stay listed. They stressed the importance of us being "STRATEGIC" with our marketing...that is there job and what we are paying them for! They also stressed we must be "STRATEGIC" in our pricing...which meant they wanted us to drop the sales price another $50,000 and include an additional $2500 for the Buyer's agent commission. My very wise husband said, "Anyone can sell dollar bills for 50 cents."
Weather wise we have had some very good soaking rain the past couple of weeks. The mountain ski resorts have gotten good snow and are open for the season. Looks like we will not be having a drought this year. Autumn has shown her colors and now the trees are barren. Winter is just around the corner. Happy Thanksgiving my fellow Americans and Safe Travels to all...
Blessings to each of you around the world and may you take time to enjoy the Magic of the Season...
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Hello November. You are beginning the month in a most productive manner. Thank You.
I thought I was done sewing Dresses for Girls Around the World...until my local ladies invited me to join them. I have just completed six dresses and here they are shown on the sewing room love seat. I was able to unpack enough of my sewing supplies and machine in order to sew these. Now I have renewed zest and will continue to sew.
Yesterday, today and the rest of this week I decided to make a mess on my studio work table which is 4' x 9' and such a joy to work on. It is high enough that I don't have to lean over and kill my back. This is also where I do all my sewing fabric cutting. With the holidays coming all too quickly, I decided I better get busy. I gathered supplies and got to work...actually this is pleasure for me.
I am creating some Pocket Letters for Christmas mailings. Due to the cost of postage, I am keeping them very simple. Just a few stickers and some chocolate and a little surprise charm.
I decided to use one of my many 2018 calendars I buy from multiple charity organizations. This little fox just melts my heart. I will have lots of variety when I am finished. The post office is already getting busy. We have November birthdays to celebrate. My Granddaughter Amy and Mr. C's Sister along with some friends. Happy Birthday to each of you.
We are getting rain and the Fall leaves are blanketing the ground. Winter is near and I feel the chill in the air. I shall try my very best to Embrace Winter this year...as it is not my favorite season.
November Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to those in our United States of America. Bliss and JOY...
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Mr. C and I took the Amtrak Train to Omaha Nebraska specifically to see my baby sister and her family. I had not seen her in almost 25 years. No photo of our initial hug but I can assure you it was the deepest hug ever! This is Wendy and her husband Harold. They live a simple life in a very small town and yet they are happy and surrounded by family.
We had our reunion at the local park. It was a dreary rainy day but we felt warm with layers of love.
Wendy and I sat together at one table so we could catch up while we were eating. Wendy raised five Daughters and now has lots of Grandchildren. They all sat at other tables and visited together. The little bit of rain and cold didn't stop the kids from playing and running all over. Everyone but us brought food and it was all very good. Thank you everyone for driving and gathering and feeding us.
This is Candice, fourth daughter and Auntie to all her nieces and nephews. Here is a photo of a gift Candice made and mailed to me in 1999 right after we moved to Northern California. It is her image right down to the glasses. Everyone, including Candice, was very surprised I have saved it all these years. I will save it forever because she made it just for me.
Here is a group photo Mr. C took of all of us. We kept our visit shorter due to the complete exhaustion from our train trip and no sleep and due to the cold wet weather. My sister's town doesn't even have a motel so we still had to drive 25 miles to our night of sleep.
I am forever grateful for the wonderful visit and time we shared together. The next morning we took Wendy and Harold to breakfast at the local diner and we got to visit for another couple hours before it was time for us to hit the road to Arkansas. That might be the next post.
October has come and is leaving. Leaves continue to Fall. We expect rain here and snow in the mountains this weekend. Winter is not far away. Mr. C and I are hunkering in for another Winter here. No offers and No Buyer. We are most depressed at our continued living in LIMBO!!!
Happy Halloween and may you receive No Tricks and only TREATS...xo
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Mr. C and I recently took a train trip from Colfax California to Omaha Nebraska. Just because we could and Mr. C (Wayne) wanted an adventure. Our SNOW train to Reno in January wasn't enough for him so off we went. Here is the link to that post http://createology.blogspot.com/2017/01/wayne-on-train.html
It was 2 nights so we had a "Roomette". I think this is a misnomer Amtrak.
This is our Roomette and it is an economy of scale. My elbows touch both sides of our room. Of course I neglected to take a photo of our bunk beds made up for nighttime. The grey slanted top is the bunk that folds down. Mr. C had the top and it was very claustrophobic with NO room to even turn over. There is not to be any sleeping on the train due to the herky jerky motions and the bumpy noisy ride. We were beyond exhausted when we arrived in Omaha.
What the train is excellent for is the scenery you get to enjoy along the way. This is the Truckee River heading to Reno. Sitting back and relaxing and watching the miles go by is wonderful.
There were miles and miles of these flattop ranges...somewhere in Utah I believe. We got to sit in the observation car and look out the windows. We also met lots of interesting folks having their train adventures. Train travel is not cheap nor is it quick. Amtrak shares the rail lines that belong to the big boys like Union Pacific and Southern Pacific. Freight trains rule and have priority at all times. If you travel on Amtrak just be aware that there are no SET schedules...merely "suggested" schedules. We ran late at all stops.
We followed the Colorado River for 235 miles which is amazing! My photography through windows and smudges and blotches is not very good but my memories are quite clear.
The Colorado Rockies were spectacular! We did see Fall colors even though they had not had their necessary cold snap yet so the colors were coming slowly.
Relaxing and enjoying the scenery was pure Bliss! We just needed sleep. We arrived in Omaha almost three hours late. There was no one in the building to help us. There were no taxis to take us to the airport where the only auto rentals are. There was no cell service for Mr. C and therefore no Uber app or way to call them. I was able to call my sister and family and let them know we are late to the reunion. No worries...
I will share that adventure next time.
So glad to be home and enjoy our gorgeous Fall colors. Our house sitter was a gem and took excellent care while we were gone. Still no offers...
Beautiful days to each of you and I will be visiting y'all very soon. Grateful Blessings...xo
Friday, October 6, 2017
I am challenging myself with doing a CQ (Crazy Quilting) ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap put on by Pam Kellogg of Kitty and Me Designs. I am new to CQ and yet it has charmed me and I want to pursue doing more of it. Please check out Pam's blog for the swap details and you may want to participate also. Pam you and your Crazy Quilting magazine are sew much inspiration and I am truly grateful.
My blog friend Renee of Hand Stitched Treasure blog helped with a three part tutorial on how to create the foundation and then how to do seam treatments and also how to finish the ATC for swapping. You can check out Renee's blog and see for yourself. Thank you very much Renee. In this photo I used some hand dyed thread gifted to me by my friend Theresa (no blog) to needle tat an embellishment. Thank you sew much Theresa.
Here is the back of my ATC all ready for swapping. This template is from Pam to use in the swap.
This is the little envelope for holding the ATC during mailing in a stamped envelope. Pam provides the instructions and templates. I have also received lots of inspiration and techniques from Mary Anne of Magpies Mumblings. She does amazing CQ work and her blog banner displays one of her Autumn designs. Thank you sew very much Mary Anne for all of your guidance and inspiration.
So this is my little 2.5" x 3.5" ATC for swapping. I welcome constructive criticism and know I have lots to learn. I did take a Basic Crazy Quilting online class from Kathy Shaw and it was wonderful to introduce me to CQ and give me lots of techniques. Thank you Kathy for your free classes.
Autumn is here and the weather is cooler. The colors are happening and the grey squirrels are extra busy gathering their Winter harvest of acorns and pinecones.
Happy Halloween and Fall decorating my friends...<3
My heart is heavy and my prayers are lifted for all in the Las Vegas tragedy. Healing Energy Please!
Friday, September 29, 2017
I realize my photos have absolutely nothing to do with my blog title. The days are passing so quickly and I am not keeping up with my desire to post more often. The calendar is showing me another month is quickly fading away. Just like the greens of Summer which are now turning golden, and sunset and crimson we are Falling into Autumn. It will be time for Mr. C and I to take our annual Cruise in Clara (our trusty vintage Rambler) to view the gorgeous Fall Foliage colors.
However, I have been busy with keeping my house and outdoor chores current. We actually had a showing this week and remain hopeful that our "one buyer" will find us soon. In the meantime we are preparing for another Winter here.
I asked Mr. C to help me draw a circle with twelve spokes because I was having great difficulty doing so on my own. Math and Engineering are not even in my realm of knowledge...Mr. C is the double Engineer and therefore I knew he could do it. Oh Dear! He took me to his "white board" and it became lesson time. Yikes! After a while of me trying to listen and really show interest he brought out his "tools of the trade" from his high school and college years. I LOVE these tools and begged him to never get rid of them. The white handles are ivory...SWOON!
After a couple hours Mr. C did in fact draw me a proper circle with twelve spokes and I was elated. Before I could snatch the paper he did exactly what I knew he would do. Yes! He ripped it up and told me I could use his tools to draw my own. Gulp! Thank goodness I did pay attention and it was very fresh in my mind. He left the room and I was able to actually produce the proper 1" circle and the required twelve spokes I needed. I was more than proud of my accomplishment and showed my teacher. "Well done!" I thanked him for showing me how and letting me use his treasured tools.
You will have to wait until another post to see what I needed this for. Can anyone venture a guess? P.S. The image in the lower left is the hand drawn one I did before lessons and you can see it is way off center. Bad!
Our weather has been cooler and lovely. The Fall colors are happening all over town. I would welcome some rain. Until then I shall hand water more of the lawn as it is still dry even with our nightly drip watering. The new sod really gets thirsty!
I am enjoying seeing what everyone is creating and decorating. There will be no decorating here while we are listed. The brokers do not want anyone offended. Our world is complicated!
Blissfully Falling into Autumn...<3
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
I haven't been very creative of late. The season changing and days getting darker earlier and cooler temperatures all have me feeling like I should be preparing for hibernation. Summer really is my favorite time of year and now it is over. So...I decided to take on a challenge! Pam of Kitty and Me Designs is offering a CQ (Crazy Quilt) ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap. Well I adore ATCs so that is a non decision. And I did take an online CQ course from Kathy Shaw of Shawkl.com to learn the basics of CQ. I also follow Renee and her CQ treasures. Renee is offering how to's on her blog here.
And I also follow Mary Anne of Magpies Mumblings who does amazing CQ. So I begin...
With most of my sewing supplies either packed and put away or donated away I gathered some fabrics my daughter recently mailed to me. I have no idea where she acquired them because she doesn't sew. And I did find a few very small scraps in another bin of mine. Well, I never said I am organized...completely. LOL
Thank you Renee for your wonderful tutorials on how to piece such a small venue. ATCs are only 2.5" x 3.5" when finished.
Here I am beginning my sewing. Thank you Mr. C for unpacking my machine and cabinet.
I must admit without Renee's tutorial and my trusty iPad set up I would still be trying to manage with my fabrics and piecing them. I am feeling "challenged" already!
I made three different foundations just to be certain I have one that will work. I admit I made a miscalculation and have no way to hoop these. Well I suppose I could sew them to a larger muslin.
Maybe that is what I should do so I have a tight tension on my seams when I embellish them.
Now I must find my muslin to sew a larger fabric that will fit my hoop. I have one more foundation but Mr. C's laptop I must use to blog with photos somehow ate that photo. See...I am already challenged and I have barely begun my CQ ATC journey.
As I have mentioned our weather is chilly. I am already cold and we are not even close to freezing which comes with Winter. Brrr...
We met with our Broker and had an interesting conversation. The Real Estate market here continues to be depressed and there are no buyers for our home. Yes, we could still get lucky however that is a very long shot. So we remain listed and hopeful. Mr. C is absolutely gutted. His dream is to move.
I am truly enjoying seeing your wonderfully creative projects and Fall decorating. Our home remains devoid of any decorations so as not to offend anyone who "might" come to view our property.
Falling into Autumn (Spring down under) and Creative Bliss sweet friends...<3
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
In all my downsizing and sorting and purging and rearranging I am finding clever uses for some of my things. I had this wonderful canvas tote sitting in a cupboard filled with stuff. I donated most of that stuff and repurposed this fabulous tote. I emptied a desk drawer that was overflowing with all my Random Acts of Mail cards, stickers etcetera and my Love Notes postcards etcetera. I also now have easy access to my mailing supplies and fun pens and markers. I can now carry this upstairs or downstairs or in fact to a class if I were taking one. This is so much nicer than digging through an overstuffed drawer.
Another day recently I decided to get ahead on some little gifts I like to give. Now even though my bead drawers are packed away and my bead podium is gone I still have access to my beads. Not too easy but doable. I decided to concentrate only on Millifiore glass heart beads. I made lots of earrings and charms for my gift cupboard.
Here they all are ready for gifting. I use simple place cards for keeping them ready to personalize and gift to someone. I was feeling quite accomplished. Just a small "mess" on my large table and one that I could quickly hide away if need be.
Next up were some very easy ribbon bookmarks I created. I was invited to join a group of very talented and creative ladies and I was not going empty handed. Shopping from my supplies I came up with fun buttons and stitched them onto some fun grosgrain ribbon and the plaid ribbon. The ladies were thrilled (my word not theirs) and I must say bats were way more popular than the spiders. This button on ribbon bookmark is an easy and quick gift anytime of year or occasion. The buttons vary so much and so does ribbon. Have fun with making these. If you don't hand sew you can always glue the button to the ribbon.
Mr. C and I finished the garage and it looks amazing. He painted the entire ceiling and it took two gallons of high gloss white. I tried but my arms just weren't strong enough so I was the ultimate Schlepper! Bring on our "one" special buyer...Please! Due to the economy here in small town America Mr. C and I are preparing to hunker in for yet another Winter.
Prayers and continued Healing Energy for everyone affected by storms...Fire or Water! Mother Nature is NOT happy with us at all and we need to do something to get her happy once again.
Creative Bliss my friends...<3
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
America just finished Labor Day Weekend. So Mr. C and I decided to LABOR!!! We emptied most everything out of the double car garage. This garage is large and completely drywalled.
Mr. C had to do some prep work and that was two days. This large wall had a boo-boo from the time I drove in and was trying to park my truck. Oops...I hit a wooden shelving unit that sat against the wall and had lots of wood mouldings and pieces on it. Well, the shelving unit got stuck into the drywall and made a long hole. As you can see here Mr. C worked his magic and now the wall is good as brand new. This is only the primer spread on. Thank you Mr. C for fixing my boo-boo.
We worked all four days of the holiday weekend and it was HOT! Not only HOT but not a spec of breeze and at times very smokey from the fires in CA and humid from Storm Lydia coming up from Baja. I think Mr. C lost a few pounds and that is a good thing.
He stayed well hydrated with water and Peach Snapple he likes. Wine had to wait for the evenings. Did I mention this garage is large? Very large. Two gallons of paint just for the side walls and the garage door wall. We will need another two gallons of paint to finish the back wall and the ceiling. No we didn't finish the garage and hope to do so this weekend coming up.
We are painting gloss white and it has totally brightened up the garage. Of course it is fresh and clean also. None of the Real Estate people we interviewed ever said a word about this garage but we believe it is going to help with a sale. When Mr. C and I are out searching for our next home, the garages are a top priority and we want large and finished and clean. After all Mr. C and I both love cars and vehicles and take pride in what we own and drive. Mr. C's garages are very important!!
Enough about this.
September is rushing along just as quickly as the previous months of this year. I might even try to make a list of what I need to accomplish this month. I am not very good at list making however I feel it might help me "discover" (my 2017 word) the priorities of what I want to actually get done.
I missed getting my new box of Crayola crayons or anything else related to Back to School. I seem to do less shopping and hoarding since the reality of downsizing and purging entered into my routine.
I believe you all are busy creating and decorating for Fall and Halloween. I love seeing what y'all are making and decorating.
Prayers for all of Hurricane Harvey victims and now for Irma that is happening. <3
Monday, August 28, 2017
I am shocked at myself for letting this month pass by without my attention to posting more regularly on this blog. I LOVE blogging and do not want to lose you my faithful followers and friends. Why is every day so busy and hectic? This world is turning too fast for me. In my ongoing efforts to downsize I realized I had an entire very full file cabinet drawer of papers. If Mr. C had seen that drawer I would have a lot of explaining to do. So I emptied it all onto my studio table.
I admit I have been hoarding my Jenny of elefantz Stitchery Club designs. For more information just click the links for each. I had to make a decision and this was what I did. I sorted through all of the papers and kept the most critical pieces like photos and actual design drawings. The rest I had to dispose of. As this photo shows, my save pile is the same size as my throw pile. YAY!!! Mr. C should be much happier. In fact I decided not to use the filing drawer any longer. I put them in plastic sleeves but they are too many for a large three-ring binder and my shelf space is very limited. Think Sherry Think!
I had an empty container that fits perfectly on my shelves. Aha! Now I am happy with my resolve to downsize and eliminate such a stack of paper. For Mr. C is happy because it weighs a lot and when you move weight is what costs the big bucks!
Here is my container on the shelf and all I need to do is label it. I now know exactly where my elefantz designs are...just in case I get the opportunity to stitch.
An update on the house is that we did have two showings. No offers! One person wanted the pond closer to the house. I asked Mr. C if he could move it. LOL Just cannot please everyone!!!
Summer is waning. August is coming to a quick close, We were having wonderful weather and Fall was in the air. Now we are back in triple digits for at least a week. Looks like I will be doing a lot of extra watering. I like to let the trees and plants and flowers and lawn know they can get through the heat with some extra TLC.
Thank you all for the Happy Birthday wishes for both my daughter and myself. We each survived our days. I will continue to celebrate just because I feel like it. After all...at my age I can celebrate as much as I want! Summer Sunshine Smiles...
Prayers for all affected by Harvey and the horrific flooding.
Sunday, August 13, 2017
I have been using my random supplies to create some cards, envelopes and postcards. I mail so many each week and my stock was running low. I like to have a variety to choose from when I am doing my Random Acts of Kindness and other weekly mailings. You never know who or what or why about the person until you receive their information and I like to select something appropriate for each. My Grandmother always said I choose the best cards. That was long ago when I bought cards and Grandma wasn't able to get to the store and she would have me select cards for her friends.
Fortunately I had everything I needed in my supplies. You all know I am trying...really trying to downsize. So, after donating tons of my supplies, I realized I still had lots to work with. I had so much fun pulling out a baggie of letters and then forming them into fun cards. I had to get creative so when I had no L, I used the exclamation and as you can see above I think it looks fun.
I have already mailed several out to people. And...if I happen to use all of these cards...Well I do have more supplies! Shocking what an amount of supplies one person can hoard! Yes, that is what I do. I gather and I save. Hoard is such a harsh word. I might be a Boarder Hoarder...just on the line of enough vs. too much. I do hope you are laughing or at least smiling. With all my downsizing I am definitely not hoarding stuff. I am sentimental and have some things I can't let go of...yet, but I am working on myself. Mr. C is quite the opposite and can throw everything away...in the trash. I truly must guard my stuff!
August is here and going quickly. Too quickly for my likes. This week we are having some wonderful mid-80's temperatures. Not as triple digit hot as it had been for over a month. I have been getting up very early and going outside to hand water and keep those weeds tidy and picked up.
On the home front, I am very grateful for all of your encouragement. In the meantime while NO one is looking or offering to purchase our home, I remain positive and patient. I am enjoying my home and property and will continue to do so as long as I am able to do so. Having to live like no one lives here is exhausting but I am able to make cards, envelopes and postcards on my wonderful studio table and then clean it all up. I won't be doing any long term messy projects or sewing because it is all packed up but at least I can enjoy something creative and useful. Now I better get back to purging stuff and downsizing other supplies.
Summer Sunshine Smiles (Winter to my friends down under) and always Do What You enJOY...<3
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Every year I have the same challenge. To trim my Whooley Thyme at the pond where we have a flagstone patio for sitting and sipping. Every year I let my Whooley Thyme grow and then blossom and the bees and moths have a feast. By the time I need to trim I honestly cannot see the flagstones. I forgot to take a before photo of the solid Whooley Thyme covering the flagstones
I have discovered by trial and error that my orange handled Fiskar scissors work the very best for me. I wonder if anyone has ever made a small Dremel type edge trimmer? I honestly need to begin cutting and then find the edges of the flagstone. This takes me so many hours I have truly lost count.
When I began a few weeks ago, I made it my goal to complete this task by the end of July. Ahh...with only one more day to fine tune some more areas I have completed my overwhelming task!
My hands and knees get lots of wear and tear...along with my back.
This area is underneath our chairs. We used to have nice teak benches but they wore out in the many seasons and elements we have here. I opted to get some very inexpensive chairs that are lightweight and easy to move and wash off. They are surprisingly comfortable.
This is the completed area that is at the pond. I had a brief thought of letting the Whooley Thyme just go and cover everything but I just love this trim and neat look so I had to do my trimming.
This is my view when sitting in my chair. I love to sit here and reflect on life and whatever else pops into my head. I also love to turn on the water spray over the pond and watch the amazing Dragonfly parade. Red, Blue, Gold, and Black and Yellow striped versions appear from seemingly nowhere.
Sitting here in the evening with a glass of wine is the perfect way to unwind from the day. Our pond was built by Mr. C after he went to pond college and it is the most wonderful thing ever!!! Thank you sweet Mr. C for your amazing engineering and building skills.
On the home front we have now gotten help with our lawn and we are bringing it up to snuff for the overall Home and Property offering. An update for you my friends...No one, Nobody, Nada, Zero showings even after all our upgrades and new agent listing. I feel we are being punished for living here in small town USA where there is next to no economic viability. We need someone like us twenty years ago to bring their bank accounts and live the dream of Peace and Calm in Beauty of this Great Land.
It is so hard to believe July 2017 is coming to an end. I welcome August as it is my very most favorite month. Heat and all! We are in for at least another week of triple digit heat. Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Daughter who has grown into an Amazing Woman. I am truly Blessed.
Summer Sunshine Smiles and Creative Bliss to each and every one of you my friends...<3