Sunday, January 27, 2013

****February 1**** Just an update on my manicure's life span for anyone interested.  It lasted 2 weeks and 6 days before my pinky chipped.  I only had the one chip, but I'm sure many more were destined to follow suit.  I could not believe that a manicure could last this long.  The downside of the gel polish is that it was difficult to remove....time consuming and it was hard on my nails.  Next time, I'll soak my nails for the time that they recommended... 15 minutes...and actually save myself some labor.  None the less, I love this product and I'm glad that I gave it a go.
I'm a bit "off topic" today with a product recommendation.  I recently bought an at-home gel kit manicure.  This particular kit was made by Sensationail. Sally Hansen makes another gel kit, although it didn't rate as high as the Sensationail kit (at the time I purchased my kit- could have changed by now).  They are expensive and I had my doubts about the product living up to the reviews.  It says the manicure can last "up to two weeks."  I've never had good luck with a manicure, salon or otherwise, because they just don't last with the abuse that I give my hands.  I'm lucky to get 24 hours out of a manicure without serious chips.  Well, this kit has exceeded my hopes for an at -home manicure.
The picture above was taken today, exactly two weeks and two days after I gave myself a manicure.  (Please ignore the old, dry, arthritic, chapped thumb!)  You can see the two weeks+ nail growth at the base of my nail, showing just how long this manicure has lasted.  Not one nail has chipped (yet)!  I did not change any of my normal habits and did not baby these nails in any way.  The manicure is cured with an LED light that is included in the kit, so there is no dry time at all.  You can give yourself a manicure and immediately go on with your life.  You MUST follow the instructions to get these results, but it wasn't rocket science.  I don't have a dishwasher..... just my hands.... and I've even opened up pop top cans, using my nail as a lever.  No chips!
So there you have it..... a "thumbs up" review for the Sensationail gel nail kit.  (No affiliation here....just a happy camper.)  If you are interested in giving this a try, be patient and wait for sales or coupons.  I managed to buy mine at about half price online at CVS, making it worth the risk to give it a try.  I hope you have the same results!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another blog hop!  I've signed up and I can't wait to get the patterns.  This one will be include an embroidery section in your project with 8 provided patterns of your choice.  Click on the link for details and sign up info.  Join me for the fun!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It was 1 degree this morning when I put my trash cans out for pickup..... the wind chill was between -10 and -15 degrees.... bitter....... and what do I see?...... my crocuses are coming up!  I guess they didn't get the memo!  We've had a very warm winter with the exception of the past 24-48 hours and the crocuses were ready to make an entrance.  This has become a somewhat normal scene with our crazy weather patterns and even though my crocuses sprout months too early, they seem to survive the winter freezes and bloom in the spring in the appropriate weather.  In any case, spring is on the way!

Monday, January 21, 2013

In between posts of actual sewing projects, I thought I would show you one of the collections that I have.  "They" say that any more than two is a collection which means that I have more collections than you can count!
This is my collection of darning eggs.  Even though many are not egg shaped, that seems to be the standard description for these darning tools.  Many of the things that I collect are small and inexpensive, as I'm short on both space and money. (Aren't we all?!)  Most darning eggs can be found for $5 to $15.  Naturally, there are exceptions and some darning eggs may cost much more.   
Here's a good variety of eggs.  The ones that look like maracas are the most common and usually the cheapest.  Most households would have both a dark and a light colored egg to contrast the fabric that they were working on.  It just makes it easier to see the threads or yarns that you are repairing if you are using a contrasting egg color.  The green glass one and the maple one next to it are foot shaped.  The maple foot egg has the most beautiful wood pattern on it..... it might even be birds eye maple.  The green glass one was hand blown.  The hand painted, mushroom shaped egg has a spring around it that is used to hold the sock or fabric taut, just like an embroidery hoop. 
Hope you enjoyed seeing these eggs.  You can readily find them  and they are easy on the budget.  Happy collecting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Your Words Blog Hop

I loved the idea of a blog hop focusing on a word or words that had a special meaning to us.  I already had too many projects to tend to, but felt that this was a blog hop not to be missed.  The project that I made was one that has been floating around in my mind for years and this gave me the added push to actually put my thoughts to fabric.
My word- Balance
My world- Unbalanced
My life is out of balance.  It's out of balance in a literal sense and in a figurative sense.  Physically and literally, my balance is out of whack due to a damaged inner ear.  I have been this way for many years, 15+, and have been on a rocky, wobbly road to adjust to vertigo and imbalance on a 24/7 basis.  I'm not always spinning off of my chair but there is a light headed wooziness at the very least.  It's not a great way to live life but I have managed to make the best of a bad situation.  Enough said about that.... I don't want this to be a pity post.
The figurative sense of my lack of balance is one that we all deal with.  How do we fit 40 hours of work, play, friends, chores, rest, and creativeness into a 24 hour day?  Even with my math skills, I know this just isn't possible so we have to make choices and prioritize.  Something has to give, something gets left behind, something doesn't get done.  What I've learned is that this is OK.  Stop adding guilt to the issues and making things even worse.  We can't do it all, although I will continue to try and balance my life while, at the same time, not being too hard on myself for what I don't accomplish. 
This is a little engraved stone that I have had for many years. Along with this stone, I have collected several items with the inspirational word "balance" on them.   

OK, here's my project.  It's 20" x 30".  All of the blocks are 4" paper foundation blocks.  I used a wonky alphabet and twisted side blocks from EQ.  This picture was taken in the backyard on top of the pretty snow.  I chose the black and white fabrics because it represents the stark contrast between being balanced and not being balanced.  The bright, peachy-orange corner blocks represent hope to me......God's promises of better things to come...... those bright spots in life that give us the courage to keep going.  It isn't quilted yet, but will be, really! 

Here's a close up of the fabric used in the twisted blocks.  I searched for fabric that looked "dizzy" and thought this one must look like the inside of my brain! (Warning.... don't stare at this too long!)
 Lastly, here's the scrap pile left after paper piecing.  That's the worst part of paper piecing, the fabric waste.  These are all pretty small scraps, too small to bother with really, but I always hate to toss them aside.  I should keep them as stuffing for projects like pin cushions instead of pitching them.   
I hope you have enjoyed your visit and will come back soon.  Here's the line up of the other bloggers for today.  Please visit each of them to see what words they have chosen and what inspiring projects they have created.
Monday, January 14 Schedule
Gracie Oliver Arts (Jeanie) You are Here!
Clothes and Crafts (Maria K.)

Simple Sew (Shirley T.)
Woolie Mammoth (Anna B.)
RocknQuilts (Mary Ann)
Quiltsmiles (Jane E.)
Feathered Nest Studio(Jennet)

Many thanks to Linda for hosting all of the bloggers in this hop and to Madame Samm who feeds us great ideas to jump start our creativity!  Thank you both... thank you!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another blog hop is on the horizon!!  This one is extra special..... if you sign up to participate, you will receive a FREE pattern from the very creative Amy Bradley!  Click on the cute picture above and check out the complete rules for the blog hop...... then join us!
Don't forget to come back tomorrow and see what I have made for the In Your Words Blog Hop!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just went to Tagxedo for the first time to play around with word clouds.  This cloud came from this blog.  I made several, but here's the one I liked best.... so's a bit addictive.  Check out the link and have fun with this!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Just a reminder that the In Your Words blog hop begins on Monday, January 7th, and runs through January 16th.  We (almost 90 will be participating!) will be making a project using a word or words of our choice.  I think this is going to be a very personal blog hop, full of lots of ideas to inspire you as well as many wonderful stories to accompany the reasons behind the chosen word or words. 

My day to reveal my project and my word(s) is January 14th.  I hope you'll stop back and check out my little project.  Here's a tease.......

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This was MY New Year's Eve!  Tucked in bed by 10 PM and eventually joined by my sweet Oliver.  No kiss from Oliver, just a gentle touch on my face with his paw before he snuggled in.  A perfect New Year's Eve!

Happy New Year to you all!  May your year be full of God's blessings and the hope of better things to come!

Happy 2013!