Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Good-bye Old Friend

Dave bought me this Kenmore sewing machine in 1981, a year before we were married.  For thirty-four years, it has followed me from house to house, town to town, state to state and back again.  You can see the packing tape on the cover, to ensure heavy-handed movers didn't knock the latches open mid-move.  There were years that it just sat in a closet until someone needed a split seam repaired, but it has gotten it's fair share of use and it's age is showing.  New belts and oil aren't getting rid of the bumps and squeaks any more, and the bobbin winder ceased winding.  The part it needs is no longer available, so I've been getting by with a "Side Winder" - a small machine that does nothing but wind bobbins - and not very well.  The time has come to put the old girl out to pasture.  

I read various web-sites that reviewed the best machines for an average seamstress.  I don't need to spend thousands of dollars on a computerized model that knows more than I do.  I don't make the kind of projects that require that.  I just want to do a little quilting, a little crafting, simple clothing construction and repairs.   I settled on this Singer heavy-duty model - deemed "Best In Class" for beginning to moderate sewing.

I haven't had a lot of time to play with the new stitches, but it sews smoothly, the tension remains constant and the bobbin doesn't tangle on every-other seam.  Those are all great strides!  This model also adapts for free-motion quilting, which I'm anxious to try on small projects.

My old pal will remain in storage for the time being - in case I need a back up - but I'm enjoying the ease of sewing with my new friend.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My God-Given Right to Craft . . .

Did you know crafting is biblical?  One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 Thessalonians 4:11 - "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before."  Christian comedian Anita Renfroe, posted her personal paraphrase of that verse on Facebook:  "Calm down.  Mind your own business.  Do crafts."  I totally agree!

I have been studying the Proverbs 31 woman in recent months and it occurred to me that this seemingly-unobtainable model of womanhood was slipping in some craft time, cleverly disguised by biblical language.  

"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."   She goes fabric shopping and can't wait to get to her sewing room.

"In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers."  The spindle and distaff are tools used to spin yarn, and why make yarn except to knit and crochet?

"She makes coverings for her bed."  Quilts, of course!

"She makes linen garments . . . and supplies the merchants with sashes."  She sews clothing and accessories.

"She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue" - She posts tutorials for her projects to share with fellow crafters.

So, no more guilt over time spent in "crafty pursuits".  I'm simply obeying scripture!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

To Blog or Not to Blog

image courtesy of auditel.co.uk
I seem to have abandoned the blog for the last six months.  I have actually gone for weeks on end without even thinking about it.  So I sat myself down to re-evaluate how I'm spending my days, and do I have the time/desire to continue blogging.  

It has been a year of huge changes for us.  Buying a business and "retiring" from my previous job turned life on it's ear.  We have now made it through the first year and the fog is starting to clear.  I can see a general scheme http://auditel.co.uk/that life will now follow.  I won't bore you with all the plans floating around in my head for how I will better manage those responsibilities next year.  The point is that even in the midst of all the new responsibilities, there needs to be some "me time".   However, the variety of "me time" activities has got to be streamlined.  I can't keep up with a dozen different crafts, reading, journaling, Facebook, puzzles, and blogging; but what am I willing to let go?  

I am willing to let go of a variety of crafts, focusing on the ones I enjoy most; I'm willing to cut time devoted to several other activities; I'm willing to forgo eating broccoli completely; but I am NOT willing to give up blogs - writing or reading.  Many of you who stop here regularly, and whose blogs I visit in return, have been friends for several years.  Those of you who have just recently begun to stop by - if you haven't given up on my already - are new friends that I want to get to know.  So, blogging is moving back to the top of my to-do list.  I don't guarantee that every post will be riveting, or even interesting, but there will be chatter about crafts, books, family and random happenings, so please come back.  And thanks for sticking with me.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Scavenger Hunt


Joules from Wonderishmama.  

Joules, check your email for prize notification.

Welcome to Just One More Thing...  I hope you are all having a relaxing, entertaining and fun read-a-thon so far.  Thanks for giving up a few minutes of reading to go scavenging with me.

To enter the Book Scavenger Hunt, look at the item list below and find a word, phrase or thought IN THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING that fulfills that item.  For example, if the item were "something soft", your answer could be a word - "kitten"; a phrase - "a satin ribbon the color of Jersey cream"; or a feeling "he leaned to her and kissed her cheek".  Be creative!

Leave a comment that includes your answers and the title of the book you used OR a link to where you posted these items, and your email address or other way I can contact you.

The Prize:  A $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble (valid in stores or on-line)

Happy hunting!
                                           Book Scavenger Hunt List

                                                     1.  Something hard
                                                     2.  Something fast
                                                     3.  Something sweet
                                                     4.  Something high
                                                     5.  Something funny

The winner will be randomly selected from all complete entries and will be notified as soon as the challenge closes.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected.  This challenge is open internationally.

Road Trip Mini-Challenge

For the "On the Road" challenge hosted by Memory and Cass on Goodreads, I am to imagine I'm on a road trip with a character from the book I'm currently reading and post the perfect road trip song for us to listen to.

I'm currently reading The Burning Room by Michael Connelly.  Since I don't fancy a road trip with Detective Harry Bosch, I'm picking his partner Lucia Soto as my traveling companion.  Lucia (Lucy to her friends) is Latino and speaks fluent Spanish.  The crime they are investigating is the murder of a member of a mariachi band.  Since Lucy is a dedicated detective, I'm sure our road trip is somehow related to the case so we would listen to mariachi music - perhaps even by the band in question.

Since Lucy is considerably younger than I (by about 25 years), she would probably select a more modern take on mariachi - such as this band from the 2013 season of America's Got Talent!

Cover Escape!

The first mini-challenge of the day, hosted by Audra at Unabridged Chick, is a no-brainer.
Dig through your shelves and share with us a book cover you'd like to escape into! Doesn't matter if the subject, plot, or genre isn't typically your thing; in this case, we're totally judging the book by its cover! 
I headed directly for the Christmas section of my book case.  The beautiful images on the covers are usually what suckers me into buying them.  

This was the easy winner.  I love the style of the house, the snowy setting, the fact that it's Christmas (hence the lights on the tree and the wreath on the door), that there have been children (or grandchildren) making a snowman in the yard.  Most of all I love the warmth radiating from the house.  Inside is a family sharing gifts, good food, and laughter on Christmas Eve.  Definitely a cover I would like to escape into!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon

I'm awake.  I'm out of bed.  I have coffee.  I have books.  Time to read!

For the opening post, the lovely ladies behind the scenes at Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-thon are asking the usual questions.  

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? - The Boonies, otherwise known as southeast Nebraska.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? - Since I rarely finish more than one book during a readathon, I didn't really make a stack this time.  But I'm starting off with The Burning Room by Michael Connelly and will alternate that with Where I Am by Billy Graham.  I also have to get in a little Christmas reading, so I have Winter Street 

by Elin Hilderbrand waiting in the wings.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  Slightly stale Cheese Puffs (it's a Read-a-thon tradition).

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  Reader's Digest version:  Wife, Mom, Grandma, co-owner of a grain bin construction business, crazed crafter and lifelong book nut!   (If you want the long version, click the "About Me" tab above)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  This is my 13th read-a-thon!  ** Caution - blatant self-horn blowing ahead **  If you want to know my read-a-thon philosophy, you can read my Warm-Up Post here.  (What an honor to be posted on the official read-a-thon site!  Thanks, ladies.)    If you don't want to waste your precious reading time on that drivel, here's the RD version again:  "Let it go!" is my theme for the day.  No rules, no expectations, just fun.

Now, let's read!  

But first I have to research:  Do they still print Reader's Digest Condensed Books?   Am I dating myself, and confusing younger readers, by using that reference?