Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year, New Projects, New Goals

According to the calendar, this year is coming to a close. According to those of us with school aged children at home, the New Year begins when school begins. I feel both dates myself because I have both kinds of calendars.

 I have one that begins in August...This one is ''thee'' main calendar. If it ain't here, it ain't happenin!

 And on my desk is a Franklin Covey, Very Red leather planner. This is my daily deets, goals and project time-lines and anything else I can shove into it. I even bought a wire-bound planner, to down size and try something new, entered two dates in it, hated it and promptly bought new pages and used the binder again. Anybody need a 2011 wirebound planner with two dates written in it????

I keep looking for the perfect planner page, I've even designed my own, but I haven't quite found a style that suits my ever changing needs and personality.  I am trying a new design this year. It has a small area for appointments, but room if I happen to have a really full schedule. Unnamed blocks where I can keep track of projects, goals, deadlines, phone calls, to-dos.......this may be the closest page style yet!

I tried the Palm thing....love it and hate it all at the same time. As much of a geek as I am, I still prefer paper for some things............you just never know when the battery is gonna give out and you are stuck at a pay phone in the middle of nowhere and they only thing going through your head is; "but his work number is memory 1!!!" Been there, done that, do NOT want another t-shirt! I've went back a step in time, and memorized a few phone numbers...LOL  Apparently I am also curtailing Alzheimer's in the process....who knew?

How do you track the passing of time?

I have two calendars, a blog and teenagers.....nuff said!  ;-)

Happy New Year!!!
May God bless you beyond your wildest dreams!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A VERY Trekkie Christmas

First off, Merry Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful, thoughtful, Christ filled holiday!

Trek reigned supreme in the gift receiving arena for me!! 
I got some crafted Trekkie goodness. <<<----see past blog post

And some new Trekkie goodness

The three newest hallmark 2010 ornaments. You can't see it, but I also got an brake light cover that is the outline of the enterprise.....I know, right!!! Need to put that sucker on asap. Also, my brother got me the light-up birthday cake set. sss sss sss....goofy, but I know what will be on my cake in February!!! Napkins too. Trek birthday in da hhoooooouuussseeee!

And some older ones.....especially the coveted 1991 Enterprise.....the ship that began the Hallmark tradition.

Actually, the 1992 Shuttle craft began my ornament obsession and I've wanted the 1991 Enterprise since about, wellllll, 1992, but it ran the price gambit from 150.00 to 300.00 buckaroos!! The hubster took pity on me this year, so now my ship collection is officially complete!! (at least until the 2011's are released hahaha)
The little blinking saucer lights are way past fan-tas-tic.

I am a collector that doesn't leave things in their original packaging. It gets put up and played with; loved and enjoyed! Hence, my Guardian of Time no longer speaks (sniff, sniff...I will replace when I find one) and a little piece of my Bird of Prey has a snapped off. The year I got Uhura, my son bumped her 30 minutes after she got hung up and she lost a hand. LOL  She got replaced the next day. I have a lot of the people and am always looking to increase my ship's compliment. :-)  Always!!!

Everyone has their Christmas traditions, mine is hanging the Universe, playing with all the ones that move and make sound, watching my daughter shake her head in utter disbelief. If they ever stop making the ornaments, it will be a sad, sad day for me but I will still have my Universe, my crafted Trek goodness and reruns and dvd's. Okay, my uniform and promo Tee from the 2009 movie too.  Don't judge me people!!! ;-)

As always, reaching for the stars.........Regena


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sparkle, sparkle, shine, shine....wtfrench toast?

Why is there a hint of glitter no matter where I am in this house? Where is it coming from? I don't even own glitter! I was just cutting some fabric and turned it over and guess what?? That's right.....glitter!!

Are the glitter fairies invading my home?? Why are they sprinkling it in the oddest places? I half expect to find it in my underwear drawer or when I unload the dishwasher. ;-) I know my car seats sparkle from a pair of glitter jeans one of my daughter's friends wore-----5 years ago!!!

Oh well, better to have some bling in odd places than no bling at all!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crafty Christmas

It's been one heck of a sewfest here! Both making and getting! There are several previous blogs on my sewing exploits, but here are a few pics of some of the neato-mosquito things that I have received!! As you'll noticed, I am potholder challenged, so two of my friends helped remedy that sitch. LOL

Amy sent this loverly package. Machine quilted around every hat, she did!! And the little bag lined with orange polkadots.....yummy!!!

Although my Friend Denise didn't make this (major scrapbooker, that one) , it's still one killer pincushion. Orange with sock monkeys.....really? Does it get any better?

My friend, Karen made these. Apparently from my own fabric. LOL  I didn't even realize it! Lame!!
The binding is stellar and one of them now has it's first spot. That's why I didn't want to use them.  :-)

Aprons, mug rugs, more aprons, stockings, ornaments, jamjam pants........It's been my craftiest Christmas ever!!! I even managed to embroider a few letters. And "h" and an "o" .
aren't you impressed? I know I was!! hahahahahahahahahaha

Have yourself a crafty little Christmas tttiiiiimmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
( I know, I know, you can hear the dogs howling too)


Monday, December 20, 2010

Snickedoodle cupcakes

A friend of mine, Katy, gave me this recipe. It's a huge hit with the non-chocolate crowd. I've changed it up a little bit because of my taste buds, but it's basically hers!! It's one of those ''box only better'' recipes. It's easy and yummy. She's makes real buttercream, but since I don't like it, I used premade vanilla frosting. Bad me!!
When you can buy the mix for 99 cents, it really saves money and time and it's big on taste!!


oven 350ºf

1 box white cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted and slightly cooled (1/2 cup)
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon (adjust to your tastebuds)
1 teaspoon vanilla ( optional but tasty)

mix it all together and bake according to box. It works well as a bundt, cupcakes (duh), pound cake shape, whatever

Frosting: add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your favorite vanilla buttercream or mix it into to tub-o-frosting.

My frosting.....frost with vanilla frosting...I like Betty Crocker and dust with a mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon. ( 1 teas. to 1 cup sugar, but you can adjust to your tastebuds))

For the bundt or pound cake shapes., I make a glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, cinnamon to taste (teaspoon) and some milk until it drizzles just like thick maple syrup. It takes a little time to harden up, but yumm-o-licious!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Impatient? Me?

 Friday was craft night here and with some online buddies. (Karen and Amy) I was up until midnight sewing and chatting.

This was the apron I was working on......three of them!

Front view

Back view. 
I really like the criss-cross strappies.
I don't mind the neck kind as long as they don't tie at the back of my neck; it pulls my little neck hairs....can you say: yyeeeeeeeoooouuuccchhh?

Serger accident with apron number three.
FYI: don't serge late at night.
The repair isn't too obvious, but this goes into the "I can't possibly give that to someone" pile.

This apron has a hidden ipod/phone pocket.
I tested it to make sure nothing would fall out since I couldn't find my snaps. Still can't find those little suckers anywhere!

This one is pocketless but I really needed to practice my embroidery skills; they are seriously lacking. :-)

Oops!! Guess the cat is out of the bag!!  

Merry Christmas ladies!!! 

You're the bomb and a half!

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Should I have a giveaway for the one with the boo boo?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Just a little Christmas cheer to brighten your day!
Straight No Chaser's Famous 12 Days!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread Sensei

 My version of the infamous half eaten gingerbread ornament from elsiemarley.com.
I made them for the Sensei and the others that teach my son karate. And one regular too.

the layout phase

the finished product

These little cookies aren't the easy, schmeasy, quickie gift I thought. LOL I'll need a zipper foot next time for sure. Or hand sew them all. Are they hard, nope. But tiny things take a little extra care. Now I know why I make corsets and not crafts. LOL


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jane Austen's Birthday

That's right, on December 16th, it will be the 235 anniversary of the birth of the woman that gave us Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett.! Did she somehow know that Collin Firth would play him in a totally awesome BBC mini series? Did she ever imagine that he would be bathing for all the world to see? What about coming out of the pond? Maybe.......she obviously had a fabulous imagination!

This past Sunday, the Sacramento Library concluded its 6 month long tribute to Jane Austen with a tea.
As you can see, there are quite a few "Janites" out there. there was only room for about 250 of us and a waiting list almost as long.
 As you can see, we had lots of yummy things to choose from. Scones and tea cakes and little watercress sammies. Four kinds of tea too. I forgot to bring a pretty tea cup so I had to use the plain white one, but the tea still tasted fab.

Three of us at my table dressed. The lady in the middle took a sewing class and this dress was her first project. Pretty dang good, eh? 
That's me, the silver haired matron. LOL  
I opted to be hatless, but I had it with me.


Group shot of several of us that came in Regency attire. I wish I knew all their names. I did show my corset off a little when I needed help undoing my buttons. The wooden busk was starting to get to me becasue my sister took great joy in lacing me far too tightly. Little sisters, what can you do, right?

We got to leave with a few goodies as well as our stuffed bellies. A girl can never have too many bags.....except under her eyes. hahahahaha

All in all a great way to celebrate. To see everything that the library did, please visit the Sacramento Public Library's website and the How Austentatious! link. Oops! Looks like they have moved the content already.

Over the course of 6 months, each of her books was read and discussed. At each meeting, there was a guest speaker that talked about the regency era. Medicine, entertainment, fashion, life in general. There was a fashion show (yes, I participated), an opera singer...just loads of fun. 

I can't wait for the next series of events....several of us are hoping they go Steampunk with Jules Verne and other writers of the late Victorian era! Maybe some Bronte sisters.

I shall leave you with a charade of the time:

Mr. Elton's Mystery Charade
My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.
Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!

But ah! united, what reverse we have!
Man's boasted power and freedom, all are flown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.

Thy ready wit the word will soon supply,
May its approval beam in that soft eye!
.the answer is:

My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease. ------------------------- court

Another view of man, my second brings,
Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!-------------------------------ship

But ah! united, what reverse we have!
Man's boasted power and freedom, all are flown;
Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.----------------------------courtship

I know, right! LOL


Monday, December 13, 2010

Stocking Swap 2010

Originally this was just going to be a very small swap. It was still small, but nothing like I was thinking. As the swap mama, I posted to all of facebook and didn't get to unfacebook until I had 5 swappers. And I thought I was a little bit tech savvy.....not!
It turned out better than I could imagine! We each made four stockings, 1 for each swapper, and then include 1 recipe, 5 gift tags, one ornament.I also tried to get everyone to keep it envelope friendly and under $3.00 shipping. Most of us followed the rules, sorta, kinda, okay, barely LOL
So now a lovely pictorial of the swap.
For another viewpoint of the story, see fellow swapper Karen's blog. It's pretty awesome.

The sockawackas I made for the swap

The first to arrive was Amy's. Can you tell I am a trek fan? LOL Fab or what?

The next to arrive was Karen's. I got two, count' em, TWO half eaten gingerbreads and one is a Spockookie!! He goes fan-tas-tically with the Trek Stocking. Seriously!!!
Oh, Spockookie with Sockookie

 Next was Carolyn's. Look at those prairie points!! Very nice!

Lats, but not least, my friend Mark's. See the Spockmonkey ornament???
Dingleballs and Star Trek, what could be better?

Group shot of my goodies! My dressform never looked so good. LOL

This has been one of the bestest swaps ever! I highly recommend doing a small swap with a few very creative and talented friends. You will sooooooo not be sorry!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Applying a cuff to a stocking; A tutorial

Attaching a cuff to a stocking isn't hard.
When you read directions for it, it sounds so very confusing. I hope this little pictorial will make your next stocking easy and clean so you, the maker, can stop hyper focusing on what you consider a flawed application that is making you crazy. LOL
Ask me how I know! ;-)

First, measure the width of you stocking from seam to seam. Not edge to edge.
**If using a pattern, you can skip the measuring portion....lucky you!

When you have the measurement you'll use this little formula: width x 2 + 2 x seam allowance
In this case: 5 1/2 x 2 = 11
                   1/4 x 2 = 1/2
                    11+1/2= 11 1/2

Next, decide how far you want the cuff to hang over and use the formula with a few different numbers.
In this case, I want a three inch drop.
3 x 2 = 6
seam allowance, for me, is a "1/4
1/4 x 2 = 1/2
There is some cuff that stays on the inside after you fold, that's about an inch for this fabric,
(yours could be different.) 
2 x 1 = 2 
6 + 1/2 + 2 = 8  1/2"

**Be very careful if you are using a fabric that has to lay a certain way. You don't want your image upside down or sideways when you turn the stocking......pin fit and take a look at it if your fabric has a very directional motif.......ask me how I know this one too! So yes, I totally avoid anything that might give me a headache, lame, but true! :-)  LOL**

 Now, to create a centered back seam, fold in half by folding the cuff side to side. It should have the seams that will be inside the stocking on the top and bottom of the cuff piece.

 After sewing, fold in half, pretty side showing
Check you motif direction, it's easier to fix at this point. Match you center seam line.
 Pin and baste the edges together to make your cuff.
Pin your tab to the stocking
Yes, you can add it later, but this is sooooo easy and sooooooo clean, why would you want to? ;-)

Pin the right side of the cuff (the side you want to show when the stocking is ready to hang) to the wrong (inside) side of the stocking. Make sure your center back seam is, well, centered in the back.
 Sew the cuff onto the stocking. You could use a serger, a sewing machine, hand stitching....what ever works for you. You may also finish the edge by serging, zigagging over the edge or using pinking shears. This seam will not see a lot of action so I left mine plain. Bad me! LOL

Unfold and look.....the tab is tucked all nice and pretty, no raw edges are showing. If you have a directional pattern, it will be upside down right now. Don't worry, that's the way it supposed to be!

Turn your stocking right side out.
You should see the raw edge and the underside of the cuff. If your fabric is directional, the pattern will be upside-down ......again, normal!!

Fold your cuff into place. See, I told you it would work out!!

See how nice and clean the inside edge is!!

Hope this wasn't too confusing.

Happy cuffing!!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Star Trek Christmas Universe

I think I need a longer space garland!
Still debating opening my ST mini mates and putting them on a shelf. LOL

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mug rug??? Huh?

I've learned a new term:  mug rug. What is that? Well, it's part coaster, part mini quilt and all too cool. It's keeps your table top clean and safe and has room for a mug and a snack.
A friend of mine, Amy,  was in a mug rug swap and I just had to know what it was..After I learned,  I wanted one. I wanted one now. I dug up some old fabric and got busy. I got busy three times.
It's practically instant gratification for a quilter. In less than an hour ( for an uber simple one) you have a finished mini quilt. I am liking this!!!
Make yourself a mug rug today! Heck, make one for a friend!! Or two or three.........

mug rugs in process

mug rug in action

Friday, December 3, 2010

Being human is sometimes overrated.

Oh to be a kitty taking a morning respite on a warm stack of neatly and freshly folded towels.
Is that livin' or what?
Next life, I wanna be a fat, happy, spoiled, loved house cat! ;-)

Meeeeeoooowwwwwww puuuurrrrrrrrrrrrr



Thursday, December 2, 2010

I can't believe it's almost Christmas!!

     I am sooooooo not ready this year. Is anyone else having a big case of ''behind the times"?

     My cards aren't even made yet!! Normally I have them addressed and ready to go in October....October! I may have to forgo the special art work and send regular ol' boxed cards. THOSE I have on hand!

     Decorating is a joke! Dear daughter and her papa` have decided that NOW is a great time to paint her room. Really? (she says sarcastically) My living room is a bedroom, my hallway, a storage locker and she goes to bed at 10pm (she's running late tonight....thank goodness) so I can't sew or watch TV (no, I don't have a TV in my bedroom) until the wee hours (okay,11-11:30 pm isn't the wee hours).

     Where am I supposed to put my trees? Yes, trees, plural. On her bed? At least the lights are up outside and the decor is down and ready to be put up. And the Universe? Oh yeah....that baby will stay up until past Epiphany. All year if I could get away with it. LOL

     Shopping? Nope. Not. One. Gift. Purchased. That is so very unlike me.

     Here's the thing: I don't feel stressed about it. I know, right? I should be freaking my guts out, but I know things will be just fine on the big day. We'll wake up; sing happy birthday to 8lb 6oz baby Jesus; sit in the big bed and open our stockings; eat a light breakfast, open gifts, get bored, prepare the evening's repast and relax by the fireplace. We don't even have to travel this year....we did that at Thanksgiving!! 

     I almost feel a sense of freedom not opening all my dishes and knick-knacks and putting up all 7 trees. I LOVE, love, love the decor, but I love serenity too. 

     Two trees, one Universe, one Nativity, a few outdoor lights, a little shopping.....I could get used to this........at least for a little while. ;-)  In about 8-10 years when I get grands....the insanity will begin all over again!!!

     Merry Christmas!!