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Archive for April, 2009

I have wrapped hard candy in a dish in the living room.

Every single thing I start to sew starts with inspiration of making something for my grandson.

Same with scrapbooking.

I notice games and toys in the store that he might like when he is a year, 14 months, 18 months and so on…

I wanted to buy a pool float that he can use in 2010.

I did buy two suits… one casual, one dress, for him to wear when he is two… in spring of 2011.

He was here overnight and I miss his sweet smell, his soft skin, his wee toes and tiny fingers, his smile, his soft breathing when he is sleeping, his alert eyes, his cooing and his soft hair.

I am smitten, completely smitten with him, especially when I get to hold him like I did this morning and take pictures of his sweet little face.

Dear God, thank you for this beautiful grandchild. I’m in love.

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Savannah Morning News

Raining cats and dogs

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I made this for my grandson Asher and can’t wait to give it to him and his mom and dad. I hope he will enjoy it! The blanket is flannel with a solid green Minkee backing. As you know Minkee is soooo soft. The “tie” is appliqued with the monkey theme on Minkee background. Here’s the finished set and directions!

The Minkee Monkey Blanket
The Monkey Blanket and Monkey Tie

I cut my fabric with the measurements of 36″ wide and 46″ long. Why? Because that is how much Minkee I had… no big science there. The strips you see on my mat are scraps I used for the tie. I didn’t photograph the making of the blanket but will give you some tips.

  • Minkee stretches! Cut carefully
  • Once you have everything measured and cut, PIN along the edges. Don’t try to rush and shortcut… pinning at this point is very important.
  • While sewing stretchy flannel and / or Minkee, keep it all on the table so the weight of your project doesn’t pull and cause it to stretch while sewing. I don’t use my walking foot when sewing flannel or Minkee.
  • If you have some stretching use the point of a seam ripper to gently feed the excess under the needle.. there should only be a small amount if you pinned properly.
  • Leave an 8″ opening along one side.
  • Trim corners
  • Turn
  • Steam blanket edges with the iron and gently iron on FLANNEL side! Don’t iron Minkee side.
  • Sew opening closed and topstitch around the edge of blanket for stability.
Now for the Onesie and tie!
You can use any Onesie set… I chose Calvin so The AshMan can be a snazzy dresser.

I made a pattern by just tracing near the existing stitches on the Onesie and marking a tie that I thought would be a nice size. You will note the pattern is folded in half. I cut along the lines that are marked so when I opened the paper both sides were exact.

The pattern should be two pieces because I cut the neck separate from the tie, but you get the idea. Disclaimer: I’m not a designer… I made this up as I went.

I used a blanket stitch like this one (image from Craftelf.com) to put the applique onto the Onesie. The illustration demonstrates hand sewing but you get the idea….

I sewed on the neck part of the “tie” and the fabric went up under the flaps at the shoulders.

In the photo below, you can see how the green Minkee is under the fold at the shoulder.

This is where I found the center and marked it. Simply fold the Onesie in exact half to find the lengthwise center. This also works if you need to find the center width, just fold in half width-wise.

I cut one of the cute monkeys from the flannel fabric, found my center and used the blanket stitch to applique it on.

I pinned the tie, matching my center marks. Remember the Minkee is stretchy, so sew gently.

I stitched the tie onto the Onesie, overlapping the Minkee on the curve at the neck. I stitched on top of the tie at the curve to give the tie a “tied” detail.
Voila! A matching Minkee Monkey Blanket and Onesie!

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Savannah Morning News

Front porch stories: Cat-sitting for demon felines
Kathy Bohannon | Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 12:30 am

When my daughter Aubern Michelle and her husband planned a vacation, I agreed to take care of their animals. That meant driving from Savannah to their home in Newnan, where they live with two dogs and two very, very strange cats.

One of their dogs is weird because he walks on his front feet, tapping with one back foot on occasion to keep his behind up in the air. He isn’t afraid of toys that outweigh him, and frequently runs around the house and yard, heavy bone in his mouth, fanny in the air. He looks like a circus dog.

One of her two cats cannot, should not and will not be touched. This has been the rule from the beginning. When I first met Sophia, she was spitting and hissing from the bars of a door on a locked crate. “Oh, she’s just a bit afraid,” my daughter said, discounting the fact the cat was displaying a full set of teeth, complete with fangs on upper and lower jaws. “Um, no, she’s just a bit possessed,” I assured her as I took a few steps back.

Sophia has been a case of nerves her whole life and she is allergic to grass. This makes her a house cat. Her co-cat, Misu, is also a house cat. I’ve had cats for most of my life and this one is undoubtedly the strangest one I’ve ever known, with the exception of the one we adopted from the pound who just sat still all day.

“All you have to do besides feed them is put them in the laundry room at night,” my daughter instructed.

Simple enough, I thought. The first night I called them to come to the laundry room. They glanced at one another and didn’t budge. An hour later I figured out how to get them in there, but it took about a third of a container of treats to lure them in. I set them down in a trail and Misu ate them all. I had to do it again for Sophia. I think I heard them snickering from behind the closed door.

The next night I started luring them in earlier. Again, they exchanged glances and ate almost a whole meal of treats before they were in the room for the night.

The third night I considered leaving them in the house, but 10 minutes into bedtime one of them was pulling at the bedroom door. I stumbled through the house to, once again, lure them in with treats. An hour later, they were snickering behind the door.

Sometime on day four, Misu gave Circus Dog the treats can. I think it was part of her plan, having had trouble removing the lid on her own. The dog popped his behind in the air and ran on just two legs, carrying the empty can all over the house. I forgot to buy more treats and that night, with nothing to lure them in, I figured it was time to get smarter than the cats.

I thought about locking them in at dinner, but that would be mean. Dinner was just after 6 and they would be confined for a long time before morning. I could just imagine the carnage. I wasn’t sure the door could hold them; after all it is just wood and metal. Being the animal lover (or chicken) that I am, I let them out after dinner. They curled up and watched me for the rest of the night.

There were just a few desperate hours left in the day in which I could consider my strategy. Every time I walked by one of them they would either watch me by glaring or, if I got too close, they would stick out a paw in warning. Knowing, rather hoping, that I was smarter than these two cats, I figured there was only one way to get them in the room. I would have to pick them up.

There was nothing to protect me. There were no falconry gloves in the house to protect me from talons of death. No suit of armor to shield me from being stabbed in a counter attack. Not even a can of Whoop-Cat I could open up on them. It was just me relying on my superior intelligence. I was reluctant, to say the least.

I remember when I was a kid that I trapped a bug under a jar. My brother slid something between the jar and the ground, and my bug was my contained pet for the day. One of the cats was in a chair. A laundry basket was nearby. I would have to carry the chair and basket, and clear the doorway, slamming it shut before the cat projected itself back on me. Not the best plan.

In the end my intelligence paid off. I simply snuck up behind Sophia and before she knew what was happening, I swooped her up and she was secured behind the door. Misu was snarling and swinging at me as I grabbed her and held her at the farthest arm’s length possible. Finally she was put up for the night.

I looked at the calendar. It would be several days before my duties would come to an end. Reaching for my grocery list, I made an addition. “One case of cat treats.”

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Thrift Store Friday!

Ninja Man and I visited an abundance of thrift stores today! We started at Goodwill and made our way through town, going to several places recommended by friends. I found some great vintage linens and some pretty swanky clothes. I didn’t use to shop for second hand clothing but gee whiz, when you have Polo and Talbot’s tastes and a Target budget, you get creative.

So after two good washings for “just in case”, I’ve got some pretty cool new duds.

We’ll start with this Banana Republic Pima Cotton shirt. It’s a man’s shirt I think, but it is soft as “buttuh!” I will wear it and enjoy it tremendously!
For more buttuhry softness, I found this… again, I think it is a guy’s shirt but I think it will be gorgeous this summer!
Now these capris are NOT for guys! The embroidered fabric is beautiful. Couldn’t leave this behind.

Land’s End, Coldwater Creek, Talbots! Yeah, with my budget I wouldn’t buy these new, never have, except for some formals from Talbots. So when it comes to casual wear, I’m on the cheap, which is why I found these to be such great deals. The shop is a consignment shop called The Red Door in Tyrone, Ga. Wow. That pretty much sums it up. They have it laid out like a trendy boutique and you forget you are in a second hand store.

I got this sweater from a thrift store. I loved the differing colors and patterns and plan to wash, dry and turn it into something cool.. not sure what yet… but my Betz White book will be here any day and I’m sure there will be some great ideas and patterns there!

This tiny sweater was ONE DOLLAR. I couldn’t believe it. I have no idea what I will do with it but I couldn’t leave it behind. It is just adorable! And still has the new tags on it. I’m sure it was never worn.

Isn’t the detail just cute as can be? I love the ribbon and ladybug and check out the differing knit stitches….

Even the back has detail… yeah, I had to take this home with me.

Ninja Man found these rubber muffin pans for only 2 bucks each! Much cheaper than in the stores. I’ll have to ask him to make me muffins!
You might be wondering why, why, why would one woman need so many zippers? Because these were 25 cents each! Yep, I buy zippers. All the time. Mainly because I design purses and wallet type things that need zippers and I can incorporate the sizes of the thrift zippers into my projects. I prefer nylon teeth, so you won’t see many metal in my collections. Nylon is so much easier on the skin when you’re reaching into your purse!
Let’s not forget the vintage linens!

I’ll be using these on pillows soon! (And they were 2 for $2)

Why hankies embroidered with “Evelyn” and an “E”, you ask? Well, anyone who has seen my Evelyn Witherspoon comedy act knows that this is right up “her” alley! Yeah, Evelyn is uppity and pretty much needed some monogrammed and embroidered hankies to carry around. Just don’t tell anyone they were just a few cents each!

And Ninja Man wanted something too, so he got a couple of movies to watch while I’m washing all my thrift store finds!
One more thing I found (for $9) was this Bumbo seat for my grandson (for when he is old enough to sit in it!) The one I got is blue. I still have to buy a tray for it.

Tomorrow is yard sale day and one more consignment store. Whew!

By the way, total expended for today’s shopping was under $40, the price of one new Bumbo seat!

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From Savannah Morning News

Front porch stories: Taxed by anticipation

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