Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kathleen E. Woodiwiss dies

I'm saddened to hear about Kathleen Woodiwiss' death and I can't believe that I'm just now hearing about it. I guess it's not one of those newsworthy items that would be plastered all over the TV and newspapers like Lindsey Lohen or Paris Hilton, or whatever their names are.

The passing of Kathleen Woodiwiss is the end of an era. I have such fond memories of when I was younger and started reading her books. I had just started working at my first job which was in a public library. One of my coworkers got me started reading Kathleen Woodiwiss. The first book I read was The Flame and The Flower. I went on to read the next few and have read almost everything that she's written. I think her first books were alot better than her later ones, but I'm so happy to have wet my feet on romance novels beginning with hers. So, as far as I'm concerned, there has been no one else who could hold a candle to her. Now I'm going to have to go hunt up my old copies and reread them. I was reading a forum and realized that several readers wrote that they have reread her books numerous times. When I read the books, the covers looked like one of the ones above. I haven't read the earlier ones since the mid-70's, so I guess I'm due.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Batik Wall Hanging

Saturday I went to get my hair cut and on the way back I stopped at a new quilt store that just opened up. I was browsing around and found some batik fabrics already cut into 5" squares. That attracted my attention and knowing how I hate cutting out fabric (I want to get to the fun part right away), I bought them. I love batiks and since these were already cut out I knew I would figure out something to do with them. It was just too good to pass up. There were 100 5" squares in the pack.

Yesterday after breakfast I got them out and started looking at them thinking about what I could do with them. Then I figured maybe I could make a 25 squares wall hanging, so I arranged them into 5 squares across, 5 squares down and I realized that it would make a nice size wall hanging. Not too large, not too small. After I arranged them in a pleasing way, I decided that it would take no time to sew them together, so I did that. Then I started thinking about borders and found some fabric for the borders that I thought would look nice. I managed to get this all done in about 2 hours time. Then I put it together in a quilt "sandwich", which is quilt top on top, batting in the middle and muslin backing on the back. I actually managed to get the quilt top quilted yesterday afternoon. Now I'm working on quilting the black border.

I showed it to Eddie and told him that I was thinking about either selling it or giving it to someone for Christmas. He said, "No, you're not. We're keeping it. we can hang it in the dining room." That made me very happy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dollmaking Class

Last night I went to a beginner's dollmaking class that was held at a new store in our mall. I have made cloth dolls before, but I still learned alot from this class. I learned how to sew yarn hair on and how to stuff really tightly. I also learned that for making primitive rag dolls you don't have to be that particular about the dress, apron, etc. I also learned how to sew the face on a doll rather than draw it on. This little doll is the result of my efforts in class. I would like to make some more of these. My only frustration was that the teacher kept telling me to stuff really tightly. I forgot to sew a small seam across the top of the legs until I had already stuffed it, so my doll doesn't want to sit down and I have to display her standing up. I can see what I did wrong and what I can correct on the next one. I got lots of good tips for cloth dollmaking and I was very pleased.

The teacher had already cut out and sewn the basic pieces, so all I had to do was turn them right side out and stuff them. Then do some hand sewing for the other things like sewing the arms on, sewing the hair on, etc. I also managed to get a copy of the pattern, which I'm happy about. I can make some more of these little dolls. She came out really cute. Now all I have to do is come up with a name for her.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Feather and Fan Scarf

I found a really pretty scarf pattern last week. It's called the Feather and Fan Scarf. I'm using Caron Simply Soft yarn for mine and size 8 knitting needles. I love the white and blue together, but I think my next one will be a solid color because I hate weaving in all those ends from changing colors. I can't believe how elegant this scarf looks when the pattern is so easy. It looks like really laborious work, but it's not. It's only 4 rows that are repeated until the scarf is a long as you want or you run out of yarn.

Knitting on this scarf has really helped to take my mind off of things. I had my annual doctor's appointment last week with my cardiologist. My blood pressure was up and I was really frustrated with myself because I have not been watching my diet like I should. I tend to use food as a comfort thing or a way to deal with stressful things. The doctor told me not to eat anything with added salt, that means no pretzels, potato chips, and he named off a whole list of things that I can't even remember because he rattled them off so fast. I thought that just because I had been going to Jazzercise and not cooking with salt and not adding extra salt at the table that I was watching my sodium intake. I thought that some of the things I was eating were ok to eat, but I guess I was wrong. Or maybe I had just never thought about the sodium content in the foods I was eating. Sodium is in everything. And lots of it. In fat free foods they add extra sodium to replace the flavor that was taken out with the fat. In some cases one dinner has about half the sodium you should have all day. So that means no more Lean Cuisines for me or any other low fat dinners like that for lunch. In some ways I think it's harder to eat a low sodium diet than it is to give up sugar. Sugar is pretty straightforward, but not so with sodium. That's another thing. I have to give up refined sugar because of my high triglyceride level. It's hard, but so far I haven't had anything sweet since last Thursday after my doctor's appointment. He doesn't want me to drink diet drinks either because of the artificial sweeteners in them. Well, I can't give up everything. It was pretty depressing at first, but I'm beginning to get used to it. I just have to be really careful what I eat from now on and I'm learning to read food labels more. My cardiologist is very matter of fact about these things. In his mind, it's very simple what you have to do, so do it. No excuses, no whining, etc. It was after that that I realized that I have to do it.

The other thing is that I have an appointment with a different periodontist next week. After the depressing appointment I had with one last year, I just couldn't deal with it. I put it off as long as possible. It turns out that I have periodontal disease and the periodontist from last year wanted to do major surgery and peel back my gums and clean deep down inside. I recoiled in horror at the description of such a thing. I was in her office for 3 hours. I was really overwhelmed after that and depressed for several days. So, my coping mechanism was to forget about it, put it on the back burner and not think about it right then. Well, now it's almost a year later and now I'm going to have to face it and figure something out. I would love to just call them up and cancel that appointment, but the front tooth that is affected right now is not loose, but it's looser than the other ones. Even now I don't know if it can be saved. I hope so. If it can I guess I'll do whatever needs to be done to save it. It wouldn't be so bad if the problem were not in the very front of my mouth. I have to work with the public for another 8 years at least before I can retire and I refuse to do it with one tooth missing in the front. The thing that bothers me is that I'm so afraid that I'm going to get sick after the anesthesia, especially if they put me to sleep and I'm not ging to have something like that done without being out of it to some degree. I don't want to know anything about it until it's all over with. I just have a pattern of getting sick after anesthesia. Well, maybe I shoudl just get overit and have it done. I have even done some research on the Internet and one person bought a Water Pic in lieu of having the surgery. He said the periodontists don't tell you that after you have the deep cleaning (gums peeled back, etc.) that your gums recede and never go back to where they were before. I don't know about that. It's just all so overwhelming. I'm going to go and at least see what the new periodontist says my options are.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Surprising Find

I haven't been working very much on crafty things lately. I can't seem to get settled down to anything. Feeling restless, I guess. I'm sort of that way about books too. It seems that I start something and can't get into it. That goes for books and crafts.

Yesterday Eddie and I went to my cousin's house to help him hang some curtain rods and curtains. It went alot faster than we thought and we were finished in about 2 hours. Afterwards, my cousin was ready for a nap and Eddie wanted to watch TV, so I decided that I would go shopping for awhile.

The first store I went to was T.J. Maxx and I found a couple of watercolor books that were about $3.99 each, which is an excellent price. I'm sure they were more than $15.00 each at one time. After that, I went to a new store called World Market. I've never seen it before and we don't have anything like it on our side of town. I went inside and it reminded me a whole lot of a store we used to have called World Bazaar and one we have now called Pier 1 Imports. World Market had alot of neat stuff. I just spent some time browsing around and eventually came upon a display of eclectic jewelry, handbags, and scarves, and other things like that. Then I discovered hanging down on a bottom rack some of these beautiful oriental print handbags, makeup bags and some smaller bags.

The handbags had been originally priced at $29.99 and they were on sale. When I got to the checkout, this purse rang up for around $11.84 or something like that. Less than $12.00. I was thrilled. I knew it was on sale, but I never expected a discount that large. I could never buy the fabric and make anything nearly this nice for that price. I never thought I would find anything like this and I've never seen anything like it anyplace else in any of our stores in our city. I love Japanese and Chinese oriental type fabrics. Ever since I saw the movie "Memoirs of a Geisha" and saw all those beautiful kimonos, I've been enamored of these types of prints. I even made a small kimono wallhanging recently.

I have some more fabrics to make a larger one later on when I can get in the mood. They are not really oriental fabrics, but they have Asian themes and will make a pretty kimono wallhanging.

Finding this kind of thing like this purse doesn't happen to me very often. Usually I will see someone with something really unique and cute and if they tell me where they got it, it's usually either a gift or they bought it several months ago. But, even if it was a recent purchase, I will go look for something similar they are usually all out, and of course you know they won't be getting any more.

I think I'm going back tomorrow.