December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Started My First Sewing Project!

I'm crazy to be undertaking this, that's the only explanation.

Today I actually gulped a lot and cut the snakeskin print cloth to make the "poncho" top.  Then, I pulled out the old Kenmore sewing machine.  It's got to be 30 years old.  The case, a heavy-duty plastic, is all yellowed, but the machine is heavy - it's made out of metal, not plastic!

I actually remembered how to thread it immediately, I impressed myself:)  Then I screwed up by starting the hemming of the edges with the light-colored bobbin already in the machine.  The top stitches were too light; so I took out that bobbin and saved it since I figure I'll be using an off-white thread sometime in the future; I laboriously unwound a bobbin loaded with pink thread.  When the hell did I use pink thread?  It has to be from 1986 when I made curtains for the dining room in my first house - they were made out of sheets with a pink background.  Sounds icky, I know, but they were actually quite beautiful - an oriental floral print!

Once I had the bobbin unwound, I had to put the new color thread on it - I remembered how to do that too.  I'm amazed I remembered!  I probably haven't had this sewing machine open in 18 years or so (last project I can remember was making a new set of curtains, again out of sheets, for the patio door in this house that I have not been up for several years now).

Then I had to unpick the stitching from the top that I'd already done  - fortunately, I had not got very far when I realized that the wrong color was coming out on the top, so I didn't have much to unpick.

Now I'm watching the premiere of Amazing Race, and while I'm enjoying this break I'm thinking I'm not going to have a new poncho top to wear to work tomorrow.  Bummer :(

But while watching the show I believe I've figured out an easier way to hem the poncho material; I've got to hem it first before marking for the seams that will create both the sides and the separation for the sleeve openings and doing the opening for the head.  My initial plan was to do a straightforward quarter-inch hem with turned corners all away around the material, but after struggling to do the first corner (with the wrong color thread), I decided there must be a better way.  I'm going to put a -- not sure what to call it -- a zig-zag enclosed stitch all around the perimeter that will "lock" the edges, and then I will hand hem the material.  It may take longer to do it this way, but I can hand hem while I'm watching t.v. :)

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