January 31, 2018:

Hola!

Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...

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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