Category Archives: Chat

Adventures in Drapery Making

Yipee!  We got more snow today and it’s a winter wonderland out there.  Old Man Winter is going to go out scratching and clawing all the way.  I love that we’ve finally had a real winter this year!

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

Anyway, there’s been some sewing happening here.  A few years ago when we redecorated  the kitchen, I chose some fabric for the kitchen curtains.  I’d let someone talk me into doing things in red and black and gold, and while that would have been just fine, I didn’t love it.  One day, SweetiePie was here and I was whining to her that I didn’t love the new fabric (fortunately I hadn’t purchased it yet) and I thought it was possibly because there was no blue anywhere in the new plan.  SweetiePie jumped into action and in about 3.5 seconds, she found this post on the internet.  It made me start thinking and even though my walls aren’t white like those in the “model” picture, I decided that look might work for me.

I bought some fabric and then procrastinated because there were complications.  Our window is 150″ wide and the longest curtain rods are only 120″ long.  I knew I could probably custom order one, but I started thinking about alternate plans.  I finally decided I’d like a fabric covered valance.  And then I procrastinated more because I really didn’t want to build said valance.  Finally, when we had the bookcase built, it occurred to me that I could have the cabinetmaker build me a valance.  He did such a beautiful job, I hated to cover it.

So, a few weekends ago, I moved the machines up to the kitchen and started sewing.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

Of course, I had some help.  Paulkitty really did try.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

And he was much more helpful than Scruff who just wanted to kill himself in the plastic bag that came with the roll of fabric.  Don’t worry, no kitties were harmed in the making of these drapes.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

The sewing went well and didn’t really take very long.  Even covering the valance wasn’t particularly difficult.  But, hanging it on the wall was a jumbo pain in the rear end.  Two people, a long valance, and two poor quality stud finders meant that the hanging process almost took longer than the sewing.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

Anyway, I’m very pleased.  We’ve been in this house over 14 years and it finally looks like we actually live here!  Extra special thanks go to SweetiePie — without her, I’d probably be complaining about my black and red curtains to anyone who would listen.  ;-D

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

One last thing … Attention Stripe Lovers!  You’ve probably seen the diagonal stripes from the April Showers collection.  Bonnie and Camille’s stripes are Perfect for quilt bindings.  Not to mention any other stripey needs you might have. In case you need some and don’t already have them,  I’ve added some stacks to my little Etsy shop.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

XOXO,
Anna

Saturday Stuff

(…formerly known as Friday Five on Saturday LOL)

1. I’ve been on a little break — DidYaMissMe???? We took a quick little winter trip with some friends and TheFirstChild and SweetiePie to Park City, Utah. You know how I love the snow and we certainly weren’t disappointed — it. snowed. every. day.  I was in Heaven — it was Beautiful!!!

Thimbleanna: Park City

It was an almost perfect trip — I really need to learn how to ski. Headline: “Old Woman Learns How to Ski!”.

Thimbleanna: Park City

The girls pretty much summed up how I felt while we were there.

Thimbleanna: Park City

2. Since we were with friends I didn’t take any time to go to the usual places that I love. With one exception — I did a quick drive-by to The Wool Cabin to visit with Bonnie. Bonnie is such a sweetheart and we always have much-too-quick visits, but they’re fun. Bonnie has been knitting Little Cotton Rabbit’s fun bunnies and foxes with reckless abandon so I wanted to get a few tips from her and buy some yarn for some bunnies of my own. And look! Bonnie surprised me with a little lamb that she’d recently knit. Isn’t she adorable? I call her Lambie Pie and I LOVE her. Thanks Bonnie!!!

Thimbleanna: Lambie Pie

3. Speaking of lambs/sheep, I forgot to show you the adorable slippers that MyDadLovesMeBestSister gave me for Christmas. Aren’t they perfect? I wear them all the time!

Thimbleanna: Lambie Slippers

4. Speaking of footwear (how do you like these segues? haha) — while we were in Utah, SweetiePie and I found some wild shoes. The colors are so bold, we just couldn’t resist. You’ll be able to see us coming from a mile away!

Thimbleanna: Shoes

5. Now, back to reality. A dirty house and laundry. And the unfinished Tumbler quilt which is now to the quilting stage. Can’t say I’m enjoying zig-zagging my way down those tumblers, but it’s slowly getting done. Hopefully there will be a finish soon.

Thimbleanna:  Tumbler Quilt

And that’s it. Another few weeks blitzed by — it never fails to amaze me. Hope you’re having a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

Books

Hidy Ho! Just checking in to see if you’re all surviving your various winter/summer weather. It’s such an odd year, isn’t it? We got a ton more snow yesterday, and I know you’re sick of hearing it, but I love it. . Pity the poor school kids (and their mothers LOL) though — they have some serious class time to make up this year.

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you might remember that I get an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas every year and then I hoard it until the middle of the winter and then treat myself to some fun new books. I try to mix it up and this year I think I got a good mix — baking, knitting, reading, and travel. (Ooooh, no quilting, darn it!)

Thimbleanna: Books

This year I bought:

Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine.  Not really sure what drew me to this book, but I’ve had my eye on it for several years.  It looks like there are some great recipes in it.

The Model Bakery Cookbook by Karen Mitchell.  One day I saw that Dotty Cookie had made some English Muffins.  Later that day, I got an Amazon e-mail mentioning that people buy this book just for the English Muffin recipe.  English Muffins twice in one day, so I took it as a sign and this book jumped into my shopping cart.  I’m excited to try the recipe.

The Best of Lopi by Susan Mills.  I’m currently obsessed with Lopi yarn (getting ready to start a new Lopi sweater!) and this book had great reviews on Amazon.  I’m happy to say, it’s chock full of beautiful sweater patterns.  Most of them are the traditional Icelandic style, but there are several that have cables and are more “normal” sweaters.  I saw 4 or 5 sweaters that I’d love to make and that’s saying a lot!

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.  Have any of you read this book?  Along with my Lopi obsession, I’m obsessed with Iceland — since our trip last May, I can’t stop thinking about this beautiful country.  I can’t remember where I saw this book mentioned, but it’s the story of the last woman to be executed in Iceland, set in 1829.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

A Fine Romance by Susan Branch.  If you’re a fan of Susan Branch, you probably already have this book.  In the spring of 2012, Susan and her husband went to England for 7 weeks and this is the illustrated diary of her trip.  I would love to go and spend more than a few weeks at a time in the UK, so I’m hoping to pick up a few tips.  Plus, I think it’s probably just a good, fun read.

So, that should keep me busy for awhile, don’t you think?

Oh wait.  There’s more.  I had a little naughty purchase.

Thimbleanna: Books

I’m completely blaming Pam Kitty Morning. PKM showed this beautiful mug one morning on her blog and told us how to find it. So I searched and conveniently, it could be purchased with my Amazon gift card.   It’s the Royal Albert New Country Roses Union Jack mug and I selfishly bought the last one.  Hopefully they’ll get more in stock, ’cause I know you want one.  It’s going to be perfect for my winter reading!

Ok, I’m off — there’s reading to be done!  Have a good weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

Friday Five — on Saturday

Thimbleanna: Winter

1. Boy, oh Boy, Old Man Winter is on a Bender this year isn’t he? And I. Love. It. We’ve had our snowiest January ever and, with the exception of the first few days of the month, there was snow on the ground all month. SO much better than our usual January pattern of snow, melt, mud, rain, mud, snow, ice, melt, mud, mud, mud, dreary, dreary, dreary. We’ve survived two arctic vortexes (vortexi, vortii, just what is the plural of vortex?), so that was fun too. It was -15F on the Tuesday morning drive to work and by Thursday morning it was 15F. What a difference 30 degrees makes — I almost felt like I could leave my coat at home!

Thimbleanna: Winter

And now, in blows February, determined to ruin my fun. It’s raining out there, as we speak. Boo. Hiss. February, my least favorite month. Someone, somewhere along the way tried to cheer it up with all that Luuuv holiday stuff, but it’s just not working. Thankfully, February knows it’s limits and is a short month. I know many of you don’t like winter, so take heart — the days are getting longer and there are more fun days behind us than in front of us.

Thimbleanna: Kilmory

2. Knit. Knit. Knit. That’s all I’ve wanted to do this winter. Look! I made some pockets. I spent the first three weeks of January knitting away on the front and back of a sweater (which was really a front and a half after I had to rip it out several times) and then I could see that I would run short of yarn for the sleeves, so I stopped knitting for a bit. More yarn just arrived this week, so now I’m working away on the sleeves. I like to knit my sleeves and socks two at a time so I can be sure they will match, but somehow I’ve managed to get an extra row of increases in one of the sleeves. I blame it on knitting and making dinner at the same time. Mistakes. Always, humbling, mistakes.

Thimbleanna: Tumbler Quilt

3.  Don’t worry quilters, there’s still a bit of sewing going on around here.  I’ve been working on the tumblers, but just like the knitting, there have been set-backs.  One day I spent a few hours on the floor laying all the tumblers out in rows.  When I was almost finished, I stood up, only to find another 70 tumblers still up on the counter, which totally messed up my layout.  It’s easy to get them out of order when I’m sewing them together too.  Maybe all these mistakes are because I’m so excited that we’ve finally had a real winter and I can’t concentrate on anything else.  Yeah, that’s it.

Thimbleanna: Gifts

4.I’ve had several very happy mail days this winter and I’ve been remiss in acknowledging them. Just the other day, I got a very unexpected little package from Anne. She included a sweet notebook, sheepie goodness in the form of one of her photo cards and an adorable bag with a ring to gather it closed, a piece of tartan, and a cute little scissors fob — all neatly wrapped up in the prettiest ribbon.  Her note said it was a Random Act of Kindness.  Isn’t that just the nicest thing?

Thimbleanna: Gifts

Right before we went to visit TheFirstChild and SweetiePie, a fun package arrived from Berglind.  The knitting book is fabulous — there are several patterns in it that I want to make.  My next sweater pattern is in this book and the yarn has already been ordered.  Berglind also included a pretty candle (which she wrapped with a picture that I took when we were in Iceland — what a fun surprise!)  And, some Toffypops!  There were a LOT more boxes of Toffypops but SweetiePie and I ate them — we LOVE Toffypops.  I’m hoarding that last little package for my Icelandic knitting.  (And, oh shoot, I’ve just realized that I forgot to include the neatest little ring that she included to help control my yarn when I’m doing two-color work.  I’ve already put it away in my knitting bag, but I’m looking forward to using it on my next sweater!)

Thimbleanna: Gifts

And last, but definitely not least was a wonderful package from Isabelle.  Isabelle and I share a love of the color blue and she sent me a beautiful blue scarf.  Isn’t it pretty?  And, she, like Anne, knows of my sheepie love (they’re so lucky to see sheep all the time in Scotland!) so she also included several sheepie accessories.

THANK YOU THANK YOU ladies — I feel so lucky to have met you all through this little blogging adventure — you’re all so sweet and thoughtful and in Wayne’s famous words “I’m not worthy!”

Thimbleanna: Yoga and Knitting

5. Leslie linked to an interesting article about the link between knitting and yoga.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything, but it’s an interesting read.  If you’re a knitter, you might want to try yoga.  And if you’re a yogi, you might want to try knitting.  (I’m talking to YOU SweetiePie and MyDadLovesMeBestSister!!!)

Have a good weekend!
XOXO,
Anna

Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

Those of you who have been around here for awhile might remember that, every January, the school that our boys attended has a fund-raising auction.  I would always go a few hours before the big event and take some pictures because the decorations are always over-the-top fabulous.  Last year I completely forgot about it, although, the theme wasn’t very exciting, so it may have been a subconscious forgetting.

When I heard the theme this year would be Oh, The Places We’ll Go, I knew I had to go check it out.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

Please forgive the darkness of the pictures.  I never use a flash in order to keep as low a profile as possible, because I always feel so awkward walking around taking pictures.  Also, please excuse the random person here and there — the staff were still working on the table settings.

Let’s back up and enter the auditorium through the hall where the attendees enter.  Here’s a very cropped shot of the entrance.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

You walk under the arches into a short little black and white hall and then turn to the right where a few more colors start to appear.  I love the adorable feather trees.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

Once inside, the lighting was pretty dim, much as I suspect it was during the event.  There were adorable, colorful light bulbs hanging everywhere.  Sadly, the colors of the lights are all blown out in all of my photos, but try to imagine all those lights in blues and oranges and reds, etc.  And the coolest thing is that each one of those lightbulbs changed colors every few seconds.  It was so happy and gorgeous!

Thimbleanna: School Auction

There were fun little reminders that the theme represented many books written by Dr. Suess.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

The tables at these events always have fantastic floral centerpieces, so when I first entered, I was surprised to see the giant hats on pillars.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

But, it didn’t take long to realize that those hats were made out of flowers.  Real Flowers.  Aren’t they beautiful?  So perfect for a Dr. Seuss affair!

Thimbleanna: School Auction

And look at the pillars that form the base of the hats.  The red and blue words running up and down them say “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”.  Did you figure out that those pillars are full of water?  With red and blue fish in them?  It’s hard to see the fish in the pictures and the funny thing is that I didn’t see the fish while I was there because I didn’t actually get very close to the tables.  After I left the building, I called MyDadLovesMeBestSister (who would be attending the big soiree in a few hours) and told her that I thought maybe the centerpieces were going to have some fish in them.  I wanted her to try and take a picture once they’d added the fish.  It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the pictures that I realized that the fish had been in the little aquariums when I was there.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

The ceiling and walls were full of jumbo sized characters and scenes from many of the Dr. Seuss books.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

Thimbleanna: School Auction

 

Thimbleanna: School Auction

So, there you have it for this year — I thought it was so much cuter than it has been in the last several years.  I guess I just like the years where the theme is centered around children’s stories, which are a lot more fun than when the theme is an idea or a place. (Haha — I was just looking back over some of the past auction posts and at the end of the last three posts, I commented that I sure hoped they’d go back to a children’s book theme.  I got my wish this year!)   Here’s a parting close-up of those feather trees.

Thimbleanna: School Auction

I’d like to have a bunch of those in the dungeon — they would distract from the fabric disaster that’s happening down there!

XOXO,
Anna