Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I don't think this will scare you, but it will certainly be a bit of a shock:  I started and finished something on the same day!  I didn't even have a chance to mislay any of it.  Sunday morning I said I was going to cut out the pink fabric, and
I finished the whole thing by evening.  That NEVER happens.  In fact, I was so industrious that I took a yard of fabric I don't even remember buying,
 and played around with a design for a kimono jacket, which is also done.  It's not perfect by any means, but I'll wear it anyway.  So I ended the weekend with just over 20 yards of fabric to go.  And wore my new blue shirt for Me Made Monday.  The jacket is a bit out of season, but I could wear the pink shirt next week--I only need 4 more "new" things for Mondays to reach my goal of 20 for the year.

And look!  They're back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Clean and working beautifully, and for a lot less than I anticipated.  Larry is a GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It IS Like Online Dating!

Friday I was sending out more resumes, and in order to apply for one, I had to upload my resume to, and in case it made it easier for me in the future, I allowed other companies to view my resume.  So yesterday was "Cowboy Bob Day."  Oh my goodness.  Lots of emails, and one phone call, which was kind of confusing because the company name sounded a lot like a company I had actually applied to, but after tentatively agreeing to an interview, I discovered it was a company that ALWAYS has ads running and seems to do door-to-door sales of some sort.  Yeah--not going to interview THERE.  And, to be honest, I'm pretty sure that "part-time retail associates" at AT&T don't actually make $50536 "on average,"  There was a lot of embellishing from the "Oh look! Fresh meat!" contingent on, too.

I hate to admit it, but instead of exploring all those wonderful employment opportunities, I took the day to sew.  First, I got the borders attached and got this all ready for quilting:
I'm thinking gold thread, of course, though maybe not metallic.  Then, as I was cleaning off my sewing table, I located the sleeves and bodice-gone-awry
which was started last APRIL using fabric from probably 2006.  I knew I had enough fabric to redo the body, but as I've moved things around, I've never gotten everything together at the same time.  But once I found the sleeves, I knew where the extra fabric was, 
finished it up last night! There just aren't very many shirts in the world that end up consuming 3.5 yards of fabric, but there it is.  And, most importantly, I threw away the messed up bodice!  That's a tough thing for me to do, because I hate to add things to the landfill, and there was quite a bit of fabric that could have been salvaged, but I already have a huge pile of scraps and absolutely don't need any more. 

Today I'll be cutting out the same pattern with this,
which is one of the fabrics I prepped with fabric stiffener earlier this year, and hopefully I'll do it right the first time as I don't have any extra of this fabric.  Surprisingly.

Right now, I am at 75.9 yards for the year.  The table runner will be another yard, this shirt would be another 2.5, and there's an embroidered table runner which just needs to be hemmed, which would be another half a yard.  All of that would put me just under 80 yards for the year with two months to go.  Because I obsess about these little goals of time.  I can't help it--this is what Type A people do to their hobbies.

Time to bring back Finishing Fridays!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

My Friends--the "Anti-Enablers"

Carolyn made a good suggestion yesterday--I really should see if I can make it two years without buying any fabric.  I think I might just have enough fabric to make it....
You know--maybe.........

Meanwhile, I need 27.6 more yards of fabric used up before the end of the year, which is just over 2 months away, meaning this
was maybe not the best use of my crafting time today, since with the backing and binding it will probably use up one whole yard from the stash.  I thought about a 2-color border, but I think the simple one-color frame is best, don't you?

Now a smart person would perhaps view this as an opportune time to get back to the pile of WIPS, which is why it's surprising that I spent some time today cutting out strips
 for the border of this long-suffering quilt WIP:
(sorry it's a shot from the back).  It's a small quilt, but I can make it a bit bigger by border with a row of green, then one of green and print checkerboard, then another green.  I have a very limited amount of the print left with no chance of finding more, so there aren't a lot of options there.  I've never free-motion quilted something this big before, so this might not be ideal, either, but I can at least get it started.  It's the farthest-along quilt WIP, so it's the one to try if I'm going to do this. 

I think someone might be browsing sewing patterns tonight.............

Thursday, October 27, 2016

They Can Come Home!!!

You know, after the horrible experiences with Holland's Sew Shoppe, even though I know Larry at Twin Falls Sewing is completely and utterly marvelous, part of me was STILL stunned when no one tried to argue with me that nothing was really wrong with my machine, no one tried to sell me the wrong part, repairs were actually DONE, no one broke anything new, and it hasn't taken 3 months.  They said about a week, and sure enough, Larry had both machines fixed and ready to go today--and I know he's actually tested them to make sure everything really is fixed.  I just can't get used to this.  Andy is going to drive down and pick them up for me this weekend!!!  So I don't have to shop for a new machine just yet, which is good as finding a new job might take a while.  

I had a physical therapy appointment today which really hurt, so there was a lot of hot pad time today (while sending out applications), but there was some progress on this:
I am SO proud of myself--I took the time to really square up and measure each little block, which--ahem--I might not normally do.  I know--it's shocking how much better things work when one takes the time to do them correctly, but it didn't even occur to me when I started quilting that my blocks could get all wonky.  As it turns out, it would have saved me a lot of time if I had realized that "wonky" is pretty much the theme for all my quilt blocks.  And my quilts, in all fairness.  It might be a good description for the state of my sewing room as well, come to think of it............

Ugh!  WEBS has been sending me daily emails about their offer for free shipping right now, and it's FALL!!!!!!!!  It's the hardest time to resist new yarn!  Arrrggghhh!  Of course, I haven't done anything really drastic yet like order new yarn or unsubscribe from their emails, but it is so hard!  Fabric is getting even harder, because I'm getting close to the longest I've ever gone on the fabric wagon.  I like these two brown fabrics together so well that I actually went online tonight to see if I could find more of the lighter fabric in order to get enough for a quilt or larger project....and I found it.  When does THAT ever happen? I haven't ordered it yet, because in 61 days I will have made it one whole year without buying fabric.  So far my fabric usage for the year hasn't really made a visible dent in that sewing room, but maybe that last 28 yards will make the difference....right? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is The Rudest Experience You Have Had When Looking for a Job?

So far my search for a job has turned up THE rudest companies I've ever encountered, and I'm kind of beginning to wonder if it's me.  First, while I was still working, I interviewed with a company called Compassus--a nationwide chain gobbling up hospice companies.  There are websites that review employers, and theirs had been flat-out terrible, so I was a bit hesitant, but the first interview was with a recruiter who was willing to work around my schedule, so I thought "What the heck."  It was on a Monday morning, then the next interview was with a local person that Friday--my day off.  But I went, and I liked that person, but he was unable to answer my questions.  However, he said that there were 2 more interviews, so I thought, what the heck.  The next interview was on my NEXT day off, and the recruiter messed it up--giving the interviewer a different time than she gave me, but she also lined up the 4th interview at that time, so I worked around all of it, doing the 4th interview over the phone AFTER getting off late at the store.  The third interview didn't answer my questions, either, and felt like a waste of time because they were all just first interviews asking the exact same questions.  Finally, the 4th interview DID answer my questions--proving the complaints about the company correct--and she informed me that there were 2 MORE interviews.  Seriously?  Anyway, she was obviously not impressed with me, either, because that was the last I heard from them until 6 WEEKS later when I got an email saying they'd selected someone else.  Really?  I wouldn't have worked that out myself.

Fast forward to the 14th, which was my second interview with the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society.  Now here's the thing:  if you are going to spout off continually that your motto is "“In Christ’s Love, Everyone Is Someone," you'd better live up to itSimply praying before each meeting just doesn't cut it.  We did a conference call with 2 "consultants," then they sent me out of the room in order to discuss me.  When they FINALLY came back, they still had me fill out a sheet to authorize a background check "IF they decided to move forward."  Now, this form has my social security number on it, so it's not something I would fill out willingly for no reason and which companies should NOT ask for without reason--WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.  The job was reposted by Monday, so they knew while I was there that they weren't going to offer me the job, but were too flamingly spineless to say so.  And have I received anything from them thanking me for applying or notifying me?  Of course not, because obviously job applicants are exempt from their little motto.  What total jackasses.  Now I just have to hope that they have the decency to have shredded my information--I do NOT trust them to safeguard my information.

So, the trip to take my sewing machines in was good timing. I needed a break from job hunting, as the most positive experience so far has been getting automatic but polite rejections immediately after applying--how sad is that?

Since both Husqvarna machines were going for repair, I decided not to take the Bernina along to play with--being only able to carry so many sewing machines--so instead I took
the new sweater, which is coming along nicely.  Why have I never knit with angora before?  This is the pattern,
It's called On the Fast Track by Ann Fierst, and it was published in Knitter's Magazine Fall 1998 issue.  Yep, it's been on my to-knit list for a while.  This issue had several great things in it, and originally I'd picked out a different sweater to use with this yarn, but it had cables and with the slight halo-effect of the yarn and the admission that maybe I don't really want more bulk added to my chest, I decided this was a better bet for a sweater I'd wear a lot.  Me Made Monday is KILLING me!  I just keep making these stupidly-responsible decisions like that.  Dang it!

Speaking of which, the drive and then a board meeting on Saturday were a lot for my back, so Monday was actually spent in pajamas, but on Tuesday I dug this out:
This is a very old sweater made from one of my favorite patterns--possibly as far back as high school or college.  The yarn is a totally horrible acrylic, but some patterns can make even bad yarn look good.  I later redid this sweater in turquoise cotton,
and would probably knit a third in a heartbeat if I had white cotton in my stash.  Maybe another time...

I did do a bit of crafting on Sunday.  Theo also helped me iron the fabric to finish the quilt I was theoretically going to finish during my alone-time
--which was mostly wasted on interviews--and I'm still playing with the two browns
which are now itty-bitty blocks that I'll be sewing together later this week.   And I washed a stash of baby-themed flannel,
which I have decided to sew into quick, simple baby quilts or get rid of.  Most of it has been in the stash a while, and I think some cute little 9-patch quilts would be nice.  I bought it, I want to use it, so it's now in the queue.

I'll admit, I'm a bit discouraged on the job-hunting front.  Until now, I can honestly say that companies used the interviews to make sure the employee wanted to work for them AS WELL AS making sure they wanted the employee.  But between Compassus and the Good Samaritan Society, I am totally appalled.  If this is how they treat people during interviews,  I can't even imagine how rotten they are to work for.  I suppose it's a lot like online dating--when I first joined, it was only the really awful people who contacted me.  But after a while, I started meeting really great people--even when we didn't click.  So maybe if I just keep telling myself that these companies were the "Cowboy Bob (long story)" of the job-hunting world, I'll be motivated enough to keep looking for the Andy.  Let's hope.......

Monday, October 17, 2016

Me Made Monday

This is so much easier now that it's cold, and if I figure out a way to wear one of the shawls or scarves I've never worn, I could be on track to get to that 20 never-worn items.  Of course, I thought I'd have a few more finished sewing projects right now because Andy is gone and I've had the house to myself for a few days now.  BUT I've had the silly job-hunting thing taking up my vacation. 

Here's a question for you:  If you have been called back for a second interview with several participants, then they ask you to leave the room so they can talk things over, is there any person on the planet who wouldn't expect to hear one way or the other when that little conference was over?  Really?  And have you ever tried to calmly craft when what you really want to do is throttle people?

Searching for a new job has certainly been an eye-opening experience.  In such an internet-savvy culture, I'm amazed at how many companies behave in such a way that not only would one never want to work for them, but one would be driven to actively complain about their behavior over Twitter, Facebook, or all the other social media platforms available.  When cleaning out our file cabinet, I found a file of letters--REAL on-paper letters--from companies I'd applied to back in the 1990s, thanking me for my application but saying the position had been filled.  Now with the internet and online application process making it FAR easier to notify applicants with simple, automated email responses, I almost never receive a response from an application.  What happened to us?

So there hasn't been as much crafting this week as I would have liked, and even less successful crafting.  I had decided that one of the things I wanted to work on would be an existing quilt top, and when rummaging around in my fall fabric bin
(yet, there is one, and it's huge) I finally found where I'd stashed a brown fabric that I thought might match a quilt I'd started in 2009:
and it really doesn't.   But I'd also located the bolt (yes, bolt) of hunter green fabric that would does match, and dragged it down to wash.  Since this quilt was started before I understood that steam could really stretch quilts, I rewashed the top as well,
which led to a LOT of pressing with a bottle of starch and a pair of scissors to cut away all the crazy loose ends a trip through the washer created,  which leads to the FIRST tip of the day:
When using scissors on the ironing board, know where they are at all times.  It turns out these
have a fairly low melting point.  Tip number 2:  It takes a surprising amount of time for an iron plate to cool off enough to scrape plastic off of it.  Who knew?

Anyway, since it's fall, I have been cutting 1-inch and 2.5-inch strips of fall fabrics,
this one being a personal favorite.  Mostly I've been too distracted and irritated to really get anything done, though I finally managed this,
which I'm pleased with.  I've also been playing with this:
though I might stitch the 2-color blocks together differently.  I just did 9 table runners with this sort of layout, but I really like how these two browns go together.

My Husqvarna embroidery machine has been having some issues with the sensors--it keeps stopping during any embroidery to tell me that the bobbin is empty.  Fun fact:  when the bobbin IS actually empty, it takes the machine an astounding amount of time to notice.  This is what prompted me to start looking at new machines, though in the meantime, the second Husqvarna machine which I bought on Ebay several years ago has started regularly flipping out and telling me that I can't use the button sensor foot when it isn't attached.  So on Wednesday the machines and I are heading two hours away to visit the only Husqvarna dealer around who actually fixes anything, and I'm staying over for a couple days just to get totally away from everything.  I'm seriously hoping at least one of them can be fixed.  Husqvarna is perfectly awful about supporting their older machines, but this dealer is wonderful and maybe at least one of them is a fairly simple fix.

In the meantime, I have rewarded myself with this:
This yarn is an angora blend that I bought before climbing back on the sheep, and while my normal approach would be to use up the cheaper yarns first, I have finally talked myself into knitting up the nicest yarns FIRST.  Or, at least, I have for right now. 
So far, I adore everything about this project.  The yarn is soft, the pattern is easy, and the hanks are large so there will be fewer ends to have to deal with.  Now if I could just do something about the desire to lash out and buy all the available colors of this yarn, it would be absolutely perfect..............

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Still Clinging To The Sheep

It's now been 459 days since I last bought yarn.  And, like AA, we have badges:
which really help me stay focused.  I have a lot of yarn.  I have a lot of really NICE yarn, which would make wonderful things--socks, scarves, sweaters, probably even some things that DON'T start with the letter "s."  My longest stretch is something over 1 year and 9 months, so I'm hoping to at least make it to two years, though as slowly as I'm knitting lately, I could realistically make it to 20 without buying any new yarn......

That's it--I just have to knit faster................

Monday, October 10, 2016

Me Made Monday

I'll change later for my interview, but it's cool enough this morning for my new socks!
I'm thinking they're a bit bright for a job interview, but you never know.  Maybe they'd make a good ice-breaker?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

NOT Working on a Saturday

I LOVE not working on Saturdays--have I mentioned that yet?  And I have an interview on Monday, so on the list of Things I Want to Get Done Before Returning To Work, I spent the first half of it cleaning out my closet.  It's not exactly "clean," but my summer clothes are put away, my winter clothes are out, and there's a pretty big pile for the donation bin.  And,

I gathered up several bunch of plastic hangers that hadn't yet gotten hot glue dots, and I am happy to report that I have used that blasted glue gun AGAIN without burning myself.  Positively cocky,
I tried my luck with wine cork Christmas trees.  Okay--I did burn myself at this point, but I got two of the things glued up.  That's something.  

Also on that list is this:
which is a great fabric that I thought would make fun birthday decorations, starting with
figuring out a way to make a fabric pennant banner.  I used a stiff craft interfacing between the layers
then stitched them together with double-folded black bias tape.   What do you think?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Me Made Monday

I'm sort of back on track with Me Made Mondays with this
I actually wear this quite frequently, which is good.  It's good to make things that become favorites, though that still leaves me needing 6 more "unworn" things before the end of the year...

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Maybe a New Favorite.......

So, I started out with good intentions.  I was going through my scrap bin cutting fabric into usable shapes/strips.  But, after cutting up some red fabric, I picked up the black and white fabric from my dress earlier this year, and....
suddenly I was hooked.  And I mean hooked.  I usually don't finish a fabric & rope bowl in a single day, but
I love this bowl!  It matches nothing, it should be a gift, I have no use for a bowl, I have bowls...and I want to keep this one.  I don't even know what I would do with it, but I'm so pleased with it!!!!!!!!!!

 Well, SOMEONE obviously needs to work on their sharing............