Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time To Get Cracking!

Dear whomever is in charge of determining how many viruses a person gets in the space of about 6 weeks:


Thank you.

So where did we leave off?  Oh, yeah.  Neko (AKA The Sewing Assistant) was about to launch into my dog blanket project...literally.

Operation Blankets of Love is an organization that collects blankets, towels, pet beds, collars, leashes, clothes (for dogs), food dishes, grooming supplies, etc for shelters, rescue groups, wildlife & farm sanctuaries.  They are also a partner service provider for The American Red Cross.  The amount of items that they collect and distribute for animals in need is pretty impressive.  If you'd like more info, their website is:  www.OperationBlanketsofLove.org.

Last year I helped a Girl Scout with her service project for her gold award.  After she was done, she donated the rest of the fleece material to me (since she was going to the Czech Republic for a year)...I cut it up into lots and lots and lots of little squares, thinking I'd piece them together to make patchwork blankets.

What was I thinking?

Well, things slowed down over the holidays and for the past 6 weeks or so (other than catching all these darn viruses, anyway), so I decided it was time to start finishing my stock of UFOs.  The blanket project is the largest and most obvious UFO in my stash - it is literally taking over about half of my living room.  (Remember this?)  I've sent the smallest ones over to the young lady's mom to work on, but I still have the medium pieced ones here, as well as a huge lawn & leaf bag full of larger sized cuts.  I tried piecing the first one together but the seams from the combined fleece parts were too bulky for my taste.  I still wanted more than just the one layer for protection (some of these dogs have nothing but cement to sleep on).  So I decided that just zig-zagging them down to the base piece would be better - especially since it meant that the overall blanket would be flatter and have less bulk, but still have a couple of layers.

That was going amazingly well, unless you count how slow it is to get multiple layers of fleece through your feed dogs.  Once I started the zigzag (using my walking foot) it went faster, but it was still slow going.  It didn't help that Neko decided that he had to do Quality Control on each and every blanket.

Sometimes while I was still working on them.

Ummm....Neko?  I can't turn the corner with you on the blanket.

Neko?  NEKO?  Hello?  

"You can't move the WHAT?"


Okay, now he's scaring me.  (LOL)
Quality Control on Soft Substances.  It's what he lives for.

Hmm, maybe it was time to switch gears and let him have that blanket (pins and all - did you notice that? - he's really dedicated to his job) and do something else for awhile...

My younger son is in his first relationship, and Valentine's Day was looming with no idea what to do for or give to his girlfriend.  I made a few suggestions but he still wasn't sure.  With only hours to go, I finally recommended just giving her flowers (plus a vase that she could use again) and calling it a day.  We bought the flowers at Trader Joe's - they usually have a pretty decent selection without the ridiculous prices - and bought the vase at the nearby Dollar Tree, along with some plain M&Ms to tuck into the arrangement.

Oh, yeah - the glittery hearts were part of a bunch of "silk" flowers we bought at the Dollar Tree.
The flowers went immediately into the Goodwill pile.  


Thumbs up!  Must be an okay gift!

These roses were just amazing.  They looked like they'd been
set on fire.  Appropriate, since his girlfriend is in percussion with him
and the band's fall show (if you've been following the blog) was FIRE.
She was very pleased with it, and the entire thing probably cost around $15 to make, not including the Oasis that I already had stashed away (for last minute panic-gifts such as this).  I saw on one of the local channels that you could order a dozen roses ON SPECIAL! for "only" $75.

Valentine's Day is such a racket.

My older son knew exactly what to do for his girlfriend.  He "borrowed" my colored pencils, found a picture online of a couple of baby ducklings and drew a picture of them on a small chalkboard thing that my husband had saved from an illustration job he worked on years ago.  It came out really nicely - and she loved it.

I did have to go down the hall to get my pencils back, though.

Now things are picking up again work-wise, and I have several really interesting jobs coming up:  an anniversary/wedding vow renewal custom dress; drum covers for the Percussion unit (they are two competitions into their season already); costuming for next year's fall show (shh, shh.....you didn't hear that and I can't tell you anything more about it until closer to the season, darn it); another VW revamp (I am STILL waiting for the last guy to send me photos of his!); and - hopefully - some of my "own thing" and maybe even some refashioning.  I miss doing that.

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