My Favorite Books

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Happy Birthday, Nick!

 Well, I am behind a few days posting about Nick's BD!!!  He turned 17 on the 26th and it turned out he didn't have to work that night so we actually got to celebrate on his birthday 'day', which doesn't always happen.  

I ordered this paper that you upload seven pictures, which are printed on the paper!  Bob didn't think Nick would notice!  He did!  And he tried to not rip the paper!  He saved several of the larger sheets!  So sweet!  

This is my favorite picture of Nick as a toddler...he loved to pull Mandy in the wagon!

Kris' mom, Nancy, and Lisa, Kris' SIL.  

The 'men's' room!

Nick was trying to remove the tape without ripping the paper.

Mom and dad overseeing!

I love getting different 'gag' gifts for the kids.  Nick like a particular energy drink, so I wrapped five of them!  And he likes, no LOVES, Kraft mac 'n cheese spiral!  So he got 3 boxes of those.  

He got gas and Auto Zone gift cards in addition to cash.  It was a good birthday for him!  He's worked hard this past summer...working with a landscape company during the day and at Hungry Howie's at night.  

I think he's taller than his father!!!  I asked Nick when he was going to take his grandma for a ride in his Jeep.  He said "when ever" and I said "OK"...he threw his keys up in the air and said "let's go"!  Love that kid!  And he had the top off his Jeep so it was like riding in a convertible!  Talk about being blown away!  But I'd do it again in a heartbeat!!

Auntie and Uncle Jeff!

It was great to spend time with the all the kids and we are proud of Nick!  He's a quiet kid and his dad, Darrin, said "you have to show the email you got this week."  So, Nick hands me his phone and I read outloud the email acceptance letter he got for Michigan Tech!  This was his first college acceptance letter so we were all pretty excited!  Only problem the school is in Houghton, Michigan, which is almost 9 hours away!  Not a weekend trip home, that's for sure.  Nick is looking at other colleges, two are in Michigan and within a decent distance.  We'll see....hard this year with not being able to visit these schools in person.  So many tours were cancelled last spring, which is hard for seniors.  Virtual tours are nice but not the same as being there in person.  He'll make a good decision and we'll all be behind him regardless of the school he picks.  

Monday, September 28, 2020

Did you miss me??

 I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted but I do have several 'excuses' to provide!  HA  First off, I was working on the 12"x12" challenge quilts that are due to be in the mail by October 12th.  There's a bit of hand work on these as well as I changed my design that I started back in the spring.  Can't post pics yet until they are sent out so you'll have to take my word I was working on projects. 

Then, 10 days ago I had a slight setback on hand work!  A few weeks ago I posted some of my favorite things.  One of which was the Fullstar Veggie Cutter, which I loved and still love!  BUT...I decided I was going to make fried cabbage and thought I'd use the cutter.  Well, certain veggies, which are too hard, shouldn't be put in the cutter.  How do I know this!  Well, the cabbage got stuck and I decided I would poke the remaining pieces though the slots.  And what better tool to use then your thumb!  NOT!  I tried for almost 48 hours before heading to Urgent Care but had to get stitches.  They are right under my nail, which was really awkward for putting in stitches but the doctor did a good job.  Getting those buggers out today, thank goodness.  It's been so hard to hand embroider of do anything really.  I keep hitting the thumb, which makes it feel SO good!

I have been keeping busy with reorganizing!  My daughter got me hooked on the Netflix show called 'Get Organized' by The Home Edit (a team of two).  I got hooked just as I did watching 'Tidying Up' by Marie K. (I did this reorganizing over a year ago).  So what to do instead of sewing....yep..purge and reorganize!  

My sewing/textile/beading books are organized by color now!  It does look really nice...not showing up here but it does look cool!  Great idea for kids so they put books back by color since they can't all read to know by title or author!

I have reorganized my wet room downstairs often but this is the most efficient.  I put the lifts under my card table (middle) to raise it up!  DUH!  and I moved some shelving I had to put my books under the card table.  Now they are more accesible!

Table is open!

One tip The Home Edit group suggested was to put your sandals away for the winter in a container.  I happen to have one shoe box, which held a few sandals but I had four pair left...SO, I grabbed my Meijer wine bag (which I have many!  HA) and the sandals fit perfect and sit ontop of the shoe box on a top shelf!

My jewelry used to sit on the bottom shelf in my cabinet, which took up lots of space.  I cleared out the shelf in our walk in closet and Bob gave me this tray to use!  Works so much easier.  I already had items, bracelets, earrings, etc. separated so all I had to do was place them!

I love this tip!  Roll your scarves into "donuts" (The Home Edit word not mine!).  Works so much easier to see in your drawer!

My spice cabinet!  I've had the bottom left shelf and didn't change that but added the turntable on the right, which is perfect!  So easy to find all my spices!  And, yes, I do have a lot of spices but I use them too!  I love to cook and try new recipes.

The wood block with spices is a gift my son made me many, many years ago!  He does beautiful wood work!  I'll have to show a table he made, which we have in our family room.  Too bad he doesn't have the time to keep up this talent!

The only difference in this cabinet is the 3rd shelf.  It holds my shawls, that I don't have any where to wear them!, but used to hold my jewelry trays.

That last shelf holds my books I read in bed at night and pics of family! 

You can see where the jewelry area is sitting now.  I didn't change a lot in this area other than removing sandals and putting laundry hamper under the shelf.  I won't post pic of Bob's side of the walk in!  It's tidy but FULL!  Hubby has 20+ pairs of shoes and probably twice that number in shirts and at least that amount of pants.  Yep...he loves his clothes and, I have to admit, he does always looks very nice.

I just placed items I don't use often in a bin at the back.  Cleaning supplies I use often are in a separate bin.  I had an old, old 12" turntable that I put my dish soap, dishwasher soap, etc. on.  SO easy to reach items now.

So even with a bum thumb (hmmmm  new word!) I have been busy.  Hope to get back to finishing up the hand embroidery and even some knitting by middle of October!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Book Review Time

 A friend recommended books by Marie Benedict so I searched on our library web site and found one that was available called 'The Only Woman in the Room'. 

 It's about the Hollywood actress, Heddy Lamar, who was also a wanna be scientist!  Who knew!  She actually has a patent on her idea for a secret communication system, which some feel was used to develop the GPS in our phones today!   The book was very well written and I've ordered two more to read  The Other Einstein and Carnegie's Maid (I usually upload library book to my Ipod but I like to have a book for reading at night in bed).  

Next up are books by JoJo Moyes.  I've been listening to her books on my Ipod and they are really good! The first one I read was 'Me Before You'!   I'm not big on 'sad books' or movies but this was a good read.  

I'm almost finished with her next in this sequel called 'After You'...again, good read!  The next one is called 'Still Me'..can you see a pattern here!  Moyes is a good writer...I think I'll try to see what some of her others books are like...I think they are like the Hallmark channel books...that's what I call them.  To be honest, I don't watch Hallmark...stories are too predictable.  I'm surprised I've read almost two of her books!  HA


This was a very good book written by Barry Petersen, TV reporter called 'Jan's Story'.  It's about love lost to Alzheimer's.  It was so well written and certainly from the heart!  I remember seeing a documentary on he and his wife years ago in which he shared his experiences with losing his wife to this terrible disease.  If you have a family member or loved one or even a friend with this disease, it's a good book to read.

And the next review was a book my walking bud's friend, Ron Gries, wrote.  It's about the loss of his wife and his life after, called 'Through Death to Life'.

  I know this seems like I'm reading depressing books but, like Jan's Story, this really isn't a depressing books.  Ron wrote this book, for the most part, in free verse poetry and it's really beautiful.  I was lucky enough to be given this book by Ron and I certainly will cherish it.  I want to reread and mark several of his verses and words to reflect back on.  He shares his emotions and the journey he had to take during his wife's illness and his life after.  A very good read too!

I hope, if you haven't heard of any of these books, you'll look them up!  Or if you have,  did you like or dislike them?  You never know how a book will effect you do you!  Happy reading!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Heloise is back! Well, sorta!

 OK, so I'm not Heloise but I do have some items I've recently purchased based on tips from others.  I've used each of these and love them all!  Most I have purchased via Amazon, as they had the best price but you can always do a Google search if you are so inclined to research an item!  Hope you enjoy!

I am always slicing/dicing veggies of some sort for us and for the dogs!  I love this veggie chopper.  It's called the Fullstar Vegetable Chopper & Spiralizer and under $20 (Amazon).  It's easy to use and cuts perfect veggies!  I haven't tried the spiralizer yet but it also looks easy to use.  They also include little brushes/combs with it to clean out the dicers.  

This was recommended by someone I follow on Instagram and she was spot on!  A family of five (set of triplets) and they are a wonderful family.  If you're on Instagram, check them out:  (

For those Portuguese knitters, if there are any out there!, I purchased this necklace from Andrea Wong's web site.  Portuguese knitting uses either a knitting pin, magnetic pin or you can wrap the yarn around your neck.  I have the pins but I'm trying to loosen my knitting tension and decided I would try this necklace.  It's the same principle as having the yarn around your neck, you just place the yarn on this necklace...and if you forget to take it off, you're all dressed up!  I have left my magnetic pin on from time to time and noticed it when I was walking the dogs.  At least I looked dressed up as mine has jewels on it!  Again, this necklace was under $20.

Who knew parchment paper came with a grid!  I sure didn't!  Found this out by one of the ladies in Margarita's class this past week!  I found it at Kroger's.  

This was another recommendation by the Instagram lady (above).  These are wonderful grippers for your rugs.  I have one by the back door that is always sliding away!  But now that I've put these on, it's been staying in place!!!   They are  called Home Techpro Grippers and under $20 (Amazon).
I haven't washed my rug yet but I have read reviews and the product also states no problem with washing.  Love these!  My next Amazon order I'm getting another set (4 in a set).  

I know a lot of us use transfer paper for our images in quilts or even on T-shirts.  I would venture to say most purchase from JoAnn fabrics or another craft store.  This item was recommended in our online class with Hilary.  It is WONDERFUL!  First off, I only bought the 'for light fabrics' as we were using it to transfer pictures to our papers.  I think they also have a dark transfer paper.  I have used this to transfer to fabric and paper, which you can see the paper transfers here on my blog.

The other cool thing is you can remove the transfer from the paper and iron (using the parchment paper) to get a really light transfer.  Again, I am using this mainly for transferring to paper.  I ordered the 40 count and felt it was very reasonable and actually a better product.  It's very, very lightweight on your fabric and doesn't crack!  

So that's all this Heloise has to offer this week!!!  I do have some new authors/books to share, which I'll try to do this next week sometime.  I'm working on finishing up four challenge 12"x12" quiltlets for our exchange in October, in addition to knitting, working on our online class and 'wanting' to make another cloth paper quilt based on our workshop last week by Margarita K

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Busy, Busy!

 Of course, I've been busy!  I don't think either Bob or I know how to just sit ALL day long and not doing anything.  I'm still walking 2 miles a day, weather and our schedules permitting with my neighbor, which is great!  The girls still get their 2 walks a day as well but that's only 1/2 mile...still we get lots of fresh air!  

I am excited about the workshop I took yesterday from Margarita K (Margas Crafts).  This was a Zoom class with four other ladies.  We were all from different states (Florida, Tenn., etc.) and a nice group!  We learned how to make Margarita's Instant Paper Cloth technique, which I been wanting to learn since I started following her blog.  This was my result!

I am excited about the workshop I took this past Friday from Margarita K (Margas Crafts).  This was a Zoom class with four other ladies.  We were all from different states (Florida, Tenn., etc.) and a nice group!  We learned how to make Margarita's Instant Paper Cloth technique, which I been wanting to learn since I started following her blog.  This was my result!

Margarita did a wonderful job teaching via Zoom!  First she would tell us what we were going to do then she had each step on video so we could watch before we attempted each of the steps.  Her class/teaching was very easy to follow.  I purchased her kit, which  I would recommend, and it was good so I didn't have to hunt around for what I may need or get the wrong supply.  

Margarita was very organized and answered any and all questions..she is a doll and such a sweet lady!  Plus, with her being in her own home, we got to see a lot of her work as well as some extra techniques!  I definitely would take another class from her and if you follow her blog, you'll see the classes she has available..I don't think you'd be disappointed at all.  Now I need to start saving magazine and newspapers!!!!  

I also made an apple pie today!  Beautiful fall day, even thought it's not officaly fall yet...but just had to go to the orchard to get some apples...not the prettiest pie but I think it will be taste good!!!  Our first apple pie of the summer/fall!

I'm also working on knitting a swatch for a cotton T pattern I want to make...actually, my sister is going to make it as well.  My yarn is a mint green..doesn't show up as pretty as in person but have to get my gauge right before I start..may need to go up a needle!  We'll see!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Another Shawl Finished!

I believe I am finished with making lace shawls for the time being!  No place to wear them anyway, right!  But I have had an enjoyable, satisfying and challenging time learning to knit lace work!  A huge thanks to Laura Nelkin (I've used her patterns) and to Andrea Wong (Portuguese Knitting instructor).  Both these ladies have taught me so guess I need to look at some tops/sweaters/etc. to make.  At least those I can wear at home - well, I guess I could wear the shawls but Bob would think I've really lost it!  I started this pattern, Clarus, around the beginning of August and finished it on August 31st. 

It's a really cool lace pattern...looks a little wobbly but when blocked you'll see the pattern and shape.

Closer look at the pattern

Off the needles and into a warm soak so I can block it.  Color is distorted!  DUH


I used some older long needles to straighten out the center panel and the neckline area.  Laura has really good instructions on blocking her shawls.

This is the yarn I used.

There are slight shades of purple, yellow and greens in this yarn.