Monday, September 24, 2012

Paying Myself to 'Do the Hustle'

When I was in elementary school, Mr. Layton, my physical education teacher taught us to do "The Hustle." All you people out there my age and older are now singing the song in your heads.  Da da da dada dada da da!

Well now several blogs that I follow led me to 'The 100 Day Hustle.'  This is much better than Mr. Layton's P.E. lesson.  

Kelsey Sews

This hustle is designed to get you going on your projects for the last 100 days of the year.  

So I made my list and checked it twice. Much smaller than most lists I've seen!

White Retro Blouse
Block of the Month for Oct, Nov, Dec
Place mats for wedding gift
Pillow for a b-day or maybe Christmas present
Jumper for white blouse
Anise jacket (yes, I took the plunge)

Knitted and crocheted simple gifts
Begin Starlet

Making a list works for me.  I finished off the white blouse yesterday, cut my block of the month, and chose the fabrics for the place mats.  I'm fine if I don't get it all done as long as I make consistent progress.

This brings me to another idea I had. Now stay with me.  Don't skip over this because there are no photos.  You know who you are. Bold, italics and underlined. It should get your attention.

On to my idea.  I was at Yellow Bird Fabric Shop, my fave, and I wanted to buy wool for the Anise Jacket. But nothing stood out to me except the $30.00 per yard wool.  So the amount of fabric I needed would have cost me about $100.  $80 during the 20% off sale.  It was beautiful and high quality but out of my range.  So I bought a really hefty embellished teal cotton/lycra with purple lining fabric.  Considerably less. 

Are you still with me?  Keep reading!

So I got to thinking.  Some day I would like to afford such a treat.  What if I paid myself 5 dollars a week to finish all my projects without starting another?  What else could I pay myself for?  What if I paid myself for every pound I loose? Not that I think I'm fat, but my usual dress size is tighter than I'd like.  Say, 5 dollars a pound.  I decided this would work for me, and it goes hand and hand with "The 100 Day Shuffle."  I would add up my money on Dec. 31 and plan my shopping spree at Yellow Bird or or Quilt Etc. or all three!

Now here is my BIG QUESTION.  Is anyone interested in joining me on "paying" themselves to get things finished or to complete a goal?  Your goals could be anything you chose, not necessarily sewing and crafting in nature.  Your pay could be your choice as well.  Like a night out with your significant other for every week you worked in the yard for five hours.  Or something like that.  You get the idea.  If there are enough people interested, I will figure out how to create a button and we can have a linky party (I'll have to figure that one out as well) for those that have blogs and comments for those that don't.

What do you think?  Anyone interested?

Oh yes.  Do the Hustle.  Da da da dada dada da da..........

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Murray Farmers' Market

This year the tomatoes in my garden were a disaster.  Look at these dry leaves bearing small fruit. Yes, I watered.  And no, I didn't water too much!

Compared to my garden last year, these tomatoes make me want to cry.

Here is one little tomato plant that did well.  It spontaneously grew from seeds of the tomatoes I planted last year, and it produced better than the nursery purchased tomatoes.

Thank goodness we have a fabulous farmer's market in Murray.  It is a true farmers market with about 40 vendors selling only local produce and backed goods.  There are no craft vendors at this market.

I had to buy my tomatoes for canning this year at the market.  They were beautiful.

Here are other delicious goodies you can find there.

One of our favorite treats at Murray Farmers' Market is Volker's Bakery.  They  sell the most divine artisan breads.  Our favorite is Asiago Basil.  If you look carefully in the shadows, one of the owners is directly below the 'R' making a face at the camera.  

We noticed that it became quite cumbersome to carry all the produce through the market.  Especially if we had to carry a watermelon! So last Mother's Day I asked for a collapsible red canvas wagon I had seen others using at the market.  I asked for it every day for several weeks before Mother's Day.  On Mother's Day, I received lotion.  So on Father's Day my husband received my Mother's Day gift.

This is a super large, super sturdy wagon.  The only problem with the design is that the handle and the wheels are all attached to the axle separately.  So when I turn the handle to go left, for example,  the independently attached wheels stay on the same course for a few seconds until the force of me going another direction corrects the direction of the wheels.  This becomes quite a pain really when the wagon gets heavy with produce.  
Yesterday I spent canning my farmers' market peaches.  My husband gave me a camp stove for Christmas.  Right now you are thinking, "Wow, I wish my husband would give me a camp stove instead of the diamonds he usually gives me! And he should throw in a red canvas wagon!"  Put your envy aside.  Perhaps if you let him read how cool a Camp Chef stove is, he will get one for you.  

It actually was nice to have the water bath canner outside, not taking up space on my stove while I prepared the fruit.  I always worried about the heavy canner ruining the element on my stove.  The camp chef is sturdy and runs off propane.  Having the stove outside also keeps the kitchen cooler.  

Look at my red-neck canning kitchen!

My garden wasn't a total loss this year.  I had other produce that grew quite well.  

Let's give it all a review, shall we?

Murray Farmers' Market 5 out of 5 stars.


Red Canvas Wagon from Sam's Club 4 out of 5 stars.

Camp Chef camp stove 5 out of 5 stars.

Now how about a little treat!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Block of the Month On Time, Almost

I am always amazed at the creativity I see when the Block of the Month finishes for the year at Quilt Etc.  This past year our theme was Blocks from Japan.  The first woman who stood up to show her finished quilt had appliqued cherry branches embellished with flower shaped mother-of-pearl buttons in the center of all her blocks.  Show off.

All jealousy aside, at least I am one step ahead of last year. Last year I finished a whole month late.  You can take a look at my project here.  This year, I got part of it done because I decided to do pillow shams.  

I got one sham done.  See, better than last year.  Maybe two will be done by next month. 

I figured out how to add braid to the sham.  

I watched a YouTube on how to twist the ends together. The lady on the video made it look so easy. I didn't quite get the gist of it. But it is unnoticeable where the ends join unless I point it out. Which I obviously do in the following photo.

I used fabric from my stash that I don't really like for the back of the quilted part of the sham.  It will never show so I'm glad I could use it.

Straight machine quilting  one inch apart.

The best parts about the September Block of the Month meeting are  first, seeing all the beautiful quilts.  I am awed by the talent it takes to create those works of art. Second, specific quilting supplies go on sale like pins that you can sew over and good quality thread.  Oh, I am a geek if I get excited about pins and thread.  But it's Aurifil and Presencia! On sale! Who wouldn't be excited?

I thoroughly loved the blue color this past year and the more modern look of the blocks. This coming year is a Western theme.  Cowboys, the Southwest, cacti, boots, and the like.  It's not really my style but I'll give it a go and next year may see a full project completed on time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Following Atticus by Tom Ryan

I was in the Cloverleaf Campground of Cache National Forest when I finished Following Atticus by Tom Ryan.  Inspired, I put down the book, grabbed the leash and my pound dog, Kit, and headed for the North Fork hiking trail.

I loved this book from the start.  I am a dog person and an outdoor person so it was a perfect fit.  This is the true story of hard-nosed journalist Tom Ryan's unlikely friendship with a miniature schnauzer he named Atticus M. Finch.  Together they attempt to climb the forty-eight 4000 footers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Twice.  In one winter.  

This beautifully written book is not only humorous but heart warming at the same time.  It chronicles Tom's change of heart, his relationship with his father, and Atticus and Tom's adventures together.  Tom and Atticus are not what you picture as hiking material.  Tom is a self-described, overweight muckraker, and Atticus is anything but a dog bred to be in the mountains.  But together, they work it out, as Atti's breeder frequently counsels them, and it makes for a charming and inspiring true story.

Two or so hours after this book was finished, my dog Kit and I returned to our campsite from our hike.  Since my husband's recent disabling condition, he can't hike any trails that have a remote slope, which is nearly all mountainous hikes.  I haven't hiked much in the past few years because I don't want to go alone.  Reading this book made me realize I am not alone when I have my dog.  Now I won't do any major hikes alone like some crazy Utahns do and then have to be rescued days later, but I can proceed on sensible trails with my buddy, Kit.

Tuckered out after two hikes in one day.

 North Fork Trail

I loved this book so much, I now am a follower of Tom's blog,  The Adventures of Tom and Atticus.  In the midst of all my sewing and quilty blogs, I now have one about a dog, a muckraker, and the mountains of New Hampshire.