Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sort of Thelma and Louise Road Trip

In a few minutes I'm leaving to pick up my friend Donna at the airport and then we're heading for the nearby Interstate to begin a little summer road trip--somewhat like Thelma and Louise.

Unlike Thelma and Louse, we aren't going to:

  • abandon our husbands (just let them stay home)
  • blow up truckers whistling at us (at our age, we wish someone would whistle)
  • pick up hitch-hikers (even if it's Brad Pitt)
  • hang out in bars (having a drink just makes us sleepy)
  • rob convenience stores (guns frighten us and we don't want to be mean anyway)
  • drive off the edge of the Grand Canyon (we may be old but we aren't ready to die yet)
We are, however, going to have a fantastic time driving across country from landlocked Tucson to a beach in Florida. Our adventures will end when they end and I'll be back blogging then. Isn't this the best summer ever?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sea Salt Sinus Pillow

Anyone who’s read my blog for any length of time knows I enjoy trying the many helpful tutorials offered by other bloggers. A recent tutorial for making a sinus pillow is proving truly useful.

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My sinuses are driving me crazy lately so I gave EvaForeva’s project a try using a scrap piece of starfish fabric. After making the little pillow, you put it in your microwave for a few seconds then place it over the sinus areas bothering you. Ah, relief!

There are so many bloggers nowadays that keeping up with everyone is problematic. Rachel at One Pretty Thing posts daily aggregates of tutorials—which is how I found the sinus pillow tutorial.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blessings Friday: Gifts of Friendship

A lot is going on in my life right now making me especially mindful of my friends here in Tucson. Each one is an amazing person and I’m honored by their friendship with me.

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On my birthday in May, I received a beautiful set of hand-turned pens from my friend Dee and her husband Larry.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Because my planner/organizer is red, Dee and Larry made sure I had one to match it. The second pen’s watery-blue and aqua colors was made to acknowledge my inner-mermaid self.

Although I’m grateful for gifts received such as this gorgeous pen set, it’s the intrinsic value of friendship that is my true gift.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Catching Happy Dreams

Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you. ~Marsha Norman

A few months ago I participated in You Go Girl’s On the Edge Pillowcase Crochet-Along, a project I really loved. I decided to try it again using dream catchers as my theme for a gift for my friend Cindy who’s moving across country.

Source: Wikipedia

Dream catchers are netted hoops embellished with special objects and hung over the bed to catch dreams. In Ojibwa (Chippewa) culture, a dream catcher allows only good dreams to filter through. Bad dreams stay in the net and disappear in the light of day while the good dreams pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper (Wikipedia).

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Cindy loves everything about the southwest and to remind her of this beautiful part of the country, I made a set of crochet-edged pillowcases for her. The dream catcher fabric design emphasizes my wish she have only happy dreams in her new home.

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Turquoise-colored crochet yarn was used to edge the pillowcases. The color coordinates perfectly with the fabric and adds symbolic meaning to my gift. The color turquoise symbolizes the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word. And isn’t that really what we need to do to capture our dreams and make them a reality?

I hope Cindy enjoys happy dreams in her new home and these pillowcases serve as a reminder of an area of the U.S. she loves and that I’m thinking of her.

Dreams are nature's answering service—don’t forget to pick up your messages once in a while. ~Sarah Crestinn

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pattern Weights Organizer Tutorial

At the beginning of June, I made pattern weights using metal washers from the hardware store. I realized right away I also needed a way to organize them so they don’t get lost. Stacking them seemed like a good solution. Here’s what I came up with and how you can make a pattern weights organizer, too.

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  • 2¼-inch wood disk to serve as the base
  • Cloth rag
  • Wood glue
  • Drill with a ¼-inch bit
  • Sandpaper
  • 1 4-inch length of ¼-inch dowel
  • Bead with a ¼-inch hole
  • Acrylic paint
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Polyurethane sealer
  • 2¼-inch circle of adhesive-backed felt
Step 1: Find the center of the wood disk and drill a ¼-inch hole. Wipe clean with cloth rag.
Step 2: Put a little wood glue in the hole you drilled and insert the wood dowel.
Step 3: Lightly sand until smooth and wipe clean with cloth rag.
Step 4: Paint the base and dowel.
Step 5: Seal with a coat of polyurethane.
Step 6: When dry, attach the circle of adhesive-backed felt to the bottom of the base.
Step 7: Stack your pattern weights and top with your bead (do not glue the bead as you want to be able to remove it to use your pattern weights.

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And there we are, a cute way to corral pattern weights. I’ve posted a PDF version here and in my Tutorials section in the right-hand column.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blessings Friday: Picture Rocks Boy Scout Troop Scarves

This year celebrates 100 years of scouting by the Boy Scouts of America; their theme this year is A Shining Light Across America. My friend Paula and I worked yesterday on a project that hopefully helps with one troop’s celebrations.

Source: Boy Scouts of America

Our friend Scott is a troop leader for Picture Rocks Boy Scout Troop 218. None of the parents sew and the boys need troop scarves. This is where Paula and I found an opportunity to be helpful.

Source: Park Vision, Saguaro National Park

Picture Rocks is a community so named because of ancient petroglyphs found in what is now part of Saguaro National Park.

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Scott found a bolt of fabric depicting petroglyphs which was perfect for making the boys’ scarves. Paula and I established an assembly line process and got busy making the scarves.

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A troop patch was sewn on each finished scarf.

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Here is one of the finished scarves, ironed and folded nicely. My husband is delivering the scarves to Scott today.

Paula and I hope our small efforts contribute to the boys’ pride in their troop and the general festivities surrounding the blessing of 100th year of service by the Boy Scouts of America organization.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Folding Templates

Today will be spent helping my friend Paula with a good works sewing project. Part of the process involves turning under and ironing the edges in preparation for hemming.

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I made folding templates for both of us using a free project found at The Scientific Seamstress Blog. Just print on cardstock, cut them out, and you’re ready to go.

The set of two includes templates for both straight and curved edges as well as a user’s guide. What a clever and truly useful sewing tool. It’s going to be very helpful to us today as we power through our project.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vacation Starting Point: Portland

Our vacation this summer involved flying into Portland, picking up a rental car, and heading up to Seattle. From there, we followed the coast all the way down to Monterey, CA and back up to San Francisco from which point we caught our flight home.

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The first thing we did in Portland after getting off the plane was attend their famous Saturday Market along the river. The day was gorgeous and perfect for wandering around the riverfront.

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A stop at The Naked Sheep Knit Shop (they also have a blog) netted knitting supplies to take home: Fibranatura yarn made from sea kelp in the color Sea Song, needles, cute sheep markers, and a lovely project bag.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (Rose Garden)

As soon as the sun came up the next morning, we were out the hotel door and off to see Washington Park with its Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and Holocaust Museum.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (Japanese Garden)

This idyllic little spot in the Japanese Garden was exquisite. Also found were Zen gardens for which I have a great fondness.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved (Multnomah Falls)

We drove along the Historic Columbia River Highway to see Chanticleer Point, Crown Point, Shepperds Dell, Latourell, Wahkeena, and Multnomah Falls along our way to see the famous Columbia Gorge.

Our road trips always involve purchasing a cooler and picnic supplies. Finding a beautiful spot to stop and have a picnic lunch is part of our fun. At the end of the trip, we clean the cooler and offer it to someone at the hotel or rental car agency.