Happy Friday! And not a moment too soon! What a week! I know, I know, it's been ages since I've last posted--sorry friends! I started off the week by badly bruising my rib. How, you might ask? Did I tackle a robber? Fall during some active contact sport? Sadly, I apparently tore the cartilage by twisting too far in the car. I was sitting in the front driver's seat of the car, and I twisted around to talk to the dogs, who were in the way back of the car, and POP! something gave rather unpleasantly in my ribcage. I don't recommend it. There's apparently nothing you can do for an injured rib, other than rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories . . . . oh, and much shouting out when I use my abdominal muscles for random things like sneezing, coughing, laughing, and reaching for toilet paper. Ah, now where did my pride go?!
Anyway, in other news, we had recently a conference in Vancouver, B.C., so rather than fly, we decided to drive. What a gorgeous trip through Idaho, Washington, and Oregon! We took the the pups, and they were great travelers. They had their very first swim in the Pacific Ocean! We showed up in our shorts and flip flops, only to find the locals wrapped up in winter coats! We survived, but it was a bit brisk!
In addition to the trip, things have been fairly busy. Our landlord is selling our marvelous house, so we've been in the throes of getting the house ready to show. What an ordeal to get it ready and keep it spotless all the time! Keeping it free from dog hair alone is a huge challenge! [By the way, I have just noticed how many exclamation points I use in my writing. Zoinks!]. Anyway, it has been a great excuse for us to downsize and simplify our lives. We went through the house and identified tons of things to give away to charity, including a lot of clothes in great shape that just didn't fit anymore but which would be great for women needing professional attire (there are a number of charities helping women start out in new jobs, so professional clothes are really great to donate. We gave ours to a charity helping women escaping domestic violence and polygamy. Yup, life in Utah!).
With the rest of things that we didn't want to give away, we had a yard sale last weekend. How exhausting!! I had never done one of those before and am not sure I have one in my future! We were up at 5 a.m. getting ready, and we finished up by 5 p.m. Saturday evening. We hit our two key goals: got rid of most of our stuff and made a good deal of money, but I got a major sunburn in the process! Oops! Forgot the sunblock! We met a lot of great neighbors, but also a few creepy folks looking to buy things to resell. I can't blame people looking to make a buck, but I was surprised by the attitude of the few people who felt that I was selling things at too high a price for them to make a profit for their resale. One guy even told me that he couldn't make a profit off of what I was charging! Like that was my problem?!
Anyway, back to the creative world of textiles! I did actually bring my sewing machine with me to Canada, so I did sew along the way. I had made little clutch purses using Keyka Lou's pattern, planning on trying to sell some at the yard sale. I had an interesting response from people. First of all, a lot of people thought they were pot holders -- I guess they were too close to the kitchen wares! Second, I got a lot of really positive feedback from people, including several suggestions that I should try to sell them at the local farmer's market (where crafts are sold). Despite that, no one bought a single one. As I think about it, I think that people had their yard sale wallets out (meaning that they were looking for bargains); these same people would have bought the clutches at a craft sale or farmer's market because they would have gone with a different financial mindset. It was a good lesson. And now I have about 30 clutches made and ready for the farmer's market!
I'm now working on my first machine quilt for my new nephew Cameron. I've made a few quilts by hand ages ago, long before I really had any clue what I was doing (as if I do now!). I found a rainbow pattern I adore on Hooked on Needles, so have started in on the top using charm squares I got from Emily's swap earlier this year. I love the idea of an I Spy quilt, so I threw in a few extra squares for that peek-a-boo quality. I especially love the Timeless space aliens! I have an upcoming retreat in two weeks, so I'm planning to have the top done in time to quilt it at the retreat and then have it ready for the blessing, which is Memorial Day weekend.
I'm also working on cleaning up my sewing room (part of the getting the house ready to show). I have these fabulous built-in bookshelves, which had previously been filled with books. I gave away a lot of my books, since I'm not really going to read them again and I have way too many books. I then decided that I wanted to make my sewing room more sewing-oriented, so filled the shelves with jars and baskets filled with fabric and buttons and zippers and things.
I love the way it looks it now! I got most of the jars at DI (Deseret Industries, the local Utah version of the thrift shop). Amazing what you can do for $.75!I'll add photos of the rest of the room later . . . we're working on painting my sewing table right now. It's an old table we found at a rummage sale for $5.