Thursday, December 29, 2016

Foot Pedal Pad

non-slip sewing machine foot pedal pad
December 2016
Anyone who sews regularly knows the frustration of having the foot pedal creeping further and further away.

I found a quick and easy solution - a non-slip Foot Pedal Pad. The non-slip fabric is actually shelf liner from the Dollar Store - a clever and inexpensive material for this project.

I made two of these: one for the sewing group gift exchange and one for myself.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Back in Time - Circle K

Circle K Extension Club
late 1950s or early 1960s
Mom was a member of the Circle K Extension Club for many years. The group met monthly in the members' homes: the photo was taken at our house (my mom is seated with her arms crossed). The group had a program booklet that had a reusable cover - purple with a large, gold circle with a large "K" in the middle that intersected with the circle. The pages (one for each month) were secured with a leather lace, tied with a knot. The program booklet listed the monthly hostesses, the monthly program and presenters; additional pages listed the officers and contact information (phone numbers) for the members.

It was a social group, but they also had various lessons and programs at their meetings, and once a year, they prepared a display booth for the County Extension Day. The booths were judged, and the groups were awarded certificates accordingly. The event was usually held in a school gymnasium, and in addition to the booth displays, classes (crafts, food preservation and safety, recipes, and basic homemaking) were held.

Other than my Mom, I recognize only a few faces in the photo. In the back row: Pauline Stearns (my aunt who just celebrated her 100th birthday on December 8, 2016) is the first woman standing on the left. The lady standing on the far right is Alma Schmidt. Bonnie Wempen is seated on the sofa on the far right.

The extension groups were under the guidance of the County Extension Office which was and still is connected with the University of Wyoming Extension Department. The program is still active, but I don't know if the smaller groups still meet. I haven't heard of the Circle K for a long time.

Note the little girls in their mary jane's and white anklets. The wallpaper stripes were grey, and the flowers were white, pink, and red carnations. The sofa (we called it a davenport) was a deep burgundy.

Was your mother or were you a member of a local extension club?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Want to Join Me?

I don't like to make resolutions, but I do like to think about general goals (dreams) for the new year. I tweaked a form I found online and added my "wishes" and "dreams" for 2017 in the designated stars. I'll check my progress in May or June.

The blank form is provided below if you want to join me - nothing too technical - let's just have fun.

Print the form, write your ideas, take a photo and share on your blog. If you have the capability to edit on your computer, then go for it! Dee, mentioned on her blog that PicMonkey is a good resource for adding your goals to the template - might be worth trying.

(click to enlarge to print)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Rockets' Red Glare

Rockets' Red Glare
57 x 74
Quilt of Valor
I have two more patriotic panels and hope to make them into quilts within the next two weeks.

Rockets' Red Glare is QOV #107

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth
Good Will to Men

"I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day"

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And I thought how, as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

In despair I bowed my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men"

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men"

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~ 
1863                      .

Friday, December 23, 2016

Foreign Friday - Nativities

In two earlier posts, I've shared whimsical and traditional nativity displays from the Nativity Walk held at the Riverton LDS church.

Many of the nativities on display were from other countries or cultures, no doubt obtained while on missions, and it's appropriate to share them in this Foreign Friday post.

Christianity covers the globe and so does God's love for His people. 

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Traditional Nativities

Last week, I shared some whimsical nativities that were on display at the Nativity Walk in my community. Today, I'm sharing some more traditional scenes.

I loved seeing many depictions of this familiar and blessed family all in one place and knowing that during the three-day event the Lord opened hearts and planted the seed of faith.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Comfort

Mom's Rice Pudding Recipe
One of my favorite winter comfort foods is my Mom's rice pudding. While it can be made in any season, I always associate it with winter, and make it at least once a year.

The recipe in the photo is written in my Mom's handwriting and is a copied page from a recipe book that Mom and I prepared from my niece Brenda one Christmas. When the family gathered for a reunion in 2006, it was decided to prepare a recipe book filled with family favorites, and I made sure the rice pudding was included. Brenda shared the handwritten page for The Book as Marilyn and I often call the loose leaf notebook of complied recipes.

The broken toothpicks are a trick that I've started using: the recipe says to bake three hours, so I break three toothpicks and stir every thirty minutes (removing a toothpick piece when I do). I add the raisins in the last hour. Baking rarely takes three hours (I think it depends on the humidity) and sometimes it only takes two hours to reach the perfect stage.

out of the oven and ready to enjoy
The caramel-colored part is the layer that forms on the top of the baking pudding. I think it is tasty, too. The pudding is good either warm or cold, but I prefer it warm.

When I was still teaching, I would sometimes come home and find a pint of rice pudding on the garage step. My Mom would have my brother place it there on his trip to feed the cattle.

The rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food, and it's packed with wonderful memories.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Stolen Ladies

by Nancy L
December 2016
Last week, the sewing group had a holiday party with a carry-in lunch and a gift exchange. The exchange was fun with a friendly chatter and a few gifts changing hands several times. To begin, we drew numbers; the first person selected a wrapped package and unwrapped it. The next person could "steal" the opened gift or select another wrapped package. If your gift was stolen, then you could steal another gift or pick an unwrapped gift. As more gifts were unwrapped, the stealing began in earnest, and gifts changed hands many times.

I am thrilled with my "stolen ladies" - a collection of five blocks, dyed by Nancy L. and made into a table runner.
table runner
The runner adds color to my sofa table by the garage door, and welcomes me into the house when I return. It makes me smile to see it there. 

"Stolen Ladies" runner
by my door
Thank you, Nancy L. for this gorgeous table runner! It's so beautiful, I don't know how you could bare to part with it.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hidden Figures - a review

knitting to an audio book of Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

While knitting on large projects I usually listen to audio books. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly was my most recent "read." It's a non-fiction book about the black female mathematicians who worked as human computers for the U.S. military during World War II and into the 1960s. The work they did was highly technical and helped in the development of many aircraft designs and then into the Space Age. 

I'll be honest: I was very disappointed in this book, not in the subject matter which was interesting but in the actual writing. The author did a great job of gathering information but didn't do a very good job of determining what needed to be included in the book. Her editors did a great disservice to the story by not cutting a LOT of the irrelevant material that takes the readers down many unnecessary rabbit holes. Frankly, I grew weary of the story by Chapter 15, and by the time I got to Chapter 22, I had had enough and skipped the entire final chapter.

The book follows the lives of four woman computers: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. The author tells the reader about their personal lives as well as their careers and contributions to NASA. Instead of simply telling the story of these four women's contribution to NASA and their struggles dealing with stereotyping and prejudice, the author gets sidetracked with other events in history that blacks were dealing with at the time. By spinning off, the intriguing story of the women and their accomplishments is lost.

This story is too good to miss, so my advice is to skip the book and see the movie. I'm sure the movie will focus more on the Hidden Figures than the book that brought the story to light and will be much easier to follow and appreciate.  

If you've read Hidden Figures, would you recommend it?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Foreign Friday

Dairy Cows
Southern Japan
April 1980
It's been said, that you can take the girl off of the farm, but you can't take the farm away from the girl. I grew up on a dairy farm and knew my mother and brother would enjoy seeing photos of this Japanese dairy barn and the cows.

The cows were well tended, but I didn't understand why they all had nose rings, as I had only seen nose rings on bulls at home.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kitchen Towel

Hanging Kitchen Towel
December 2016
Mary asked that the items for the Sewing Group gift exchange be sewn this year. I considered many projects, but decided to make the hanging kitchen towel.

The yellow bandana fabric is a Martha Stewart kitchen towel, and because it was quite long, I cut off about four inches.

I found the idea and tutorial here. The pattern for the top must be created, but she does give the dimensions.

Note: I used interfacing for the whole top section and not just where the slit is cut, as I wanted more stability for the edge.

I included another item in the gift box, and will share it in another post.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Peace Cowl - revisited

Completed Project Peace Cowl
December 2016
This was such a fun knit that I couldn't refrain from knitting more than the recommended one, four-row repeat each day.

i-cord bind off
The i-cord bind off was a new (to me, at least) technique, and I was surprised just how easy it was. It seemed to take forever on the 318 stitches around the edge as well as the 318 stitch cast-on edge, too. I picked up the stitches on the cast on edge, but some of the others in the KAL started the cowl with an i-cord.

I used a double-point needle to do the bind off because I didn't have to fight the weight of the cowl and the remaining stitches on the circular needle.

i-cord edge on the other side, too

PatternProject Peace Cowl (Ravelry link) by Christina Campbell

Needles: size 6 US

    Regia 6ply Tweed - Bordeaux (6 grams of the 150 gram skein remain)
    Regia 4ply Silk - Marine Blue (the i-cord only used about 14 grams)

Size: my finished cowl measures 7 inches high and 54 inches in circumference

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