Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yellow Tuesday

Please click here to view today's posts. Yes, there are TWO of them today. Woo Hoo!

As mentioned earlier, I'm seriously considering moving my blog to TypePad. So...rather than create duplicate posts, I'm sending you to the new place.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Anyone looking for a Bernina - Model 830 Guide ?

I found this at the thrift shop this week and will be putting it on eBay very soon. If you're interested, I'm giving the blogosphere first dibs.

The selling price is $6.25 (includes shipping & handling).

Leave a comment or contact me at craftydad (at) comcast (dot) net and I'll send you a PayPal invoice. [Of course I'll need your email address for that to work.]

Here's a sample page spread. Click on the image for larger version.

Here's a sample page spread. Click on the image for larger version.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Test Driving TypePad

I'm THINKING of moving my blog to TypePad. You can see what I've done so far by clicking here.

I haven't convinced myself that I really want to create a brand new blog, but I do like some of the features that come with TypePad.

Are you a TypePad blogger? Is it better? Do you like it? Love it? Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Had to Have It

We looked at Bernina sewing machines a few weekends ago and I could NOT justify a purchase. They are the greatest machines, duh! But...no way. Couldn't. Wouldn't.

I've been on the lookout for a nice coverstitch machine for quite a long time. I can across this great deal at my favorite online and brick-and-mortar sewing dealer. If you're looking for a great deal on name-brand items, I highly encourage you to check them out. They are on eBay (seller name = easyterms). You can find them on the web here. I've been dealing with Kevin for a long, long time. He and his team are the best. Great prices and super fast delivery. Just a great bunch of people.

So for $249.00 I got the Janome CP900, a wide elastic foot, a narrow elastic foot, a really nice extension table and a DVD showing how several accessories are used. I thought it was a really great deal. The machine is bigger than I thought (not too big, just larger than I expected). Stitch quality is perfect and it moves right along. This model has the handy free-arm option too.

If you're looking for some tips on using a coverstitch machine, you should check out all the good stuff here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy and Sad

I'm happy to see things starting to green up. The forsythia bushes next to the patio are getting ready to display their annual burst of yellow. The grass is really starting to grow too -- and it won't be long and I'll be firing up the lawn mower.

Forsythia bushes.

Forsythia bushes -- up close.

Speaking of lawn mowers, we went shopping for a new one this past weekend. It seems the good people at John Deere have a great deal going. So...we decided to take the plunge and get a new one. The old one is on it's last leg (wheel). It has served us well over the past several years. This is the year that our oldest son gets to learn how to cut the grass. He says it will be fun. But...when he finds out that it's w-o-r-k, he may have another opinion. We'll see!

Nothing runs like a Deere.

I'm happy for the time we spent two weekends ago with the boys. Give them a hotel with a swimming pool and everything is well with the world. Woo Hoo! We had a great time.

2 Boys + 1 Swimming Pool = A Great Time

I'm sad when I go out to get the newspaper the other morning and find that both tires on the driver's side of my truck have been slashed. After a few choice words, I look across the street and see that the SUV in their driveway has suffered the same fate. What a bunch of crap. Later I find out that a Jeep just a few doors down the street was vandalized too. Lovely. It could have been worse, I know.

Damn! And I just bought them a few months ago!

I hope you're having a great week!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Behind the Eight Ball

Seems to be a popular place: behind the ol' eight-ball. As my blog sub-title exclaims, there is always way too much that I want to get done; and never enough time to get them done.

I spend many of my lunch hours at the thrift shop. And I usually find one or two things that can be re-purposed into something new and unique. After several shopping trips, the raw materials can really pile up. There are lots and lots of things scattered all over the craft corner. And lots and lots of ideas in my head (and some on paper too!).

Now...I just need to carve out some time. Sit down. And do it!

P.S. I found a great (simple) pillowcase pattern that I'll share with you next week. Perfect for making custom pillowcases for the kids.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spring Break Kick-off

Saturday and Sunday was our official kickoff for Spring Break 2008. My wife is a tax accountant, so (here is the States anyhow) the few weeks leading up to April 15th is a no-no for taking vacation time. So…we've traditionally taken the boys on a get-away weekend someplace close to home. We've found our best bang-for-the-buck is a stay at the Essenhaus Country Inn located in Middlebury, Indiana. It's in the heart of Amish country here in Northern Indiana. That means great food, lots of quaint shops and a place where you won't find 100 other people fighting for space in the swimming pool. Another plus is the fact that the Inn is only about 15 minutes from our house. Once inside the Inn, you feel like you're in the middle of a Country Living photo layout. The d├ęcor of the Inn is like no other place we've stayed. It's beautiful, and at the same time, very comfortable. You just don't want to leave. That's how comfortable it is.

Essenhaus Country Inn and Conference Center

The common area, just outside our room.

Sun room at the Inn.

Close up shot of the game table in the sun room.

Right across the parking lot from the Inn is our favorite place for breakfast – Das Dutchman Essenhaus. [This is where the great food comes in.] The breakfast buffet is the best. Belly-up to the bar get yourself a toasty-warm plate and pile on some real home-cookin'. The buffet includes scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, country sausage gravy and biscuits (yum-yum), ham, thick-cut bacon, pancakes, zucchini bread, nut bread, pumpkin bread, homemade pastries, fresh fruit and some semi-frozen concoction of orange juice and bananas. I'm sure I've forgotten about ten other things that are available, but you get the picture, right? And a great cup of coffee too. Wow! What a terrific way to start your day. Trust me: you won't want need lunch. The moral of this story is: if you go away hungry, you have serious issues.

Check-in time at the Inn was not until 3 p.m. so we decided to do some shopping. The entire downtown area is one little shop after another. Most of the shops are small houses that have been converted into retail space. They are all full of 'cute', 'quaint' and 'country' things. Also located downtown is the Davis Mercantile building. The original building burned to the ground about three (3) years ago. The new structure is a work of art. Much of it was hand-constructed by Amish craftsmen. The building is three stories tall and has several fantastic shops.

Quilt on display in the common area.

Ah, but alas! It's back to work now for the parental units. The boys will be sleeping in and watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies for the next few days. They're lovin' it.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thrift Shop Finds

Here are just a few things I found at the thrift shop this week:

[Click to see enlarged photo.]

1. Lady bug needlepoint
2. Grasshopper needlepoint
3. Great looking fabric with dots, starrs and seals.
4. Fifteen spools of cotton and silk thread.
5. Green fabric - this picture doesn't do it justice
6. Eight brand new (still sealed) bottles of paint.

Catching Up a Bit ... 3-31-08

I'm behind. So what else is new? But I wanted to acknowledge a special day at the Crafty Dad house: my wife's birthday. I won't tell you that she turned forty-something, because that's just not something you do: talk about a woman's age. Okay, let's get back on track.

So yeah, Monday was her birthday and while I usually don't send her flowers for her special day (we mutually agreed upon that a long time ago), I thought they might brighten her day. Especially with all this crap she's been going through with the headaches, and all. And...I ordered her a cake too. White with buttercream frosting. Yum-my.

I had the bakery make the cake from the boys.

Son No. 1 made a backstitch pillow for his mom.

According to my wife, she had a very special birthday. Woo Hoo! Love ya Honey!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Too busy to make a blog entry.

Yep, it's that crazy time of the month again. Busy crunching numbers, keeping team members focused on all the fun stuff that has to get done in just a few days. It's a wacky week to say the very least.

I did score big yesterday at the thrift shop. Funny how I have time for that, huh? I'm addicted. I don't know what it is, but I can't stay away. [Much to my wife's disappointment.] I'm a sucker for a good deal. Especially when it's something that can be converted into some new crafty thing.

Pictures will be forthcoming. I promise.

In the meantime, have a great day.

Can't wait for the coreopsis to come back to life.

P.S. I've been complaining about the weather lately (it really has been rotten lately). But...the weatherman promises warmer temps and some sunshine. The trees are starting to bud so maybe, just maybe Spring is truly on the way. I can't believe all the springy-looking pics from my blogger buds in the Pacific Northwest. I'm jealous.