Monday, August 24, 2009

Wait...what's this? A Finished Project? Yeppers!

It feels like months have gone by since I've actually 'made' something. So I was so excited to be able to start AND finish something this weekend. Nothing big...but hey: these days anything is good.

Little Guy is in YMCA Soccer again this fall and for those of you in the soccer circuit, you know how nasty those soccer shoes can be after practice or a game, right? With all the mud and grass, and .... half the soccer field in between those cleats. Yeah...Thought so. Well...rather than have Little Guy take them off and toss them in a plastic bag from the grocery store when he climbs in the car, I created a draw-string shoe bag. And he likes it. A lot. He smiled BIG TIME when I showed it to him. Ahhh, the little things.

I found a valance (you know, the curtain type) at the Thrift Shop awhile back. Not knowing what it might become, but too nice to pass up. That pretty much sums up my Thrift Shop mentality: never knowing what it might become, but too nice to pass up. I like that! [My wife thinks I'm nuts....]'s the finished project. A simple un-lined bag. But it will more than serve the purpose I think. Don't you?

Soccer Shoe Bag

PS: Do you know how I can tell that it's back-to-school time? Because I have about ten (10) pairs of jeans/khaki pants to shorten. Yeah...the CraftyDad family is a bit on the 'less than tall' side of things. [Note to self: so thankful to have the machines to make quick work out of all this.]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Wrap Up

Oh, yeah...I'm still here. I swear: I tell myself that I'm going to do better at keeping the blog posts coming...and I fail. It's crazy.

Here are a few things that happned since my last post:

  • The boys started school (Little Guy is a 4th Grader this year; Mr. Teenager is a Freshman in High School).
  • The new dishwasher was installed and is working like a charm. It's not as quiet as I thought it would be, but that's not a big deal. It does a great job of cleaning and drying. Love it.
  • Riley Roo is growing into his long, lanky legs. The puppy stage is still at 100%: chewing, etc., is still full-force. He is not fond of water at this point. The boys took him into the lake last weekend and he did the dog-paddle stroke like a pro!
  • I decided to re-teach myself how to knit. Wish me luck on that one. I've been crocheting for many years and I find it very difficult to use two pointy sticks after using one hook for so long.
  • I downloaded lots of Cast-On podcasts to my iPod. [If you're a knitter, you will soon become a fan of Brenda Dayne. Check out for more info. Brenda is a hoot and her podcasts are full of hooty stuff. [Not sure if "hooty" is a word, but let's go with it, okay?]
  • Joined Ravelry (feel free to become my freind. My username = craftydad) Go figure!
  • Joined the forum at (my username = craftydad) Go figure, again!
  • I crocheted two wash cloths using 100% cotton yarn (Peaches and Cream brand). Photos? [Insert hearty laugh here] Hmmm, perhaps later.
  • A nasty storm came through the area the other night....we needed the rain..but tornados were not on our wish list. We lucked out: no damage at all. The town west of South Bend (where I work) didn't fare so well. Big-time damage there. Why is it that bad weather happens when it's pitch black outside. [That's a rhetorical question....I don't need any scientific answer. Unless you really want to...then that's okay too.
  • I got my new sewing/embroidery machine from Ken's Sewing Center. I have only had a few minutes to play with it. From what I can tell, it's a great machine. Does a lot of nice stitches. Has needle up/down setting (a very big 'plus'); has auto thread cutting feature (never had that before...I like it!)
  • Lots of medium- to large-scale projects have launched at work (yes...I have a day-job like many of you). I dream of doing this full-time; but I don't think the salary is high enough to support my family and craft lifestyle. [Donations welcome :-) ]
  • I've taken a few pictures.
  • I sent off the photos Mr. Teenager took during his trip to Washington D.C. back in June.

Here's the Brother sewing/emboridery machine that I got:

So...what have you been up to?

Tonight is the first home football game at Mr. Teenager's high school. Mr. Teenager plays alto saxophone in the marching band and will be performing at half-time. Crafty Mom, Little Guy and I will be there cheering him (and the rest of the band) on. I'm praying for a nice, cool, breezy, DRY evening. You know: sweater weather.*

Oh...almost forgot: next week I'll have a Freebie Friday giveaway going on. I'm giving away a really nice book I found at the thrift shop. Of course I can't remember the's on the nightstand at home.'s a nice, hardback book with the words "Seasons" and "Farms" (i think) in it. It's a Country Living book and I think the winner will be happy to have it.

Next week peeps!
Stay tuned for the second Freebie Friday

That's it for now. Have a great weekend.

*Edited to add: Oh, it was sweater weather alright. And rain poncho weather too. Just as the band was taking the field for the pre-game show (National Anthem and School Fight Song), the rain came down. Not hard, but nice a steady, get-you-all-wet kind of rain. Crafty Mom was smart (as always) and brought along sweatshirts, weather-proof blankets and umbrellas. Let's hope Mr. Teenager's saxophone pads aren't all stuck when he goes to play it on Monday (his horn is spending the weekend in its band locker). Oy!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Things We Take for Granted - Dishwashers Included

[CUE UP Joni Mitchell song] "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you got 'til it's gone."

And that goes for kitchen appliances too. Seems the dishwasher is trying to nickel and dime us to death. Well...we ain't gonna put up with that. No sir. It ain't gonna happen. It's a Frigidaire brand (it came with the house when we moved in about seven years ago.) It's not antique or anything, but .... the darned thing is working against us.

First, the springs in the door decided to go. Called the local repair guy and they fixed it. To a tune over $100.00. Then...just last week, the door handle decided to stick: Can't open it; can't close it. Not good.

Rather than continue to pour money into this monster, the wife and I decided it was time to invest in a new one. So we made a trip to Sears last Sunday and bought a new one. It's scheduled for delivery/installation today. (Keeping my fingers crossed that the guy shows up on time and that the process is a smooth one.)

I read some real horror stories on some new dishwashers as I was researching online. Comments like: "leaked all over the floor first time we used it", "it's not getting the dishes clean", "the soap compartment door won't open", "it takes over 2 hours for a wash cycle to complete", "I can get more dishes in my OLD machine". Geesh! We don't need any of that.

Here's the scoop on the new dishwasher. It will match the stove, microwave and refrigerator. Yee haa! OH...and it was on sale, and we are getting a rebate on the delivery and installation fee. And.....they are taking the old dishwasher with them. How cool is that?

Have a great weekend, bloggers!

P.S. The dishwasher guy is installing the new machine as I type this. He told my wife that you should not put any money into a dishwasher that's over five years old. And...he says that Frigidaire, Maytag and GE are the worst machines you can get. They are not the high-quality machines of older days. He also told us we were smart to buy the extended maintenance agreement -- if the control panel goes bad it would be $350 plus labor. Ouch!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tee for Two

I bought a new camcorder during the Day-After-Thanksgiving craziness last year.  I've shot several movies, but am just starting to figure out how to get them from the camera to the PC to ..... a DVD or wherever.

The boys got golf clubs a couple weeks ago (sort of an 'allowance' for the summer).  We've been visiting the driving range the past couple of Sundays so they could practice their skills.  I thought it would be a great way for me to grab some video and try to get it uploaded to YouTube. 

Without further adieu, here's Tee For Two:

Monday, August 03, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

Hey bloggers! Welcome to another week of fun and excitement (well...I hope so anyway!)

We spent the weekend at the lake. Nice weather. Warm days, cool evenings. Perfect. I'm just having a really tough time dealing with the fact that it's August and the boys will be going back to school on the 18th. Bummer. They don't seem as bothered about it as I do. I guess that's what happens when you get older. Oh. Well.

The new sewing machine is really nice. I've not had a lot of time to test it out, but so far, so good. Very nice machine. Has a great needle-threading option (great for aging eyes), has a needle-down option (always a good thing) and also has a thread cutting function (very cool!). I'm working on a tote bag with a musical theme. It's a vintage-ish piece of fabric I got from a sweet, little old lady in Michigan. She's closing down her sewing business and is going thru the de-stash process. Bless her heart! She didn't have too much for me to choose from, but I found a few things. I'll share a photo of the bag once it's a little further along.

My wife found some wild raspberries at the lake and suggested I take the boys berry-picking. So...berry-picking we did. And the camera went along with us. Here are some shots from our little nature walk.

Until next time, have a great day!