Friday, March 30, 2018

The Friday 15

“Simplicity is the peak of civilization.” 
– Jessie Sampter

If I had my way I would live off the grid, away from everyone and everything. Only own 100 things and have no extra of anything. While we've done a good job with cutting out the excess, every time I film a tutorial I wind up with extra "stuff". 10 years ago I probably would have kept everything I made.

But not now. The items either go to my mom, my daughter, or to the donation box. Sometimes it is hard to let them go because I really like what I've made but other times it is easy. It does get easier every time a Friday 15 comes along.

1 eBay item
1 big pile of extra elastic
1 big pile of extra hook and loop tape
A whole big bunch of tutorial items
Some miscellaneous things I used for patterns

And that makes 15. Easy peasy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

5 Things to do in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about what to do in Cabo San Lucas.


Cabo San Lucas is frequently one of the ports cruise ships stop on the Mexican Riviera cruises. It's also a port where boats are plentiful (and busy). There is a lot to see.

1. Take a boat out to see The Arch (El Arco). This southernmost tip of Baja, California is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet.

On your way you'll be able to see colonies of seals and sea lions sunning themselves. (Fun fact - did you know sea lions have ears you can see but seals don't?)

2. Take a water taxi to Medano Beach (Playa El Médano). You'll find plenty of beach vendors and places to eat. Or keep it low key and just hang on the beach. Be aware of water conditions, though. Swimming can be dangerous so keep an eye on flags posted on the beach (red is danger) to determine if it is safe to go in.

3. Stop by one of the numerous restaurants and bars for some food and drink. Cabo is a tourist town so English is spoken, water is purified, and U.S. dollars are accepted. (But change is often returned in pesos.)
Red snapper anyone?

4. Go snorkeling. You'll find fish here that aren't present in the Caribbean.

5. And if you're coming by cruise ship...Since Cabo San Lucas is a tender port, you'll have to take a boat from the ship to shore for your Cabo adventures. The Cabo port stops are frequently a half day so sometimes it might make sense to just stay on the ship. You'll have nice views of the town - and of the other ships anchored along with yours.
A couple other things to  know:
*Public restrooms aren't always free. You may be expected to give the attendant a dollar or some pesos. 
*No food or drink is allowed off the ship. No sandwich, no apple, no cup of coffee. Dogs check every single bag, backpack, and purse when you arrive from your tender. It will be confiscated.

You can find the video version of this post here:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday: Fabric Covered Plastic Easter Eggs

It was a couple weeks ago when it hit me. Easter is coming up fast. Which meant I needed to get a movin' on an Easter project. I've been working with some plastic Easter eggs and fabric trying to come up with something cute. My first attempt was a long, drawn out, messy failure. Then it hit me - time to go back to the old stand by, Mod Podge. 

Plastic Easter eggs + fabric scraps + Mod Podge = today's project. Just in the nick of time for Easter.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sunday Sew-In? Snow-In!

“Snow in April is abominable," said Anne. "Like a slap in the face when you expected a kiss.” 
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

Well, it's not quite April but it's close enough. Close enough to April not to be snowing around here. But it is. So while I work on my typical sew-in projects of figuring out patterns, cutting fabrics, filming tutorials I also get to watch the snow fall. And you get to see a couple photos I snapped.
That's a band of snow hanging off my car's roof rack. Weird.
You also get a short video of the baby kitties. They don't weigh four ounces each anymore!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Embarkation - Boarding a Cruise Ship

It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about embarkation.




The day you get on a cruise ship (embark) is the same day the previous cruise’s passengers get off the ship (disembark). The ship must be cleared of every single passenger before new ones are allowed to board. A delay in the ship’s arrival, in customs, or in passengers not disembarking when advised can change the timing of when you can board. Bring your patience. Processing and loading 2,000+ people is not a quick nor easy process despite how many staff are present. Whether arriving earlier or later, there is usually a line. Getting to port too early will have you waiting at the terminal. Arriving too late may have you missing the ship. Arrive no later than two hours before departure.

The specific check-in procedure varies with the cruise line but the process generally follows an order:

1. Luggage Handling
One of the first things happening at the port will be the passing of luggage to one of the numerous porters. Keep the carry-on with you. Don’t hand over anything containing medications, passports, or cruise documents. The porters will load your luggage onto a cart. The carts are then transferred into the terminal. The luggage is scanned to check for weapons, alcohol, and other prohibited items. Bags will arrive at your cabin sometime in the afternoon or evening.

2. The Long Line
Around the same time luggage is dropped off the line begins outside the terminal. Lines can be long. Very long. Thousands of other excited people will be checking in within the same few hours. Sometimes you will be able to check in and go straight to the ship but other times you may be directed to a waiting area to sit until being called to board. Many times there is a backup somewhere, whether at the security line or at the check-in desk or in the waiting area. While being in line behind hundreds of other people might be enough to make you decide never to take another cruise don’t let it. The process may not appear smooth and it may not be fast and it may not seem efficient but it works.

3. Security Screening
A security screening occurs inside the terminal. As at the airport all items – keys, bags, phones, computers - are placed on the belt for scanning. Unlike the airport shoes aren’t removed and there isn’t a concern about all liquids fitting within a certain size clear bag. Passengers walk through a metal detector with additional screening occurring if necessary.

4. Health Questionnaire
At some point in the line or while at the check-in counter you will complete a short health questionnaire. It’s important to be healthy when traveling on a cruise ship so passengers are expected to be honest when answering the questions about gastrointestinal and cold and flu symptoms.

5. Checking  In
To expedite the time at the check-in desk have passports, cruise documentation, and health questionnaires out and ready. You may have to provide the representative with the payment method you plan on using for onboard expenses.

6. Cruise Card
At check-in each person is issued a magnetic strip card similar to a credit card. Your picture will be taken for the card. Your picture isn't seen on the card but when cruise personnel scan it they will see the photo on their device. Keep that card handy. It is your cabin key and your onboard "charge card".  It also helps in keeping correct counts and determining specific passengers missing after a port stop and is used to account for passengers during the muster drill and during a real emergency.

7. Boarding Photograph
One of the first of many photo opportunities happens before stepping on the ship. The embarkation photo is usually taken in front of a ship-themed background. There is no obligation to purchase this or any of the photos the ship photographers take of you. If not interested in having the picture taken give a simple no thank you and walk on by.

Once on the ship, it's time to enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Friday 15

“The more material we lose, the less we have. The less we have, the more we win.” 
― Anthony Liccione

This week's Friday 15 was a breeze.

3 items sold on eBay.
9 leftovers from tutorials
1 flubbed key fob project
1 bag of leather making supplies. (At least I think that's what they are.)
1 pencil that lost its eraser went into the trash.
Another week of 15.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Golden Circle Tour, Iceland

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about the Golden Circle Tour in Iceland.

“The problem with driving around Iceland is that you’re basically confronted by a new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sight every five goddamn minutes. It’s totally exhausting.” 
― Stephen Markley, Tales of Iceland or "Running with the Huldufólk in the Permanent Daylight"

Being the travel planner/booker/arranger/idea person in my family, a cruise is actually the best chance I get at having a vacation. My work is done ahead of time and the ship does the rest. But there are times we like doing land vacations.

Iceland is one of those places. While cruise ships do go to Iceland, those voyages are expensive. And I'm cheap. So when the price over Thanksgiving Break dropped to bargain basement prices, we jumped on it.

Thank goodness. We soaked in the Blue Lagoon. Spent time in the cafes and restaurants in Reykjavik, saw the Northern Lights, and took a Golden Circle tour.

It was full day tour around Iceland's Golden Circle.
We checked out Crater Kerid where the blue water contrasted with the red and green walls.
We climbed hundreds of icy wooden steps to get great views of the Gullfoss Waterfall. We've heard new steps have since been installed.

Got sprayed by the Strokkur geyser. They don't rope those things off like they do in the US. Get too close and you'll get wet.

 Got to hang with some Icelandic horses. I called this one Tina Turner.
 Made a stop at Þingvellir National Park.


Which one thing was the best? Well, all of them.

As we saw the sunset over Greenland on our flight home, we knew we'd have to get there someday, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - Upcycled T-shirt Turned Grocery Bag and a Garden Apron

What to do with an old t-shirt? Turn it into a reusable grocery bag.

Thanks to kiddo for letting me use one of hers for today's tutorial.



And one more video:

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Sew-In

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” 
― David Allen

My thoughts are running rampant. Actually, not so much thoughts but ideas for projects. It seems Sunday Sew-In days have become Sunday ideas day. Ideas and measuring and figuring patterns and cutting fabric days.

Now I have another whole slew of projects to get going on.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Cruise Ship Onboard Medical Center

It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about the Onboard Medical Center.

“Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.” 
― Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness

Cruise ships have medical centers for urgent and not-so-urgent needs. The number of staff depends on the number of passengers and crew, with a larger ship having multiple doctors and nurses. The medical center typically has office hours with access to emergency services outside the scheduled hours. Services range from dispersing medications to cleaning wounds to running blood tests to taking x-rays. There may also be an intensive care room as well as a space to conduct surgery. (Performing surgery on a moving ship is not ideal so if it can be delayed it will.)

Medical treatment is not free. It will be billed to your stateroom account and you will be responsible for the payment and claim submission to your insurance company. Shipboard doctors are usually general practitioners so you may be referred to a specialist in an upcoming port for further consultation. Off-ship services aren’t billed to the shipboard account but are paid in cash up front to the onshore provider.

There is no guarantee your health insurance policy will cover the cost, but purchased travel insurance may be able to offset the expense of medical visits. It only takes one incident to realize the additional few dollars for insurance on a 10-night cruise is well worth the peace of mind to be had when sitting in an orthopedic surgeon’s office in Aruba instead of on the beach.
Not a beach.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Friday 15

I'm gonna pop some tags
Only got twenty dollars in my pocket
I - I - I'm hunting, looking for a come-up
This is f****** awesome
~Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Thrift Shop 

I had twenty dollars in my pocket when I went to the thrift store today. I only spent $2.43 of it. Big spender, I am. When you're working on getting rid of things it doesn't make sense spending money on new stuff. But I needed a couple of supplies for some new tutorials and the thrift store is my go-to place for them.

Even though I brought in a couple new supplies (which will be turned around and sent back out after the tutorial) I did get another 15 things to go out the door:
Sold one item on eBay this week.
Donating 14 totally random things.
That makes 15.

But I'd rather post a picture of one of my little kitties instead of my pile of 15. The kitties started with me when they weighed four ounces each and now they are both are weighing in at just over one pound. They are so fun and cute.

Say hello to Cami.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Reykjavik, Iceland

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about Reykjavik, Iceland.



Our suitcase that was taken from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland wasn't our first luggage mishap of the year. On the way back from our Spring Break trip it had made it's way from LAX to Puerto Vallarta instead of heading home with us to Boise. Got it back. Then it gets taken in Iceland at Thanksgiving? (We did eventually get it back. We weren't stranded in Iceland without clothes for the entire week. Yay!)

That's good because we needed our stuff. We had places to go and things to do.
Loved the minimalism in the hotel room. 
Found some yogurt and snacks in the airport store. Loved, loved, loved both.

Tasty hot dogs and delicious hot chocolate in Reykjavik.
The city was preparing for Christmas. I could even drop off a letter for the Icelandic Santa if I wanted to.


The best view of all comes if you climb to the top of this...
Where you can look out the top windows and see this...
 Beautiful Reykjavik.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - Coffee Sleeve

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 


I'm not a coffee drinker. Never have been and never will be. But hubby? Oh, yeah. While he loves his coffee, he has sensitive fingertips. He can't stand holding anything hot for long. So you'd think I would have made today's tutorial for him, right? I'm not sure he'll be thrilled with the fabric used so I guess not. But maybe, if he's good, I'll make him his own. But is it called a coffee sleeve or a cozy? Not a clue.




In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 4” x 14” main fabric
  • 4” x 14” lining fabric 
  • 4” x 14” cotton batting
  • 3” piece of Velcro®
  • Template, download HERE
  • Marking pencil

While my patterns, templates, and videos are absolutely free, if you feel so inclined please consider a donation for their use. Every little bit helps! Your donation helps support the blog and allows me to continue to provide free content to crafters and cruisers all around the world.  

Rather not donate? No worries - go ahead and use them for free! If you do donate, thank you for your support!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sew-In Sunday

“A person who is interrupted while performing a task takes 50% more time to complete it and make 50% more errors.” 
― David Brooks

I was thinking about this today. Every day - even on Sundays - I go to "work". I go into the sewing room, shut the door, and put on my headphones. Some days I work on figuring out measurements for patterns. Some days I film tutorials. Some days I get things listed on eBay. Some days I narrate the Cruising with Confidence book. (It's going to be on Audible soon. So exciting!) Some days I write. And sometimes those things all happen on the same day. Yes, it's a 40+ hour a week job.

Hubby is pretty good about leaving me alone. He knows I will leave for work by 9:00 a.m. and will come out for a yogurt around noon. Then I head back to work until Dr. Phil comes on at 3:00. At 4:00 hubby heads for a nap and I head back to work until about 6:30 p.m. Now with the baby kitties my work schedule is all over the place. It seems to take a lot more focus to work on a project. It took me what seemed like forever to figure out measurements for my next projects.
 Even one of the kitties got tired and gave up.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Safety at Sea


It's Cruise Ship Saturday! Today we're talking about Safety at Sea.

“You're never perfectly safe. No human being on Earth ever is or ever was. To live is to risk your life, your heart, everything.” 
― Rick Yancey, The Last Star

Every time I hear about another person falling overboard from a cruise ship I think one thing. Stupid people. While sometimes the waters are rough, they aren't rough enough to throw you overboard. Still, you do have to be careful when on a ship.

Remember, you are on a moving vessel. Stabilization systems reduce the movement felt but do not eliminate it entirely. Walking is relatively easy when the ship is gently rocking but becomes much more difficult when the ship is really rocking. Watch your balance and be prepared to grab a handrail. Most certainly hold onto handrails when using the stairs during rough seas and be very careful when walking on wet decks. Even with rubber soled shoes a moving ship can be slippery. Being docked in port is no guarantee of absolute safety on deck. As careful as I am about walking I still slipped and fell on my bum after a rainstorm - while the ship was docked.

Other things unique to a cruise ship:
  • Raised thresholds are everywhere. At the cabin bathroom and ship restrooms, at the doors to the exterior of the ship, at a cabin’s balcony, and at the fireproof doors in the hallways. Be extra careful crossing the thresholds as they may require a higher step.
  • Cruise ship railings are 48” high. You can’t accidentally fall over with a railing that height unless you really try. Never sit on the side rails of the ship and don’t hold anyone, including children, up there either.
  • Cruise ships have cameras everywhere. Unless you are inside the cabin you are probably being filmed. So be good.
Excerpt from Cruising with Confidence, 2nd Edition.

Seeing a view like this is worth the small risk.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Friday 15

“You sell off the kingdom piece by piece and trade it for a horse that will take you anywhere.” 
― Colin Wright, My Exile Lifestyle

Maybe that should be my eBay mantra. Sell off my junk and use it to buy my way onto a cruise ship. Maybe.

  • eBay did well this week with five things sent off.
  • Kiddo and I went through our duplicate pictures from the last 30 years. Shredded several hundred photos.
  • I went through more fabrics and decided to discard the smaller boards I used to wrap the fabric. 100 boards are going away.
  • A metal zipper, six plastic Easter eggs, and a leftover tutorial project are leaving.
Technically that's more than 15. Yay!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about the Blue Lagoon in Reykjavik, Iceland.

I'm not sure how our new black suitcase with colorful tape wrapped around the handle and the loud luggage tag could be mistaken for someone else's, but it was. They had our winter clothes with them and we didn't. And it was cold in Iceland during our Thanksgiving break.

At least it happened after our visit to the Blue Lagoon. Actually, technically it happened during our visit to the Blue Lagoon. A transfer from the airport to our hotel in Reykjavik included a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon. Very warm blue-looking geothermal pools were a super-nice way to get warmed up and relax after our long Idaho-to-Iceland flights. Many airport-to-Reykjavik city transfers add the Blue Lagoon so the place is prepared for tourists. They even have a baggage check right where the bus pulls up to drop you off.

We had read ahead of time that you are required to shower before entering the pools. Showering naked, that is. Nope, no swimsuits allowed during the shower. There are attendants in the locker rooms monitoring the showering. And monitoring that you are really dried off before stepping back to the locker room. Interesting.

But the water in the pools, oh my! Warm, bordering on hot. Full of minerals. Want super-soft silky skin? Try using some of the pots of silica found in the lagoon. Rub some of it on your face and body and you'll come away with skin feeling soft as a baby's bum.

The Blue Lagoon is one of those places that pictures where the pictures just don't do justice to the beauty of the place.
Such a relaxing day.

The relaxation ended when we went to pick up our luggage before catching the shuttle to our hotel. The luggage that had been taken by someone else. An extensive search of the luggage storage area came up empty. So off to the hotel with nothing but the clothes on our back. Let's call that an adventure.