Friday, April 27, 2018

The Friday 15 - The New Books are Here!

An exciting Friday 15 today! Well, at least for two of the 15.

2 BOOKS ARE DONE!!!

Done and published. (Ebook published, that is.) So exciting! I decided to split the one book into two which actually works out better for the readers (and crafters) because now I can price them at only 99 cents each!

If you do pick one up and try out the crafts, let me know how it goes. It's my first attempt at writing directions for projects so I'd love your feedback and suggestions. And if you like the books and have some time, please leave a kind review on Amazon HERE

Now for the boring other Friday 15 items...the other 13 came from cleaning out kitchen cabinets this morning. Plastic knives and straws and napkins and cutlery and a leftover Christmas bucket and a little random container.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Top 5 Things to do in Sisters, Oregon

It's Wanderlust Wednesday! Today we're talking about what to do in Sisters, Oregon.


In the 1880s Sisters was a supply station for sheep men passing through to pastures in the high Cascades in the summer. In the 1930s, the timber industry boomed and Sisters had several sawmills in or near town. By 1963 the last sawmill closed and the population declined. 

Fortunately, tourist-related travel increased and Sisters became known as the Gateway to the Cascades. Now Sisters is a tourist destination. Winter has nearby skiing and summer has things like the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Held since 1975, the quilt show brings people from all over. 12,000+ on quilt show day!
In no particular order, here are my top five things to do in Sisters, Oregon.

1. Stop by the Stitchin' Post, Sisters' magnificent quilt shop. Pick up some fabric, patterns, or buy tickets for the quilt show raffle.
2. Eat healthy and search out that vegan bakery. Our choice is Angeline's Bakery & Cafe. We don't go for the bakery items, but for the fresh juice. Beet based and kale based are both yummy. (What kind of freaks search out a vegan bakery for juice - and love it?)

3. Check out the llamas. Stay at the Best Western Ponderosa Lodge and you'll find llamas in the corral right there.
You'll also find Canadian Geese and squirrels sharing breakfast.
And deer are roaming right there, too.
4. Check out the Three Sisters, the potentially active volcanoes in central Oregon. An old story suggests that the mountains were originally named Faith, Hope, and Charity in the 1840's by members of a Methodist missions. The Three Sisters mountains are a popular location for hiking, climbing, and camping.

But right now they are best viewed by me through my camera lens on a spectacularly beautiful morning. And they are best viewed with Canadian Geese flying by.

5. Eat unhealthy. Every time we come to Sisters I stop at the same place and have the same dessert. 
If you ever stop in Sisters, you have to go to The Gallery Restaurant and have a piece of their marionberry pie. Best pie in the world. Or at least in the United States. (Remember, I've been to all 50 states so I know what I'm talking about.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - Luggage Handle Wrap

"I always have a suitcase ready to go. My wife and I are both very much like this. We're both vagabonds, and we have been since the time we were married."
~Kevin Bacon

I get that. We have a container of things in the closet, just ready to go. Who knows where and who knows when, but when the feeling strikes we just pick up and go.

And now we pick up and go with a new luggage handle wrap.



Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 

In addition to the standard supplies, for this project you will need:
  • 6” x 7” fabric, cut 2
  • 6” x 7” piece of batting
  • 5” piece of Velcro® 

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, April 22, 2018

Sunday Sew-In

Since it's a Sunday Sew-In and I get lots of questions about what’s in my sewing room, I decided to give you a look at some of the ways I've organized my supplies. I move furniture and reorganize a lot so my set-up changes a lot.

I love how my fabric looks in these wooden ClosetMaid stackable units.

More fabric in more wooden ClosetMaid stackable units.

Even more fabric in some Martha Stewart china hutches.

Smaller objects organized in plastic storage drawers

Buttons get their own plastic storage

Thread and other sewing supplies organized in other plastic storage drawer units.

And some other general things:
My sewing machine is in the corner by the window. The table is really a door from the closet. My ironing board is to the right of the machine and is made from a piece of plywood covered with cotton batting and fabric. Yeah, my bulletin board needs some cleaning up.

On another wall of the room is one of the closets with no doors (because they are the sewing table). I keep patterns in the drawers, lace and binding and rick rack in ArtBin plastic storage containers and yarn up above, and have my 30 yard roll of cotton batting hanging on the closet rod above the Ikea dresser I got off Craigslist.

Like I said, the set-up changes a lot. Who know what next year will look like?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Cruise Ship Dining


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

You will most likely not go hungry on a cruise ship. Many choices for meals and snacks can be found any time of day and night. Some lines charge for room service but otherwise most dining choices, other than specialty dining, are included in the price of the cruise.

The multiple options provide different levels of dining experiences.

If you want casual, the buffet is a good choice. There are also additional á la carte eateries onboard.
Free pastries at breakfast. Yum.
Free pizza. Double yum!
If you want to be pampered, the traditional dining room is a good choice. If you haven’t experienced dining with a multi-course meal in an upscale restaurant a cruise ship is the place to do it.
Pheasant, anyone? It's free.

Or perhaps escargot? Yep, free.
If you want to be pampered more, try specialty dining.
Now that's what you call a steak. Yay for specialty dining.

If you want to eat in your cabin, use room service. You can also pick up something from the buffet or an á la carte eatery and bring it back to your cabin. That way you won't miss the sunset for sure.
Sunsets at sea are spectacular, especially in the Caribbean and Hawaii.
If you're ready to try out a Princess cruise, contact me. I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday 15

An easy one.
Four items sold on eBay. I've just about run out of things to sell so I'm shutting it down until summer.

Lots of sewing room clean out, though:
Four skeins of yarn
One bag of chalkboard hearts
One box of chalk
One mini whiteboard stand
One X-Acto knife set
One mesh laundry bag
One stack of about 100 comic book boards (from my fabric wrapping)
One Hawaiian shirt (I was going to use it as a pattern for a shirt for hubby but decided not to)
An easy peasy 15.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Top 5 Things to do in Curacao

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


1. Walk across the pontoon bridge. The Queen Emma Bridge, nicknamed the "Swinging Old Lady", has 16 pontoons keeping it afloat. When boat traffic needs to use the waterway - which occurs pretty darn frequently - motors move the bridge parallel to shore. It's hard to explain how it exactly works, (I had to see it in person to really understand) so take a look at it in action here:
2. Visit the floating market. With Venezuela being some 50 miles away, Venezuelans come over in boats to sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. Stalls are as varied as the languages spoken. Recently the Venezuelan president closed their borders so the market was shut down. The border is currently open, but as with anything political, conditions may change.

3. Eat, drink, and be merry. Curacao is a Dutch Caribbean island and Venezuela is close so the cuisine is diverse.

You might have a Dutch frikandel, a deep fried sausage sandwich.

Or try a Dutch kroket sandwich, a tasty meat and potato croquette.

Or shredded meat Venezuelan Arepitas.

Maybe a nice rum drink?

Can't forget something made with Blue Curacao!

The menu for the restaurant can be found here. Not the greatest service but it was a perfect location on the waterfront. See those white canopies across the water? That's the restaurant's seating.
4. Snorkel over a submerged tugboat. After an anchor was dropped through its deck, the tugboat sunk a few yards off shore. Since it's sitting just 15 feet below the surface, snorkelers will get a good look at it. But it's the fish swimming in and out and around the tugboat that steal the show. And if you swim a bit away from the tug you will find a reef - and a drop off. There you will find even more colorful fish and sea creatures.

5. Add a lock to the Love Locks heart sculpture. It was inspired by the Pont des Arts love locks bridge in Paris, of course.
Curacao at night might be even more spectacular.

Ready to try out a Princess cruise for yourself? Contact me! I'm a Princess Commodore, the highest level of Princess Cruises expert there is in the travel agent world. Let me help you put together a cruise suited just for you!

Iguana Cafe, Willemstad, Curacao Menu








Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tutorial Tuesday - Sew a Passport Holder

"But personally I think everyone should have a valid passport."
-Deb Pfeifer, Cruising with Confidence: How to be a First Time Cruiser without Looking like One, Second Edition 

I'm not sure why it took us so long to finally get a passport, but I'm glad we did. At this point I couldn't ever imagine going back to not having one. I want to be able to pick up and go anywhere in the world anytime I want. Not that I do that, but I want the option.

So for those who do have a passport - or those who don't (go get one, now!) - here are a couple quick and easy projects for them.



In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for the single passport cover you will need:
  • 6” x 11” main fabric
  • 6” x 11” lining fabric
  • 5 ¾” x 10 ¾” fusible fleece 
  • Passport

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 


In addition to the standard sewing supplies, for the family passport wallet you will need:
  • 9 ½” x 10 ½” main fabric
  • 9 ½” x 10 ½” lining fabric
  • 8 ½” x 9 ½” fabric for pockets, cut 3
  • 9 ½” x 10 ½” interfacing, cut 2
  • Button
  • Hair tie or piece of elastic

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!