"Cozy" Little Projects

Over the past several weeks I have gotten the most wonderful packages in the mail!! Once a week I open my mailbox to find a coffee cozy has been embroidered and delivered to my mailbox. It is totally cool how they keep showing up.

 Those of you who know me may be aware that I have a little bit of a coffee thing.  I'll admit I love the stuff.  And truly, I couldn't get through the day without at least 3 cups of the stuff.  Okay 4 cups.  In the past I have been as high as 2 pots a day, but I've cut WAY back and only make one pot these days.  Still it isn't often that I pass by an opportunity to head to starbucks.

With my last cozy I also got these.. Patterns!  Knit patterns, sewn patterns and even crochet patterns (not that I crochet much, but I could, and with coffee as an incentive.  Who knows?) Who knew there were so many of these floating around in cyberland! These are certainly headed to the top of my teacher gift list and quite possibly to the top of my 'to-do' list.


The plan, the project and the puppy

I have a drooler.  She is part boxer part shar-pei.  We love her to death but she makes the biggest mess when she takes a drink. I have tried place-mats, dogie water absorbent food mats and finally resorted to rags.  Now rags work the best, they can be washed daily or as needed but they look, well.. bad.  No one really wants to walk into my kitchen and gaze at my husbands dirty, old t-shirt lying under the dogie bowls, no matter how functional they may be. Couple that with the fact that the dogie water absorbent mats while functional, cannot be changed out daily at $10-$40 a piece no matter how much I love my puppy.

 Thus the plan...design and sew up. A functional, yet cute, water absorbent food mat.  I sketched out a couple of ideas and this is what I came up with..

The Puppy Food Mat

32- 2.5 in x 2.5 in scrap squares.
2  strips of fabric 2.5 in by 16 inch
2 strips of fabric 4.5 in by 13 inch
an old terry cloth towel or piece of terry cloth 15 in x 26 in
3 length of fabric strips 2.5 inches wide for binding.

Arrange your 32-- 2.5 in X 2.5 in squares in a configuration as shown below:

Sew together and press seams open. Pressing seams open makes it easier to quilt. Sew 2.5 in X 16 in fabric along long side of patchwork. press seams.  Sew 4.5in X 13 in pieces along short side of patchwork.  press seams.

Next pin quilt top to slightly larger piece of terry cloth or towel.  I used pins to baste the 2 pieces together.

Quilt as desired, using walking foot attachment. I quilted along the seams of the patchwork.

Trim patchwork quilt to shape desired.  The first quilt I trimmed into an oval using the side of a pizza pan as my guide for rounding the corners.  The second quilt I trimmed to look like a dog bone.  (more on that later).  Once you have the shape you want bind as you would any quilt.  I used cross grain strips for my binding and in hindsight I think bias binding would have been easier to use.  Then again it is for a dog.  
Isn't she patient. 

Now you have a mat, used up some scraps, re-purposed an old towel and when your mat gets wet or dirty you can just throw it in the wash!  How cool is that.  I think a few of these would make great gifts for a friend who just got a new puppy. just sayin'


I had a dream...

Last night I had a dream.  A very disturbing dream.  I dreamt that I was working in a hospital.  In the ICU.  That was not the disturbing part.

You see, in my past life, I was a nurse who worked in ICU.  During the course of my life I had children, mind you I had help.  When the children came I quit working as a nurse at the hospital and started my new life as a nurse at home.  During this time period I put my nursing license on inactive status, with the possibility that "some day" I would go back to work.  I have thought about it quite a bit in the last 5 year.  What is holding me back?  Well, after being inactive for 15 years they kind of make you go back to school to refresh your skills.  In the hospital you are in fact dealing with living people, people who would prefer to stay that way and technology has advanced significantly since the 1990's.  Since there are no re-certification programs here I would have to travel to find a school.  Since my DH already travels quite a bit, coordinating such a program would be more than a bit challenging, not to mention transferring my license from one state to the next is a challenge all it's own.  So I've put it off.

In this dream I was back in the hospital working towards re-activating my license.  I had a preceptor who was following me and showing me the ropes. I also was being evaluated by the head nurse and the director of nursing who always seemed to be following me.  All of this, while perhaps a tad paranoid, seemed reasonable to me.  Funny how in dreams "reasonable" is taken to a whole new level.

The disturbing part of this dream was that I had 5 loads of dirty laundry which I was trying to do at the same time.  Not only was I trying to do the laundry at the hospital, but I was trying to do it without anyone finding out.  I was traveling the elevators 5 floors down to the basement to use the industrial washers and dryers, caring a laundry basket full of dirty clothes trying to look inconspicuous. This required  hourly trips up and down the elevators, of course this was shortly after doing hourly vitals on my patients (of course!)

Not only was I doing the laundry but somehow in this twisted bizarre world of mine I had an vacant patient room where I was hiding the clean laundry.  Then  I would sneak off and fold, because I didn't want the laundry to wrinkle. (how weird is that? I don't ever worry about that now.)  That was the plan...until it was announced that I was to get an admission!  Now I had to find a new hiding place!

The entire dream people kept complementing me on how "organized" and "efficient" I was.  (if they only knew). I awoke covered in sweat, wondering if the dryer was done. Sometime later while drinking my 3rd cup o'joe my daughter said, 'MOM!  I don't have any clean shorts.  I did you do laundry last night?'


a plan

Do you have a box, bin or drawer where you keep your scrap fabric?  If you are like me you probably have many. 

 This is one of my scrap drawers. I holds all of my strips of fabric.  Many of them are 2.5 inch wide strips but there are various fabric strips of various sizes.  As you can tell it is overflowing with possibilities.

This week I dove into the drawer and pulled out a few neutral strips. I added a couple of teal strips sewed the strips into pairs.  Once the seams were pressed, I cut up the strips into 2.5 in X 4.5 in pairs.

I have a little plan for these matched pairs that involves a towel and a dog... cannot wait to share with you.


Great American Game

Last weekend Grandma and I took the kidos to the ballpark.  It took some time to recall but the last time we saw a game was in 2002!  It was then that we took the oldest to his first game, he was five and a half!  We were down at old Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, just a year before they tore it down.  I remember this because they were letting the kids run the bases before they tore it down.  OH! How times have changed!  

Our seats were quite high but the kids could have cared less.  The first two innings were touch and go and I wasn't sure if E was going to last! She entertained herself with the binoculars for a while, then the vendors started!   That kept her busy. Boy there is nothing like ballpark food!  Why do hot dogs always taste better there?

They stuffed their faces with it all!  We had hot dogs, bratts, peanuts, cotton candy, pizza, soft pretzels and nachos!  Yummy.  

We waddled out of there with a win! Go Reds!  This fortunate event entitled us to yet another Cincinnati favorite... LaRosa's Pizza! All in all a great day and a wonderful memory, even if it came with a little heartburn.