Monday, November 30, 2015

Bored in Okeechobee

It might not be the fault of the little town we're in, it probably has a lot to do with this lingering cough and fatigue that we're both experiencing.

We generally go to a lot of movies and between Thanksgiving and Christmas there are always a lot of new releases.  At our big movie house here we get one new release a week.

They run three movies at the same time, pretty amazing, huh?  I've never seen more than six people getting tickets at a time, so not sure why the gates for crowd control are necessary.

You must go to the correct window to buy a ticket for that show.  There are only two windows, so the second window handles the two movies at once.  Actually, inside the ticket office is a young girl on an office chair with wheels who just pushes back and forth between the two windows, so I'm not sure why it makes a difference.

Actually, now I do know why.  The concession stand is in the center and there is no way to get to the other side once you've entered.  

It is not possible to find out movie times by checking online as they don't have a website or participate with any of the ticket sites.

That being said, I guess the handmade signs announcing the movies and their times shouldn't surprise me.

It's a far cry from our favorite theater in Andover MN with the red leather recliners and cup holders that are large enough to actually hold the beverage.

Long Live the Disgruntled and Bored Queen

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hoping that today is one filled with gratitude for all the blessings that have been received.

Happy Thanksgiving

Long Live the Queen

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why I've been missing lately

I do try to get online at least every other day and have been very lax...and it's all Left Brain's fault.  He came down with a humdinger of a cold about ten days ago and I thought I had managed to avoid it, but got me.

Then I felt smug when I thought I had shaken it off in 24 hours.  YES!  I'm so much more efficient.  Just did a little praying at the throne of the porcelain g-d and then sleptfor almost 12 hours straight.  I felt great when I woke up.

The next day I wondered what had happened to me, did anyone get the license of the truck that ran me over?  It has been lingering on to the point I think I'm taking more naps than George is.

Today I finally attempted a little pickleball, which was akin to having an out of body experience.  Apparently my playing is more reflex than skill and I played okay, but still made some really boner mistakes.

Inspiration hit me as I returned home; I would grab my swimsuit and towel and go to the pool area for a nice long soak in the hot tub.  Yeah...that's the ticket!

I arrived at the pool, the only person in sight...this was good.  The building I assumed was the bathhouse and changing room was in reality the Owners Private Lounge.  Well....excuuuuuse me! Oh well, I can go change in the clubhouse where the commoners go. 

So off I trod into the communal bathrooms to change into my suit.  There are no showers here, so I felt  a bit guilty since I was sweaty from pickleball...or from a fever...who knows.  But, if they weren't so snooty I would have showered and this being sick has my mood in a dark place, so screw it.

They always hide the buttons to the spa in the strangest places, but it looked like it might be back in that corner by the flowers and some kind of sign.  The sign had flipped backwards in the wind and when I got it turned over it said "out of order, sorry for any inconvenience".  

Oh bummer.  But, it's the heat I really need.  I could do without the bubbles if I had to.  So valiantly I strode towards the spa, awaiting the relief my achy body so desperately needed.

OMG!  The water was ice cold!  Not the therapy I was looking for, although it would have felt good that first night when I fluctuated between freezing and roasting.

My mood darkened even further as now I'm in my swimsuit and it's cold and windy with a hint of rain in the air.  So I huffed out of there and hopped back on my bike and pedaled a fast retreat home to my own hot shower.

I no sooner got in the RV than the heaven's burst open and the rain came pouring down.  Poor Left Brain...he was still out on his bike.

After a nice long hot shower to get warmed up and clean, I spent the afternoon reading while I sniffled and coughed.  This being sick is getting old and I'm afraid it will linger on for quite a while since he's had it for so long.  So if you don't hear from me for a'll know why.

Long Live the Sniffly Queen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Making a fast and easy table runner using a border print

I enjoy this pattern so much, I just had to share it.  It provides for a runner the length of your liking and at least one center piece.

You start with a border print of your liking and cut two identical strips.  The longer the piece you are working with,the longer the runner will be. Place both strips facing each other so they are a mirror image of one another.

Trim one end to make a straight line and remove the selvages.

Then, using a 60 degree triangle ruler about 1/4" inch in and make your first cut, which will be a half triangle.  Set this aside.  

Continue cutting and make two triangles, each set will be different, but that's will even out when we get to the other side.

Trim the other end and do the same procedure.  You should now have eight triangles, four half triangles and a remaining piece that looks like this.  The only important part of this is to make sure the top is narrower than the bottom.

Open up the center pieces and align the triangles as shown below.

You will attach one triangle to each side first.

Then stitch the whole thing down the middle to complete it.

Now, for those left over pieces.  Arrange two triangles on the top and two on the bottom.  The half triangles will be on the right and left sides to balance things out.  If you had additional triangles to work with you can just use six triangles to get the same effect.  This is just to make use of the odd cuts at the beginning of the row.

Stitch the half triangles to the full triangles first, then the top portion and the bottom portion.  

You will end up stitching the two halves across the center.  Don't worry if the center is a little bit wonky, as mine turned out here.  It's always the center area that holds the candle, bowl, or what not anyway.

This goes together so quick and is one of the simplest runners I've ever made.  The only concern is matching up the lines, so I try to find a forgiving fabric like this one to work with.

Long Live the Runner Queen

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Houdini strikes again

The tent tunnel requires a clip for security because Gracie "Houdini" will unzip it and run around the campground, sometimes pulling her brother into her life of crime.

She looks so sweet when she's sleeping, but I'm betting she's dreaming up new ways to escape.

Since I thought we had this problem fixed, this is how our conversation went the other day:

Queen:  Oh look, the neighbors have a cat that looks just like Gracie!

Left Brain:  Ah...actually...that is Gracie.

She'd done it again and was gleefully romping about next door.

After coaxing her back home,  we devised a better plan for securing the tunnel.

I connected a metal hook thing to the zipper with a zip tie and then used it to secure the plastic clip.  Once the clip is pulled over to the left it securely keeps both kitties safe inside, or so we thought until witnessing her working at it again.  So, now a bigger heavy-duty clamp has been added to the zipper on the right as well.

Hopefully this will prove to the winner.

Long Live the Queen of Cat Control

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Short sheeting the bed

Nope, this is not a prank I've pulled on least not recently.  This is something I did to myself...let me explain.

Left Brain and I were wandering the aisles of Camping World the other day since we had a coupon for $10 to use up.  Going into Camping World for an RV'er is like a crack addict meeting their seller in a back alley, except we might actually spend more cash than they do.

I found a couple of small items to use up the coupon and then noticed something in the bedding aisle that really got my mind spinning.  Short Queen sheets sets.  Say that five times real fast!

I'm the Queen and I'm short...this would be perfect!  We don't really need any more sheets to store, but it did get me thinking of how Left Brain always pulls the corners of the sheets off his side of the bed. 

Sheets today are made for these hugely thick mattresses that are so popular today and we have a normal thin mattress that is undersized to fit into an RV.  Nothing in an RV is standard sized...that's how they make their money selling oddball things to us.

Then the lightbulb over my head went on and I realized I could stitch up the corners of my existing sheets and make them tighter.  Ta Da!

So, using the money I saved on this little venture I indulged in the hot pink "Queen of the RV" shirt.  I don't normally wear's just too girly for an old tomboy like myself.  But if those big tough looking football players can wear pink things for the month of October, I guess I can also. 

Long Live the Queen of Clever RV Fixes

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crocheted button flowers

I need to make a correction to yesterday's post...apparently the triangle frenzy swirl pattern IS rocket science.  I was honored to have a post from Bunnie Cleland, the artist who designed the pattern and learned that she was actually a nuclear engineer!  What an honor to hear from the creator of this marvel!

I needed to take a break from the quilting for a while and try my hand at these.  It was a post on Facebook that introduced me to this concept.

After watching the video and hitting pause a great deal and referring to my cheat sheets on crochet stitches, I finally managed to create two of them.

The one on the left was my first try using some left over variegated yarn.  I goofed up and somehow got six petals.  The yellow one shows I've mastered the technique.

I showed them to Left Brain and got that bland smile that husband's give you when they're thinking "what in blazes is that and what does she want me to say?"

I put him out of his misery and just said "cat toy" and could see the relief ease across his face.

Long Live the Queen of Crafts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finishing up a bunch of quilting projects

I really have been going nuts with my quilting lately...must be the 90 degree days with 100% humidity that's keeping me indoors.

I've been trying out several new patterns that I've picked up here and there and have absolutely no idea what I'll be doing with them all.  Hopefully when we are settled in somewhere there will be a craft fair in the park and I can rent a table and sell some of them...just to buy more fabric and start all over again.

As my artist friends can doesn't matter what happens to my creations...I just have to make them.

This octagon quilt is done using a diamond shape and I opted for fall colors for this project.

Close up to show the flanged binding

I'd been wanting to try this flying geese one for a long time and it ended up being brown and white since I have a lot of these colors in the RV.

I flipped it here to show you the reverse side has birds...not geese....but at least it's got birds.

Close up to show that flanged binding again - love this technique

These long table runners are so fast and easy I couldn't seem to stop myself and before I knew it I was digging out ever left over scrap I had to make "just one more".  The reverse of this one is that same silverware fabric.  I have this one stretched out to show how long they are.  In the other photos, I'll have them folded to show the design and the backing at the same time.

I had left over fabric from my grand dog's scarves, so that led to this Viking theme...which I'll be giving to the family since we are Packer fans.  My daughter loves batiks, so I did the back of this in a fabric I knew she'd enjoy.

These snowmen are also left overs from the scarf project.  I backed them with a fall colored fabric to make them more versatile.

This springy garden fabric will be nice when that season rolls around again.  The design is very muted and shows watering cans and garden tools, although it doesn't show up well in the photo. I opted to use up coordinating strips from a jelly roll for the backing. 

No...not that kind of jelly roll.  For you non quilters out there I'll explain.  You can purchase many variations of precut fabrics and they are named "jelly rolls"  "cake layers" and "honey buns", etc.  Hmmm, it seems quilters do enjoy their sweets, doesn't it?

Nope...nothing addictive about these at all...I can quit any time I want to.   Yeah, right.  Perhaps there's a twelve step project...I mean program ....just waiting for me.

Long Live the Queen of Quilts

Monday, November 16, 2015

Playing with the 60 degree ruler some more

I was just itching to sew more with my new toy, but alas...this is a small town and has no fabric shops.  So, off we went to Port St Lucie, an hour away and on the Atlantic coast.

We went this direction to the store and another on the way back.  The first was much more enchanting than the other, although much slower.

I found some patriotic theme fabric on sale and even though it's not my favorite, it was a good choice to start on.

The repeats were not large, so I managed to get several projects out of my one yard of red , white and blue stripes.  The following images are projects that are sewn, but not yet quilted, so they look a bit ripply.  All the projects came from the fabric seen above.

This was my first project:

Then I tried this version (I think this is my favorite):

Here's one I learned from another tutorial online:

This was using up all the left over scraps into one smaller table topper:

Hurray for the red, white and I feel confident enough to start cutting up the fabric I really like for some more of these projects.

Long Live the Patriotic Queen

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Triangle Frenzy swirl pattern

I spotted this pattern at a quilt shop in Apopka FL and knew I just had to have it.  Since I couldn't find the correct ruler I ordered it online so I could make whatever size I desired.

It looks very complicated but it's simply a series of 60 degree triangles.  There were other variations on this theme shown on the back, so instead of purchasing the additional patterns I figured I'd just work it out myself....this isn't rocket science.

My first attempt was using the only somewhat "striped" fabric I had, which really wasn't well suited for the project, but I just had to jump right in and try my hand at it.

This is the result of that first attempt before it was quilted.

Then I found a tutorial on the Missouri Star Quilt website (my favorite source for learning something new) and discovered how to add a small flange to the binding that looks like narrow piping has been added.

The advantage to this is it allows you to machine sew the binding in place very easily and I love the effect it creates, setting off the project.

This is the small runner after attaching the binding in this method.

This is the reverse side...fell in love with this funky silverware.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have more sewing to do!

Long Live the Queen of Quilting

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Good Fences Thursday

We have many fences here in our RV park.  The first one is when you are entering the main gate, which opens up to a lovely pond and fountains.

Then there is the fence that separates our park from the cattle grazing next door.  It seems we're always near cattle, which I enjoy.  Apparently these egrets like being near them also.

Then, of course, are the fences surrounding the pickleball courts that keep our balls from flying out of the area...usually.

Long Live the Queen of Good Fences

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Silver Palms RV Resort

We are settled in for one month at the Silver Palms RV Resort in Okeechobee.   Aaaaah...this is the difference between a campground and an RV resort.

You enter through a locked gate with our gate card, knowing we are secure and behind a locked fence is very comforting.

There are so many lovely ponds here, as well as a natural preserve right behind us.

The lots are huge and although ours is pretty plain, there's still an abundance of grass and an oversized brick patio for us to enjoy.

Some of the other lots have these cute little thatched huts for shade and many people have added little storage sheds as well, and landscaping.

There are ten pickleball courts here, but I'm learning that it's too early to expect a lot of people playing.  Many wait until after Thanksgiving to come down for the winter.

The clubhouse has a fitness center, a billiards room, library, and open multipurpose room for the many classes they offer such as line dancing, zumba, yoga and the like.

There are park models to be purchased as well and I'm thinking I want to take a look at their model homes just to get some education on sizes and prices so when we're ready to buy somewhere we'll know a bargain when we see it.

However, I don't think we'd consider settling in Florida.  The heat and humidity are pretty oppressive.  In fact, this may be our last year coming this direction as the southwest keeps calling our name.

This is the view from my table each evening

Long Live the Queen of RV Resort Living