Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Good the Bad, the Ugly, and some Prettiness

Yes, I know it's been ages since my last post. Well things have been as my blog post implies:  Good, Bad, Ugly, and some Prettiness.  (Warning: this is a l-o-n-g and picture heavy post)
Let's start with the Good!  From June 2-6 (just two days after school got out) I had the opportunity to chaperon a small group of choir kids to New York City. We joined up with several other choirs from across the States to rehearse and perform Mozart's "Requiem" at the Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center.  It was an amazing trip and to be able to perform at Lincoln Center = unreal!

I took well over 200 pictures, but I'll spare you all of those and give you an abbreviated version. It was amazing at how much we fit into 4 1/2 days.
Day 1:  Left home at 2:00 a.m. to head to the airport and then it was off to New York City.
New York City Skyline from the Airplane

We stayed in the Hyatt Hotel on 42nd St. right next to Grand Central Station and kitty-corner from the Chrysler Building.  In fact, as we had our choir rehearsals in the ballroom of the Hyatt, one could sit and admire the architecture of the building (when not singing of course!)
Chrysler Building

After unloading our luggage, it was off to Chinatown and Little Italy for some serious shopping! Back to the hotel, supper, and then to the Empire State building to see the city lights come on.
NYC at dusk
Day 2:  4 hour choir rehearsal in the morning and then an afternoon outing to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Even found a relative that had passed through Ellis's Immigration!
Statue of Liberty
Ellis Island
Back to the hotel to freshen up and then it was off to experience the atmosphere of Times Square at night.  Being the music geek I am, I had to get a photo of the Broadway Posters :)
Times Square
Day 3: Bus and walking tour around the city. Highlights were: United Nations Building, St. John's Cathedral, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Hall, The Apollo Theater, and more! Back to the hotel for another 4 hour rehearsal, and the evening found us back in Times Square to see the Broadway production of "Phantom of the Opera" = amazing!
Rockefeller Center
Day 4: Morning walking tour. Highlights were: Brooklyn Bridge, St. Paul Chapel, Essex Cafe, 911 Memorial, Freedom Tour, Woolworth Building, Wall Street and more! Back to the hotel to put our performance finery on and head to Lincoln Center for dress rehearsal and performance.  Still unbelievable!! :) Once the performance was over we were bused to the harbor for a midnight cruise. Beautiful!
One of the 911 Memorial Pools. Words can not quite describe.... 
The new Freedom Tour under construction
Walking up to Brooklyn Bridge
Backside of Wall Street Bull :)
Our little group outside Lincoln Center
The Statue of Liberty at night
Day 5:  Our last morning in New York several of us ladies headed to Macy's only to discover that they didn't open until 10:00 a.m. We found several other stores to keep us occupied and then had just enough time to ride up and down 2 sets of escalators in Macy's before we had to head back to the hotel.  At least I can say I have been in the store! Once back to the hotel it was time to finalize packing, load the bus, and head to the airport.  Again, it was a wonderful trip!  I wouldn't want to live in New York City.  I am a small town girl through and through and I like my wide open spaces, but that doesn't mean I don't want to go back and visit. :)

Now for the Bad.  Before I left for New York my lawn mower broke down, and my car needed some work done. No big deal, I'll deal with that when I get home.  Well, I got home, and my refrigerator and garage door opener both decided to go ka-flooey! Really? All at once??  Yup!  Oh, and did I mention I was to call in for jury duty as well?  Due to the craziness that ensued when I got home, the one and only time I forgot to call in for jury duty, was the only time that I was called in.  Yeah, the powers that be aren't too happy when you don't show up. 

Anyway, I do have a new refrigerator, the lawn mower is fixed, the car still has to go back in for more work but at least they think they know what the problem is, and the garage door needs a second look-see. Some improvement is better than none.

The Ugly.  Amidst all the other Bad, my wonderful MammaBear was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It seems that no one is immune from the cancer diagnosis these days, but it is not to happen to the ones you love - especially when it's your MammaBear! Her surgery is this coming Thursday and then we will know if more treatment is involved.  Mom is an incredibly strong woman and from what we know now, the prognosis is good, but to say that this has been a scary and stressful time is a bit of an understatement!  Your prayers or good thoughts would be welcomed and appreciated if you feel so moved.  Any and all "Divine Intervention" is a good thing :)

Now on to the Pretty.  It has literally been since my last post that I have sat behind my sewing machine.  I wanted to make something that would not tax the brain too much, but provide a little "immediate gratification".  I needed a new bag to haul my piano music around (I wore out the old one) so a bag it was! Easy-peasy and, as it is reversible, was fun going through my stash of music fabric - in fact it has hard narrowing it down to which ones to use.  Here is the final result:
And thanks to my MammaBear who bought the new Sashay yarn by Red Heart and started knitting herself a scarf, I just HAD to make one too :)  Again, easy-peasy and instant gratification. So much so I've started another one...  
Mom's scarf that started it all!
My 1st Sashay Scarf
My 2nd Sashay Scarf
Well, if you've made it to the bottom of this post, you deserve a great big hug!  Thanks for staying with me :)

I'd like to say that I will be a better blogger, but past practice shows that doesn't seem likely.  Who knows, maybe I'll surprise us all!

Take Care, and do bop in from time to time - Elizabeth :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Christmas on Good Friday

I started a Christmas tree skirt about 4 years ago and this past November/December, I pulled it out determined to get it done. But, as it sat "seasoning", several of the pattern pieces went missing! I could have sworn that they had all been cut and were ready to go, but alas - no where to be found!

So, what to do? I thought I had enough fabric to re-cut pieces, so off to the stores I went to hunt down another pattern.  Just to let you know, that particular Simplicity pattern is no longer in publication.

Several ladies I sew with suggested tracing already finished pieces to make templates, etc.....but really, how fun is that. In discouragement, I put it aside. 

But, I KNEW that I had to have those pieces SOMEWHERE, so at the start of my Christmas break I did a little digging, and sure enough, they had fallen off of their designated pile onto the floor and behind several fabric bins. 

I was able to finish the 4 remaining pinwheel blocks during my vacation, and then when school started back up, my sewing mojo went on hiatus. (this is the first time I have touched my sewing machine since then!)

Well, ladies and gents, here it is!
Christmas tree skirt - prior to adding fusible batting.
sorry for the blurry picture, took with my phone's camera
The one half has been sewn together and the fusible batting fused on. I had to cut the batting and do all of the ironing on the floor, 'cause this thing is huge!

Here's a closer look at the fabrics - ignore the wrinkles please! Note, this picture was taken 12/15/08!!
I'd like to think that I will actually finish this before Christmas of 2012, but we shall see. Just happy I got this far!

Well, thanks for stopping by!

Do come again, even if I have turned into a terrible blogger and rarely post anything anymore!

Have a Blessed Easter, and Take Care - Elizabeth

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Toy

A Knook!
To put it simply, it's a crochet hook with a hole at the end of the handle.  You run a long chord through that hole and then knit using the hook end. There are "how-to" videos at www.leisurearts.com if you're interested in seeing how it works.  (I didn't check out the videos until this morning - probably would have taken care of some mild frustration if I had watched them first!)  Overall, pretty simple and fun to do......otherwise I wouldn't do it!

I can't say if I like "knitting" this way better than the traditional way quite yet.  It's just fun to play with something new every now and then. :)

Take care, thanks for stopping, and please feel free to come again! - Elizabeth

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Forever and a Day!

Greetings to those of you who still bother to check in on me now and then!
I apologize for being such a rotten blogger as of late.  There are no real excuses as to my absence- just life I guess.

I started a new teaching position in August and things have thankfully gone well :)  I have grades K-5 general music, 6th grade choir/general music, 7th/8th grade choir, and a 9-12 choir.  So, I'm busy, but it has been a manageable busy.  For that, I'm extremely thankful.

Unfortunately I have not done as much sewing, crafting as I would like. I did get a purse and table runner done for Christmas gifts but of course did not get pictures taken.

There are a group of ladies that meet every Thursday night in town to crochet/knit and are aptly called the "Knit-Wits". I don't make it every week, but when I do go, I work on an afghan I started in November of 2008 (if the date stamp was correct on my camera). Here's the last picture I have:
December 15, 2008

January 22, 2012
Almost sad that it has taken me 4 years to add approx. 18 rows! I didn't realize how wide I had made this afghan until I took this last picture.....it spans the width of a queen size bed nicely.  No wonder it takes me forever to get one row done! I'd like to make it long enough so that it can tuck under the feet and chin - I'm 6'2"......so, maybe in another 10 years I'll get it done :)

Well, thanks for stopping by, and please come again! (I'll try not to wait another 3 months to post anything).

Take Care! - Elizabeth