Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: A Visit from Roxy

People often ask why I have pugs. After 9/11 I decided to get a dog because I had always wanted one and I wasn't going to wait for the "right time" any longer. I knew that I wanted a small dog. I investigated several different breeds including pugs, Boston Terriers, and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. I also considered adopting a greyhound (not a small dog, but a fairly complacent breed), but my boyfriend, at the time, didn't want a "used" dog (his words, not mine).

Enter Lyn. Lyn was one of my very favorite clients, and she had two pugs, Rocky and Harley. She told me funny stories about them all the time. I also read Clara: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman and fell even more in love with the breed. I brought my first pug, Romeo, home in March 2002 and the rest is history.

Lyn has retired and moved to Arizona. Rocky and Harley and Romeo have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Roxy is Lyn's current pug. I got this adorable photo from her the other day.
It’s cold in Arizona right now. Time for old gals to get out their minks and jewels. (The mink was inherited from a dog friend, and one of my dog walking pals was so charmed by Roxy  in her fur coat that he made the necklace for her.)
Isn't she precious?

In other big news, the Pug Boys are on Kinga Nichols' refrigerator (to me, this is on par with being a football fan and Tom Brady puts your Christmas card on his refrigerator)! Kinga Nichols is a bead embroidery super star and she is one of my idols. I took a bead embroidery class with her and we bonded over our love of pugs. Kinga has an adorable white pug named Karl Barx and two other fur babies, Samantha Regina, a beautiful boxer, and Butters the cat.
Check out the Pug Boys at lower right.
If you didn't get your 2018 Pug Boys holiday card, don't despair. I'm still writing out a few more.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Royalty Earrings

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Here is my most recent beading project: Royalty Earrings. This pattern is an original design by Christa O'Brien who teaches at The Bead Cache in Mansfield, MA. I took this class on Saturday afternoon. I finished one earring in class and the other earring on Sunday. There are over 50 steps in each earring and probably almost 100 beads in each one.
I finished my earrings! They are made with Super Duos, crystals and seed beads.
They are small but sparkly.

My husband says they remind him of Dream Catchers or a crucifix. I think they look like snowflakes.

My brother Gary liked his yoga bag!
He has already taken his bag to his yoga class and said that all of his classmates were jealous.

I'm taking two wire wrapping classes on Thursday with Melody MacDuffee and I can't wait! So you will probably see some more jewelry soon. If you prefer my quilt projects, don't worry, I'm in no danger of running out of fabric or projects. I have two quilt weekends coming up, so I will have something fabric-related to share with you in my blog.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Yoga Mat Bag for Gary

I am fortunate to have the most fantastic family who support all of my craft endeavors. Most recently my brother Gary requested that I make him a yoga bag to carry his mat to his yoga class. He sent me a sweet email with his request as well as links to two free patterns that he had researched. This is the pattern that I used to make his bag. It was fast and easy. Gary also went to Joann Fabrics' website and chose the fabric that he wanted. Here is the second pattern link option that he sent me, which I did not use.

Here is my husband Mike modelling Gary's finished yoga bag which I mailed to him on Monday.
Gary wanted a "bad-ass" yoga bag with skulls and flames!
The pattern was quick and easy. The recommended fabric is decorator weight, but Gary had chosen quilting weight cotton, so I added a layer of fusible foam for firmness. Next time, I think I will also interface the fabric. The handles are made of webbing and the bag closes with a simple loop and a button. Of course, I added pockets to the bag: two on the outside, between the bag handles (one on each side) and two patch pockets on the inside. I also added an inside strap with an S-hook for Gary's keys. The pattern called for turning the bag inside out at the top seam, but I prefer to do it at the bottom of the lining.
Here is Mike showing you one of the outside pockets.
Here's a close-up of the clever outer pocket that I added with orange trim. There's a close-up of the skull button in the photos below.
I added a key loop. Orange is Gary's favorite color.
Contrasting inner pocket. Can you see the skull faces in the flames? Gary chose the bright orange for the lining too.
No bad-ass yoga bag would be complete without a scary skull button. I made this from a plain black button and a Halloween figurine (found at Joann Fabrics) of the three skulls. I glued them together with my trusty E600.
I'm looking forward to getting a photo of my brother with his new yoga bag. I promised my sister-in-law that if she joined Gary at yoga class that I would make her a bag too! Thank you Gary for your patience (email request sent in mid August, bag sent December 31st).

I also included some new pillowcases in Gary's package for him, his wife and their two little nephews.
Some of my next projects are two baby quilts (one for my friend Anna and one for my brother Gary for his co-teacher), and a leopard print pillow for my friend Julie.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! Not sure how we got to a new year this fast! Here are some fun pug photos for New Year's. They are not my pugs, although I will share some pug photos of the pug pack at the end. Yes, you can find almost anything on the Internet, although most of these popped up in my Facebook feed.

I am not ready to go back to work after a glorious week off. I feel relaxed and could happily spend at least another week at home playing with all my beads and fabric and the Pug Boys. Plus, Mike and I have at least another four movies that we want to see.

Mike made a glorious New Year's Eve dinner.
Stuffed mushrooms in progress. Not as good as Nancy Dorgan's version but I found her recipe in my cooking notebook and we'll try it next time.
Surf and turf! Mike found delicious fillets, and served them with mashed potatoes and parsnips, jumbo shrimp (my favorite oxymoron) and roasted asparagus. Yum!
I believe that we are all supposed to start exercising, organizing and dieting. Phooey!
My brother Jeff and his family went to Hawaii for Christmas week vacation and they visited a quilt store. They apparently bought fabric, but it's not a gift for me, it's so I can make them Hawaiian pillowcases.

Here are some pictures of the handsome men in my life.
My handsome husband Mike, and our sweet baby Elvis, age 16.
LarryPug, at left, and Caesar. Larry will turn 10 this year and Caesar will turn 5.
Thanks for visiting! As a reward for reading this entry, a real post about sewing will be up tomorrow!

Pugs and kisses,