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Travel Diary Day 1 – Out of LA

I haven’t posted in awhile again because life took over. Over the last few weeks I’ve been prepping for the hubby’s and my trip to Italy.  I’ve done very little crafty stuff other than the bit of knitting and cross stitching I’ve posted about on Instagram.  It’s amazing how it takes so much of me to get going on even a little bit of quilting.

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of time as I haven’t had a lot of sleep the last 24-48 hours but I wanted to start recapping the days before the memories are lost in a blur of travel.

We left Los Angeles early Sunday (5/6) morning.

Our friend, gave us a ride at 3am to make sure we were able to check in and go through security check for an international flight leaving at 7am.

LA freeway at 3am on a Sunday. There are always cars on the road.

Checked in some bags and headed off.  I was very nervous as I haven’t been on an international flight in years and never with the hubby.

Hubby and I at LAX
5/6/18

Our friends made us shirst that said “We’re off to Italy” so we took a group picture at LAX before starting our trip.

We were on an American Airlines flight with a layover at JFK before arriving at our final destination of Milan, Italy.  The first flight from LAX to JFK was the most uncomfortable ride ever. We had booked our flights on Expedia and we never selected our seats.  We didn’t know that we had to go on the Airlines website to select a seat.  As a result, the hubby and I didn’t sit next to each other. Instead I sat between two men.  Luckily, they were both very considerate and we all did our best to not get in each other’s ways.  It’s just a small space and I could not find a spot to get comfortable.

We landed at JFK for a 3 hour layover.  It was just enough time to grab lunch, relax a bit, stretch our legs and take a quick nap before boarding for the next flight.

Eating lunch at JFK

The second flight was much better.  Even though we didn’t select these seats either, the hubby and I got lucky.  We both had aisle seats and we were across from each other.  I thought the food was good and it was a fine ride.  I kept getting up to stretch my legs for the 8 hour flight to Milan.

And here we are at Milan’s airport.

We landed at Milan Monday, 5/7, at 8am.  The most difficult part was getting out of customs and out on the streets.  It was only difficult as there were only 2-3 attendants processing us and there were at least 2 flights full of people waiting to get through.  But once we saw a customs person, all they did was check our passports, stamp them, and wave us through.  We were a bit uncertain as to how to get to our hotel at this point.  But we all wanted to be adventurous and not spend money on a taxi.  Information at the airport told us what bus to take, we jumped on it, and made it to Central Station.  There we bought tickets for the subway/bus system and jumped on the yellow line (M3) and got to the stop nearest our hotel.  Even though our check in time was not until 2pm, they very nicely let us check in early at noon.   Where we all freshened up and took a long nap.

… stay tuned for tomorrow on Milan – day one!

~Happy crafting.

Melanie

Saturday Musings

It was a tough week.  It generally is the first week of the quarter. I’m pretty swamped with quarterly tasks and I’m generally waking up too early, working too late and dealing with everyone who wanted their tasks finished two days ago.  It’s not fun and this week was made worse because I didn’t stick with my morning ritual each morning and by Thursday I was totally out of sorts.  I have a morning routine that is designed to make sure I do the most important things first thing.  I work from home so it is very easy for me to roll out of bed and start working without doing the most important things.  An example of some of those important things are: drink a glass of water, take my meds, take my blood pressure, write 3 things I’m grateful for in my journal, read for 15 minutes, and knit 5 rounds on my socks.  So I generally spend an hour and a half on my morning ritual and then I can start my work day.  One day of doing this doesn’t really change anything that I notice but one day of NOT doing it really puts me out of sorts.  Especially after I’ve been doing this for a few months.  After many days of doing this, I’ve noticed that I’m much more relaxed, patient, calm, etc.  Well this week I had 2 -3 days of not doing my routine and by Wednesday evening my neck was killing me and by Thursday, I had a migraine, and Friday I had to stop work at noon to take a walk with the hubby for some exercise and to say hello to the sun. Really I spent a lot of time recuperating because I didn’t want to take the time on my morning ritual.  I know this but sometimes I just make bad decisions.

Other than that, I took the girl to Riverside to take a tour of UCR. We both enjoyed the campus. I’d never been to UCR so I was pleasantly surprised at how much we both liked it.

And I was scheduled to take this month’s quilty workshop with my guild.  Luckily the workshop was cancelled.  I can’t remember exactly what happened and I really wanted to attend as it was on machine applique.  But, I’m tired and I’ve got a lot of UFOs and WIPs that I need to take care of.  So I’m going to spend this weekend trying to finish the Rippidy Doo Dah project I showed last week.

~happy crafting

~Melanie

Saturday Musings

This last week was a blur.  I had a minor surgery the week before and this last week still had me limping around as I recover from it.  I didn’t realize how long it would take and didn’t give myself enough time.  But I’ve been taking things slow.

Monday night, I was at my local guild’s monthly meeting.  And I won this wonderful basket:

It doesn’t look like it but there is about 17 yards of fabric there.  As I said in a previous post, I’m not going to add this to my stash as I won these and I’m so excited!  I’m not sure what I will be doing with all of these but I first need to wash them because I pre-wash all my fabric.  🙂

Tuesday evening, I attended a friend’s mom’s 40th day.  In my culture (Pilipino), when someone passes away, we do a prayer on the 40th day of their passing.  By the end of the evening I was in a bit of pain and the hubby and I went home earlier than we would normally have had I not still been recuperating.

Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and my surgeon took my stitches out.  It made me queezy so the hubby and I didn’t do anything special.  We normally don’t but it was even more not special as I laid on a recliner and knitted until bedtime.

Thursday was the hubby’s birthday so after work, we hung out.  The girl cheered at a basketball game so we went to IHOP for dinner afterwards.  We were planning on heading out to Tahoe early Friday morning so we spent Thursday evening packing.

North Lake Tahoe
2/16/18

I took Friday off and we took a road trip from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe.  My family loves Lake Tahoe and we try to go every few years or so.  The last time we were in the area was about 4 years ago so it was time.

Follow me on Instagram for pictures … @ThousandNeedles

~happy crafting

~Melanie

Road to California

By the time this post goes live, I’ll be heading off to Road to California.  This year, I will be carpooling to Road with a knitting friend I met at my Thursday knit nights at my LYS.  She is a multi-crafter like me and has her hand in a bunch of different things.  She is also trying to finish projects and work through her various stashed items over the years.  I’ll be meeting at her house this morning and she will be doing the driving from there to Ontario and then back this evening.  My first lecture doesn’t actually begin until 3:45pm so I’ll have the day to view the quilts and visit the vendors.  I’m not planning on buying much of anything as I don’t need anything.  Who really NEEDS anything we get?  But, I’ve got a lot of the big stuff over the last few years so I’m not planning on buying anything really.  I did manage to save my pennies specifically for Road so if I do see something I like, I can still get it (assuming it’s within the budget!)

I will be attending the lectures: “This history of the Hawaiian Quilt” and “Quilts in Iceland”.  Both of which sound fascinating.  I will also be attending “applique for cheaters” and “the stripology way”, both of which I hope will provide tips on how to speed up my process.  I was able to get tickets to attend Jenny Doan’s trunk show.  I was surprised that I got these as I heard they were sold out.  I guess wherever I heard that was wrong.  And finally, I will be attending the “Roundabout” which I heard is a really good way of hearing about the newest gadgets, tips and tricks.

I am only planning on taking one class and it’s Crazy Beading.  I love handwork and I’m excited to try this out.

 

~ follow me on Instagram @thousandneedles as I’ll be posting pics throughout the show.

~Melanie

Saturday Musings

This week, I was able to focus and follow my current project rotation. The plan is laid out in this post if you have no idea what I’m referring to and are curious. But I haven’t been doing so well on the work front. I’ve only wanted to craft and my craft room and work office is the same room.  So I only have to look over and see crafty projects calling my name.  It’s been difficult and there have been times where the longing to do just a bit more on a craft project won the battle.  I blame it on being sick for the latter part of my vacation and not being able to craft my heart out during that time.

Today is Saturday and here is the plan for today:

Weave in ends, Quilting, bag making, sewing, cross stitch on Mama’s Bukid and Gamer

But first, here’s a picture of my craft table. It’s kind of a mess.  My floor needs a bit of attention too.  So, before I can focus on the things I want to do, I’ve got to clear this table off (I will need to cut fabric and I need that table to do so).

And I will need to clear off the floor.  Then I can have fun today.

Gamer has not yet arrived so that is not on the docket today.

~Happy crafting!

~Melanie

 

 

Frankenbatting and Secret Project #2

So I’ve been battling quilting fatigue or something.  Last year I completed 4 quilts and this year my plan was to quilt 6.  But I’ve only finished 2 and one of those was a baby quilt.  I have been on the knitting kick and my quilty life fell by the wayside.  On Sunday, I was able to get some of the mojo back and was able to finish the back of secret project #2.  I was on such a kick I decided to get the batting going and maybe get it basted and get the quilt under the needles.  That will give me something to do each evening quilty-wise.  But I reached a screeching halt.  I didn’t want to cut into a full batting so I pulled my bin of batting scraps and started piecing them together – frankenbatting style.  Well, I’m on my way to making the batting I’ve got 3 large pieces put together and I’m working on finishing it up.  But while I’ve got this bin out of the bottom of the closet, I’ve decided to work on frankenbatting and reduce the pile in my bin.

And that’s what I’m working on now.  I hope to get all the small pieces together and make a bunch of 30×30 squares which is about how much I can fit comfortably on my cutting mat.

~happy crafting!

~Melanie

My First Sweater

My First Sweater
10/10/2017

I finally finished my kimono that I’ve been working on these last few months.  This is my first sweater/cardigan/ jacket and I’m really happy with it.  I still have to weave in the ends but I’ll do a bit at a time until it’s all done.  I think I’m about halfway through at this point.  It’s still pretty hot here in Southern California but the mornings are getting chilly and pretty soon I’ll be able to wear this.  My next sweater I’m working on is a Harry Potter sweater for Kayla.  I’m working on the back and I’m about 25 rows in.  I’ll try to take more progress pictures and post them here for you to see.

~ happy crafting

~Melanie

 

Maxwell Bag

The outer and inner parts put together
5/2017

I took a 2-day class at my LQS last May and produced an almost done Maxwell Bag.  All I needed to do was the handle and some finishing touches.  I spent some time on Sunday working on the handle.

First Step – cut the handles to size.

Second Step – enclose the soft and stable around the cord

 

Final Step – somehow get the cord into the fabric tube

I spent some time wrangling the cord in the fabric tube and finally gave up.  I’ll try to do more in the evenings.  My next bag class is on Saturday and if I do not have these handles wrapped, I’m going to see if the instructor has an easier way to do this.

~happy crafting

~melanie