Daffy's Stitchy Friends

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Totally Useless August

So I've been busy this past moon cycle, have you? It's the New Moon and time to show off the ORTs you collected! I haven't cross stitched but I have been stitching...with the sewing machine. Quilting creates tons of ORTs, doesn't it? 


About this quilt:  I started this project on July 26th. Before this, I could sew a pillow and maybe follow a basic, very simple pattern. My sewing skills are minimal at best. When I decided to learn to quilt I took the free online quilting course offered by Google and YouTube. Just kidding a little but hey, it's free and there are awesome teachers out there willing to share their knowledge if you want to learn!

I found photos online of quilts I liked, followed the sources and discovered what they were called. The one I liked best was the Disappearing Nine Patch. It looked really hard but wonder of wonders it was considered a beginners quilt!

I Googled to find out how much fabric to buy, how to cut the squares, how to sew them together, how to cut them again and sew them back together.



I learned how to square up my blocks. 
Then I stitched them together.



I ended up with a finished top.
Used an entire spool of thread.



Well, not quite finished, it needed a border!



So I Googled to learn how to miter corners.



I think the hardest part now is managing this big wad of quilt!



But all this "learning" is worth it. As of yesterday, I have a completely finished quilt top! In ONE month!!! I am taking "lessons" now on sandwiching so I can actually start quilting this into a finished quilt. Keep in mind, I work full-time (40 hours) and we are often on the go with other things that need doing. Every bit of this was done in what little spare time I can squeeze in.


Oh just what I needed...another stash accumulating hobby!

I guess the awesome ORTs it creates evens things out.

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your August TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Iron Butt 1000

I'm pretty sure you all know how Dash and I are a wee bit on the crazy side? If you were not aware of this fact by now you will after this post! 

Last Saturday, Dash and I took our Gold Wing on an Iron Butt Association qualifying motorcycle ride. The ride we chose was the "Saddlesore." The premise...ride 1000 miles in 24 hours. The catch...you have to "prove it" to qualify. Your proof is witnesses at the start & finish, computer generated register receipts from gas/food stops and a log you keep as you go. Bear in mind, the IBA is dedicated to SAFE long-distance riding so riding at unsafe speeds is not needed to complete the rides.


Dash planned an itinerary that took us at least 1000 miles starting from home and ending at home. The "L" on the map is our start and end. Miss Molly got dropped off at the doggy hotel on Friday afternoon and we went to bed early.


At the crack of zero-dark-thirty (also called 1 AM) we dragged out of bed, drank coffee, showered and packed the bike. By 2:50 we had met our witnesses at the gas station, got a soda and gassed up the bike for that starting receipt. The official time of our start was 2:57 AM. I started a 24 hour countdown timer on my iPhone as we gassed up...1000 miles to go and 24 hours left...we were off!

Dash and I rarely ride at night so it was novelty to me, these first few hours. I quite like it but Dash, responsible for our safety, does not! This is the longest stretch between planned gas stops, from home to Wichita, Kansas. It's 75 degrees and there is a lightening show ahead in the distance, threatening rain!

After we gassed up in Wichita we donned rain suits since a check of the radar shows we'll be riding right through a good-sized thunderstorm. It was still raining in Salina, Kansas but now the sun is up, Dash can see better so he is more relaxed. I was glad we have full-faced helmets...only a few teeny drops of rain slipped through the air vents!

The rain was gone by Topeka, Kansas and we are making good time and feel elated. Our gas receipt here has to be corrected by the attendant because the time is not right on their computer. We remove our rain gear and each gobble an Atkins bar.

Our next stop on the "other" side of Kansas City was uneventful. The weather is cloudy and in the low 70's ~ perfect! When we reach Colombia, Missouri we decide to get some lunch at a Ruby Tuesday's that is across the street from our fuel stop. I write in my log that we have gone 534 miles with just under 15 hours left. Halfway!

We go through St. Louis, Rolla and Springfield in a blur. We are enjoying ourselves immensely. The weather couldn't be better and the sights-we-haven't-seen-before are entertaining us. At Afton, Oklahoma we stop and get sodas with our gas. Back on the road, Dash goes to pick his up and the lid pops off and flies away before I could catch it! Whoops! I hand him my straw and he slurps it down enough to not splash him at every bump.

By Tulsa my knee is aching and we are both feeling a little worn. The Gold Wing was made for comfort though, I could not imagine how tired we would have been on the VTX. We have already passed the 1000 mile mark, the rest is just padding. New sodas at Tulsa...we are almost home!

Oklahoma could take a few pointers from Kansas and Missouri on road construction. We hit a good bump going through Tulsa and I look down to make sure my straw isn't wiggling itself out and my drink is gone! Gone! I tap my intercom and tell Dash and we both have a laugh

A side note: To the people in the car behind us in Tulsa on 08-09-14...for the record, I did NOT throw my brand new, barely sipped, 32 ounce foam-cupped diet DR. Pepper at you, the road maintenance dept did.

We arrive back in Stillwater and get our last fuel receipt and I pause the timer on my phone: 



We had 4 hours and 22 minutes to spare! Our last receipt was timed at 10:35 PM. We made 1135 miles in just over 19 1/2 hours! Friends met us to officially witness for our paperwork. We got cheeseburgers, (the girl at the drive-thru told us she had never had anyone on a motorcycle come through her drive-thru, lol) we rode home, ate and went to bed.

Dash spent Sunday filling out the paperwork to send to the IBA for our certification, that might take a couple of months since they have to research the ride. If approved, we will be official Iron Butt riders! 

We averaged 17 minutes per stop and that time includes a half-hour lunch break. We both enjoyed doing this a lot. I think I expected to feel more tired and be more sore...either I am one tough cookie or I have a really comfy bike. We spent $103.85 in fuel and $4.75 in tolls.

We may have created a monster...Dash asked me which I'd rather do, a 1000 all-in-Oklahoma-Saddlesore or the 1500 Bun Burner? And I'm thinking the 48 states in 10 days actually sounds pretty feasible. But then, you already knew we were a wee bit crazy.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox




Monday, July 28, 2014

Totally Useless July

Totally embarrassing too...I was SURE our Totally Useless Stitch A Long posted today but noooo...it was last Friday! Whoopsie! I have a good excuse for screwing up, Friday was the day Dash & I married 29 years ago. We celebrated with a day out shopping, saw a movie and then spent the rest of the weekend playing.

My ORTs are a bit unusual this time around. I have sewing ORTs in addition to my stitching ones!


Yup, that is a quilt square! I decided I really, really wanted to learn to quilt. Much research on the internet and lots of thinking led me to plan out a "disappearing nine patch" quilt. I bought my fabrics and started cutting out squares.


Quilt squares are so pretty! The rotary cutter makes these in a jiffy, even if it is scary as all-get-out to use. I already have quite a bit of the blocks sewn together. Soon I'll be cutting the blocks into four pieces and sewing those. I'm teaching myself as I go and having fun. There's sure to be many blunders (I've already learned you DON'T try to cut backwards with the rotary cutter if it doesn't cut through or you might cut your square WRONG!) but like stitching, practice makes you better.


I had to share the awesome food Dash smoked yesterday...chicken quarters and a beef tri-tip. Oh My Word that man can cook! The beef was medium rare and so tender and juicy and the flavor was divine. I'm such a lucky lady!

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your July TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox


Monday, July 14, 2014

One Cool Car

One of the "perks" of being a popular blogger (I still don't know how that happened) is getting offers for free stuff. I get a few every month but I rarely take a company up on their offer. Sometimes their products just don't mesh with my blog. Sorry, I don't think I can work little kid's clothes into my theme. My "kid" is 26! Or they want to send me a $100 gift certificate but everything on their site costs above $500...no kidding a lamp company sent that one. Or the company is too demanding about what they want me to post, word-for-word. No thanks. This is me. My blog, my words...real stuff here people. If I have to insert specific sentences written by someone else it isn't going to sound like me.

Every now and again though I get an offer from a great company with very few strings and this was one of them. They said, "We send you a $25 gift certificate. You buy one of our products with it and review it on your blog. Please link to our site." Wow. Easy enough. I looked through their stuff. Awesome! Done!

What is this great company?



I know, I know...you are wondering how on Earth I can theme a sign printing company to a stitching blog?



Boom

How freaking cool is that? I have always wanted a front license plate for my car. Black cars are so dreary and this cutie really brightens it up. The Build A Sign site was so easy to use. I chose my product, uploaded my photo and added text, previewed what I had created and checked out very quickly. My plate shipped a few days later, carefully packaged.



The plate looks fantastic and fit just right. I was a little worried it would be very shiny and you wouldn't be able to see the design but the printing is perfect. I told Dash I wanted to go to Tulsa and just park in front of The Silver Needle so people could admire it. *giggle*

It was such a pleasure working with Build A Sign. I would recommend trying them if you need printing done. I like looking at all the stuff you can create there. Check out the "Just Married" car magnets ~ love it!

The only compensation I received for this review was a free license plate. The only thing the company asked me to do was to review the plate and link to their site (I liked that.)

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Totally Useless Patriotic Post

Yesterday was the New Moon. Sorry about the late Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long post. I know some of you have been chomping the bit to be able to post your link! My Ort jar grew a little bit. I finished the Pears and started a pinpillow from the most recent Just Cross Stitch magazine.


My ORT jar would have seen more action but I worked on a craft project instead of stitching during my spare time. Here is the finish of a wood DIY Bangles bracelet that I painted.


Didn't it turn out cute? I painted the bracelet using Apple Barrel craft paint, added a couple of coats of Americana satin finish varnish, then a thin coat of clear Briwax with a good buffing. A warning, just in case you try something like this yourself...do not put Briwax directly on top of craft paint that you don't want blended together. It works fine for antiquing solid colors but when you have different colors side-by-side it smears them into each other. You must use a sealer first. I'm glad I found this out by testing on a paint stick first and not my project!


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your June TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Backyard Adventures


Do you hear something?


I hear something!


I could swear I hear something.


Nope. Must have been a false alarm.



Molly never even notices the bird, even though it "attacks" her every time we step outside.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It MAY be Totally Useless

Today is the New Moon! Time to show off that ORT jar! I'm completely chuffed that I decided to just keep adding to my ORT jar instead of dumping the ORTs into my giant jar each month. It makes it look like I'm a total stitching fiend (which I am) and really shows me how much stitching I have accomplished this year.


Slowly plugging away at Sisters & Best Friends Pear. Creeping ever closer to a finish!


=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your May 28th TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Thursday, May 15, 2014

OK-KS-OK-TX-NM-OK-CO-OK-KS-OK

Are you confused about that cryptic title? Those are all the states I visited, in order last weekend. On Saturday Dash and I participated in the 5 State Run. This is a charity event held by the Iron Thunder Motorcycle Club...a one-day poker run through five states, covering 300 miles! I don't often post photos of myself on this blog so if you were ever curious, here's your chance to see me as I share our trip.

The poker run starts in Guymon, OK which is about 300 miles from our house, so this wasn't a one-day trip for us. We planned on two nights away. Packing for motorcycle trips takes planning...everything we take has to fit in two saddlebags and the trunk. After dropping Molly off at the doggie-hotel and Dash and I were off.



It was gorgeous weather on Friday. Blue skies with bright white clouds. Just cool enough to need long sleeves by the time we reached the Kansas border...I know it says, "Welcome to Oklahoma" we were going the other way!


We stayed Friday night in Liberal, Kansas. There are NO HOTELS anywhere near the poker run. I am not kidding. If you want to stay the night near Guymon on a Mother's Day weekend you'd better have your room booked well in advance! Other travelers at the hotel and restaurant we ate at were noticing the extreme number of motorcycles in the area and asked us what was going on. As for where we ate, if you are ever hungry in Liberal, Kansas go to Billy's Blue Duck BBQ. That was some of the best barbecue we've ever had. The brisket, especially, was out of this world.


Saturday up before dawn and on the road to get to Guymon by 7. It was a crisp 46 degrees. Chilly at 70 mph on a motorcycle! We grabbed a doughnut & coffee and our registration packets.


Busy place!


Ignore my excessive pudginess, I am wearing jeans with leather chaps, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt, a rain-suit jacket, a hoodie and my leather vest. I felt a little like the kid from A Christmas Story, "I can't put my arms down!" But I was warm. 


Our Poker Hand at the first stop. This is a "blind" run. One doesn't know the hand until the end. At each of the five stops we draw a numbered poker chip. The attendant punches out the corresponding spot on the packet. At the last stop they open the envelope to reveal which "cards" you drew.





This is at the 2nd stop in Clayton, New Mexico. The volunteers there served us some very yummy chili. We've already been through Texas. I saw a large herd of Pronghorn Antelope on the way. No photos as they would have just looked like tan dots in a sea of tan grass. 



Now headed for Colorado. It's warming up and I've been shedding a layer of clothing at each stop, I think!


The Colorado stop involves going down a dirt road (mostly sand, scary) and over cattle guards in the road and lots of twists & turns. It was gorgeous there though.


The 4th stop was in Elkhart, Kansas. I totally forgot to take photos there as I was too busy eating brownies so I snapped this as were were headed back to Oklahoma. Every time we stop, either at a punch stop or just a stretch-your-legs stop, people ask us, "What is going on?" Every gas station we passed or stopped at looked like it was being taken over by a biker gang. Sorry folks!


Our poker hands proved a bust at the last stop, back where we started in Guymon, Oklahoma. I only thought about saving my card as we were leaving...they just automatically trash them unless they are in the top three. Poo! The top prize is $3000 so would be quite a thrill to win it. All said, there were 896 bikes with 282 passengers so that makes 1,178 people that participated! What a fun day!

We completed the poker run in about 7 1/2 hours. We didn't stay for the dinner since we still had 125 miles...or about 2 hours...to ride to get to out hotel in Woodward, Oklahoma. On the way to Woodward the temperature reached 94 degrees and I was down to a t-shirt & vest, remember we started the day at 46! At some point, a bug got up my sleeve and started stinging. He got me about 12 times before I finally decided I had enough and Dash stopped so I could strip my vest & shirt and remove it. Apologies to anyone shocked at the sight of pudgy me, half naked in the middle of the road, slapping at my back. 


In Woodward we unpacked and headed out to find somewhere to eat. Dash had looked up a place on Google but we never could find it. We ended up at Wagg's (no website) another BBQ restaurant but they had a big "catfish" sign out front. Very, very yummy fish! (I adore fried catfish.) I even splurged and had a slice of Key Lime pie - absolute heaven. In the middle of dinner, I remarked to Dash that I was suddenly, utterly, exhausted. He felt the same so we made it an early night.

Sunday found us headed for home. Windy. Windy. WINDY. I think we rode the whole way home sideways. Cold? No problem. Heat? No big deal. Rain? I'll dry out. Wind? I hate it. Wind will wear you out in no time! I unpacked as soon as I got home, started the laundry and had a nap!

With such a busy weekend and right back to work on Monday I'm still tired! My soul is refreshed but my 46 year old body is exhausted! Horrors, I've not even felt like stitching...

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Was Totally Useless

Can I get an Amen to that post title? I did NOT get the house dusted. There is dog hair covering my floor. The kitchen floor is spotted with who-knows-what and the bathroom mirrors...well, that must be toothpaste. Useless, except for stitching! Woo...just check out this ORT jar:


Stuffed, I tell you! I'm gonna have to start packing these threads down. April was a great stitching month, all-in-all. I'm really enjoying this design. Have you guessed what it is yet?

This is Sisters & Best Friends' Fruit Salad Sampler "Pear."

I know Erin was the first to guess it correctly! I will have to send her a little treat for being so clever.

=^..^=

We want to see your ORTs! Leave a comment on this post with a link to your April 29th TUSAL post so we can come visit! If I hold a Totally Useless giveaway your comment will earn you an extra entry.

Wondering what a TUSAL is and why all these people are posting pictures of rubbish? Click here to learn more and join the fun!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saturday Fun & Games

Dash and I should have stayed home yesterday and "got stuff done" instead of spending the day playing. The lawn needs mowing, carpet vacuumed, bed linens washed and the dust must be appalling but I'm too scared to look. The next two weekends are going to be crazy busy so we really should have done our chores but a little sweetie named Kelsey has leukemia and we wanted to help her family.


Our day started early with a quick bite to eat before riding to Yale, Oklahoma to buy our entry into the Poker run. We chatted with other bikers and met up with our friend Brian before we were off to Cushing, OK to draw our first card. I only then remembered to take some photos...


Our bike in front, Brian's behind.


I drew a 6 of Clubs.


Wasn't it gorgeous? You can just get a glimpse of Brian in our side mirror, behind us. We don't know the people in front of us, just other riders on the run.

The above photo was taken right after the Stone Wolf Casino stop. We were making good time so we went into the casino for a cold beer. Dash handed me $20 to play slots while he and Brian chatted. I cashed out at $56 so I was tickled.


Lots of riders. I heard there were 133.


I had a really good chance before I drew that dratted Heart! Oh well, this was a "for a good cause" event so even if I had won something I would have donated it to the family. The fun was in the ride and the fellowship. And that yummy brisket sandwich we were given for lunch!

Thank you for visiting my blog today!
xox