Red Rock Canyon – That is in Nevada?

At the end of September the husband had a short work conference in Las Vegas so I tagged along and we turned it into a mini vacation.  Most people think of gambling and shows when they think of Las Vegas, but since we live in Northern Nevada we didn’t do any of that.  After spending our required 1.5 days on the Strip, for his conference, we got a hotel away from the Strip and went exploring.

So, I found the Hampton Inn & Suites Las Vegas – Red Rock / Summerlin.   It was is on the west side of Las Vegas and near the ‘loop’ road so I knew we could get to the areas that we planned on going without too much difficulty.

Years ago we visited Las Vegas and Red Rock Canyon was a way outside of  town.  Well, that is not the case anymore.  Las Vegas has grown a lot since the last time we had visited.  It turns out the hotel I selected was 11 miles from Red Rock Canyon.

So, in the afternoon, after the conference ended we went and explored Red Rock Canyon.  There is now a nice visitor center and we drove the scenic route and took some photos.  Since it was later in the day we didn’t go on any long hikes.

Here are a few photos.  Las Vegas is visible in the background of the upper right photo.

Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas

So, when was a the last time you visited Las Vegas and did you go see anything besides The Strip?

Later – H


Applique Class by Kevin Kosbab

I took an Applique Class taught by Kevin Kosbab of Feed Dog Designs through the Carson Valley Quilt Guild (Nevada).  I had done some applique before, but I learned some new tricks and had fun.

Did you know that there are at least three different types of applique?  Here are my definitions:

a) Raw /fusible applique – This is the kind I had done before.  You draw the pattern on the paper of a fusible web, cut out and iron onto the back of the fabric, which will then be ironed onto a backing material.  Then, you can either sew with a straight or zigzag stitch.

Years ago I decorated canvas grocery bags this way and then used dimensional fabric paint around the edges.

b) Freezer paper applique –  Cut a template from the freezer paper and iron to the wrong side of the material.  Then fold the edge of the material over the template.  Then remove the template and sew the folded edges to the background material by hand or machine.

c) Needle turn applique – Using a template mark the material with a water soluble marker.  Then fold over the material on the edge using your fingers.  Then hand stitch the applique to the background fabric.

Today’s class we used the fusible technique for the feet and beaks.  We also used the freezer paper technique for the bird body and wing.

Kevin was good at giving enough details and showing the step by step instructions that I was able to pick up the steps very quickly.  I was actually done with my sample early enough that I had another bird cut out before the class ended.

Here are the two samples I made in the class.

Have you taken a class lately?  What did you learn to do?

Later – H

Random Conversation

Do you randomly have people start conversations with you?  Well, I had that happen earlier this week when I was in Costco.  A retired man started talking to me about the automated drink vending machines that are now available in the Costco Food Court.  Oh, and if you haven’t seen one work it is pretty cool and yes, I do have nerdy days.

Anyways he starts talking about how computers, etc have changed so much in the last few years and not always for the better.  The funny part about that was I was just thinking about the ‘user friendly’ features on my cell phone like the apps that I have never used, but they keep pushing updates even if I delete them.

The man then said that social media was actually hate media since people were usually complaining about something.  He said he was a veteran and retired fireman so he had seen a lot of bad in this world, but he knew there was a lot more good out there in comparison.  I then told him that a friend and I had started to text each other one good thing each day to try to keep our focus on the good instead of the bad.

His parting comment was he was glad he could talk to me for a few minutes and to keep my smile.

Every day I find myself thinking about that conversation and realize he is so right.  If you just focus on the negative then that is all you will see, but if you are willing to look for at least one positive thing you might surprise yourself and find lots of positive things.

So, my challenge to you is to look for at least one positive thing each day for the next week.  I am hoping your point of view changes after that and you will want to always find something positive to think about.

Oh, and if you think my life is a bed of roses you should know that my positive thing one day was that I had cleaned the refrigerator.  Nothing seemed to be going right that day, but I was very happy to open the refrigerator and see how clean it was.

Let me know if you see a difference after you take the challenge.

Later – H

Custom aprons

This winter I made custom aprons for two little girls I know.

One was a birthday present for Mia who was turning  two year old.  Her mom told me that Mia loved the movie ‘Frozen’ and I happened to find some perfect fabric.

Mia apron


Then I told my hairdresser and she said her three year old would love an apron too.  So, I found some more material and I made her one also.

second apron p

They were pretty easy to make and I was happy to hear that both little girls enjoyed them.

Later – H



Curtains made with Grommets

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I bought all of the material and the opinions are 100% mine.

When I started to setup the sewing/craft room I used a set of pink curtains I found in the garage.  Since I had painted the room a light green color the curtains gave a horrible tint to the room, but they at least covered the windows until I found a set of curtains I liked.

pink curtain

Temporary curtains

I didn’t find a set of curtains I liked, but I did see this package of Dritz Home Curtain Grommets, in Pewter, at a local fabric store.  I had never used them before and was willing to try.

grommets used

Dritz Home Curtain Grommets

Next, I had to find the material I wanted.  I happened to be in Walmart one day and saw this material for less than $3.00 per yard.  I bought four yards of the main material and four yards of the white material as the liner.

main material

Since I had never used the curtain grommets before I decided to cut a header and attach the grommets to it and then sew the header to the curtain.  I used a ruler and pen to mark the center of each grommet location and then used the pen to trace the template mark.

Note:  I also decided to stitch the two layers together on the template line so the curtain would not move while I was cutting out the circle.  This step wasn’t mentioned on the package or by the fabric store.

stitch on template

To cut out the circle I made a small cut in the middle and then worked my way out to the outer edge.  The cashier suggested that I cut the hole slightly inside the template mark which was a very good idea.

cutting circle

I followed the package instructions to install the grommets.

white header

To make sure that the edges of the curtains didn’t roll I top sewed about 1/4″ from the edge of the curtains after I had pinned and ironed the edge flat.

edge stitching

When the curtains were done I hung them up and found out that they were not as full as I wanted.

white curtain

Finished white curtains

So, I went back to Walmart and found that they were out of the white material, but I found a black material with the same pattern on clearance also.

black material

So, I bought a third package of the Dritz Home Curtain Grommet and made two curtains, which were half width that I hung on each side.

black and white curtain

Final curtains

I think they turned out really good and I would definitely make more of these curtains.

Some additional information:

– I saw similar packages of the curtain grommets at Walmart.  I think they were for a slightly different size curtain rod and I don’t know if they go together as easy as the Dritz Home package.

– I recently saw similar curtain grommets used to make a tote bag.  She used them as decoration and for the handles to go through.

– I used quilt weight material so I didn’t have to worry about the two layers of material being too thick for the curtain grommets.

– The package of curtain grommets says that the grommets can be removed with a flat screwdriver and that the curtain grommets should not be put through a washing machine, which is another reason I sewed the two layers of material together.

Leave a comment if you have any questions.

What project have you worked on lately?

Later – H








That is in Nevada? series

Since I know most people think of desert, dirt, sand and the gambling, etc of Las Vegas I figured it was a good time to start a series showing some of the other side of Nevada.

For example, did you know there are tall mountains, running streams, wild horses, lakes, fishing, green grass, ranches, farm land and more in Nevada?

So, about once a month I will do a post of a different place in Nevada.  Some will be a couple of photos and others will have the history, etc behind the place.

Even though we have lived in Nevada over 20 years some of these places we hadn’t visited until the last few years.  And, yes, I even thought the central part of Nevada was mostly dirt and sand before we went out there.

So, I will start the series with this photo:

hot air balloon, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Nevada, Gardnerville

Hot Air Balloon over golf course, Gardnerville, NV

A few years ago my husband gave me a Hot Air Balloon ride as my birthday present. If you know me you know I love watching hot air balloons, but I am afraid of heights.  I can tell you that being in the basket under the balloon was magical.    I would love to do another ride sometime since I probably would enjoy it more now that I know what to expect.

This photo is over the golf course in Gardnerville, NV and those are the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the background.  We took our ride in May since the ground is still cold in the morning so they can get the lift.  This was definitely a bad year for snow fall since there was hardly any snow left on Job’s Peak.

So, have you traveled to Nevada?  What are your favorite places to visit?

Later – H


Teaching 4-H quilting

Starting in February 2016 I was brave again.  I decided to teach three pre-teens to quilt a wall hanging (they had learned to sew with me the previous year).  It was decided that the parents would have to stay and help.

Since I had to clear out my mom’s house last year and found a lot of presents that were given to her (some even by me) which were never used and stored in unusual places (i.e. kitchen tools in a bedroom drawer) I wanted the kids to make something they would want (or could give away).

So, the first meeting the kids graphed out what they wanted their wall hanging to look like.  Some of the ideas we came up with were:

  • use Clip Art off the internet (or from coloring books) to trace
  • use Fabric Markers to paint their design
  • use one mom’s cutting machine to cut out designs
  • free hand draw their ideas

I am happy to say that they all turned out great and everyone liked creating them so much they would like to do another quilting project in the future.  Here are the photos of their wall hangings.  (And I didn’t feel right posting the last name of one of the girls so I covered it up.)


All the wall hangings were shown in the local quilt show this summer even.

Do you volunteer?

Later – H

Updated: DIY Ribbon Organizing

This is an update to one of my first blog posts.  I think this idea is much better and takes up less room.

So, when I was first organizing ribbon I used a plastic basket, dowels and some twist ties.  This basket was still in my cupboard until January of this year.


January is when I started to seriously reorganize the sewing/craft, etc room (that will take multiple posts to show so that will be done some other time).

Anyways, I saw on Pinterest (or somewhere) about the idea of hanging ribbons on a mutiple pant hanger (or at least that is what I call it) and I had one sitting in my closet.  This allows me to use the space in the cupboard for stackable items  (labeled boxes, etc) and I can hang the ribbon holder on the door handle when I am working on a project.  When it is not being used it could hang in a closet.

ribbon holder watermark.jpgYou may see another update in the future if I figure a good way to hang extra ribbon below the lower bar (which doesn’t open).

Anyone have any suggestions?

Later   -H

Thread organizing

Have you ever picked up a jewelry (or for something else small) organizer at a thrift store since it was a great deal and you knew you would find a good use for it someday?  Well, I have in the past and I finally determined a great use for one of them.

When I reorganized the sewing/craft, etc room I found this one buried in a cupboard.  Since I had just been looking at my small spools of thread and trying to figure out the best way to organize them (partly so I knew what I had and could get to them easily) I had a light bulb moment.  And this is what I came up with:

thread hanger watermark.jpg

This works perfectly for me since I had bought the Gutermann 26 spool thread (from JoAnn Fabrics on sale) so I had one or two spools of a bunch of different colors.

When I am sewing I can take it out and hang it on the cupboard door handle and see the options that I have.


Later – H


I unclogged the bathroom sink!

The bathroom sink has been running slow for a few months.  I had tried to pull out the hair, etc using the end of a chopstick (it worked to pull out some of it), but I didn’t think it had much hair, etc still down the drain.

The husband suggested I clear out under the sink (ugh) and we pull the stopper out so we could get it really clean.

Well, I got the area under the sink cleared out, but he didn’t have a chance to work on it.  So… I did a Google search on how to get the stopper out.

Here is the link I used (photo 3 shows how to get the stopper out).

I was shocked by how much hair, etc that I pulled out of the drain.

bathroom sink junk combined

After I got all of above out I wiped down the drain with a paper towel and put the stopper back in.

To get the drain even cleaner I then put 1/2 cup baking soda over the drain.  I poured a warmed mixture of 1 cup vinegar + 1 cup water over the baking soda and closed the drain for about 30 minutes.  After that the drain appeared to drain quickly.

I guess I need to add this task to my To Do List (maybe every six months, if not sooner).

What household task have you learned to do recently?

Later – H