Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~

FOLLOW


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cool!


This past weekend had us enjoying a bit of a cool front. With May just around the corner, that is almost unheard of in this neck of the woods. This is south Texas, and the heat starts packing a punch sometimes in early March, even as early as February. Summer heat is brutal in this area, so if it can be delayed in any measure, all the better. Interestingly, a mere few hours before the cool front arrived, and while it was still balmy and warm, the white female koi in the picture spawned. There was so much splishing and splashing going on, literally hundreds of eggs were released, some sticking to the walls of the pond, so many unseen at the bottom of the pond. We did remove some of them to a holding tank so as to keep them from being eaten. These were the eggs which were attached to mop heads we had placed in the pond in preparation for a spawn. Koi usually begin to eat the eggs soon after spawning, and only a few actually hatch if left in the pond. Those which do hatch must then have adequate hiding places, usually in the way of plants or plant roots, or even the algae which can also provide nourishment with microscopic organisms. In the past, spawning usually ocurred in mid May, when the weather was very warm. The cool front which blew in might have a negative effect on the hatching success of the spawn. All we can do is wait and see. We also have a comet goldfish pond, so we will be keeping an eye on any spawning happening there as well. Those usually produce an abundance of babies, which we have had pleasure in sharing with friends.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scripture


Isaiah 42:17


They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Very Useful Tool Indeed

A couple of comments on one of my posts gave me an idea for a subject to write about. First, however, the disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on sewing tools, nor do I have any sort of monetary or personal interest in any one particular brand. I just wanted to share a little of the experience I went through when I was shopping for a serger. I know firsthand that the thought of buying a serger seems like an ominous task to undertake. Foremost is all the confusing terminology. I was so confused, yet I knew that the one thing I had to do to even get an idea of what a serger is, was to take one for a spin. Now here's where it gets even more daunting: in my personal experience, they don't really 'let' you test them when you know nothing about how to operate one. You see, I went to a Babylock dealer hoping to test out the 'creme de la creme' in sergers, the Evolve, but was merely given a demonstration by one of the sales ladies. She wouldn't really accomodate my desire to operate it. When I asked, she said something to the effect, that a one on one demo, where I could actually use it would be in order only if I did indeed purchase it. So how could I know if this machine was for me if I didn't at least try it out? Well, you can be certain that dealer lost a customer right on the spot. I think I didn't look 'rich' enough to buy one, maybe? So if you're in the market for a serger, be prepared for the unexpected. First, though, do your research. Lots of it! And don't be fazed by the terms coverlock, coverstitch, overlock, serger, etc. etc.

I ended up buying a five thread SingerQuantumLock. However, let me backtrack a bit. First of all, determine what you need. I thought the more threads the better. Afterwards, I realized not true at all. The 5 thread can be used for fancier finishes, yes, but mainly it allows you to sew a cover stitch. A cover stitch is used mainly for hems to give that store purchased look, where you see two or three rows of stitching on the right side of your garment. If you're wondering if having four or five threads is very difficult in terms of threading, my opinion is definitely no! For me it was very easy to learn to thread, as you merely follow the guides, and you thread according to the operation you will be doing. I actually thought it was fun, kind of like working on a very easy puzzle. Now, for someone with painful joints or any kind of physical handicap, I would think it might be very difficult, and would instead recommend the Babylock brand top of the line, which has the jet air threading system that makes threading a breeze. It pretty much threads itself.

All that being said, if I could do it over again, I would have bought a Janome 4 thread, with a free arm! It would have been soooo much less expensive than what I bought, plus, I could actually serge hems for my baby grandson's clothes, plus cuffs and collars without a problem. You see, the serger I have does not have a freearm, so I have to gingerly s-q-u-e-e-z-e the garment under the presser foot. It's a very tight fit. A free arm allows you to easily manipulate your garment. Then, I would also add a cover hem/stitch machine, like the JanomeCoverPro. Some people don't like the idea of having two machines, so if space is a problem, you probably wouldn't want to have to make room for another machine. As to the differential feed, it is my understanding that most of the new machines on the market all have differential feed, which allows for gathering such as ruffles. Most, I believe, will also allow you to make a rolled hem for napkins and tablecloths. You do have to make adjustments each time you want the serger to perform a specific task. You simply follow the manual which shows you which dials to move and so forth for whatever project you need to work on. I know I haven't covered everything, but I hope that sharing what I went through will save you some of the troubles I went through during my search for a suitable machine. When all is said and done, each person has their own preferences, and must buy to suit their needs and personal taste.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Scripture

Deuteronomy 18:10-12

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Room of My Own





After reading Keri's post about useful tools, it got me thinking about my own essentials. Anyone who does any sort of creative work, be it crafting, sewing, cooking or baking relies on at least a few helpful tools. In addition to tools, your work space is also important. I love looking at pictures of sewing and crafting rooms. Pearl's site showcases some wonderful creative spaces which are to die for! They certainly inspired me and got me to thinking of ways I can better utilize what little space I do have. So on this post I thought I'd share a little corner of my sewing/knitting room. It's not very big, about 12'x14', but it's my own little hideaway, and I love it! Of course, my little room does not always look this way. It has a funny habit of morphing into a chaotic heap of fabric scraps and loose thread clippings scattered about the floor. I try to control that, of course, because it is difficult for me to work among clutter. Hopefully others can share pictures of their work spaces so we can inspire each other with new ideas. I am also including a picture of the acorn hat I mentioned in my previous post. I thought I had deleted it, but I found it and wanted to share.

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