Ha! I woke up this morning dreaming about the book I’m working on. Would you consider that an obsession? Me, I’m just glad. It’s been a while since that happened.
My husband asked if I was writing a memoir, lol. He saw a bit of my latest book I’d posted online. But, nope. I’m putting in some stuff that I lived and some I saw happen and stirred it with a huge amount of imagination.
The book I’m currently working on, the one I’m dreaming about is a contemporary romance. It takes place onboard the ship I was stationed on for four years. So, yeah, a bit of real life will be in there. They do say to write what you know! And honestly, we got up to a whole lot of hijinks on board the ship. I probably could write a memoir but why on earth would anyone read it?
I was the thirteenth woman to go through A school for Gunner’s Mate in Great Lakes IL. One of the first wave of women to be stationed onboard a ship. The USS Prairie AD-15. But seriously? Those are the most interesting facts about me.
Here is the Navy’s definition of a Gunner’s Mate. Check it out, but remember I was in the military from 1982-1987. Before they mashed the rate together with the TM rating.
I was a SAMI-Small Arms Marksman Instructor. I’ve probably trained 600 to 700 people minimum on how to use weapons during my four years on board the USS Prairie.
The GM Rating
The Gunner’s Mate rating was officially established in 1794, and is one of the United States Navy’s original ratings. Gunner’s Mate is also one of the eight original Chief Petty Officer ratings. The Torpedoman (TM – Surface) rating merged with the GM rating on October 1, 2007.
The Navy’s computerized personnel system associates the rating name with an alphanumeric Navy Occupational Specialty (NOS) code. For GM, the NOS is B320.
Gunner’s Mates are responsible for the operation and maintenance of guided missile launching systems, underwater explosive weapons such as torpedoes, rockets and missiles, and the systems used to launch them, gun mounts and other ordnance equipment as well as small arms magazines. They work with electrical and electronic circuitry: mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
Gunner’s Mate class “A” school is located in Great Lakes, Illinois, and the school is approximately 27 weeks in duration. The GM rating requires a 60 month (5 year) service obligation for those leaving for boot-camp in Fiscal Year 2018 and beyond.
The Navy Small Arms Marksmanship Instructor (SAMI) trains unit-level personnel required to be armed in the performance of their duties. Small arms instructors possess the necessary knowledge and skills to train, qualify, and sustain unit-level personnel in the safe handling and employment of pistols, rifles, and shotguns in accordance with OPNAVINST 3591.1 (series), and other U.S. Navy directives and guidelines that govern the arming of security personnel for the protection of Navy personnel and assets in direct support of Fleet-wide Force Protection requirements.
And that is your lesson today folks, lol. I’m going to head back into my obsession before hunger wins and I go make breakfast. Have a great week!
**Only .99 cents!**
**Only .99 cents!**
**Only .99 cents!**
I hope everyone’s Christmas was good. If you celebrate Hanukah and Kwanza I hope those are going well or went well.
We celebrated yesterday, going over to our daughter’s to watch the granddaughter open her gifts and brought all of ours for her over too.
She had a ball! And yes those are all hers. The green ones were from us. The pink from her mom. The trolls are from her dad and the striped ones from her aunt. That isn’t even the ones from her other grandparents coming today!
But in preparation for Christmas I had to make a tree skirt for my daughter. I showed the first portion a couple of weeks ago. Here is the rest of it. I did finish it.
I bought 18 pieces of fabric at 1/4 yard each, and a blanket from a thrift store for batting. It ran me $6.99. The batting started at $9.99 so buying a blanket was cheaper. I used double binding tape for the trim. It took 4 packages. I did have a little of the binding left, but not much.
Here are the initials photos and the subsequent ones to completion. I’ll post the instructions at the end.
That is the whole skirt.
Large cardboard box, flattened
18 – 1/4 yard fabric pieces of 45 inch cotton fabric.
4 packages of binding tape
1 piece of batting 56 inches square or 1 throw blanket
marking pencil or washable marker
sewing machine or 1 needle if hand sewing
2 spools of thread
I got a large cardboard box. I took a yardstick and put one end in the corner and held it. I put a pen against the 28 inch mark and in a 90 degree arc, drew a line. This was the outside of the tree skirt. I did it again at the 5 inch mark to give it a center. Then I cut the cardboard out.
I then marked it in half, and cut it. Then I marked that piece in half and cut it. That is how I made the templet.
This is what it looked like.
The tree skirt fabrics are 22 inches each tall. I cut the 1/4 yard piece in half so each piece was 1/4 yard wide and 22 inches tall. Once they were all cut, I took each piece and traced the pattern out on them using the marking pencil and cut them.
I pinned the sides of together until I had a pattern I liked. Then I did it to the other side. I laid the pinned pieces together over the blanket and cut the blanket to match the circle. (sorry I forgot to get a picture!) See #3 picture for the end result. I pinned them together and basted the top circle and the split.
Basting is using the straight stitch but at the largest stitch. Mine is 8 on my machine. This way you can pull out the stitches once your final stitching is done. Leave beginning and ending thread when you baste long so you can pull it out. Sew close to edges making sure to catch the blanket and matching edges of both sides.
Once you basted the skirt together, pin the binding tape to the edges. I started at the bottom corner of the split, went up and around the smaller circle and back down to the other side of the split. Fold binding tape neatly at the corners as you go turn to go on the circle. This took almost one package of binding tape. Sew. Pictures 4 & 5.
You can remove the basting stitches at this point unless you managed to cover them with the binding tape. Then you’re golden! If not, pull the thread to remove them. It sounds easy, but I always find this a pain, lol. I usually have a seam ripper handy to help if they don’t pull out easy. It’s okay but it takes a bit of time. If you can’t see your basting stitches don’t worry about it. Having them there doesn’t hurt a thing.
Then I took the binding tape and pinned the bottom circle starting at the split. Fold the edges neatly and pin. It will take at least 2 packages of binding tape, so be prepared. Make sure to fold under the binding tape when you start the next package so you don’t get loose threads.
Sew up the bottom circle.
Take the binding tape and cut six 10 inch pieces. Pin one on either side of the split at the top, middle and bottom of the split. Sew. I ran my machine 3 times over each strip to make sure they wouldn’t pull off.
Here’s the final product under the tree.
Here are pictures of my first tree skirt. I made it 28 years ago.
It is hard to see, but I hand embroidered a cross and a Christmas star all the way around this one to keep it together. I used a gold trim. On one side I used two fabrics, a solid and a print. For the other side I used a variety of prints. The whole skirt isn’t shown, I had it folded over to take a quick picture.
And none of those projects are writing, lol. I’m giving myself a pass. I’m still waiting on a bookcase and I need a chair or something to relax in, in my office, but it is coming along. Here’s a few pictures.
Yes, most of my artwork on the walls are stamps! I did work for the Post Office for 30 years! Retiring in 2019 as Postmaster in the town I lived in. The other wall (yellow one) has my swearing in oath in the offices I became Postmaster in. I loved my job, but it was time to go. And I don’t regret one moment of choosing retirement, lol. Though I do miss the money I had to spend with a full time job. I’ve had to be a bit thriftier! I even started couponing again.
Well, I said I haven’t been writing. Instead I’ve been spending more time with my daughter. Here’s what we did this past week.
We actually made two gingerbread houses. I got the mold from an online Pampered Chef party for the house. It worked great. I found the recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. Great gingerbread. Worked well for the house and all the other cookies we cut out. Very sturdy and tasty. My granddaughter has been randomly munching on pieces of it, lol. My gingerbread men have started missing heads, and the trees are losing their treetops, lol.
I’ve also been working on a tree skirt for my daughter. We are still waiting on a piece of material to come in. A Game of Thrones piece for the one side of the skirt.
Each side repeats the pattern twice. We purchased nine 1/4 yard pieces and cut them in half so that the 45 inch became 22 1/2 inch high and a quarter yard wide. I cut out a pattern from a piece of cardboard. I took a thin pole, marked 28 inches on it. I went from the corner of the side, holding the one side steady and drew an arc so that I had a quarter of a circle. Then I halved that piece and halved it again. The I took a mixing bowl and cut out the center where the tree would be standing. That left me with a piece that fit the 22″ piece to a tee.
Each side of the tree skirt will have 18 pieces. These photos are showing the initial pinning together. That’s when I realized were were short material! They are just pinned together.
We went out to get the rest of the material, hitting up a thrift shop and picking up a blanket to be the batting material. It is a lot cheaper. Once each side is sewed up, I’ll pin it to the blanket and cut out all the excess material. I’ll run it on the machine to hold it in place and to keep it from buckling when it gets washed. This is extremely important as her cats love to sleep under the tree. It has to be sturdy and machine washable.
Once that is done, I have green double bias tape to bind up all the edges. I’ll put a split in it with ties so you don’t have to put it down before you put up the tree. Hopefully I’ll have it done by Wednesday. The last piece is due in on Monday (keeping my fingers crossed).
I’ll post pictures of the rest of the steps in a couple of weeks.
Stay crafty! lol.
We’re still working on the new place. I’ve got my desk in my office.
Obviously I still have a lot to put away. I also bought a huge 4 x 6 foot bulletin board to put up all of my SWAG and notes for my books.
We painted three walls a buttery yellow and the other wall is called ginger. I’ve an antique lamp as you can see and another I have to rewire. That will call for it’s own post, lol. It’s a beast of a lamp!
I’m in an online Holiday Sale thru Monday the 30th. I’m on today at 6 pm CST, Sunday at 1 pm CST and Monday at 5 pm CST. Drop on in!
There are multiple vendors, authors and other items up for sale from the comfort of your own homes. Introvert shopping at its best, lol.
I’m getting ready to make breakfast, my granddaughter invited herself over, lol. I best get ready. Hope your Thanksgiving was good and the coming holidays all you want them to be. Stay safe, stay sane!