Sunday, May 31, 2009

Testing, 1, 2, 3...

I've become a Jigzone addict. I thought I'd share the experience. Hopefully clicking on the picture will take you to the puzzle. Enjoy!!

Click to Mix and Solve

Humoring Him

After the hours of clean-up yesterday, all I wanted to do was relax. So did Pete. We define the word differently. After asking 2 or 3 times, "Do you want to play Miniature Golf?" he finally said, "Let's go!"

I'd said, "No," each time he asked.

But, I went. The poor guy misses his playmates (the boys) and someone has to fill in if he has an hour free.

Here we are before we started. Aren't we the happy couple?

It wasn't long before Pete had TWO holes in one. The first was with an assist. On the first hole, his ball landed about 4" from the hole. He wanted to hit it in before I hit mine. "Hey! What if my ball hits yours?" "Oh. So we're playing like that, are we?" Yeah. My ball hit his...straight into the hole.

By the 7th hole, he started cheating. He refused to write down my correct score because he was so embarrassed. I stink at golf, I always have. I'm good at croquet, but golf? phooey. I've tried and tried the miniature version, and I make the untrained Happy Gilmore's putting look like genius. With his cheating numbers, I got a 65. He had a 43. Par was 42. I really had over 85.

I guess the good news is that he won't ask me again. And there you go. That's what I did on my Saturday afternoon...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's Hard to Tell

sigh. I cleaned yesterday, and I cleaned today. I swept and organized. I straightened and threw away. I culled. I sewed. I moved forward. But it's hard to tell.

I guess the best gauge is looking at the Sewing Annex. It's getting full.

If you look in the sewing room, you don't see much change. I see a difference. I see carpet. And I see a table top where once there was a machine.

I see more carpet, both in and out of the closet. But I also still see an overwhelming mess. sigh.

We worked for hours outside. The branches are gone, and the sticks and leaves are mostly gone, but the pool is still full of debris. The pool sweep keeps clogging with all of the branches and palm fronds it picks up from the pool's floor. It will take at least 3-4 more hours to get it truly clean.

At least the pile of branches are gone from the driveway. Dr. Pete has taken them away. All that is left are his boots...

yup. That's what we've been up to.

Tomorrow is the last day of May. How are you doing on your May Step? I'm a terrible leader. I'm not going to get this one done either. I've actually made a considerable amount of progress, and one of these days I'll kick it into gear and get it finished. But not today.

According to my notes, which are mental, and are likely inaccurate, I've got Kay, Kristin, Pat and Elaine down as finishing (or being very close to finishing) their May Step. Am I correct? You've got...32 hours...and counting.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fun and More Messes

Yesterday I left my mess and headed out to see the Itty Bitties.

Instead of meeting at T Towne, as we usually do, we met at Leslie's. She's recently finished a remodel, in which they added a second story to their house. Wow. I want one. :)

Here are a few shots of her new second floor. Look at all this space!!!

The French door in the background leads to her new sewing room. How wonderful!!!

Another wonderful thing was sharing more of our friend's stash. Here they are, going through the bins. I came with 7, I left with 6. Yay for progress! :)

I'm also ready to part with my hand-quilting stencils. It's been years since I've used them, and since I haven't taught a hand-quilting class in more than 2 years, I don't need them for that either. (I used to give my students their choice of quilting patterns. But no students means no need for stencils, right?)

As I work indoors, to get organized, outdoors we were given a challenge. A wild and woolly wind and electrical storm blew through last night with gusto. It came with almost no rain. I'm sure there were not enough drops to even register on a rain gauge, but the wind was a different story.

Our pool is usually spotless. I've pulled one branch out of it, it's behind the slide. There's a second branch on the dirt, beneath the frond from one of the palm trees.

These branches fell from the neighbor's tree, blocking the side door to the house.

Dead needles from the Sequoia tree litter the driveway. I wondered what the drag marks were from...

Ahh. Pete was up early. I'm guess this branch (sticking out of the bin) caught his attention this morning.

Here is the pile of the major branches from the back yard. They all came from the neighbor's trees. Do you suppose they'll repossess them and dispose of them for us? It doesn't hurt to ask...

If you haven't guessed today's agenda, it's cleaning messes, inside and out. See ya!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Inching Forward

I've made some progress, and I'm probably the only one who can see it.

Yesterday I pulled almost everything out of the closet, then set to work culling and rearranging. Here is what the top shelves now look like.

All of these empty boxes, which used to sit on the floor, are now up on the top shelf. I can actually put my extra sewing machine in the closet, instead of the middle of the room. Yay!!!

When I back up, this is what I see. The corner is now clear, but the mess is on the floor instead of on the shelves.

And this is what you see from the doorway. It's bad, but it really is an improvement over yesterday. See? I spy carpet!

Finally, I was shocked to discover that I still had all of this fabric from my friend's stash. Every one of these containers holds Julie's fabric. It's time to let it go and share with others who knew and loved her, and still others, who will be able to turn her stash into something beautiful. I've had my chance, and have fallen short.

And on that, I'm off to sew with the Itty Bitties. But I'll be back this afternoon, and hopefully I can report more progress in the morning. Goals are good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cat Pics

This afternoon I caught Malcolm (inside) and Edgar (outside) napping. They both like to sleep on their backs. Edgar is NOT dead. ;)

This evening all 4 cats were hanging out at dinner time. Inside is Malcolm, outside are Edgar (tabby), Hecate (Siamese blend), and Charlie (taking a nap).

I think this is the only picture I have of all four cats, and once I snapped it, Malcolm left. He refused to pose a second time. Oh well. Maybe next year. ;)

More Messes, Looking for Order

First I'll show you something productive. It's my Hoffman Challenge. The applique is ready to be sewn to the background. I think I'll keep it this size. Hopefully quilting will enhance the design. I keep waffling about the lion - he needs some enhancement, but I'm afraid I'll ruin him.

Once I finished the color run shown in yesterday's post, I decided that I needed to set a goal. The goal was to dismantle the changing table that had been acting as shelving in the sewing room. I've achieved that objective, and then some.

I started moving things out of the closet too. That's when I lost control.

First, these are some of the bins that I found in my closet. Today I'll put them in the Sewing Annex. I left them out, so you could distinguish these from the bins already in there. (Too bad I didn't buy stock in Rubbermaid years ago!)

The front 3 bins, and the top one in the back pile contain more of a stash I inherited from a friend. I think I will be taking these to guild, to raise some money for the Scholarship fund. The bottom bin in the back contains "kiddie prints." hmmm. I forgot this bin existed. Apparently I'd expanded to a second bin, which is already in the Sewing Annex.

The middle stack contains (top to bottom): 1)sports prints (primarily football & soccer) 2) green fabrics pulled for some forgotten project, 3) cow & farm animal prints, and 4) chunks of every turquoise/ocean-feeling print I owned, cut for a project that I never even started.

When I open the door to the sewing room, this is what I see today. egad. The boxes are all empty, saved for shipping. The white bag on the left is full of flannel. I ran out of bins.

When I take the picture from the reverse angle, you can see that the changing table has been dismantled, and I can now access the closet. whoopie.

In the closet, the shelves are pretty full. I need to cull through and be sure that I NEED to keep everything in here. I can already see things that can be sent away, but not many. The beautiful board is part of my quilting frame. It's so big, I have no place to set it up. Hanging on the rod are (mostly) finished tops and quilts basted for quilting.

When I found this box, I had no idea what was in it. It is more of my friend's stash. I have absolutely no use for this. It's gotta go.

Oh look! Wasted space! I don't know what I'll put up there instead, but I can definitely make better use of that!

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me today. I hope to post pictures of PROGRESS tomorrow.

***Now don't you feel GOOD about where you sew? This has GOT to be encouraging even to the most cluttered quilter. I've got you beat. This poor little room is barely 11' square. Amazing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Can you believe it? Blogger tipped BOTH of my pictures. Maybe that's its input: Maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong angles?

First is the vertical layout (ha!) that I saw in my mind. oops. It measures 29" x 72", which is just wrong, proportionally. grr. But these were the last of the leftover Color Run strips, and I was more inclined to sew them together than to continue emptying my sewing room.

After staring at it for a while, I decided that maybe the horizontal orientation is better. hmmm. But it definitely needs something more. yeah. Blogger's messing with me. tip your laptop, Kristin. ;)

Time to fold it up and put it away in the UFO box. At least it will take up less space like this than it did as all of those cut strips!

oh. And why was I sewing this? Hoffman is bleah, and I'm tired of moving stuff from one room to another. Now that this is together, I'd better go back to what I'm supposed to be doing!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

On the Wall

I thought you might be interested to see what I've got on the walls right now. They'll probably be the last things to come down, when I get ready to paint. We'll do a clock-wise spin around the room.

First, we've got the doorway. I made the rafting quilt in a Joyce Becker class. It was one of my few forays into wonder-under, which I did not enjoy. I prefer hand applique.
Beneath the rafting quilt is a cross-stitched picture that my mom found at Goodwill for $1. She said she thought of me when she saw it. She gave it to me a couple of months before she died. I've stuck some photographs of my nieces and my siblings in the frame. It may not look like much to you, but it reminds me of extended family.

Above the door frame is a triptych that I bought from the Ricky Tims Studio. It needs a close-up of its own.

It doesn't photograph too well, but this is "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" by Sharon Schlotzhauer of Colorado Springs. Her artist's statement says, "The theme 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,' first brought to mind the scripture, Hebrews 8:13 which speaks of Christ being the same yesterday today and forever (tomorrow). I was compelled to translate it into a triptych." When I saw the quilt online in 2007, I bought it as a birthday present for myself. (I love faith quilts, and I personally know the artist.)

Oh, will you look at that?!! As you rotate slightly, you see another Sharon Schlotzhauer original. This one was not purchased, it was a gift. It is called, "Suzie's Irises," and her ink artwork was based on one of my photographs. The verses behind the irises are Lamentations 3:22-24. Above the closet is a name plaque that belonged to my grandfather. I think he kept it in his studio. (He was an oil painter, a mechanical engineer, and an inventor.)

Next we have the view from my sewing table.

A slight clockwise rotation shows part of my design wall. I was encouraged to hang some of my ribbons, but I'm not sure they'll stay up after the storage gets here. They're not that integral to the ambiance of the room. ;)

Here's the remainder of the design wall. wow. Talk about a catch-all. There are photographs and drawings and bits and pieces of projects on it, so I guess it's being used for its intended purpose. But for the most part, those scraps of paper contain various verses that have been brought to my attention for one reason or another. I've culled through them multiple times, these are what remains. Maybe I should use one of my empty journals to create a collage book like so many artist/art quilters have been doing. Hey, you know what? That might not be such a bad idea...

I've spared you yet another view of my cabinet full of fabric. As you rotate past it, this is what you see. It's another collection of goodies.

"Think Before You Speak" on the left is one of my faith quilts.

The little quilts to the right are: A pineapple quilt by Charlotte Rogers of Hanford, CA; a quilted postcard (black) by Sharon Schlotzhauer; a quilted postcard (green) by Wendy Van Beek of Tipton, CA; an art quilt by Phyllis Cullen of Chico, CA (purchased from the SAQA backwards auction, the name isn't on the label!);
second row: Flower pot quilted card by Wendy Van Beek; below it is "Joy Cometh in the Morning" by GM Blank of Calgary (again purchased from the SAQA backwards auction); a poster of the CA Sesquicentennial quilt; a quilted postcard from Sharon Schlotzhauer; and a quilted postcard by Lynn Drennen of Lindsay, CA.

whew! I think if you click on any of the pictures, they will embiggen. ;)

My plan for today was to clean the sewing room until noon, and then begin to sew. hahaha! I spent the first hour of that plan posting pictures on this blog. Shame on me!!

But, an hour should be plenty of time to clear off the sewing table so I can see some action this afternoon.

I guess that's about it, other than to say a heartfelt, "Thank you!" to those of you who have served in the military. I appreciate your service.

Setting Goals

I continue to work to move the contents of my sewing room to the new Sewing Annex. Progress is slow, very slow. I tend to stand in the middle of the room, a bit overwhelmed. What should I move next? I've already moved a few things this morning, but I thought I'd show you my progress so far.

Should I begin with what I've moved? In the Annex are some of my photographs (top of bookshelf), a sewing machine (floor in front of bookshelf), stuff to give away (on chair), projects "in progress" (trapunto & handquilting), and two covered baskets, stuffed with batting.

We've already talked about these bins and empty baskets. A few more have been added to the pile.

We've talked about these as well, and again, a few more have been added to the pile. I should probably mention that none of this stuff came out of the closet. It was all loose in the room.

Back in the sewing room, this is what you see when you stand in the doorway. wow. The only change is that we now have visible carpet under the ironing board.

With my back to the ironing board, I see this:

And from the other angle, I see this. The noticeable improvement is that you can now fully open the door. All junk behind it has been relocated.

On a different note, last night we had a drive-by visit from some airsofters. Adam & Co. stopped for dinner, on their way from Hesperia (So Cal high desert) to Davis. It's his room that has become the Sewing Annex. He was surprised, to say the least.

Can you guess which one is the Kistler?

I'll give you a hint. These fellows are: Dave, Nick, Allen, Adam & Jeff.

And with that, I'll publish this post, but I've got one more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hip 'n With It?

Pete and I have a ministry to the "kids" at our church who are out of high school but not yet thirty. We've called it "College/Career Fellowship," but are searching for a new name. We get together and have fun, in addition to our weekly Bible study.

Last Sunday, we went to the all-church picnic. Afterwards we went to Cold Stone for some ice creamery. yum. yum.

The night before, a few of the girls had a going away party for one of our most loyal attendees. She left on Friday, for a year of teaching English in Korea.

Our hostess was determined to get us all out on the floor, playing twister. It's not an activity I would have chosen, but hey, we aim to please, right? Even if we're not hip 'n with it, we pretend that we are.

First we had some dinner. I may not remember this accurately, but I think Pete is telling the group that if he and I went head to head in Twister, he would emerge the victor.

That meant putting his money where his mouth is, and using his head and shoulders to tip the opposition. Tim-ber!!!

I think that was a Physics lesson in action. When the center of gravity is too high, the loser hits the floor. And stays there.

The winner played air guitar and danced a happy dance, much to the amusement of the audience.

I know. I probably shouldn't have posted the pictures. I'm guessing you wouldn't have posted the pictures. But hey, it's reality. It's what we do...