Friday, July 31, 2009

Last Day for July Step

Ahh. No pictures this morning, maybe later. I'm still trying to move into the Studio...I love how that word is beginning to roll trippingly off the tongue, without hesitation. Studio. Studio. Studio. I love it!

Anyway, the contents of the Annex are gradually diminishing. Unfortunately I've decided that several bins will be staying under the bed. I really liked having NOTHING under that bed, but for now? It's the best place to get things out of my way.

Another unfortunate observation is that I moved several things into the Studio yesterday, without finding a place to put them. These are important things, like my BIG box of orphan blocks, etc., so I MUST deal with them. They are too big to ignore, and too important to stash in the way back of the closet. Perhaps today I'll have more creative storage inspiration. (I expect to be inspired and cleaned up by noon, so I can get back to quilting!)

As you know, or perhaps you missed it, I actually finished my June/July Step. yay!! Both months my goal was to finish my Hoffman, and it is actually complete. whoop, whoop, wahoo!

I've felt like an unorganized mess since the first of June, which was when I went from sewing area to empty room. Everything was crammed into the Annex (or Daniel's room or the dining room or the living room) and nothing was readily accessible. I haven't forgotten that I haven't rewarded any of you for your June Step.

In fact, I'm planning to send a reward to those of you who have been faithfully stepping along without me, and bearing with me through this extended period of upheaval. I hope to get something into the mail by early August, goals are good and all that.

Speaking of which, I need to post my Step for the coming month. It may be unattainable, but it is realistic. I'll post it first thing in the morning. I need to get a picture.

Good luck with your Steps, we're more than halfway through the year. I'm so excited! I even have a FINISHED quilt (my Hoffman) as a result of this Step challenge. I hope the rest of you are feeling as encouraged as I am!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Food Grows...

...where water flows.

Thought I'd share some of Elaine's bounty and last night's dinner with you.

Cook up some chicken breasts in olive oil, chop up fresh veggies...

Add some garlic salt and doesn't this look yummy? We ate it all up!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Tired

I've been working all day and thought I'd show you my progress before I put my feet up. My actual plan is to wash my hair. I'm considering doing some hand-quilting while I veg for the remainder of the evening, but I suspect I may just wash my hair and put my feet up. I'm pooped.

I've moved more of my quilts out to Mel's cabinet. Don't they look great?

Actually I think I need to pull out the navy blue quilt on the bottom shelf. It's the only one with a wool batt, and it doesn't seem to like to be folded into such a small space. I have a glass storage "box" (end table) that is full of quilts, so it might be happier in there. I'll check it out on another day.

I found that I have a lot of batting. It doesn't all fit in the hidey-hole under my sewing table. oops. I need to start quilting more!

I've been busy. Not only have I been filling the new stash cabinet, but I've been emptying Rubbermaid bins. yay! Double yay!

The stash cabinet is just about full. I had to stop when I realized I'd just shoved 3 stacks of unsorted fabric into empty spaces "because it fit." bad quilter! Behavior like that will send me back to where I began!!

I put large pieces of yardage on the bottom shelves. I purchased them specifically for backings, yet when it comes time to back quilts, these pieces have been in a large bin in the very back of the closet under too many things to ever pull them out and use. Kind of defeats the purpose of having them, doesn't it? Hopefully this will be a quick and easy way to use this yardage. If I see it, I'll use it. Right? Right!

I've cleared out the room and am ready to quilt. I've got three days left on my self-awarded sabbatical, and I do hope to begin quilting my rafting quilt first thing tomorrow morning. Then again, that means I need to find the box that holds the green river thread - it's in the Annex, somewhere...

And here's the annex. Do you think I'll have any luck finding my thread? I think I'm a bit skeptical.

The sad thing about this picture is that it was taken AFTER I worked all day. All of these things still need to move into the Studio. Well, most of them. I've decided that the bin of Christmas fabrics, the bin of baby prints and the bin of solids have permission to remain shoved under the bed until further notice. shhh. Don't tell anyone. ;)

Getting Closer...

All I want to do is sew. But, I still don't have everything at my fingertips to make that dream possible. I'm working on it.

Yesterday I focused on moving fabric. Do you think I have enough green? ;) I've got one shelf for black/grey, one for purple, one for all batiks (except green)...I may have to cut back on shopping for green. "Go green" must have been a subliminal message that I was totally enthralled by... :)

For now the table is covered with odds and ends of fabric. Behind the machine is a stack of tropical prints. I'm trying to dig my way to the large bin full of tropical prints that I know is in the Annex somewhere. The stack next to the machine is actually small art quilts and postcards made by quiltie friends.

I hope to fill the top drawer with all of the things I need for sewing and quilting. I have to find them first. The bottom shelf holds my boxes of scraps, sorted by color. I use these for the little cards that I like to make.

I laugh when I look at this cabinet. I know that I will probably change the ruler shelf, but for now it's fun to see them all there and easily accessible. The top shelf is all buttons and beads, but not all of my buttons and beads are in there. Some are still to be found.

When I get a bit giddy about my progress, all I have to do is look in the Sewing Annex. oops. I have far to go when it comes to moving back into the studio.

This morning I took 3 of the 4 cats to the vet for their vaccinations. Here they are, all ready to go. Malcolm started howling, and got Edgar and Charlie into a panic. Silly Malcolm, it wasn't so bad.

When we got home, Malcolm decided that it was naptime. The piano bench is one of the coolest places to catch some shuteye. He barely fits. (Oh, the good news is that he's lost 3 pounds since being on his meds. Dr. Lori said that without the records, she would never guess that he's 9 years old. ohmygoodness, I didn't even realize he was 9. I thought he was 7 or 8...)

Finally, lest you think that I've forgotten the beautiful cabinet that Mel built, I haven't. I decided to put it in the entry way, and I really like the way it looks. This is what you see when you walk in the door.

And this is what you see when you leave. I've got another stack of quilts on the bed in the Annex, I just haven't been able to reach them. Once I do, this will look even more colorful.

And now, it's time for me to go back to the Studio and continue trying to make it my own. Pete has asked if I'm going to put a chair in there, for him to sit in. When I assure him that I will, he grins. I think he will really enjoy visiting in there, when it is neat and organized. He loves organization more than anything, and we don't have a lot of that around here right now. After almost 16 years in this house, it's about time!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Moving In!!!

I can't believe it. I need to keep pinching myself. The carpenter has finished my dream studio and it's time to move in. I am pleased to say that I've moved all of the fabric from one room into the studio, and yes, indeed, it IS a studio! Some of the fabric is still stacked on the table, but much of it has been artfully arranged in the glass stash storage. woohoo! It takes my breath away.

I'm not going to give you much in the way of a visual progress report at this point, other than to show you a few pictures to share what lies ahead of me.

Charlie approves of the new table, as do I. I can't wait to sit at it and begin creating wondrous quilted creations.
I'm going to keep my paperwork and business records in this bottom area. The boxes are FILLED with quilt photographs, all organized by either timeline or category or both. The binders hold slides, appraisals, articles that I've written, etc.

Last night I moved some of my green fabric into the Studio. I've completely filled these two shelves, along with a third. I think all of my green fabrics are present and accounted for, but I still have all of those bins in the Annex to think about. hmmm. I may think about them tomorrow. :)

While I puttered yesterday, Pete went to war. Here is his armory. His lawn has *gasp* a fungus.

Here is the most offensive fungus patch. He's often chuckled that people see fungus, think the lawn is dying, and water it more. More water means more fungus. He continues his watering schedule (3x week) and applies fungicide. Repeatedly.

Here he is, in action. I didn't want to disturb him, so I took the picture through the window. He gets into a rhythm, and almost goes into a trance-like state. I'm certain he finds it very soothing. (He's walking backwards around the lawn.)

Finally, as I was unloading the photos from my camera, I found this one of Jeff & Allison hiding in the middle of my photos from Germany. The lighting isn't the best, but it captures both of their smiles at the same time. Happy, happy couple. big smile.

And I guess that's enough procrastination. I'm going to grab a bite to eat, then get back to work. My goal is to be sewing by morning. Be still my pounding heart!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm Moving In!!!

That's all for now folks, just a teaser. My table has a top and my machine has a table. woohoo!!! Come Monday, it's going to be all quilting, all the time. Or at least moving.

Don't worry, I'm taking pictures. I'll share them in a bit. But for now, I'll leave you hanging. I've got work to do!!

Lots To Tell

Well, there's a big difference between Alaska and Visalia, believe you me. They may have 24 hour daylight, but we've got 24 hour heat. I took this picture at 11pm. If you can't read the mercury, it was 94 the night we got home. Toasty.

I was taken to a new-to-me quilt store in Alaska, and came home with this little bit of yardage for my collection. ooh ahh. (I may have brought it home, but it's not all destined for my stash.)

You're probably wondering about the state of my sewing room. As of Tuesday, this is what it looked like. These cabinets are ready to hold my stash. (Or part of it.)

This one is waiting to hold tools and whathaveyou.

Same with the one in the back corner. The table is waiting for its top.

The doors are on, and the drawers are functional.

I have to say that I don't do waiting well. I never have. I was in the last throws of trying to finish my Hoffman Challenge, and not having a place to sew made me a very unhappy camper. Philippians 4:12 aside, I may be able to do all things, but sometimes I don't WANT to do all things, and on Tuesday, all I wanted was a place to sew that was not in my kitchen. I must say that I may have exhibited a bit of ungodly behavior as I went about finishing my Hoffman.

I had to bring my machine, my embroidery accessories, my cutting equipment, and everything else out here to make and attach binding, make and attach a sleeve, and make and attach a label.

I will also admit that I may have made a scene when I realized that all entry forms were to be completed online this year - my internet access was inaccessible until late Thursday. Kinko's saved me on that one.

I finished my quilt, and it was received by the deadline. My bad news (for everyone interested) is that in my anxiety to get it to Colorado on time, I neglected to take a photograph of the finished project. Oops. Trust me. It's finished! :)

Yesterday I hopped a bus for Long Beach, to see the Quilt Festival. ooh, aah, those people really do know how to put on a quilt show!!!

I usually do not take pictures at shows, but I've had many people ask me what kinds of quilts that I like. I loved this "poppy" quilt, with the mini-Dresden plate flowers. It was delightful!

This "Triple 4-Patch" also caught my eye. Being a big fan of the Double 4-Patch, I may have to try this some time.

While in Long Beach, I had the chance to meet up with Kay, who I met through this blog. She lives in Bakersfield, and is also a cat-loving quilter. Good times!

Here is Kay in front of one of her quilts. "Sunny With A Chance of Roses" was included in the CA Award-winning Traditional Quilts exhibit. Her other quilt was in the West Coast Wonders exhibit. Somehow I missed getting a picture of that one.

I was raring to go when it came to the vendors, which is highly unusual for me. This was my favorite vendor yesterday, I've been looking for beads for a LONG time. It's SO much better to buy beads I can see, than trying to make a selection online!!

These are my pretties, purchased in her booth.

I also found a booth featuring handmade glass buttons. I bought these, along with the blurry little clear glass heart charms. At 50% off, I was sure I'll find a use for them.

There was another booth, "Georgia Stewart Clothing," that had fantastic quilted jackets and all kinds of fun garb. I don't know if it was because I was cold (silly, to be cold in CA in July!), but I came home with this fun jacket. Such a deal, such a deal! I couldn't pass it up.

My last picture from Long Beach is this one. Pete talked about quilting while he was fishing, it's the least I could do...I'll think about cows while I'm at the quilt show!!

Finally, today should be the last day of work on the sewing room. The carpenter is here and so is the table top. I can't wait to see how it looks. Even without the table top, the room looked spectacular.

My toes are tingling with excitement. I might just be moving in tonight. Be still, my beating heart!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sorry It's Been So Long...

...but my power supply to my router died, and apparently it's an epidemic, and AT&T was sold out as were Best Buy and everyone else and I had to order it and it only just arrived and I've been having major withdrawals and I can't believe I'm finally back online!!!

whew!

Tomorrow I' m off to Long Beach, so I'll just give you some pictures for today.

In Alaska I got to sleep in Katie's fairy princess bower.

I spent time at the Botanical Gardens with Katie, Sharon, and Colleen.

The girls are quite adventurous.

Alaska knows how to bloom in summer!

We shared Tom & Sharon's 16th anniversary with them. Don't they look cute in their unintentionally matching shirts?

We visited with Norton

And Camper

And Bumpy

Andrew played with Tom's cool toys...

Have you ever seen a compressed air pogo stick? They can really bounce!

Some of us had an easier time mountain biking

than others...

(check out my foot - ew! horses!)

And there was canoeing on the Chena River...

And all too soon it was time to fly home. Here's a photo taken at 12:30am...

Thank you Tom, Sharon, Colleen & Katie for making our 4 days in Alaska something special!!!