Saturday, June 30, 2012

All Better

I guess I must have dislocated something in my foot, which relocated itself during the course of the day.  My limp is gone, hurrah!  I'm still a bit bumped and bruised, but I feel terrific.  Thank you to those of you who commented.  I know.  I shouldn't be on a ladder on an incline.  Unfortunately I keep thinking I need to get back up there and finish the job!  Maybe I'll go shopping instead!
I found this velvet Log Cabin quilt at an Estate Sale yesterday.  It smells musty - ew! - but for $15, I thought it might be a good experiment to see if velvet can be washed in the bathtub.  So far, so good, except that it bleeds like crazy, and it still smells.  oh well.  Maybe a few days on the line will reduce the aroma?
The dog, who shall remain nameless, or called "Rocky", "Butch," "Spot," or "Jaws," (depending upon who you talk to) has been back for three days.  Do you suppose he will stay?  He has new scars since his last visit.  He acts like a lover, not a fighter.  At least he has no ticks this time around!
 The Chup-ster isn't feeling so hot.  Or maybe she's feeling TOO hot.  The heat is taking its toll, and the boys worry that she's not going to make it through the summer.  Once the sun goes down, she takes more of an interest in her surroundings.
And I guess that's about it.  Yard sales are calling, and then later, I may hole up in the Studio, and begin stitching 'til the cows come home.  (And since we don't have any cows, that could be a very long time!)  :)

Friday, June 29, 2012


full rain gutters + 8' ladder + fresh laid bark on uneven ground + one "old" lady =
umm, yeah.  I guess I'm not as young and cat-like as I used to be.  Good thing the ladder was the only thing that went sideways.  I went straight down.

I guess that's one way to get the perfect excuse to sit and sew for hours.  The biggest bruise is on my ego, but I've got a couple of others to prove that I can fall off a ladder and keep on ticking.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Blocks Complete

I finished the last block.
 I've sewn the blocks into panels, and am in the process of embroidering the seams.
Perhaps by the end of tomorrow I will have a complete top and be able to begin my applique.  Goals are good!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

12, 13...

Stitching continued yesterday, with the completion of Block #12.
 And Block #13.  Pat?  See that checkered ribbon?  You dropped that by yesterday afternoon.  :)  Thank you so much!!
 Today is our 31st wedding anniversary.  "Thirty-one years" is (are?) a lot of years.
 And guess who's back?  After disappearing as mysteriously as he'd appeared, this dog - who shall remain nameless - is back.  We think it's because he now has a dew-claw issue.  He's here for veterinary services.  Once rendered, I'm sure he'll take off again on his travels.  In the meantime, he's shredding everything he can get his teeth on.  Good thing almost everything is cleared from his reach!
And that's about it.  One more Crazy Quilt block to embroider, and then I can assemble my top and begin on my applique.  Goals are good!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

9, 10, 11...

I'm finding that the embellishment phase of crazy quilting is almost as engrossing as the piecing part.
I've been loving every stitch.
 I find that even with my limited stitch repertoire, I can make the embroidery look varied, simply by changing threads.
 Eleven blocks complete, 2.5 to go.  I may even finish them today.
Do you see that purple fabric, with the white flowers in the center of the above block?  It is a scrap of fabric from the 40's.  My mom had a dress made out of it when she was a young lass.

Stay tuned.  Before too long, the blocks will be embroidered and I will begin assembling the top.  And then there will be applique.  And hand quilting.  The deadline is screaming, so I'd better get to work!  Laters...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Try Relaxing

It's been an eventful week.  It didn't seem so at the time, but I think I'm a bit rattled at this point.  When the car starts up across the fence, I get a feeling of panic.  Strange, because the sound used to simply annoy me.  Now it scares me.
And so, for therapy, I'm stitching.  This is Block #7.
 This is Block #8.  Hoffman Deadline, I have you in sight!
 Which makes me think of sight finders.  Which remind me that on Friday (three days after Tuesday), Charlotte came into my living room.  "Did you just put this here?"  umm, no.  It's been on the piano for months.  Do you think our SWAT friends saw it?
 And my husband was reading this book, which he tossed aside as we were ushered out the door.  Do you think our SWAT friends noticed?
The rumor mill continues to swirl regarding our Bad Neighbor.  Multiple reports of his marksmanship (he would have hit the officer, if he'd wanted to) and a recent terminal diagnosis keep surfacing.  In the meantime, our "quiet" neighborhood sits on edge, wondering "what next?"

These are the times that try men's souls?  Indeed, they just may be...

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Stitch at a Time

I've been working on my Hoffman Challenge.
 It seems kind of silly to begin a primarily handwork project one month before the deadline.  I guess that's just "how I roll" best.
 Six blocks down, eight to go.  Plus a center.  Plus assembling.  Plus quilting.
I know.  You're not supposed to quilt a crazy quilt.  But I'm not completely crazy, and neither will this quilt be.  At least that's the mid-June plan.  July may change the plan, sending it in unexpected directions.

And that's it for now...Got some stitching to do, doncha know?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Bit 'o Stitchin'

After the craziness of Tuesday, it was nice to just sit at the sewing machine and do some simple sewing.  I love the simplicity (there's that word again!) of chopping up old pieces of embroidery and incorporating them in birthday cards.
 Why is it that I find working with turquoise and fishies the most relaxing?  Is it the color?  The subject matter?  Or both?  I dunno.
And that's all I've got for today.  I'm trying to work on my Hoffman Challenge, but it's going very slowly.  I don't have the imagination with regards to embroidery and embellishment that I do when simply playing with fabric.  Perhaps it's a skill that will develop.  I hope so!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Small Town Crazies

I have no pictures.  My camera was in my purse when we were shooed, shoeless from the house at 7pm.  The SWAT team needed our structure, to keep an eye on the backyard neighbor.  What did he do?  He called the police to come to his house, then emerged wearing body armor and shooting.  Seriously?  Seriously.  The cop shot back.

At the time, we (husband & I & two sons) were on the patio, eating dinner.  pop! pop! pop! pop! pop! pop! pop!pop!  (One son counted 8, the other counted 11.)  "What was that?!!"  Was it gunfire? or firecrackers?  The boys were sure it was gun fire, and peeked over the fence.  Nothing.  huh.  It really sounded close.

Within the hour, our block was evacuated.  The crazy man was eventually escorted from his house, but not before he'd turned on the gas.  We were allowed to return home, "But stay on the north side of your house, we're still checking his place with the bomb bot."  Lovely.

I have to say that I am glad we have SWAT and a bomb squad.  I wouldn't think a town of 125,000 would need them, but they do come in handy when the neighbors go crazy!

Thank you, SWAT!  As my youngest said, "I'd say, 'Come back any time,' but I'd rather not repeat the experience."


oh.  And I did finish a quilt-for-hire yesterday.  woohoo!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

A few months back we planned a weekend trip to the coast.  I like the coast, sure I'll go.  While hubby was in meetings, I walked around Cannery Row.
 On Friday afternoon, we went on a wine-tasting tour.  I like looking at flowers much more than sipping wine at 2pm.
 On Saturday, we had visitors.  Miss Penelope is not sure what she thinks about Gramma's attempt to embroider crazy quilt blocks.
 Our first stop was a seafood restaurant.  I can't remember the name of it, but it was in the 500 block of Foam St.
Next stop, Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I think she liked the wave experience the best.
 I don't remember seeing this before, I think it's new.  I really liked this feature too.  I could have stayed there much longer.
The jellyfish are always a hit.  They look so odd, swimming upside down, but I suppose that's normal.  
When I was younger (much younger), we'd see them floating on the surface and steer clear.  I'm glad they weren't stealth jellies like these.  I would have been stung more than I was!
 We ate dinner at Monterey's Fish House.  "Here Mama, YOU eat the octopus!"
 After dinner, we sat on the deck eating dessert and sipping coffee.  The strawberry lemon shortcake was AMAZING.
 All too soon the weekend was over and it was time to say goodbye.  Bye, Penelope!  See you next time!  xxoo  Gramma

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So Pretty!

The painter finished yesterday.
 oh, how the yellow makes me happy!
 Now we're all matchy-matchy!
 I wonder how long the porch will remain cleared off?
Besides watching Juan finish the touch-up painting, I roamed a few more antique malls and found this precious.
Isn't it all so pretty?  :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


When I started wondering where to put my new yellow pitcher, I realized I had a bare shelf in the living room.  It's been empty for at least a year.  What if I put my "collections" together in one place, instead of here, there, and everywhere?

I do have more yellow pieces, but they are in service, in the Studio.  The pieces shown here are primarily for display.  They make me happy.  They may need some adjustment, but for now?  It's quite fun to see many of my pretties, together in one place.  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy, Happy

I don't know about you, but fresh paint makes me happy.  Finally we were ready to paint the main house.  Before...
The trim should be finished tomorrow.  It looks so happy!!
Chupa likes it too.  She's particularly happy that part of the lawn died.  She likes rolling in it.  ooh.  aah.
 The walnut trees are also happy, working to produce quite a lovely crop of nuts.
 I went to an antique mall today, and found this Metlox pitcher for $15.
 The same mall had a second pitcher in tangerine...for $65!  I think I got the better deal, even though I did love the orange one too.
And finally, today my SAQA piece was listed on the website.  I guess it did get there after all.  It is on page 1b.  You can see it here.
All things together make me happy, happy, happy.  :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Christmas in June?

I thought Christmas in July was a bit much.  And here it is June, and we have a "Christmas" program at guild.  Only it's not just Christmas, it's recycling found items and turning them into fun decorating accessories.  I'm talking about Dawn Farrier, of Creation Station in Buellton, and her fun and fascinating presentation at yesterday's meeting.  This is Dawn.  She's hard to miss.  ;)
 Isn't this fabric garland cute?  It's just string, loaded with 1" x 7" pinked-edge strips, tied in place.  (There are two other garlands in the picture.  One is a stitched chain of paper snowflakes, the other a stitched chain of scrap fabric.)  Christmas cards are attached to the garland with clothespins.  What a quick and clever way to display them!
 This garland is made of beer bottle caps.  They're chained together with crochet.  She also had crocheted chains of buttons.  When I left, I wondered if I could dye some of the old crochet thread I've inherited.  hmmm.  The more I think about it, the more I think the idea has possibilities.
 Got a couple hundred green yoyos?  Grab a styrofoam tree form and make a tree!
I think this wreath was my favorite item.  It's strips of fabric tied onto a wire form.
 My second favorite was the tomato cage, turned upside down and into a tree.
 Or there was this tree - fabric tied onto thin steel cables, attached to a circular base and suspended from above.
If I had half the creativity of Dawn, I would be THRILLED.  Instead, I will absorb her ideas and see what happens.  I definitely came away from the meeting with a new invigoration for doing something different.  What fun!