Saturday, August 29, 2009

Great Week

Quilting work: My South Seas top is completed.

And yesterday I found the perfect backing fabric but I forgot to take a picture so it will have to wait until I get it off the frame. I just ordered a new panto for this quilt so will not start on it until sometime next week.

Pool/Stairs: All of the stairs are moved and today I had help with the last set. It seems that DH thinks I abused his reputation in my recent posts so he was “eager” to help. He even volunteered to have his picture taken, helping.

Have I ever reported that he teaches drama? Oh, my, what a ham!!

Anyway, now all those who expressed concern about me and my physical exertion in moving the steps can stop worrying. I did wind up with interesting bruises.

And there is even a knot under that yellow mark. But it only hurts when I touch it so I am not touching.

Giveaways: A couple weeks ago I won, from Pam at Mama Sparks World, a $50 gift certificate from Bunny Hill Designs. I was given a coupon code and only two weeks to use it. And, that was while we were on our MD trip. So when we got home I spent time on the Bunny Hill web page and this is what I ordered.

I am thinking that I will make the Christmas one for us: will work on it all next year. The other will be a gift but who knows when that will happen. I really like doing fusible machine appliqué but it does take me a long time. I have, however, been really enjoying the Bunny Hill basket BOM so I am sure I will enjoy these, too. Thanks, Pam.

Entertainment: Friday we went to see Julie & Julia and it was GREAT!! How uplifting to see two women, decades apart, finding what made them feel creative and fulfilled. Now cooking would never do it for me, but it was fun to watch each woman struggle with their challenges, much like I do, and then the sense of victory when it turned out great. I started smiling when the movie started and didn’t stop until it was over. Both actresses were perfect: as has been said by many before me, Meryl Streep was Julia Child.

Wow, as I write this I can see that I have had a great week. Thanks for letting me share.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Frustration and Success

I had no email this week until today. For some reason I was unable to get onto the AOL web page or the Facebook web page. I could get to my blog page, no problem, but sometimes I was unable to get to other blogs. I tried four different computers here at home with the same result so I knew it was not my computer. What I don’t know is what was going on or what to do about it. But this morning everything was working all right again. Yippie!

To ease my computer frustration, I spent a lot of time in the studio for the last two days. I have gotten the center of, what is now know as South Seas, sewn together (no picture as it looks just like it did in the last post). LOL I am auditioning several fabrics for borders: nothing seems to be just right so I may just have to go fabric shopping again. What a terrible thing to have happen to me. And I now have 7 embroidery centers done: they really take a lot of time.
The big news is that I finally have the binding done on Alabama Escargot.

I am really happy with how this has turned out.

These last pictures are my “I am woman, hear me roar” pictures.

These steps are extra ones we have here and I have been moving them, little by little, for the last couple of weeks. It is REALLY heavy so I can only move it a little each day and then I have bruises on my arms from lifting it. But today I got them all the way to the pool: they are half of my makeshift deck. There is another set of steps just like it that I will start moving tomorrow. I keep hoping that I will develop arm (and back) muscle enough that it will get easier. NOT! Oh, well, I will at least have a full deck before it is time to winterize the pool. LOL

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back to Quilting

It is hard to believe that a week ago we were buzzing down the highway, working our way home. Most of this week has been catching up and napping but finally by Friday I was able to begin to get back in the groove. Friday I spent the morning doing some cleaning up in the studio so I could begin working on a couple of UFOs and some swap blocks. And Friday afternoon we traveled to Montgomery, AL, where I attended a leader’s meeting for Weight Watchers. Yes, I said Leader’s Meeting. I was asked if I would be interested in becoming a leader so I went to a training meeting to see if I was: I still don’t know if I am or not.

Saturday DH was off judging a Jr. Miss pageant so I spent part of the day cleaning the pool and swimming and the rest in the studio. I did spend some time redesigning the layout for these blocks

and then making the additional blocks to complete the picture. After I cut the strips and sewed the first strata, I cut it into 4 blocks and set them together with one of the Thangle blocks to see how they looked.

This morning I completed sewing all the strata and cutting the blocks and got them up on the design wall.

And I even have four of the seven rows sewn together. Yea, me!

While working on the above, I also was embroidering the centers of the swap blocks I started a couple of weeks ago.

I have gotten 5 done: there are 18 color changes in each square so it is taking quite a while to complete each one. But I did put one block together, again to see how it looks.

So, no completions this week but two well on their way and, if I get off this computer, I hope to have Alabama Escargot bound and done soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Coming Up For Air

We got home from MD at 6am on Monday and the week has been filled with mundane things: laundry, napping, cleaning, napping, furniture moving, napping, company (DD & SIL) for dinner, more cleaning, napping, and finally a visit to the LQS for a BOM meeting today. I had done my block the day after last month’s meeting so I was ready.

It is a faux grandmother’s flower garden a’ la Eleanor Burns. We have now done 7 blocks and I am beginning to get an idea of how I want to set them. I think this may be a gift quilt as repro fabrics are not my cup of tea.

It has been raining every day for the last two weeks. I had ask my DD to water the hydrangeas while we were gone but she said that she never had to turn the water on. That has been the case this week, too. And today I was planning to dead head the rose bushes today but every time I started outside there was thunder, sometimes with rain. Anyway, look at my little hydrangea flower.

I am so excited although it is still the only one. And something is eating the leaves of the other plant so on Saturday I will be off to the nursery to see what can be done to protect my little plants. And look what else is growing in our yard.

Now, as much as I like eating mushrooms, I figure these humidity loving little stems would not be good for me. We only get them when there has been a combination of a lot of rain and humidity at the same time.

I did spend one morning this week in the studio and prepared two basket blocks for appliqué.

I am really enjoying doing these blocks but have no idea how I am going to set them or what fabric I will be using. I guess that’s what I like about how I do quilting, a never ending adventure.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Maryland Post #4

Have you ever felt like your children were trying to kill you? Well, yesterday was one of those days. Now, mind you, it was a wonderful day. We were up early and off to Western Maryland to ride a steam engine train. We had a beautiful ride up and down the mountains and then we arrived here.

Our son had already purchased tickets so all we needed to do was to be there in time to board the train. As we waited I had to take pictures of the station, which looks a lot like it did a hundred years ago.

And while waiting, here came the train.

And it got bigger.

Before long we were boarded and on our way further up the mountain.

It was an hour’s ride with beautiful scenery all along the way.

And then we were finally there.

Now, here comes the “killing” part, what do I mean by there? Well, after watching the train go around on the turntable for the return trip, we climbed these stairs

and walked up a very steep hill into the town. If I tell you that I had to stop once on the stairs and again on the walk/climb, you will understand that I thought I was dying, right there. But, I made it to the top and was treated to an ice cream cone by my children. [killing me with sugar if the climb didn’t do it] .

The train ride home was even funnier. DH and DS spent most of the ride in between the cars, hanging out the dutch door, getting soot blown in their eyes from the coal being shoveled into the steam engine. And, they had a wonderful time.

There were people who rode the train up with us, taking their bikes along, and then biked down on the bike/walking trail. It is 15 miles and we did see some people biking up but way more biking down.

And then, after only 30 minutes going downhill with the brakes screeching all the way, we were back in the station.

If I tell you that I didn’t take any pictures of going to the LL Bean outlet store or the sandwich shop for dinner, you will know that I was too tired to lift the camera or push the shutter button. LOL
This morning, while the kids were at church and we were loading the car, I stripped the bed and put the new quilt on the guest bed.

I was very pleased with how it looks, especially with the painting they are planning to hang in there.

When I wrote this we were in Raleigh, waiting for DS#2 to arrive. He had just called to say he was delayed in Charlotte, weather related, and we were killing time at Books A Million: free WiFi and all the books and magazines you can read. Whoopee.
After he got there we had dinner at Red Rooster, with lots of catching up, and then we parted so we could leave Raleigh by 8pm and head home to AL. I was ready for home, puppies, and my own bed.
We arrived home at 6am this morning and laid down for a "power nap." But when I woke up at 10 I was immediately off to get Abby from the vet and get our little family back together again. Had a great time but it is good to be home!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Maryland Visit Post 3

OK, so what do you do when you are getting older and yet want to see your children? You just forget about age and do whatever you want to do and then worry about aches and pains later. LOL

Today started a little slow. I was up early to read email but at about 9:15am, my son announced that we would be leaving in 15 min. Since I was still in my pajamas there was a quick dash to get dressed and cleaned up, and of course wake up the DH who was still sleeping. And off we went to have breakfast with our DIL’s parents. We met at an old diner where the food and conversation was great. This is DIL and her mother: don’t they look alike?

And here is DS and his father in law. Very nice people who have accepted our son: this I like.

We did do some “shopping” in a really cute shop but it was too crowded to take pictures. And, two things hit the floor while we were there so I was being very careful to not draw attention to myself.

After breakfast and good-byes, we headed for Annapolis where we shopped until we almost dropped. It has a quaint tourist/shopping area that has more unique gift shops that I usually see. This shop was filled with local artisans, all doing quality work.

My contribution to this cause was to buy these earrings.

And what’s this? Why, that’s DH in a cupcake shop. While I was looking at unique gardening supplies, the rest of the family trooped in to check out the cupcakes: yum!

Many more shops were sampled before we finally found ourselves at the harbor, right next to the Naval Academy. Here are the “boys” tagging along behind and here is DIL on her way to look for a hat: I was taking a break and sitting down.

And then we were at the water. Everyone sat down next to the water: some had more trouble getting down than others.

And we watched the boats going by

It was very peaceful there and I would have been willing to stay but up we got and we were off again. This time we were on our way to Cantler’s restaurant for Maryland crab. The kids got a dozen crabs.

And then DIL proceeded to teach DS how to eat crabs. This was really funny to watch.

DH and I had Maryland Crab Cakes which were out of this world: no pictures because I was too anxious to eat them to remember to snap. But I did get some shots of the view we had while eating on the deck.

Other related information: Today is DS#1’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Son) and today we arranged to meet DS#2 in Raleigh on Sunday where he will be attending a training event. We will drive down there Sunday afternoon and spend a couple of hours with him before going on to home. How about that, this really is a family vacation!
Tomorrow there is a whole new agenda so I better get some sleep. Nite!