Monday, July 28, 2008

Shhhh --

No pictures today - Sorry!  I really am working on quilty things, at least I'm trying to!  You know those days when you're all revved up, in the groove and ready to sew and create all day then the whole WORLD decides that's the day they need you more than anything?  Well, that was my weekend!  LOL - That phone started smoking by noon, scaring all the folks who dropped by.  I love love love having friends and family in my home - I waited a long time to be able to have that and it's a blessing - but sewing?  Heh - not so much.  Suddenly it's deadline time for quilt-show entry forms and I don't have anything ready!  ARK!  The peephole of time I had without company or phone calls I had to use to paint one of the decks, oh goody.   Is there anything on earth more fun than painting a deck in 90 degree heat?   Maybe changing sheets on built-in bunk beds?   How about this - a phone call in the dark of pre-dawn that opens with "This is Officer Smith from California Highway Patrol.  We have a report of horses in the road in your area  - will you check yours please?"   Oh crap.    That wakes you up real fast!  Ours did in fact get out last week - and gave us a heck of a fight to get them back.    Paco is a sheer genius at un-latching gates and finding loose boards, so getting a call like this isn't totally out of the blue.   In fact, CHP has our phone number because of an escape a couple of years ago!   So Hunny and I went flying outside to check, he to the east side and me to the west.   I went scampering around a corner and almost ran smack into Paco who was really surprised and reared up!  That startled me as I was skidding to a stop and I slipped and fell smack on my fanny, not far enough from where his sharp little hooves came down.   On my lower leg.   Oowwww!   Remember it's not quite light yet and everything is surreal and I was hoping none of this was happening and I'm sure Paco was thinking "How cool!  You came out to play!"  and now Hunny is calling to me - "I can't find them, we better get the truck!"   so I hollered back - "yea, get the truck and give me a ride back to bed, OK?"  Geeesh..... all that then we have to go clean up and face a Monday morning at work.   (giggle) I'm still having fun!  I like this new brain I found somewhere; nothing fazes it!    A nap would be nice tho - 0500 is kinda early to be in high gear.  Yaawwnn...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ahhhh - the weekend!

Gee, it seems like Saturdays are more fun these days since I'm all calm and not trying to recover from a terrible week. Now Saturdays are back to being a day to actually practice relaxing and having fun!! This Saturday started off with a SEW DAY at my house with Leslie, Rosie and Chari - my own Ms. No-Blog. Somehow I managed to not get any pictures of the SewDay (!) but I did get snaps of two little guests who were too shy to stay very long:
We've been watching these two cuties for a few weeks now and boy do they grow fast!! The first time we saw them they looked like house cats with long legs. They're probably thigh-high now, still in spots and so so cute! I'm glad we're on their daily circuit.
So for my Sew Day project I didn't work on a quilt, I worked on my Bunco table cloths. Each of them is a modified 9-patch that is custom fit to the table top, and each has the black center so you can see the rolled dice better. The side borders will be fitted at the corners to make a box-shaped topper that won't slide all over the place as we play. They will also each have the 3 appliqued dice on the sides although each tablecloth will have different colored sides, this one is red. The second one I think will be aqua, and the third maybe dark gold - I'm still debating.

The dice are printed on fabric adhered to paper-backed fusible and cut apart. The plan was to do a quick machine zig-zag around the sides of the dice to secure them. Easy project to do while visiting and giggling, right? Well, my machine started right off skipping stitches. I fooled with the tension and that didn't help. I got a new needle and that didn't help - still skipping stitches. I un-threaded and re-threaded top and bobbin and that didn't help. I changed bobbins. I changed thread. I changed MACHINES and still skipped stitches! I changed stitches - maybe straight stitch instead of zig-zag. Nope - still skipped but the straight stitch looked much better. I changed needles again, to a larger size 12, and switched to a heavier thread - no dice. (ug - bad pun!) I switched back to thinner thread in the larger needle - still skipping stitches so I pulled the whole thing out of the machine, wadded it up and threw it behind the couch. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! I had 3 honest to goodness ladies in my house so I didn't say what came to mind, but I'm sure they heard anyway - LOL!! It was still a wonderful, terrific, relaxing day with good friends and good food and that sure made the aggravation bearable, even funny. Thank you my dears!
After my friends left, I got a quick nap then we packed up the 2 oldest GS's age 16 and 14 and went to the boat races. At a paved racetrack! ROFL - it was hysterical! Here's the premise - you get your old beat-up jalopy and old unwanted boat and paint them up with gaudy designs and personal slogans. You hook the boat to the car with rope and don't bother with a trailer, just drag the boat on the road behind you. Then put 20 of these outfits on a racetrack that's been raced on by real cars for a few hours so it's good and slick. Oh yea - get the biggest water truck you can find and water down that oily track real good - spray the crowd too while you're at it! OK - the last car still running with boat still attached is the winner, so you want to wipe out your opponents as fast as possible.

We laughed so hard our faces hurt! There was debris everywhere, a few times wild boats went screaming past us skidding along ON THE FENCE and the noise was incredible! Any boat was a target - another driver would take aim, accelerate and smash into it as fast as he could! Every couple of laps they'd stop the race and remove drivers, but the wrecked cars and boats stayed right where they died!! So if there was a big boat that ended up right across the track that's where it stayed and got turned into trash by the next car to come by. There was no holding back - these guys were putting on a show and all 6,000 people loved it. You can see we're very close to the track which adds to the thrill since those wrecks happen less than 15 feet away!
It was certainly the highlight of the nights racing, and this time NO ONE left early! I've never seen the racetrack so crammed, and parking was a nightmare but I'm sure glad we went, it was quite a spectacle. The boys were beside themselves and all the way home talked about fixing up an old car and racing. Well, Grandpa raced, Dad raced, Uncle raced; heck I even raced motorcycles many years ago so it's about time for these guys. Grandpa and I told the boys we'd buy them a car but they have to foot the bill for everything else, then we dropped them off at their house and scurried into our house locking the door behind us so Mom couldn't get us!! LOL!!
Back to my derailed table cloths. I still love the idea and I'm not ready to give it up so back to the drawing board. I sure wish I knew why all of a sudden I can't get a decent stitch with that fusible; it's always worked fine before! Plan B will be to print on plain fabric backed with freezer paper and just pinned onto the background. I know that method works! How's your weekend?
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lazy Weekends

I love the slow lazy days of summer with nothing pressing, nothing demanding attention and nothing getting in the way of doing, well, NOTHING! LOL! For all of the nothingness, I've really gottne a lot done. For starters, I finally got the sleeve done on the Siggie Quilt and hung it in the living room:
Fun, bright and colorful for summer, isn't it? Most of yesterday was given over to "chores" like laundry and picking up around the house, but for a few hours last night I went camping; LOL, yes, I said a few hours! DD and DGD are camping with friends at the lake a few miles from here, and they were anxious to have me come visit for dinner and Smores. Madeline is normally a fastadious little fashion plate, and prefers to be clean, just like her Mama, but camping means you're going to be dirty. That's just the way it is, and face it - a dirty kid is kind of charming!
The white smear across her nose is self-applied sunscreen, there's some dinner around her mouth, grubby little fists and plain old honest dirt smudges all over and she's pretty pleased with it all! A short time later tho, it turned to upset when her marshmallow flamed:
She huffed and puffed and it still wouldn't go out and OH the pain! It was tragic, I tell you! ROFL!! Ooops, excuse me. I really do try hard not to laugh at Small-Girl-Trauma, but c'mon! It's so cute! Ok, I confess, I didn't laugh out loud and I did help put out the fire and comfort my little chef. Then she toasted another totally perfect one and all was well again.
Back home today I tackled a BIG UGLY job that I've been putting off for a couple of years. I painted the exterior trim of the french doors in our bedroom - UGH!!! I really hoped Hunny would cave in to the whining, but alas he never did so I finally dove in. Actually it wasn't too bad; we got a good quality paint and top notch brush and those both made for a smooth easy job. I only did one coat because as it creeps up over the 90 degree mark outside, I hole up in the cool house! Still it looks a world better and I feel like I DID something. In the cool of the house I got my Summer FSQS ready to go to it's new home, to my swap partner ????????? who lives in ???????? (is it you?)
Now, after such a slow lazy weekend I'm going to pop a top and go see what the rest of you have been up to!
Thanks for visiting!
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Time's Flyin' Again

It's easy to tell from my blog's title that I have time issues. Ahem.
Really I keep telling myself to stick to quilty content, since this IS a quilt blog and sometimes I'm not too quiltily active if you get my drift. The past two weeks I've been coasting on a cloud of peace straight from Heaven over my new job. But first - Quilty News! I got a squishy package of goodness the other day
from Pam at My Creative Mind - LOOKY!!

These are exquisite! The piecing is so fine and the colors so pretty - I love this pretty set to bits. It's already working, too - I've had needles stuck in a piece of felt loose in my sewing bag and always wanted a needle-keeper. (too lazy to make one?) THANK YOU Pam!! (e-mail me, Pam - I can't get thru to yours somehow)

While our temps have been in the 110 range I just don't sleep all night - it's impossible. So in the wee smoky hours one day this past week, I cut some little diamonds and made another doll quilt - this is a bit larger then a fat quarter - about 20 by 25 or so.

I loved the fabrics that came together in a FQ bundle a few months ago, but not too pleased with how it came out - too pale for me. I like the contrast to be jacked up a bit! It will give me something to do on my long lunch hours tho; I'm hand quilting this one. Meantime, I did quilt some more on The Rebel, and after about 45 minutes my machine started making funny noises so I took it all apart and cleaned it out - look what was in/around/under the bobbin case:

Eeeewwww!!! And I clean mine out every 2 bobbins or so! I never get this much fuzz - oh wait. I was using a different thread. I usually use Masterpiece, and I have Essentials in there now for quilting. Essentials thread is a bit thicker and shows quilting stitches better, I think. (not too great for piecing) It is, however, linty! Guess I'd better clean every bobbin change now! There's another project in the works now too --
Yep - those are dice. I host my Bunko group every August, and this year I want tablecloths that are black in the centers to better see the dice, and each side will have 3 dice set on top a different color border around the black. I have a fair picture in my head how I want them to look and I'll be working on making 3 of them in the next couple of weeks or so.
In other sewing related "JSYK" - I heard somewhere that dust/cat hair/ etc. can build up inside your foot control and make it kind of sticky - made sense to me! There was a message on the Yahoo site suggesting that you can open up the foot and clean this stuff out. Well, my older Janome has been sitting on a shag rug with Cuervo the Hairball for 4 or 5 years, so I flipped it over and unscrewed the screws.
I ruined the controller. There's a metal lever thing inside that popped off and I can't get it back on and Hunny can't get it back on and we can't even get the whole cover off anyway. I did shoot some canned air in there and only the slightest tiny bit of faint dust came out so it wasn't worth it - now I need to buy another foot. Grrrr...... I have to learn things the HARD way!
If you're still with me........have I mentioned that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new job?? Oh man -- to be able to actually get everything done and leave a clean desk at the end of a day -- to be able to sleep at night instead of laying awake wondering what happened to that huge drug order -- to have a long, relaxing lunch HOUR instead of wolfing down something in 10 minutes and racing back into the next crises -- 3 e-mails in a day instead of 35 -- not a single whiny staffer in my office with some impossible request -- and no one EVER bleeds all over the floor! HEAVEN I tell you! After so long struggling to make the decision to leave, then so long actually getting out of there, and so much drama surrounding the whole thing - I'm so relaxed and peaceful now I almost don't know myself; it's so wonderful, a Gift.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my happy little space!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back to Work

That might have been the shortest retirement in the history of the world! Monday I started my new position and couldn't be happier with it. I fit in easily, have a wonderful rapport with the doctor and her husband, who has been running the office up to now. I have to assume they're comfortable with me too since they left me entirely alone to my own devices today, no patients and no doctor, just me all alone all day! There's a bug in every picnic however, and mine is the computer system. It's a Mac. Until Monday I had never even seen a real Mac up close, let alone worked with it. The applications they have for the office are spectacular, incredibly efficient and well designed. Now, all I have to do is learn to drive the darn thing! LOL!
I have no quilty content to show pictures of - although the Siggie quilt is finished and bound - so you'll have to put up with cute grandson pictures.

Spend a fortune on presents and they'll play with the box, or bag in this case. Fortunately I'm wise enough now to NOT spend a fortune on toys that will last a week, and know to be ready with the camera when Jayden played in the bag. Handy thing, bags. When it's time to go Daddy can just haul it away!
In excellent fire news, we finally got air water tankers on the fires yesterday and HUGE progress has been made. We have blue skies today for the first time in weeks! YAAA! The blog coming from the closest fire residents is now thanking people for help and support and planning ways to be more prepared next time. It's not over till it's over, but there's certainly an end in sight. I've been in a few restaurants when firefighters came in to eat, and was proud that all the other diners applauded and someone always bought their meals for them. "Thanks" just isn't enough.