Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
And that new pink owl fabric that I bought has been calling my name, so I whipped up a nightie/sundress for my niece. It was so easy, I'm pretty sure I'll be making another one for the daughter of a friend. Donald was not happy about being pressed into service as my dress form.
- make a second dress
- make two Bee blocks
- sandwich the quilt that was commissioned at the Old Middlebrook Village Day, now that the backing and batting has been ordered and received
They also played ball, took a tree-identification hike, and made duct tape wallets. Truly, the only downside of the whole adventure was the ticks, but luckily I only had to extract 1 from my boys. So, another year of scouting under our belts. Donald will be joining as a Tiger Scout next year, and I volunteered (in front of many witnesses so I can't back out) to be his den leader. Jason is bummed that I won't be his leader, but I reminded him that he still can't drive, so I'll still be at all his meetings; besides, Donald needs to see that I am willing to commit to his activities the same as I've been committed to Jason's these past few years. I'm just hoping that I don't overextend myself to the point where I need to be committed...
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
But it has been pouring figuratively lately, too, particularly around my house. First, the microwave stopped working. No problem, we recovered a spare that we had in our rental property. Then the oven stopped working. Inconvenient, but truly, as the weather warms up, I use it less and less anyway. This week, the dryer stopped working. This is particularly troublesome since it keeps raining so there's no way to dry the clothes outside. And two days ago, I discovered a leaky faucet/valve/thingymajig in the hot water closet that was flooding the floor outside my sewing room. I think it is time we called in a handyman to start fixing all the things that are going wrong around here. Most times, I love owning my own home. Times like these, I wish I had a landlord to call and complain to.
I did try to get my windshield replaced. The repairman came out to my job earlier this week only to discover that we had ordered the wrong windshield. Aargh!
And my calf muscle has been healing nicely - now it is just tight and achy instead of actually sore, so I've been slowly easing myself back into karate. Well, but maybe not slowly enough. Yesterday, I decided to join in when we were doing our board breaking combo - a front kick to break the board in front of us and a side kick to break the board behind us. I'm happy to say that I broke both boards on the first try, but OUCH! I was on ice for the rest of the evening. Patience is not a virtue that I possess in any great quantity.
The weekend retreat with my sister was fantastic last weekend. We ate, we shopped,
(lookie, lookie, I found a sale!)
we explored, we discovered GLEE, we laughed, we drank coffee from these cute little mugs that remind me of an appliqued quilt,
Friday, May 13, 2011
I flew up to Boston on Thursday, gave a presentation on Thursday evening, then drove to Amherst, MA to spend the night in her home, arriving at 12:30 AM. Up at 6:30 AM to see her and the kids off before school, and then I spent a wonderful, lazy morning reading, visiting a coffeeshop, visiting my sister at her school where we laughed at everyone's doubletakes when they saw the two of us together, shopping, and then off to Deerfield Academy for a college fair. Once that was over, the Twin Retreat could officially begin. We packed up the car and headed off to Bennington, NH to spend the weekend in her new vacation home.
We took the scenic route up here, and stopped first at the New England Fabric store where I made some fun purchases.
(I see a cute little something for my niece being made with these pink owls - aren't they adorable!)
We also took the time to walk around downtown Keene to shop for trinkets for the kiddos (just because they weren't invited on this trip, we don't want them to think we don't think of them!) and to pick up some Thai food to bring back to the house for dinner. We arrived around 9:45 PM only to discover that we hadn't brought keys. Oops!
We found some flashlights and went around checking all the windows and doors to see if any had been unlocked, but no luck. We called her contractor to see if he was around to let us use his key, but no answer. We called her husband to see if he had hidden a key here somewhere. Nope. So, we arranged blankets in the back of the car and settled in for a Thai picnic, prepared to spend the night in the car.
A little after 10 PM, just as we were hooking my laptop up to the outlet in her car to watch a movie (gotta love modern technology) a truck pulled up. Apparently the contractor had received our message and had come to rescue us. Ericka hopped out of the car and rushed over to greet him, only to stop short when she discovered it was the cops. Apparently, a neighbor had seen us nosing around with flashlights and thought we were trying to break in (which we were). Luckily, this was a very good-natured cop with some time on his hands, so he hung around to see if he could help us find a way in. We found an enormous ladder, and he helped us move it around to get onto the porch roof to see if the upstairs windows were locked. I just had to take a photo of that!
But no luck. Then he found something in his car to help us jimmy open a window, and right after 11 PM, we finally made it inside. Here he is, our hero, whose name we forgot to learn. Gotta love the guys in blue!
So, it's late, and we've got a big day planned tomorrow, but can't go to sleep yet! Don't see her often enough to waste time sleeping. Stay tuned for more adventures with the Bobsey Twins!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Last September, I set up a booth at a local flea market with some of my quilts and other fabric crafts to see if I could peddle some of my wares. Nothing sold, but one of the many people who stopped by my booth was a woman who was part of the committee that runs Old Middlebrook Village Day, an annual event about 45 minutes from my house that features live music, an antique car show, and crafts and demonstrations, all by local people. She invited me to come to their event as an exhibitor, so I marked it on my calendar and that's what I did today.
Now, injuring myself earlier this week made me cross some of my plans off the list because I just couldn't move fast enough to get it all done, but I managed to get myself and my wares there today and set up shop. While selling stuff would have been nice, my focus today was promoting quilting, particularly to kids. So, I threw my Orphan quilt down on the ground to make an inviting spot for people to sit and:
- I had 4 mini design boards made of flannel taped on the back of a clipboard, and had two little bins of solid fabric in squares and triangles so kids could design their own quilt blocks.
- I had two hoops prepared for anyone to learn/practice hand quilting.
- I had an embroidery hoop plus lots of colorful DMC floss and fabric squares for anyone to learn how to backstitch.
- I brought my kids' quilting picture books to read stories to kids.
- I meant to photocopy blank quilt blocks and bring crayons so kids could color their own quilt blocks, too, but that is one of those things I ran out of time for doing.
It was a HIT!!! There were kids in my booth non-stop! I read stories. I taught about 6 kids how to do a hand quilting stitch. I taught about 4 kids how to do backstitch, and they were able to keep their projects - one girl made her mother's initial with one color thread and made a heart around it with another color thread to give to her mom for Mother's Day. About 20 kids designed quilt blocks on their own little design walls.
And with kids came grown-ups! With money! I sold this hand quilted composition book cover:
I sold this flannel play quilt:
I sold a crayon roll, not one of the ones pictured, but I couldn't find a photo of the actual one that I sold:
AND a woman commissioned me to finish this quilt for her!
Beyond those customers, so many other people came to look around and ask questions and make me feel REALLY GOOD about myself and my creative output. My head is so big right now I could barely fit through the door when I got home!
My kids came, as did my husband and my brother with his family. It was such a fun day! The kids were able to make rope, milk a plywood cow, use a hand pump to draw water, ride a pony, crack corn, spin yarn, all kinds of fun stuff! Other booths featured pottery, wooden toys and puzzles, penny rugs, candles, basketry, wood furniture, rag rugs, folk art, handmade custom greeting cards, and on and on. There were several exhibitors from the local Frontier Culture Museum. There were beekeepers and people who made homemade ice cream and animals to pet and wagon rides and...can you tell that I think it was a FANTASTIC event! What a fun way to spend the day!
But now, I'm exhausted, especially since we went to the drive-in movies last night and didn't get home until 1 AM. And joy of joys, I don't even have to prepare supper for the family because my hubby took the boys directly from the event out to dinner and to another movie. I just finished a bowl of soup, and put on my PJs, and now I'm headed down to our movie room to watch as many episodes of Brothers and Sisters as I can before I fall asleep.
Oh, I just noticed my title and that reminds me. The reason the day is only "mostly" satisfying is that a rock hit my windshield on the ride home, so I'll need to replace that. Bummer. But the good news is that I'm pretty sure I made enough money today to fix that. How cool is that?
I'll leave you with photos of some of the kids who stopped by and the quilt blocks they designed (don't worry, I asked their parents for permission to put their photos on my blog).
In case I don't make it on here tomorrow, Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
Friday, May 6, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
And to cheer me up, look what was waiting for me when I got home today:
I had forgotten about my online purchase from earlier this week. I see a pink and brown quilt in my future! And 4 yards of that polka dot should make a nice backing for something.
I'd rather my leg didn't hurt, but I'm glad to have a reason to NOT clean house, to just sit and sew.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
It is a hole that defies fixing (I know, I've already tried). Don't you HATE that, when you work so hard on something only to see that it wasn't a success? Oh well, I can still use them - I don't care if my placemats are hole-y, but there goes my idea of giving them as a gift. I think I may just purchase some SNUB-NOSED clippers and try again.