Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some canine love

My 2 sweet hounds make each day a delight. Each morning Pepper stretches when I rise to my alarm, then she lays on my pillow while I shower. Murray opens one eye, and goes back to sleep.
They walk me to the door as I leave, and greet me at the door when I return. They wag, nuzzle and want some petting. Then they follow as I go around the house doing what needs to be done. They love their walks, love playing in the creek and lay at my feet while I sew or blog. Then they tuck me in at night.
When things get rough, I just go to the dogs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just to brag...

My handsome son

My Log Cabin quilt. I finished binding it on 3/23.

mid-week randomness

Why is the corporate world so mean?

Is it ever going to stop raining?

I love daffodils.

I hope my house sells to a nice family who will love the beautiful rock fireplace and hardwood floors.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

I like TCBY Berriyo Smoothies made with White Chocolate Mousse and lots of blackberries.

My hounds are so sweet! My son is very handsome!

I miss my husband.

I wish work wasn't such a freakin' war zone. I wish we could concentrate on creating the best product and getting out to our customers.

I like RadioMargaritaville, a lot.

I better get back to removing the wallpaper in the hall bath......

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ttv-without a Twin lens!

One of my favorite ways to make my mark is through photography (the other is sewing, duh!). And I have recently been enamoured of the Ttv technique (through the viewfinder). But, I do not have a twin-lens camera which is needed to perform this technique, so I played around with my Photoshop Elements 6.0 and came up with today's picture! I am really happy with the way it approximates the Ttv look. I recently completed an on-line Photoshop course, which I loved. I learned a ton about this cool program and love to play around with my pictures. I think the creative muscle is like all our muscles: you have to keep working out to keep it healthy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making a mark

I snapped this yesterday while hiking with Pepper, the crazy malinois. I like graffiti and always find the marks people make to be interesting. Some marks are amusing, insightful, thought-provoking. This one, needs a back-story. There are 2 T.P. s inside this heart. Did the carver want to make sure we viewers understand the depth of the feeling, and so carved it twice? Did the carver and object of affection both have T.P. as their initials? (Terrance Payne & Teresa Pitts; Twala Philips & Thomas Peters?) Perhaps, the carver has the initials T.P. and also needed to boost their own self-esteem, and thus made this pronouncement? And why, on this public path? Until about 18 months ago, this path was not highly used. I hope the carver has T.P. in their heart now.
The trail has been filling with signs of spring: little flowers blooming, trees budding. We saw a deer today and always there are birds, squirrels and rabbits. Pepper and I went yesterday, while the hubby and I took both Pepper and Murray today. Murray loves to go, but he is old and getting very slow. I still like to get him out to walk and do dog things in the wild.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today is National Quilting Day and while I haven't had the time to quilt (we put a new vanity and sink in the master bath) I have finished this quilt top. And I did quilt all day yesterday!
This is from the fabrics shown in the previous post. I call it "SpringTide". I started with a Moda Charm Squares pack called "Blossom" and added in my favorite Amy Butler dots (the green on cream), in addition to other fabrics I had in the stash that coordinate. I also chose to accent the colors by using a white on cream print to create a secondary windmill pattern. This is a Disappearing 9-patch and I found the tutorial here. I love the little charm squares. They offer a way to have every pattern in a collection without going into major debt. And this pattern is very charm square friendly. I plan on quilting this with my walking foot. Not sure where this will end up, but I love the bright colors just hanging up on my design wall.

Speaking of my design wall: I have a cheaper alternative to the ones I have seen in stores and on the web. Instead of buying these, I bought 4 yards of 54" flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth fabric. I cut this in half and tacked it to my wall. I have an 8' x 6' design wall for under $10!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Today was one of my "DWoP" (pronounced du-wop). That is Day Without Pay. Yep, we have had a pay cut, which results in 1 day without pay every 4 weeks. Now I didn't like the pay cut, and I hate that this is compounded by our health insurance doubling, BUT I love having 12 extra days a year to do Other Things. And like the previous DWoP in February, I spent the day sewing. I went to my Mom's and quilted my "Bold Glory" quilt (which is being donated to Quilts of Valor). I will photograph it once I have it bound. Anyway, it was a fantastic day! I really love the entire activity of sewing. The hum of the machine, the flow of movement while guiding the long arm, seeing the quilt pattern forming in the stitches. Very relaxing and rewarding! I have to complete my next top (the fabrics are featured in today's photo). Then I am quilting it with my walking foot. I wish I had more time to sew!

Monday, March 16, 2009

even more rain

another rainy monday.
only 4 more days til the weekend!
Yep, working in a struggling company is quite difficult at times. Feels like a ghost town, most of the office cubes are empty, entire halls are dark, manufacturing doesn't work on Friday, so Fridays are creepily quiet in the mill. to pep up, I like to indulge in the creative stuff: color selection, pattern drawing, weave drafting, simulation of cool designs. The few of us that are left are "whistling past the graveyard". I read that somewhere, and it means that you are trying to not show, or give in to, your fear. Each day we make it without being laid-off, is a small victory. Each customer call and order, is a reason to celebrate. We are really making some beautiful stuff and we have lots of ideas we want to see through. I just hope we can hang on.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

still raining

the nasty migraine has lifted its hold. I finally slept good and feel okay, so far. It is still raining. The good thing about rain, other than its benefits to our water tables, plant life, etc, is that the rain means less people on the Green way, which means I can let Pepper off leash. She can run and splash in the puddles. She loves that. I took her yesterday for a romp and she, too, slept peacefully all night.
On the home front, I put the last coat on the master bath walls and we got the closet door painted and hung. Hubby is spackling the master bedroom so I need to decide on a paint color. We have finalized our updates for the hall bath and will get it underway next weekend. We hope to have the house on the market by the first of May. I hope it sells quickly, so we can once again live together all week. I am just not looking forward to hunting a new place, especially in a county I know nothing about. I am working on visualizing what I want, then I will know it when I see it. A fenced-yard for my pups and room big enough for my studio are just 2 of the must-haves. I also want a low-maintenance exterior, modern open layout and at least 2 bathrooms. A jacuzzi would be a plus! One must dream......

Saturday, March 14, 2009

mean ole migraine monster

It started as just a tightening above my right eye on Monday. I attributed it to the stress of working in dire economic conditions, compounded by driving the boy's "thug-mobile" with the super loud exhaust since the white Honda was toppled. (We have had to do a car swap since hubby is working out of town with his new job.) Monday turned into Tuesday, Tuesday into Wednesday and so on. Add into this, more stress by the horrible morale at the office, by Thursday, it had blossomed into a full-blown migraine. Light triggered pain, sound triggered pain, movement triggered pain. I used prescription meds, but it maintained a grip. It had been a while since the migraine monster had visited my cranium and it wanted to make up for lost time. If you have never suffered one of these, count your blessings. To be brought down by the searing agony, well, nothing for me to do but try to sleep it off. And now, Saturday, it has finally left the building. Now, how do I make up for losing the time I was in its thrall? Anyway, the migraine is gone. And I am exhausted by the fight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Underfoot inspiration (from Spry on the wall)

My friend, Dobbygirl, posted her thoughts on inspiration she finds in unusual places. I, too, collect images of interesting finds. I seek out graffiti, the colorful markings always catch my eye. And I really love layers of handbills peeling off walls. So, to show some of the little treasures I have found:

From China:

Saturday, March 7, 2009

new fave blog

My new favorite blog is EnglishRussia. Since I revealed my fascination with Drag Queens yesterday, why not just reveal all my secrets? I am also quite interested in Russia. Maybe it stems from actual going through a nuclear drill in elementary school, the fear of being overtaken by the Soviet Threat and growing up during the throws of the Cold War. Or just because when there is mystery, there is magic! Anyway, this site has so many cool things that bring to my American eyes, that little bit of Russia.
I have dug into this Russian infatuation by reading. "Doctor Zhivago", "The Brothers Karamozov", the works of Martin Cruz Smith, biographies of the czars. All these serve to whet my appetite and make me long for a visit to Tsarkoe Selo, Chelyabinsk, Moscow and the plains of Siberia. I just want to see it, and to learn the history and meet the people. One of the great things about the internet is that it brings these far off, exotic places right into my home, and while it is not feasible for me to visit there in the near future, perhaps in a year or so, I might just go there!
Check out the photo. I love the naive use of color and plastic flowers and peppers! The author of EnglishRussia features ads and photos from life during the Communist Regime, this includes fashion, advertising, and not just from the USSR era. There are vintage photos of Russians from the turn of the 20th century and shots of current Russian traffic jams. It is both educational and amusing. Check out the 2 features on Russian public toilets! I guess the fact that the author also has a humorous approach makes this so much more interesting to me. I really want to go to Russia and this site is a little Russia each day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't dream it - be it

One of my favorite cinema experiences is the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and I am of the vintage that actually enjoyed it at the midnight movies in my hometown, with fans in drag, responding to the lines in the movie. My fascination with this movie was the obvious sexual edginess. Being from the south in the late 70's, I had never seen a drag queen, really didn't know that there were people who adopted another personae and costume and lived it. So I giggled when Tim Curry descended in the elevator in corset and stockings, singing "Sweet transvestite". As I have aged, oh, how I have aged, I have come to understand why (not from a transgender standpoint, another biologic reason altogether), someone might want to create an alternative reality for themselves. We can really "be" who, and what we want to "be" and I think Drag Queens exemplify and celebrate that. I know I admire them for it. They go to great lengths to become another person, the wigs, make-up, elaborate clothes, exaggerated manners. I want a different reality. Not necessarily by changing how I look, but how I see. I want to see the beauty around me, celebrate the little things and indulge in the civilities. I no longer want to speak with sarcasm, use random curse-words or obscene gestures. I want the niceties! So, quoting a song from Rocky Horror, "Don't dream it-be it!"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stress-relief sewing

Yep, I sew to relieve stress!
This beauty took 1/2 yd of the batik,
and a FQ of the yellow for the lining.
About 1 1/2 hrs and I have a great gift for a great friend! I am also going to make and sell these in my new etsy shop. I am going to open it with in the next month or so. Still working on building inventory and getting tips from some successful sewer-crafter-sellers.
At least I am using my sewing powers for good!
I will be finishing the quilting on a lap quilt this weekend.


Things for which I am very grateful:
1. I am so grateful that Honda Engineers designed such a great vehicle.
2. I am so grateful my son called us, while still hanging upside down, wearing his seat belt.
3. I am so grateful he walked away from this accident, just a little sore.
4. I am grateful I do not live in Darfur.
5. I am grateful I got my beautiful Viking sewing machine from the shop.
6. I am more than grateful it is Thursday.
7. I am grateful I got a paycheck this week.
8. I am so grateful for my husband.
9. I am very grateful for my parents.
10. I am grateful for my dogs.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Boy's classes: canceled.
My Office:CLOSED.
Oh, this is the definition of a happy Monday!
The dreary weather yesterday turned into winter weather last night, Several inches of snow on top of rain that froze. So, we have slept in, read the paper, had another cup of coffee. The sun is coming up and everything looks so clean in its blanket of white. Yes, in these scary times, we all take child-like glee in a snow day!
So today, I am staying in my pajamas as long as possible, doing my last 2 Photoshop classes, sewing on my quilt! Then, I will get dressed and take the crazy Malinois pup out for a snow romp. She loves it. Oh, and make snow cream!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful..

Frightful really isn't the the word. How about nasty, wet, cold, gross? Yes, I will take the crazy Malinois out for her romp (after all she is a wash-n-wear dog, who loves to be outside no matter wat the weather!), but I am also going to spend some quality time piecing a new quilt. Today's photo shows my pre-quilt pieces. This is to be a disappearing 9 patch (like the previous scrappy quilt) but I am using a Moda Charm Pack, Blossom, and Amy Bulter Dots, along with several FQs that coordinate. I am contrasting these with the white-on-white. I think this is going to be quite fun and bright!
Also, my beloved Viking Sapphire 830 is going into the shop for service, so I am piecing with my trusty 21 year old Singer. I do love the Viking, but I am also glad I have kept the Singer around. It doesn't work as well with the free-motion, but it pieces like a champ!