Thursday, February 26, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 113

Answers for the Friday Fill-In questions are in bold.

1. I'm wishing my sister a happy birthday this week, I'm mailing her card today, I have yet to get her present. With my wonderful sister the pressure is off because she's notoriously late herself. And I love getting a surprise from her weeks after the date.

2. Why do I have Viking sewing machines and not Pfaff or Bernina or something else? It's all about the auto tension. In the six years since I've had a Viking machine, I've never even had to think about the tension, much less do any adjusting. Not even once.

3. How does this IPOD work anyway? I figure it out, then I don't use it for awhile and realize I've forgotten how it works all over again.

4. Every morning, I put walnuts on my oatmeal, unless I have some good fruit instead. Of course, both is even better.

5. I consider myself lucky because I have enough of everything I need, I'm healthy, I'm blessed with a wonderful family, and I have a creative life. And because there are more books out there than I could ever hope to read, I don't need to worry about running out.

6. One day we'll see good public transportation, renewable energy, and people not even thinking twice about conserving. People will know where their electricity comes from, and we won't be taking the tops off of any mountains to get the coal.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to piecing the quilt you saw yesterday, tomorrow my plans include spending time with Aaron in the evening while his family goes to the circus (sorry, Aaron, your time for the circus and all kinds of things is coming,) and Sunday I want to see the movie The Reader. Sarah's told me it's good and it got an Oscar. It's been out for awhile and I want to see it while it's still at the Levee.

Happy Friday, everyone.


A couple of weeks ago I made this bear for Sarah's friend Winnie, and since it's now in her possession I can post a picture. You may think it looks a little strange and unlike a bear, but it pretty much looks like it's supposed to. It turned out to be a joy to make, too. It's a knock-off on a smaller bear that was on a key chain. Rumor has it that it went to Macon, Georgia, last weekend.

This week I'm working on a banner/quilt for the front of the church during Lent. The symbols represent a rainbow, family tree, bee hive, snake, water, and a palm branch, which will be featured in the Children's Stories. I've known for quite a while that this was coming up, but there's nothing like the last minute. Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday, I need to have it up on Sunday.

I originally dyed the fabric for the banner that hung during Advent. My plans are to piece it together, then put it on the batting without a backing and stitch in the ditch. I wouldn't be surprised that it will be cut up once again for another project, so I'm not doing too much finishing. Or at least that's my excuse.

Right now I'm baking banana bread with three left-over bananas. The dough seemed a little stiff, but I spooned it into the bread pan and put it in the oven. Just a few minutes later (luckily) I realized that I'd forgotten the bananas. Things are progressing, so the rescue was a success. Come on, I know you've done it too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Few More from the Conservatory

Here are a few more pictures from the Conservatory - I always take so many because I love that place.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Early Spring Flower Show

When I was a little kid, I'd go into a store or house during the winter and my glasses would fog up, every time as I remember it. That doesn't happen much now, I'm not sure why, but when I stepped into Krohn Conservatory on Monday, my glasses fogged up and I knew that was exactly where I wanted to be. All those plants, all that humidity, all that warmth when it was so cold outside.

The show had a zen theme, very nice, but what I really wanted to see was the flowers. Real flowers. Blooming. Oh, my.

Monday, February 23, 2009

lesson two

Lesson two of six in my joggles class was felt applique. I can't believe how much felt I bought - the acrylic felt at Hancock, then several colors at JoAnn's when I went with a friend. And then I used only three of the wool colors. There is just no comparison between the wool colors and the acrylic colors, even when the wool isn't 100% wool.

The shiny leaves are inked with a fluorescent ink that I got in Asheville. The light green in the background is an omnimotion sewing stitch.

Here's a closer look at that. I started out with the background stitching just because I couldn't figure out any other way to get started. The purple stem and leaves that look like ink is free motion stitching.

Now on to lesson three. For at least three days, I'll be caught up with the rest of the class. Lesson four starts Thursday.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Since I was working yesterday, I missed out on some good performances during Fine Arts Fun Sampler Weekend. There is lots going on during that weekend, and there is no charge for any of it.

This afternoon I went with Steph and Nora to a ballet performance. We went last year, too. Even Aaron went then, but this year he had to stay home since he almost certainly would not have been still and quiet.

The performance was a Beatrix Potter's "Aunt Pettitoes Hosts a Garden Party." It was just the right length for little ones, but with no pictures allowed. Afterwards there was a reception with art projects and cookies.

Nora always opts for the coloring first, although she did make some rabbit ears later.

I got her little sweater last weekend at Macy's, greatly reduced. I thought it would be nice for next year, but turns out it's nice for now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 112

Thanks to Janet for the Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold.

1. Give me Diet Coke and I'll start out the day happy. Which is what is happening right now.

2. Whenever the days start to get significantly shorter, like around the first of November, I put battery-operated candles in my windows, the kind that come on themselves at dark. I enjoy them a lot, but around this time of year, with the days getting longer again, I'm so done with them. I put them away last night. Same with the cheery red tablecloth and couch throw that perked me up during January and February. Enough of that, too.

3. I wish the house-cleaning fairy would come along. Sigh. I thought I was doing pretty well keeping everything balanced - guess not.

4. Roasted asparagus was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious. I put it in the oven at 400 degrees with olive oil and sea salt. Absolutely excellent.

5. To life in this world you have to be civil if you want to live well with the people around you. I just got a book at the library, Choosing Civility - I'll let you know if I like it. I spotted it the other day at Barnes and Noble and knew I wanted to read it.

6. Other than this one, Our Growing Family is the last blog I commented on. Daisy and Ryan were neighbors at the Ecovillage and I enjoy keeping in touch with them.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the Y, tomorrow my plans include work, then doing something fun as yet to be determined, and Sunday I want to put some serious effort into the Lent banner/quilt I'm making for church.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I've been wanting to try felting and went to Village Discount in the Newport Shopping Center and got two wool sweaters. Village Discount is a second-hand store, has been there forever, and is fairly popular around here. For some reason (got to find out what's special about Thursday) the sweaters were half off.

I washed them several times in hot water and I'm pretty sure that this one did what I wanted. It started out as a men's extra large and is now a kid size.

The other one isn't behaving. I've double-checked the label and it says wool, but it just isn't shrinking up. I finally put it in the dryer to see if that would help the process along. If it just doesn't work, I don't have much invested and I did get five cool buttons out of the deal. I did like the pattern in the sweater, though.

I want to get some wool felt, too. I know I have some somewhere, at least I did. I can picture just where it was in my apartment in Berea, but I can't find it now. Same with my button box - it never resurfaced after the move. Come to think of it, the button box and the wool felt were stored close together in Berea - they are probably close together still.

Since I can't find my wool felt, I got some regular felt at Hancock for the homework assignment in my online class. I also got some wool roving. I was surprised that it rang up as a notion and was half off too - must be my day. Hope you'll be seeing some pretty things here soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blue Mountain

In my collection of art supplies, I found an ink that I really liked to darken the blue mountain on my little quilt. And now I'm happy.

How fun on Sunday to meet Steph and Nora at Kenwood Town Center, where Nora was a guest at a birthday party. I rarely go mall shopping and really enjoyed it, especially since Eddie Bauer had a great sale going on. I snagged two pair of jeans for $10 each, and one was flannel lined. Other things too, but those were the best.

The birthday party was at Build A Bear, and each of the guests got to do exactly that.

I never really think of Nora as being tall 'cause when I see her it's just her. Looking at her with the group of her friends, though, I realize that she really is.

Monday, February 16, 2009

First Lesson

I decided to take an online joggles art quilting class because I've been following the lines too much lately with a lot of sewing and embroidery. It almost felt as if I was forgetting how to be creative.

The first lesson was making a landscape quilt, 8 1/2" x 11". There's a webcam at Black Mountain near Asheville, and one of the scenes caught my eye. Here's the finished result: the blue over the purple is mountain, not sky - I wish I'd used a blue with more gray in it. Wonder if I could go over it with ink to darken it up.

Here's another photo, a little closer this time.

I think I will look into darkening that blue a little. There is tulle over the gray to lighten it, and a sparkly fabric for the lights and headlights. The "rough" quilted area in the front represents brush and trees.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 101

Here are this week's Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold.

1. It seems like it should be the other way around. This Tuesday in Frankfort, Kentucky, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth is sponsoring "I Love Mountains." It's a chance for Kentucky citizens to "let legislators know that we do not give permission to coal companies to use Kentucky's streams as their waste dumps." Even though I know that the coal companies have pretty much always had their way in Kentucky, it seems like they should be the ones begging to remove tops of mountains and polute streams instead of citizens begging them not to.

2. Clean up your mess when you're done, please. That's what I try to tell myself all the time. Without the "please."

3. If I thought you were feeling a little down, I'd try to make you a little something. Maybe some cookies, maybe a little sewing or art project.

4. Your kindness is what I think of most when I think of you. Kindness and civility are big with me.

5. To me, Valentine's Day means a chance to decorate with a little red. I'm always looking for a chance to decorate with something red.

6. Introspection and creating and spirituality give me strength. All three of them, and in no particular order. They're my core.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm just going to be happy that the workshop I'm teaching today is over, tomorrow my plans include going to Mike and Steph's and taking a shrimp ring and Mimosa makings, and Sunday I want to go to Kenwood Mall with Steph. Nora is going to a birthday party there and I'm looking forward to just walking around and people-watching. I'm not a big mall fan, but Kenwood is fun every now and then just because it's so big and there are stores I don't usually see. The Container Store just opened near there - I'd never heard of it before and can't imagine what it must be like. I have a feeling it's for organized people.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Postcard Today

There's a postcard today, made with scraps of hand dyes left from the quilt with the embroidered roses. It has some silk and yarn added with the embellishing machine, which I've used very little so far, but which I'll be using a lot as time goes on.
And, some croutons, made from bread that had been languishing too long.
I'm trying to be conscientious about using my bread and produce.

I'm kind of marveling about dinner tonight. I heated up some frozen red beans and rice and added the veggies from the leftover soup from Monday night. It was a good combination, totally unplanned but really tasty. It's been a good plan to make-and-freeze. I'm eating better and rarely stop for take-out on the way home. Hurrah. My favorites by far are the little pizzas made with wheat bread dough. Those are all gone, time to make more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not it

This isn't the surprise I mentioned yesterday, and I don't know whose birthday is today, it's a sample I stitched for work. I rather like this one and made it into a place mat.
It was a windy, rainy day with sirens and lots of interesting cloud formations.

Even a rainbow.

I've discovered a jagged hole in my gutter, which explains why my basement has been wet. I can't imagine how it happened, but I'm guessing it's related to the ice storm since it wasn't there before. Instead of going to the downspout, the rain water has been pouring out that hole directly into the ground, right above where the water's coming in. This morning I put a bucket under the hole, and tonight the bucket was overflowing.
Hope the bucket doesn't blow away.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tired Night

It was my late night at work, and I've come home tired and ready to go to bed and listen to the wind blow.

And read my new book, The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen. I've been wanting to read it forever, but I'm always on a book diet, since I want them all. I just found it at the local library, and it's as good as expected. The setting is not far from Asheville.

Actually, I have been working on a project the last couple of days, but it's a surprise and not be to seen here until next week. For now, just let it be said that it was amazingly fun.

Monday, February 9, 2009

We'll Tell Mom

Babysiting tonight while Steph had a late meeting.

We'll tell Mom that Nora was a happy girl

but not that Aaron crawled into the stove drawer.

For the past couple of days I've been working on a Viking design in the Majestic Hoop, which is HUGE, 360 mm x 350 mm.

I'm happy that I figured out that things went much better with the jump stitch command off, but if I had it to do over again, I'd do a basting stitch on both parts of the design. Had I done that, I would have learned that I didn't get the design positioned quite right when I turned the hoop around. Next time. It will still be pretty.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grand Babe Pics

I went to Mike and Steph's tonight. Last weekend Nora was at Aunt Tina's, so it had been a couple of weeks since I'd seen her.

She had stories to tell about going to the Children's Museum today and art projects from the Art Museum yesterday. I brought her a pretty calendar (at 90% off, how could I not) and she rescued the cardboard for coloring.

Nora "read" lots of books to me. She always enjoys being "Miss Cheryl," the teacher, and I am Nora and have to behave.

Aaron was his usual sunny and hungry self.

He had several new words I hadn't heard before: toast, mine, yummy, cheese, and . . . . Gran B. My heart is melting still.

Mike showed me their new scale, which measures body fat as well as weight.

I tried it out and was happy with the results. The numbers were ok, and now I have a baseline. Got to make use of that Y membership. Tomorrow.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Fill-In # 110

Answers to the Friday Fill-Ins are in bold.
1. Please don't tell little Aaron that he can probably climb out of his crib any time he wants to. He actually did it yesterday, but may not have realized that it's a possibility any day.

2. Can you do lots in the morning? It's my best time, I can get so much done before I really wake up. I wake up productive and happy, sometimes wear down as the day goes on.

3. The color red makes me happiest. My grandgirl Nora frequently reminds me that it's my favorite color.

4. I have a craving for warm weather. Going outside with just a fleece. Not wondering if the roads will be snowy. Planting some peas and lettuce. Cleaning up the yard, even.

5. If my life had a pause button, I'd pause it every day. Just for reflection and introspection and being grateful.

6. Eyes are the windows to the soul.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to First Friday at Bellevue if it isn't too cold, just to walk around and look around at some pretty things, tomorrow my plans include working, then maybe stopping at Crestview Town Center, once again, if it isn't too cold, and Sunday I want to go to the church potluck, get my hair done (hurrah,) then pick up a book or a rotary cutter.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Warm Little Quilt

Obviously when I was working on this little quilt, I was thinking about some warm colors. This will be going to Bridget's mom, who is hoping to come from the hospital soon. She's been transferred to the hospital right behind me - I'll be checking to see if I can see my house from her window.

I wanted to try some strata layering and also some free motion that wasn't just my usual stippling. I've got stippling down and need to try some new things. I would say it's one of my resolutions, but I promised that there would be no more talk about resolutions.

Size is 13" x 13".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Icicles Again

Icicles again.

Slippery porch again.

But, dry pavement. And a parking space.

A forecast of 50 degrees on Saturday.

I'll hang in there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February Roses

These February roses aren't the Valentine kind but the embroidered and quilted kind.

The embroidery designs are from Hope Yoder's Rose Garden collection.

It's snowed again today. Guess we didn't miss it after all. I got home without incident until I got to my narrow street, where a neighbor's company, apparently, was parked in my carefully cleared off spot. Grrr. I circled around a few times and couldn't find a spot where I could pull in and still leave room for the salt truck. Luckily a neighbor who stays home in bad weather agreed to let me park behind him in his driveway.

I am much luckier than Steph, who started home before I did and who is still in her car.

Now the question is, should I shovel now or in the morning? Dinner first, then I'll decide.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


All last night there was the sound of pieces of ice hitting the ground. When I drove over the bridge there were droplets of melted-ice-turned-to-water hitting my truck like rain from high above.

Tonight at 7:30 it's still 51 degrees in Cincinnati and yesterday's icicles

are all but gone today - but note all that ice still in the gutters.

Warmth and blue sky. What happiness on February 1.