Saturday, July 30, 2011


Not much creativity going on this past week (or more.) Way too much energy spent on Somehow it can't be both with me, creativity and digging in the details, brain all weary with trying to figure it all out. But still, a few moments to review.

Last night I went to Art After Dark at the Cold Spring library branch, where there was a very nice but very short show. Here's my friend Carrye (sorry your eyes were shut) in front of some of her fiber art work, she got the display cases right inside the front door.

On Wednesday I quilted happily all day with a group of friends, which helped things along. Much quilting added to the water quilt banner, this is actually the back. All that's left now is to stitch down the sleeve.

And quilting done on fabric to cut apart to make a couple of little digital camera bags.

Two, but only two, blocks done yesterday for the lady vet quilt.

And more quilting added to the previously-thought-of-as-finished president's challenge for my quilt guild. A couple of straight pieces just weren't laying flat enough and got some parallel quilting. And now I think they needed that anyway to contrast with all the curves.

This morning I ordered an 8 x 10 of a picture taken last fall at the Cincinnati Nature Center. I've had it in mind for a quilt ever since then. Nora and Aaron walking down a boardwalk beside a lake, lots of fall color even though it was the first weekend in November. The last lovely warm Sunday of the year.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Critter Park

Interesting that yesterday I mentioned seeing creatures . . .

Last night I was sitting on the front steps, listening to the last of the fireworks from the ball park, drinking a Kentucky Ale, and considering my front yard garden and the best way to enlarge it for next year. Very content.

I heard a rustling and around the corner came a small animal, which I thought would be a squirrel or maybe a possum. Turned out that it was a young skunk, which I barely got a look at because I was out of there. My neighbor across the street saw it also, as it took off running. He said he's been a hunter for years but had never spotted a skunk before.

We have a lot of deer in the neighborhood, at least we did last year, but a skunk? I live in the city, there's a great skyline view a block over. Only thing I can figure is, there's a city park a block away, pretty much unused, just green space. Even the playground equipment, such as it was, has been taken out and the ball field isn't used. I can picture critters having a home there and venturing out at night, especially the young ones who want to see what the rest of the world looks like.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Going, Going


Cost new in 1993: under $15,000. Total miles today: 262,000. My goal was always 300,000 miles. The truck may make it, just not with me.

If I get up at night, I usually look out the front window because I love the night and am always hopeful of seeing deer or other creatures. Seems strange to not see it parked under the tree.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Miscellaneous Tuesday

Potholder from 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts

Me: Aaron, look at the baby cucumber.

Aaron: Oh, you mean that little thing with spikes?

Beside my desk - I so enjoy watercolor pencils

What Sarah calls my "Lady Vet" quilt, fifteen blocks now. It's hard to get a picture because it has a dreamy quality to it. I'm calling the process "peaceful improvisation."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nine Blocks

Months ago (maybe even 18) my friend Carrye passed out packets of donated fabric at our quilt guild so that interested members could make quilts for service women in the rehab center at Fort Thomas. Of course, I've felt a little guilty ever since because my quilt remained unstarted.

There were two very dark green fabrics in my packet, which will go on the back, and two light lime greens and a light turquoise. Rather than work with only the donated fabrics, I decided to work with the donated colors and mix them in with my stash, making each block different. And now I have nine blocks, and I'm not even thinking about how many I might need, I'd rather just peacefully go on my way, adding blocks from time to time, mixing this project in with my others, knowing that it will be done at the right time.

It's important for me to work in a spirit of peacefulness and healing for a woman who will be needing just that. Most of these women have post-traumatic stress syndrome and the idea of having healing art on a bed seems so comforting.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Love the Y

Wonder how many years it's been since the Y's been giving swimming lessons to kids. Both my girls learned to swim there, and now it's Nora's and Aaron's turn. And how awesome that both sets of lessons are at the same time. Aaron was reluctant to start his first lesson because he saw kids in other classes jumping into the pool. Two lessons later, it was him. And Nora jumped off the racing block her first day. Just gotta love the Y.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sun Printing

Yesterday I tried some sun printing, because (1) I've been wanting to try it, and (2) this is surely the time to do it.

It worked very quickly, just the way it's supposed to. Now the trick will be to keep my eyes out for really cool shapes - these are leaves quickly picked from the spirea bush.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tooth Fairy Pillow

For a couple of months a year, it's too hot upstairs most of the day for sewing. Doesn't mean that I can't move a Viking downstairs, and I'll probably do that. But yesterday I was thinking about this Singer that's been in my attic. I had given it to Sarah once when she talked about learning to sew, but she never really got into it. Maybe because I didn't get her a very good machine. Could be.

Anyway, I'd loaned it to a friend a couple of years ago and she brought it back saying that it wasn't working right. I was a little skeptical about that, but didn't want to put the time into actually checking it out and into the attic it went. I got it out yesterday and sure enough, it works just like it's supposed to. It has a 1/4" piecing foot and a walking foot, so I may use it a little, but it isn't happy quilting over seams pressed to one side, basically six layers plus batting.

I used it for this little tooth fairy pillow for Nora. We were looking through 101 Patchwork and Quilts Projects by Quilting Arts and I told her I'd been thinking about making it for her. She liked that idea and said her tooth had been loose for several weeks. I wasn't so sure about that, and sure enough, her mom said it's nice and tight, but that Nora's trying to wish it loose.

The picture in the magazine showed a tooth stitched on the pillow, but in the absence of loose teeth, I left that off so she can use it for other treasures in the meantime. 5" x 10", quilted on top.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Congratulations to Tina, the winner of the little camera bag give-away. I'll be contacting you for your address, and thanks to everyone who commented.

The thrift store in the shopping center down the street has numerous goodies, and my favorite aisle is the one with curtains, sheets, and other linens. I've been experimenting dyeing cotton sheets, which provide yards of fabric at minimal cost and also some background interest. The sheet with the now-green gradations was pretty dismal, tired beige with scattered leaves. I've been wanting to do some purple dyeing, but think I'll use a different sheet - this particular one was meant to be green.

I'm not a careful gardener, with nicely drawn plans and a journal to carry over from one year to the next. I like the surprises that come from last year's scattered seeds and this year's too, for that matter. Looks like some dill is coming up with these flowers in a spot where I would have guessed it would be hard to get anything to grow, between sidewalk and steps. Makes me smile.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Really nice Friday lunch with the quilt group at Blinkers in Covington. Good food and a nicely renovated space not far from the river. I noticed several other places in the same area that look like fun places too.

One of the women is moving to Rhode Island later this month, and the group gave her this quilt, made by Ginny K with her hand-dyed fabrics. This is just a piece of it - it's so stunning.

Thanks to Carrye for the transportation. I'm looking forward to Monday and learning what's going on with my truck. In the meantime, staying close to home isn't all bad. I picked up some groceries with Steph tonight and I'm getting some sewing projects done. I'll be sorry to miss the outdoor church service/picnic tomorrow at Burnett Woods, but I have a good inspirational book to read during that spiritual space.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Nobody seems to do unstructured play better than the Children's Museum. Note: Going on July 4 is a GOOD idea, not crowded and lots of space for play.

Lots of play areas too, for pretending to shop, fix a car, be an animal doctor, drive something, cook something, mail something, build something, haul something. The kids just seem to get in their own zone, with dreamy concentration.

And, not quite unstructured, who would have thought of using a koosh ball as an artist tool? There were paper plates with paint, and a dip of the koosh ball on the plate, then a print on black construction paper = fireworks. I might try that at home.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Bag pattern by Lazy Girl. Easy and quick. There are some changes I want to make, but for this first time I followed the pattern pretty closely. This one will be a birthday gift.

I'm spending way too much time these days doing internet used car shopping. Changing my mind every time. Should it be a Subaru Forrester (I live on a hill)? How many times would I really use that all wheel drive, hill or no? I can just picture that car at the campground, though. Driving to Asheville.

Or, the V6 Camry? Better gas mileage here. Less ecological guilt. Realistically, though, I won't be doing a whole lot of driving. But maybe with a better vehicle I'll drive more. And with a nicer car should I try to widen my driveway so I can get it in the garage? And spend less on the car so I can do that? But then I'll have to shovel the driveway. Looks like either one should be good in terms of longevity, which is a requirement for me.

My puzzler is sore already and I've only just begun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

1,000th Post

It's been almost four years ago that I started this blog, pre-Aaron and post- (but just barely) my move to Northern Kentucky. One thousand posts ago. About 250/year, which means I'm posting more days than not. I remember well that feeling of posting for the first time, the strangeness of it, and the vulnerable feeling. Now I love it, and have found an added benefit that I didn't expect, of writing the family story, visits, kid milestones, holidays - complete with photos.

To celebrate my 1,000th post, I'm doing a give-away, this little digital camera bag. Densely quilted, zippered, with batting and flannel lining to protect your camera. Leave a comment by 6 p.m. Saturday evening and I'll be doing a random drawing and announcing the winner on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Miscellaneous Tuesday

baby hat on hand-dyed fabric

ball play area of the Children's Museum

Museum Center parking lot

library statue

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Digging in That Bag

Digging in that bag from Tennessee,

Making too much noise,

Lots of smoke,

Hope everyone has a happy 4th.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Little Brother

Nora's T-ball games, for Aaron, aren't all about t-ball. Aren't anything about T-ball, actually, except maybe for a mention of "the field." No, it's all about the bleachers, and all about the snacks.

And all about whatever "hiking" there may be close by. This little guy is all about trails and rocks and trees. Even Nora's home run didn't interest him. In the end, he and I went to the Amelia "Old MacDonald's" for dinner and play.

On a different note, yesterday morning I started cutting down some overgrown brush on one side of my lot. I kind of knew there was an iron railing somewhere in the brush, but as I kept cutting I realized that there was a set of steps on my neighbor's side. I asked him if it was ok if I cut down the brush beside the steps and he said ok. There were actually some bushes growing out of the steps - it's probably been years since they've been visible. They're really kind of charming in a rustic sort of way. I've reclaimed about five feet of yard in that area plus have something different to look at. It's a very shady area - I'm thinking about impatiens. Bet I can find some on sale and Miracle Grow them into a nice bed before frost.