Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone.

Tonight, Nora is going to be the witch and Aaron is going to be Buzz Lightyear. And I will be passing out candy. I love the whole Trick or Treat thing, but not many kids come to my house. Small neighborhood and up a hill, so there's better leverage in other neighborhoods. Still, it's so fun and it may be warm enough to just sit outside and enjoy it all.

I was admiring the Halloween candy in the drug store yesterday, the kind that comes in clear bags, with brown bats, orange pumpkins, yellow and green corn, something that was light brown. I used to love that stuff, love it. I stay away from it now, but it's such fun to remember that delicious-ness. I was tempted to buy some for the kids (great sale too) but I'm sure it's pure high fructose corn syrup molded into shapes. No kid REALLY needs that.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Potholders. The large one on the left was for Tina's birthday. Happy Birthday, Aunt Tina. And thanks to Steph for including me in the wonderful birthday dinner at Olive Garden last night.

The one on the right came from a quilt block in my scrap basket. It's been there for years. I pieced the block, hated it, and tossed it aside. What it needed was to stand alone and get a little wonky cutting. Who would have known?

Today is a cleaning/cooking day for company tomorrow. I don't do enough of either one, maybe, but this will be a good day for both. No errands. A little early morning sewing, of course. Making chicken broth for cheddar broccoli soup.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sewing Group

Yesterday I sewed with a group, which I love. I enjoy the company, seeing what everyone's making but also just the concentration. I have to focus on sewing because that's what we're doing - sewing. No jumping up to check the computer or putting in a load of wash or running to the post office. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

I brought the top to this baby quilt, added the sashings, sandwiched and quilted it. Put on the binding. Finished. I'm just a little dismayed - I used a curved stitch to quilt it over the seams and there were too many stitches to do a smooth job. Next time I'm using the three-part zig zag, which always works. Still, though, it's fine, and hopefully some parents with a tiny little one will be comforted.

Last night I walked to the library, just a little light rain in the air, still warm. We're getting to the end of those wonderful evenings.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Color

For Sarah -
We were talking last night about fall color in my flower bed - here's one look. I'm really happy about the presence of color at the end of October. There are some lovely pink mums, too.

And this flower that just started blooming, not sure what it is, but you'll know.

And just so you know, Aaron LOVES his yard sale school, just like you knew he would.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Curved Piece

Finished! Since the Kathy Loomis class in August, my curved piecing pieces sat in my studio while I tried to figure out what to do with them. We did a couple of different exercises in the class and while I knew I wanted to combine the pieces, they just looked too harsh to deal with. Now, though, I'm happy with the final result, primarily with the addition of the green lines and binding. Finished size is approx 15" x 20".

I'm happy enough with it that I'd put it in my quilt guild's show . . . except that it was last week. And, guess what, I sold a couple of little boutique pieces.

This afternoon will be a yard work afternoon, since it's going to be sunny and warm. Cleaning up the beds, mowing the grass, doing a lot of trimming. I have lots of fall color this year but everything looks kind of messy. Should be better by the end of the day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last Batch

This is the last batch of photos I'll post from the Asheville trip. Sarah, above, is smelling the coffee at a shop in West Asheville.

We had lunch across from the Grove Park Inn, and there were metal sculptures incorporated into the landscaping everywhere. This twirling group was amazing.

This studio was at the River Arts District. I'm inspired to try some shibori on linen after seeing what's going on there.

We went on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Sarah turned off on this forest service road. My car was so happy.

Lucy and new pup Milo looking out the screen.

And Winnie and me on the last day. What a great visit.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh, the Things You Can See

In West Asheville -

At the coffee shop -

You can do your laundry and buy a great beer, but you can't drink it there -

At an art museum -

At a small museum (it's a roll of labels) -

On the street -

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Asheville Tourists (not the baseball team)

On Friday afternoon we went to the Grove Park Inn for beers and people- and place- watching. You can see the Inn in the background, both the original and a newer section.
We enjoyed watching people checking in, glancing at the expensive footwear, and seeing all the luggage on the carts being navigated by the porters.

Lots of presidents have stayed here, including President Obama. There is an attached golf course, and we had a far-away view of people in their green robes going to the outdoor mountain-view hot tub area.

In a different venue, Sarah and I had lunch one day at Twelve Bones, also visited by President Obama.

It's open only a few hours each day, with catering in the evening. In a short time, the line is snaking around the building.

This was Sarah's plate. Mine was equally lovely with veggie sides, all of them yummy.

My plate had mac 'n cheese, corn pudding, baked beans, and sweet potatoes. So memorable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back Home Again

Just home from a trip to Asheville, lots of pictures to follow. I've found that Smoky Mountain pictures never do the park justice and I've about given up on those. I always see many people stopped by the side of the road taking pictures and wonder what they know that I don't. Then I see hikers with tripods and just know that they know things I don't.

But Asheville is different, lots of quirky things that photograph easily and well. Lots of fun things with Sarah and Winnie. Even a quick visit with my cousin Gregg and his wife Karen.

Lots of blue skies and beautiful fall folliage, pretty weather. And now I'm back in Cincinnati with gray skies and rain today. Weather is cooling down toward winter. My house looks way, way too dull, need to work on that. No wonder I was so reluctant to come back, to give up all that brightness.

I need to think about how I can eat better, Asheville has such a wonderful spirit of eating locally and with lots of produce. And I need to think about how I can cheer up my house.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


As you know, I love what I call rescue sewing, which is artful mending with the result being as nice as or maybe nicer than the original garment. Well, on the last night of camping in September, we were sitting around the campfire, which was roaring because (1) it was cold, and (2) it was the last night and there was lots of wood still to use up.

There were various pops from the firewood but one huge pop shot out little embers, with the result that Winnie's nice REI fleece ended up with three small melted holes. Sadness. Of course I volunteered to try to make it as nice as before and someone suggested embroidering little acorns over the holes.

Thanks to Embroidery Library, that's just what happened. The original design had a buttonhole on top of the acorns, but it was easy enough to just leave that off. Can't wait for Winnie to see it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Am I the Only One?

Tomorrow night is quilt guild meeting and it's the last night to bring the things we want to put in the show later this month. And I'm wondering, am I the only one working furiously today to put sleeves on the backs of quilts (just finished) and figure out how to do the inventory? I think I've got that done too, now, and all that remains is to cut the dowels or something else to put in the sleeves. I've had this date in the back of my mind for months now, after all.

And one of my goals for the year was to procrastinate less. I have three months to try to figure out how to turn that one around. I've been diligent in keeping a to-do list and only slightly less diligent in getting those things done. The only thing is, the things I really, really don't want to do don't go on the list because . . . I really, really don't want to do them and once they're on the list I've made a commitment.

My tendency would be to say, "I need to think about this," but that too is a form of procrastination. I might need to be a little easy on myself about saving the sleeves for last because by the time I'm there with a quilt I have new ideas in my head. But, still, that's just an excuse. Maybe once a week I need to pinpoint something that's on the "hate to do it" list and just do it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Witch Dress

For all that I sit in front of a sewing machine, day in and day out, almost, I rarely make anything from a pattern. Today, though, is different - it's almost Halloween.

Two years ago Nora was a witch and that's her choice again this year. The cape with the spiders, which I love, will be fine with a new ribbon at the neck, but the actual witch dress is too small and too short. One thing I love about patterns these days is that what's in the envelope spans a variety of sizes, so the only purchase was black fabric. A witch dress isn't meant for everyday wear, so it will be quick work on the serger.

Aaron insisted that he wants to be Woody again this year, so everyone's taking it easy on me. The only thing Aaron needed was new cowboy boots and his mom was able to find this year's model of the Toy Story boots that he so loved last year. He wore last year's until they literally fell apart and I'm sure this year's will be no different.

Steph told me this morning that Nora's friend will probably be borrowing the Jessie costume that Nora wore last year. Awesome.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Simply Ten Good Things

A couple of days ago, Soule Mama posted a list of "simply ten good things" and invited others to do so as well. Always a good exercise in gratitude. Here are mine, for this pretty day in early October.

1. Nice socks for fall weather. Warm socks in the fall feel as good as bare feet in summer.

2. If I want a certain color fabric, I can dye it.

3. If I want to make a little quilted bag with a zipper, lining, pocket, and strap, I can do that. There may be some ripping involved, but I can do that. (The item next to the bag is a large, free form potholder, as much for hanging on the wall as handling hot pans.)

4. Fall flowers - pansies, mums, flowering kale

5. If I'm patient, I can find really nice bargains at the thrift store. This sweater still had the tags on it. And it's exactly what I'd have loved in the department store.

6. Cell phone

7. Diet Coke

8. Really yummy salmon for lunch

9. The little witch in my kitchen

10. The book I'm reading, Wayne Dyer's "Power of Intention." I've been studying that book for three months now, and that almost never happens.

If you're grateful, pass it on.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Just Right

Ah, I was right. Those prettily colored micro fiber towels didn't work quite as well for quilting as I'd envisioned, but they do make really nice burp cloths. And they're just the right size. Design collection is Anita Goodesign Baby.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hotel Pictures

A nice but quick visit to Bluffton, and I can't believe I didn't take any sister/brother/cousin/aunt/uncle pictures. I did get some hotel pictures, though. Not a surprise that the hotel with pool and breakfast and ice machine rated high with the kids.

Just looking at the picture below and I can see the shivers - the pool was pretty cold. Maybe it's the blue-tinged lips that give the shivery feeling.