Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 174

Friday fill-ins. Happy Friday, everyone.

1. I was wondering whether I can finish Helen's quilt and photograph it for a juried show before I give it to her. It's close to being finished now, but there are still hours to go and the deadline is approaching.

2. I went to Journey Group and I left my book behind. But Violet put it aside for me so I can pick it up later. Actually, it wasn't my book, it was my plate and fork.

3. Why am I so absent-minded? (See answer 2.) And this is nothing new, so don't say it's old age. My sister calls it being dreamy and we share that trait. It makes it hard to focus and hard to find things (I'm looking for my bias tape maker right now. I used it just a few days ago.) I try to compensate by being fairly organized and that helps some but not nearly enough.

4. Gardening was in my thoughts today. I bought a cell pack of peppers to put out in my front yard beds, including my new one. I've got to unload the bags of top soil that I put in the truck for winter weight and enlarge that bed.

5. One of my father's favorite sayings was - I don't have a favorite saying for my father. He was a pretty quiet man. A big reader, and he loved pie and his granddaughters.

6. He's behind with almost everything - I know that feeling! I think I live there. It's not that I'm a big procrastinator, although there's a little of that going on, it's that there's so much I want to do.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm planning to meet friends at Jungle Jim's for a new grocery shopping experience for me, tomorrow my plans included teaching a class, and Sunday I want to work in the yard if it doesn't rain.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rding and Pretending

I took a couple of things to Steph's last night and found Nora and Aaron riding their little car. Even Aaron took a turn driving with Nora's help.

He also spent a long time in the neighbor's driveway sitting in a yellow truck, just pretending (and said that,) while the other kids were running around.

I got an email from a group asking members to send in pictures of their needle cases. I won't be sending in my picture - I don't think this is what they have in mind. But I do love my little Needle Nest, which keeps my needles secure on a magnatized backing. Wonderfully functional.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Earth Day Revisited

Although we were a few days past Earth Day, the sculptures made with recycled materials were still up at Fountain Square on Saturday.

The shimmery tree with leaves cut from aluminum cans was a hit with everyone.

Second favorite was a waterfall utilizing lids - from soda bottles, detergent bottles, and other twist-offs, right-side up and up-side down. Very clever.

I enjoyed watching the kids' reactions to seeing familiar things used in different ways. Surely there's a good book out there with easy recycling projects.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fountain Square

The trip to Fountain Square yesterday felt like a long way from home, but it was really about 3 miles. Steph and I took the kids on the bus, a repeat of the good time Aaron and I had a few weeks ago.

At one point Aaron said he wanted to go to the library. The library? Then I realized he and I had stopped there on the day we went to Fountain Square. He wanted the full experience.

This day included a fun stop across the street at Macy's for dry pants for Nora, who got hers soaked in the fountain. Not the big one but this flat one where the jets spout seemingly randomly.

Sweet Nora is just realizing she can read a little and spent her Barnes and Noble time with books while Aaron stayed glued at the train set.
We were eyeing the Duck when we waited for the bus. Soon . . .

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And This Song of the Vine

And this song of the vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver,
To the queen of the west,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the beautiful river.
. . . Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Steph and Aaron at Fountain Square.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 173

Here are the Friday Fill-Ins on a rainy Friday morning.

1. Where are my good intentions to be well on my way to having a pretty yard by this time of the spring? Instead I have weeds and leaves in the flower beds and a new bed only about 1/3 started. With rain all weekend, I won't get much done to correct that. I did get the grass mowed last night and (hurray) remembered to put stabilizer in the gas can that I filled up. I used to start my own plants inside with grow lights and have such a pretty yard. I wonder now how I had time for all that.

2. If wishes were horses, I'd need lots of oats. I have lots of wishes.

3. I'd like to see the wildflowers in the Smokies. Two years ago I went to the Smokies with Bridget and Helen in the spring and there were so many different wildflowers. The creeks were roaring, which they always do, but they were especially exuberant in the spring. We stayed in a little motel right on a creek and the motel had a coffee shop that had a wonderful veggie sandwich on the menu. There was a fire ring outside our back door - just like camping with soft beds and good food.

4. When I was a teen, I thought that my family would be around forever. Now I'd like to go back and pay better attention to some things and ask some questions.

5. One of my mother's favorite sayings was . . . . . my mother wasn't big on sayings, but my grandmother would say, "things can't always be the same." I think of that often. She meant that change would need to be dealt with, although I think of change as bringing newness.

6. I'd have a hard time doing without my sewing machine(s). I get up early in the morning just to be sure I'll get my sewing in. If I'm not sewing, then I'm figuring out what to make next. This morning I finished a shimmery little thread basket and the colors are so pretty.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm planning to stay home and catch-up on some projects and assignments, tomorrow my plans include a trip to the art store (where did that come from? It just popped into my head.), and Sunday I want to have everything ready for Journey Group at my house.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Litttle Apron

Maybe because I have a retro kitchen, I enjoyed making this little apron. I needed to make something with bias binding, and I like making my own bias tape. Very simple, and it matches and doesn't have that hard texture that purchased bias tape has. The foot I used to put it on was wonderful.
Last night I got to spend some time with Nora and Aaron and watch them playing with their two neighbor kids across the street. Aaron loves to run and at 2 1/2 does it well, with his feet skimming over the ground and not bothered by changes in terrain. He ran and ran. Mike's always said Aaron would be a wide receiver and it could be true.
The ice cream truck came along and all the kids got some. For the three boys, their ice cream hit the sidewalk fairly quickly and they went on with their play. Nora was very patient with her snow cone, sitting on her scooter and enjoying the taste and watching the colors blend together.
I have no pictures because I forgot to take my camera when I went to work in the morning. My little cameras don't seem to have a long life and I noticed in the instructions that it says to not keep them in a pocket and to avoid rocking motions (sounds like walking to me.) I got a nice little bag with a neck strap but find that I don't carry it with me. I'm not sure a longer life with fewer pictures is better.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I am fairly organized in keeping my sewing tools in place. I can put my fingers on any sewing machine foot, know just where the needles are, can find a piece of velcro in an instant. But scissors are elusive, maybe because I don't have a little stacked plastic cube marked "scissors." Many times I've gone searching for a pair. More than once I've actually bought a pair just because I couldn't find one.
My new solution is a white basket with a pretty green and white liner. Whenever I see a pair of scissors I toss it in. Same with snips. Same with the rotary cutter. So far, it's working. When I need a pair of scissors, there they are, living happily with their cousins. I've yet to find my really GOOD pair, but maybe soon.
In the washer: my Village Discount scores, my favorite of which is a lavender long-sleeved Life is Good t-shirt for $2. Can't wait to wear it in the Smokies.

I also scored a crisp Ralph Lauren cobalt and white checked sheet for 90 cents. I haven't measured it but it's probably queen-sized and will find its next home as a quilt backing. Probably for more than one quilt.

And a Gymboree shirt for Aaron, the button-down style that he looks so sweet in. And a red and white pair of crop pants for Nora. And a GAP sweater for me. Good day at the Village Discount, aka Macy's on the Hill, aka the thrift store.
The Reds fireworks are active tonight and the Reds have 9 runs in the fifth inning. It would be nice to see them pull out of their slump. Thursday is Senior Night, the weather looks good, and I'm thinking about it . . . . .

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last Stitch

I just sewed the last stitch in Aaron's bed quilt. It was in early fall when Steph gave me the flannel receiving blankets from Target to make a quilt that would match his sheets. You wouldn't think that a quilt with large squares would take so long, but it did. I got some more flannel and embroidered bears riding train cars on the turquoise. The little guy loves trains.

All day when I stitched I thought about Aaron and hoped that he would be happy under his quilt. And that if he had a cold or sore throat that he would feel comforted by it. It's a quilt filled with good wishes.

I rarely make a quilt big enough for a bed. I refer to my kid quilts as cuddle quilts and they're smaller. Today I saw a small kid quilt referred to as a stroller quilt, and I like that term too. I've moved my sewing machine to a table in my office to have more flat space to support the quilts.

I've seen the studios of some of the members of my quilt guild and they're not as spread out as mine. I think the thing is that I am all over the place with my sewing, focus wise. I do some utility quilting, some art quilting, some (but not much) garment sewing, lots of sewing projects, some felting, and some embroidery. Since I like it all, I can't see that changing any time soon.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 172

Ah, Friday. Here are my Friday Fill-Ins.

1. I'd like solitary camping for two weeks beside the Little River. Hikes, trips into town, reading, campfires, journaling, just sitting and watching the river. I wonder whether two weeks would be enough.

2. One of my most romantic memories is hmmm, not sure. I don't have a lot of romantic memories.

3. Last night I had tomato gorgonzola soup from Kroger's soup bar for dinner. Awesome.

4. Sorry for the clutter. I live in a creative space, but I crave clean surfaces with minimal clutter. These don't always go together well, and that's why I wanted a cape cod house where I can have creative upstairs space.

5. Can we put up a clothesline now? I miss my Ecovillage clothesline.

6. One of my worst temptations is also one of my best; the hot food bar at Whole Foods is hard to resist. The tofu/veggie dishes are always delicious.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to stopping over to see Nora and Aaron's new haircuts, tomorrow my plans include taking a software class, and Sunday I want to finish Aaron's quilt.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pam's Garden

I don't know who Pam is, but I want to check in on her city garden later in the summer. Anyone who has a sign declaring the space to be hers and who has such a lovely bench must surely have an exuberant garden.
I've been thinking all week on the words of Pastor Joel on Sunday:
grace is free
peace is possible
love wins
forgiveness works
There should be a wall hanging in that.
I had a pile of things to take back to the library tonight, and I found a book by Janet Evanovich that I hadn't read. I thought I'd read them all. Her books are great because they make me laugh out loud, and hardly any other books do that. I'm going to read and read, starting now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pasta and Pesto

I can't remember the pattern manufacture for the cupcake place mat - if you really want it, I'll find out. The embroidered cupcake on the napkin is by Anita Goodesign.

It was my late night to work tonight and all the way home I kept thinking that I really needed to stop and pick up something to eat, since the cupboard's pretty bare and I need to go grocery shopping. But home always calls me and even driving through seemed like just too much time. Home I went, and found the pasta and pesto that I got at Findlay Market on Sunday. That, with a bag of good frozen veggies on top, was perfect, and now I have lunch for tomorrow too.

I've been clipping coupons after a long time out. I'm finding that I really don't save much money but try out things that I usually might pass up as being too expensive, like those really nice frozen vegetables as compared to the usual plain ones. And it's fun to score with doubled manufacture's coupons teamed up with a store special, plus it's a good excuse to buy the Sunday paper.

It's started to rain and . . . it's time for bed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Update for Helen's Quilt

On Friday night at the going-away dinner, I wished I had Helen's quilt ready for her. I'd been putting off adding the bushes and the plants, just not sure how to do it. Yesterday I did what I should have done before - I just showed up.

I fused down the bushes, cut irregular shapes for the plants, and fused them down too.

Then I free-motion stitched around the bushes and plants and around the rocks that were left to do. And it's done, except for Jack and the border.
I've thought about the border, yes or no. It would be nice to have a kind of mat around everything. I've thought about something with a little pattern, but I'm afraid that anything with a pattern will detract from what's inside. At this point, I'm thinking about a hand-dyed border with just a little mottling.
And I'm going to do it soon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Findlay Market

It had been several years since I'd been to Findlay Market and it was during the week and during the winter. Not like today, when people were sitting in the sun, random music was playing, garden flowers were for sale.

There were outside displays and there was fresh pasta to eat outside. Last time I was there the only outside display was a man selling horseradish, which I'm sure may have rivaled my grandmother's horseradish from years ago.

I bought some fresh pasta and fresh pesto for another day and that was my only purchase, other than my lunch. I just wanted to look and look, at the earrings, little sewn items, fresh meats and fish, flowers, baked goods.

Thanks to Patti and Welda for suggesting this. All this goodness, very close to home, means I'll be back soon.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Proposal on the Bridge

Last night on the Purple People Bridge, Jack asked Helen to marry him.

It was a total surprise to Helen, who thought Jack was home in North Carolina, where Helen is moving and starting a new job next week.

We had a good-bye dinner at my house, someone suggested a walk at the Levee, everyone packed into the cars. Jack and Helen's daughter Elise were waiting on a bench on the bridge.

There was a quick toast with a bottle of champaigne and a quick look at the dozen roses that Jack also brought. Along with the ring. Aaron was the littlest cheerster, and no, he doesn't have champaign in his glass.

Then we went to Bridget's and gave Helen her going-away present - a framed print of the Purple People Bridge. Helen couldn't believe that all of us knew what was going down - and kept the secret for almost a week. I'll really miss Helen but I know she's going to be happy in North Carolina.

See you at the Smokies, Helen.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 171

My Friday Fill-In answers are in bold.

1. In 1992, I was married, taking college calculus, had a Singer 6235 without a good 1/4" piecing foot, wasn't concerned about global warming or health care, didn't recycle, loved going to work at Fairchild Hall, and weighed more than I do now.

2. Nora and Aaron = laughter and smiles. There's always something going on or something one of them said.

3. Do what you do best, with what you have in front of you, where you can spread out and enjoy the process.

4. The beach is where I'd like to be. I always have the same answer to that one, followed closely by "at home."

5. The trees and flowers are telling me, "Look at me, look at me. I'm here, I'm awesome, look at me."

6. There is some drama that just keeps going on. Do people really enjoy that? Do they look forward to arguments, hurt feelings, upset? It's so far out of my zone that it's hard to imagine enjoying it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Helen's going away party (happy for Helen, sad for me,) tomorrow my plans include a short work day, and Sunday I want to make a birthday present.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Catch Up

I was at Barnes and Noble on Monday afternoon and went out on the upper patio to look over the river

to the Great American Ball Park. You can see the stadium through the bridge, on the left side. Lots of red. Below, people on the patio underneath. I wonder what the work absenteeism is on Opening Day. It's a day to love, one of those days when anything's possible.

My newest project is another pattern from Indygo Junction. It's a pincushion, with a big button in the middle
and spools of thread running around the outside. Almost as nice as Opening Day.

I had a dead battery this morning. Lucky for me, my neighbor was home because her kids were on Spring Break. A quick jump, and I was only ten minues late for work. I must have left the headlights on. A little experimenting this evening proved that the buzzer that signals that the lights are on no longer works. I'll just have to be mindful from now on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Birthday

We had a "birthday cake" of bunnies and eggs, courtesy of Nora and Aaron. And a delicious ice cream cake from Grandma Janice and Pap.

Candles and singing, which the kids loved. We had to sing twice.

Aaron has two cowlicks in the back of his head. On his two-year-old troublesome days, Steph says that's where his horns fell out.

Happy Birthday, Steph.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Egg Hunt

We got out of the car at the anticipated egg hunt to wind and rain, but the rain part soon disappeared. This egg hunt has tons of eggs, the kids pick them up and trade them for a treat bag, and the eggs go back in the grass. Plenty for everybody.

I was happy that Nora wore her Easter dress because she looked absolutely adorable and was pleased to have a dress that twirled.

Aaron was less fashion conscious but sweet none the less in his new outfit.

The ride home was a happy one, with a bracelet, stickers, whistles, a treasured "camera," and other assorted kid pleasers. So nice.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 170

Here we go. My answers are in bold. Here's the Friday Fill-Ins link in case you decide to try it yourself.

1. All you need is Granny Smith apples, sugar, and just a little water, and you can make homemade applesauce. Which is what I'm taking to Easter dinner.

2. The latest tale of Aaron's day fills me with laughter. Mike says that currently Aaron spends 80% of his day reporting injustices. (Nora took my truck, Cosmo ate my cookie, etc.)

3. Each generation, as it grows up, has its own set of challenges and its own joys.

4. Rudeness is something I have a hard time dealing with. I take it personally and it usually has little to do with me and more with the rude person's day. Civility is what it's all about for me.

5. A trip to the beach is what I need. A chance to listen to nature's rhythms. And a trip to Asheville to see Sarah.

6. Give happiness and you get back happiness. And the Universe will be a better place.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to fabric shopping for something with little dots, tomorrow my plans include watching the Easter egg hunt fun, and Sunday I want to go to church then have a good dinner in the evening.

Happy Friday, everyone, and Happy Easter.