Monday, August 30, 2010

End of August

August 30. It's a busy end to a much-anticipated but somehow less than hoped for summer. I think the relentless hot days have had much to do with that. Not much pleasant outdoor time. Evenings driving home in my un-airconditioned truck. Nights like this one, when it's still in the 80's even though it's 9:00. Too hot for the garden. But, like summer should be, it's been a time of waking up to daylight and of daylight stretching out into the evenings. I love that.

Sunday I hung this church banner after the service so it could be ready for a series starting next Sunday.

Aaron's birthday Raggedy Andy now needs only clothes to be complete for his birthday. With 13 days to go, I'm sure to have it finished. Actually, I'd love to have it finished tomorrow night. It feels just a little strange - for two years the fabric and pattern have decorated my studio and now it's no longer a decoration. That's what I love about creating - ending up with something that wasn't there before.

Here's the almost-three year old birthday guy. He and I had a conversation last night when he was driving this car, driving away after hitting his sister. I told him that we don't hit, and he said, yes we do. I had to amend that to "I don't like it when you hit."

Here's the sister of the conversation, ready to go to kindergarden in a very short time. She has some pretty clothes, some awesome boots, for school. And, notice Aunt Sarah, a helmet on her head. She told me it's about time for her training wheels to come off. She's growing so fast, just like her brother. Every time I see them, I'm amazed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Last night was the most perfect night for a baseball game at Great American Ball Park. Cool weather, good-natured crowd. Lots of Cubs fans on the bus over and back.

Some home runs (THREE by Jay Bruce) and fireworks. Fireworks at the end. More fireworks because it was Friday night. Peanuts and beer.

Looking across the river, I always try to puzzle out just where I live. Here's my guess: to the right of the Coca-Cola sign there's a large building that I think is a hospital. I'm just a little to the right of that. Maybe.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Start of Raggedy Andy

Aaron's 3rd birthday is coming up in September and I still haven't made him his Raggedy Andy. It's time.

I hoped that the face would be available for machine embroidery but it seems that hasn't happened. Probably licensed. Anyway, I'll be making the face and heart the traditional way, which is most likely just as well.

In the meantime, here's a bag made quickly for a Christmas gift.

And here's my co-workier's shower gift for last Tuesday night's shower. I've wanted to make this since I saw it in last year's Quilting Arts Gifts. You can see just the bottom of the circular cut-out that makes this a door hanger. It has Peltex interfacing to make it stiff.

Thinking about Quilting Arts Gifts, I hope this year's issue is out soon. I always find at least a couple of things that I want to try - some time.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Last night I had plans to visit a restaurant in Mt. Adams with good friends. We realized in the afternoon that the place I chose was closed on Mondays so we made a second choice, Teak, which was around the corner. It is a Thai and sushi restaurant - a good choice.

I had tofu pad thai - I'm always looking for pad thai that's as good as WanPen in Berea. I still haven't found anything better, but this was good and had lots of veggies.

With the hot weather we've had all summer, it didn't seem possible that we could sit outside on the deck, but it was very pleasant, perfect in fact. On a Monday night the restaurant was still busy but not crowded, and it seemed that most people opted to sit outside.

Mt. Adams is ever so charming. This restaurant, also with outside dining although it's hard to see it here, was across a side street

and across the other street was a place with wonderful flower boxes.

I still want to go to Rookwood, the original choice, just not on a Monday. Sarah, Winnie, and I went some time last year and we loved it. It used to be a pottery and there are two kilns still in place, now used for seating. Next time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Check check check check check

Lots and lots of machine quilting. Check.

Sheer organza ribbons sewn in place. Check.

Binding all around. Check.

Casing at the top for hanging. Check.

Little repair to cover a paint spill. Check.

Church banner ready for hanging.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Heavenly Angels

There are four of these lovely HolleyBerry angels on this banner. I needed it done in a hurry, so I went to my favorite thrift store and was lucky enough to find the red table runner with little embellishments on the corners. All I needed to do was embroider the angels on white linen, tadd a fleece backing to the linen rectangles, and sew around them with dotted ribbon.

At some point I want to use the angels to make something for myself, not sure what just yet. But in the meantime, there's a church banner to finish in a very timely manner, a long-overdue Raggedy Andy to make for Aaron's birthday, a work project or two, a shower gift to finish. And I've just started a third Seeing Double table runner that needs to be quickly finished.

And, there's thinking to do, about balance. It always comes down to that for me. I would have thought that with all the thinking I've put into that subject already, I'd have figured it out. But there's always the hope. Like the Grinch, who "thought and thought 'til his puzzler was sore, then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before." That's my hope - that I'll think of something I hadn't before.

But in the meantime, the new table runner is looking glorious. On my first and only trip to Cabin Arts, a local quilt shop, I got a set of fat quarters tied with a pretty organza ribbon. In colors I rarely use. I wondered at the time just why I wanted them so much, but I did, and they're perfect for this project. I love how the Universe takes care of me like that.

Friday, August 20, 2010


This little wallhanging was made with the Anita Goodesign Leaves collection. The dimensional leaves are embroidered on organza, no stabilizer, then cut around the edges. The tiny bit of remaining organza was burned off with my Creative Textiles heating tool. The outlines were embroidered directly on the quilt.

I'd always wanted to make a little quilt by pulling little pieces of left-over fabric from my basket and stitching them together. My basket is pretty full and it wasn't hard to find some colors I wanted. I just stitched a couple of fabrics together and trimmed them up. Very easy, very fun.

I've enjoyed five days of knowing that my old washer is gone and that there will be no more wet basement floor. Last night, however, my toilet started to gurgle when the bathroom sink drained and now seems to be hopelessly clogged. For no reason. And my camera is acting funny. And my printer has suddenly and mysteriously stopped printing.

And I'm just one person. What if there were multiple persons in my house with multiple plumbing options and multiple electronics? Would everything ever be working at the same time? At least, for my camera, I have a protection plan. I think that normally they're a bad idea, but I have very bad luck with cameras.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I rarely see extended family and it was a treat to have so many come yesterday. My cousin Gregg with his wife Karen came to see a Reds game (they won) and brought along parents Uncle Darvin and Aunt Evelyn for a visit. Gregg's daughter Allison with her husband Kevin drove to the game separately. After the game we all had LaRosa's pizza and Northwest Ohio cantelope, and Steph, Mike, and the kids joined us.

My aunt and uncle are 88 and in reasonably good health. It's been a family question for years: how come Aunt Evelyn never looks any older? Darvin is my mother's brother, so I can't hope for Evelyn's genes. I'm pretty sure Gregg got them, though.

My energy is slowly making its way back, and on Saturday I finished the center of a Christmas gift table topper (Anita Goodesign Seeing Double.) One side has red prints, one of which is Christmas-related but very subtle.

The other side has cherry prints.

I enjoy the patient construction of these. One or two panels a day and then one day, it's finished. My next will be in browns and golds, a wedding gift for a couple marrying in December.

While Mike was here, he swapped out washers for me. I've loved my GE washer with the mini-basket and it was my second one. The mini-basket sets inside the washer and will do tiny loads with two gallons of water. Perfect for sweaters or something red or something needed for the next day. For the past months, though, it's been leaking water from the bottom and yesterday the pump just refused to drain the water.

Luckily for me, a washer and dryer came with the house when I bought it, so no shopping was involved. There was oily stuff on the basement floor under the old washer, definitely time to retire it. This morning I washed a load of towels and was amazed at how dry they were at the end of the cycle.

Many thanks to Mike.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Down for the Day

Down for the day yesterday. Usually I can just power through bugs, but not this one. Today will be better, I can tell already. There was no computer yesterday. No sewing. I was glad I picked up books at the library Thursday night because reading was the only thing that worked.

This morning I loved watching Steph's video of the kids on her facebook page. Watching the kids slide down a slip 'n slide. A double one with a pool at the end. Much laughing. On a day with the heat index in the 100's, how wonderful for kids to have water play and popsicles.

I picked up the slip 'n slide at my Walgreen's since there wasn't one at Steph's store. I can remember, back in the day, going to Walgreen's when we visited Pat's mom and dad in Florida. Can remember right where it was, in a corner shopping plaza with big palm trees. Which probably makes it like any other shopping plaza in Florida. On Bee Ridge.

Looking forward to having cheerios and walnuts and peaches for breakfast. When I'm sick, nothing sounds good and everything is too much trouble. All I do is whine. Not good.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

lost and found

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of keeping things in order this week. I remembered to take my precious flash drive to work and back (twice,) remembered to bake a birthday cake, remembered when my night came to help watch the kids, remembered to take handouts and software to work.

All good, but for the past couple of days I've been searching for my camera and it was no where to be found. This afternoon, though, I got a call from little Aaron, saying that my camera was at his house. In his room, no less.

So, there are no pictures of the two bibs and the postcard I completed. No pictures of the new table topper I've started. Solid red Christmas prints on one side and cherry prints on the other. No pictures of my neighbor girl picking out embroidery designs for some hand towels for gifts for her grandparents.

No pictures of the adventures Aaron and I had when he spent Saturday night. That precious child completely melted down when I turned into his neighborhood this afternoon, crying "I want to stay with you." He knows how to make Gran B feel good.

The Reds swept the series from the Cubs. Good times. I've got to make it back to the ball park.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday Fill-In # 188

Friday Fill-Ins on a Saturday morning. Answers are in bold.

1. Life is a blessing. I'm so happy with my life. Well, a few beach trips and trips to Asheville would be nice, but I love creating and learning.

2. I hope my truck and my sewing machines just keep going. I so appreciate them and rely on their working well.

3. My last text message ended in these three words: "class as well." And yes, it was a work message. I think my co-worker sent it while she was driving home. I hope she's careful - texting while driving is now illegal in Kentucky.

4. An entire meal is what I'm thinking about for dinner some time soon. Appetizer, salad, main course, bread. And an hour or more spent eating it. Most of my dinners are grab and go, and every now and then I love the whole thing.

5. On the 1st day of August, I was really tired and did things at home almost all day. This weekend I'm much less tired, both physically and mentally.

6. My grandbabes are really lively and energetic, each in their own way. Nora loves to play games of all kinds and Aaron loves the sheer physical things, like running, just for the sake of running.

7. And as for the weekend, Friday I looked forward to picking up dinner at Chipotle, today my plans include making two baby bibs and a postcard and starting a table runner, and tomorrow my plans include sitting on the back porch with Aaron. He loves to duck around the corner then come up the steps. I say, "who's here?" and he says "it's Aaron." And we do it again and again. The weather is supposed to be so nice this weekend, just right for back porch games.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

For Steph

For Steph - her black blouse with tiny white dots mended and a new bag with larger dots. Oh, and some White Castle coffee bought on sale at Remke. Sarah, yours will be coming soon.

I just went outside to pick the first sungold tomato of the season . . . and it was gone. I know it was there a couple of days ago, almost ripe, needing just a few more days. Must have been a critter. Soon there will be enough for all of us.

I bought a color cartridge for my printer so I can try printing words on fabric and embroidering over them. I've always been drawn to words and am eager to try this. I've had some Bubble Jet hanging around for ages - think I'll try that first.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This Time and This Place

On this day I have roses blooming in my back yard by the back porch

beside brown-eyed susans. My mother used to love her brown-eyed susans.

And on the back porch, perched on a chair, an old Revere pan, which can probably hold about 10 ounces. Left by a grandchild on the last visit. Played with by my daughters when they were little.

Monday, August 2, 2010

What's For Dinner?

I met some friends for lunch last week at What's for Dinner. A nice deli-type place with lots of hot and cold selections sold by the pound. Can't wait to go back. I had a veggie lasagna and a wonderful carrot salad. Just around the corner from What's For Dinner was the BonBonnerie Cafe and I want to go there too. Ten Thousand Villages was across Madison, and I did go there. I'll never pass up a chance to go there.

On the way back I took a wrong turn and went past Summit Country Day School, which looked amazing. So did the neighborhood houses. Huge and older and well landscaped.

I worked today, unusual for a Monday, but before I went I did this birthday postcard. I've had the Embroidery Library design for ages but had never done it. I did the front, then used a temporary basting spray to fasten the stiff backing before doing the satin stitching around the edges. I thought it might shift, but it worked great. The gold part of the cupcakes is applique, so it could look different depending on the fabric.

After the card was finished, I put it inside the storm door of my neighbor's house. Hope she likes it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Actually it was in the last days of July when I took this picture in Steph's neighborhood, but close enough. Although it was hot, the kids' skin felt so cold from splashing in the pool. The little guy with his back to the camera says he's going to marry Nora one day.

The Viking Embroidery Club carry-all below is the one that used all that piping, and there was about a yard left over for another day. I like this one - it's different from most totes and has an art-y look to it. The directions called for beige linen with a green geometric lining but I like the blue with pink and blue batik so much better.

Except for a trip to the grocery store, I stayed home all day today. Doing laundry, cleaning, sewing, cooking, reading a book, watering the garden. I have one day off this weekend followed by five work days and felt like I wanted to just stay at home. Trying get things right for myself.

I added hard boiled eggs, feta cheese, and fresh sweet corn to a pasta salad and it was delicious. I love to read blogs about how other people cook nice things, but those people aren't me. I'm happy with the simple stuff.