Monday, June 30, 2014

Porch Pillows

I can't take credit for this inexpensive idea - one of my sewing customers asked me to make something similar for her.  Her tablecloth was a better quality than mine, and there was enough left to make napkins for her.

I got a plastic flannel-backed tablecloth at Target, I think it was $2.00.  I cut it down to fit this little porch table, then made pillows with the left-overs.  I figure that at the end of the season these pillows will probably be done for, at which time I can rescue the pillow forms from inside and they can live for another day and another project.

In the meantime, I have a pretty porch that makes me happy whenever I go out the back door.

The porch furniture goes way back to Fremont, Ohio, days.  Everyone in the neighborhood bought it from the local furniture store.  They probably still have it, too.  Sarah was a baby when we got it, so it's forty years old.  I want to get it painted, just not sure how to go about it.  If anyone has ideas, let me know.  I think that once it was sandblasted and repainted at an auto body shop.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Trip to COSI

Steph and I took the kids on a short trip to COSI in Columbus, since all of a sudden there were no baseball/softball games or practices.  That place is kid heaven, and it's reciprocal with the Cincinnati Museum Centers.

I tried to get a picture of Aaron and the gears with his tongue in, but it just wasn't happening.

Steph rode the unicycle, something she'd wanted to do since she was a kid afraid to try it.

A successful do-over. 

Nora declared herself afraid of heights and said she'd do it in a few years.  Aaron had no such fears and rode twice.  Both times he had to be rescued with the hook, which is handled by someone on the floor below who pulls the rider back in when their momentum just stops.  He didn't in the least consider this a failure and would have loved to have done it again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday Night Baseball/Softball

On this Wednesday night, the Wombats had their second tournament loss (but they had two wins.)  Just so you know, Nora isn't crying over the loss in the picture above, this was last night when she was waiting to scout tonight's opponent.

And the Falcons had a win and medal presentation.  The medals had the player's names on the back, very nice touch.  Aaron got in the car and said, "I never thought Aaron Lockhart would get a medal."

The end of a baseball/softball season always seems sad to me, whether it's kid baseball or professional.  The grands would both be happy to play on.

On the way home, Aaron and I listened to the Reds game and he asked how the new pitcher knew when to come in.  How fun to tell him that there is a telephone in the bullpen.   

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Season's End

It's the last week of the season for baseball/softball games, unless there are rain reschedules.  Last night Steph and Mike went with the Nora's Wombats and I went with Aaron's Falcons.  (That's Aaron at third base.) Both teams won, which made for a nice evening.  The Wombats are paying in a tournament, and the weather doesn't look good for tonight.  Thunderstorms right at game time.

Last night on the way home I asked Aaron what made the difference, why for the past couple of games he's turned into a hitter.  He said, "I decided to watch the ball."  Can it really be that easy for a six-year-old?

This morning I dug out the spirea bushes beside the back porch.  They were probably 50 years old and were no longer pretty bushes, plus they required a lot of trimming maintenance.  They were also probably planted too close to the porch, which made for strange shapes. 

So, now I have a shade garden, just a little morning sun.  I've planted a fern and baby's breath and moved a hosta which wasn't at all sun-happy.  Now for some impatiens and lots of Miracle Grow.  I've been concentrating on the front yard for the past few years and I'm pretty excited to see what I can do in the back yard.     

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hawaiian Quilt Machine Embroidery

It was so much fun to embroider these Anita Goodesign Hawaiian Quilt blocks.  I used little scraps of hand dyed fabric for most of the applique.  The design collection has four different sizes of each pattern.  I sent the collection back to work along with this wallhanging, but it seems as if there are maybe twelve different patterns.

The quilting within the blocks is part of the design, and the borders were quilted with the walking foot.  Every once in awhile there is a design collection that I just love embroidering, and this was certainly one of those.  Cutting around the appliques is a bit fussy, but not bad, and everything else moves along quickly.  I used the 150 x 150 hoop, but it would be very striking in the large size, using all the patterns.  It's a great chance to use bright solids.   

Sunday, June 22, 2014

On the Bridge

Yesterday morning, early, I walked on the Purple People Bridge and thought about the Summer Solstice.  There are planters on the bridge, often planted with the usual planter suspects, but this time a group had planted a mix of ornamentals and edibles.

There were tomatoes, kale, corn, herbs, and more. I was especially intrigued because this is how I like to plant my beds at home, a mix of this and that.

One planter had this charming lady added to the mix.  Her sunglass lens was actually a mirror.  I know that in a couple of weeks those planters will look even more impressive, totally exuberant.  I'll be back.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June Birthday

We had some other plans yesterday, but the kids really wanted to go swimming, and that's what we did.  It was the perfect day for it, rain in the forecast, and the city pool wasn't at all crowded.  Aaron went off the diving board for the first time, very confident and pleased with himself.  The kids got in lots of swimming and several dives before the first thunder rumbled and everyone had to get out of the pool.

My neighbor brought me a chocolate birthday cake and there was dinner at Steph's house when the kids and I got home from The Lego Movie.  Phone singing from Sarah and Winnie.  A very nice day.

A bummer end, though, when the Reds blew a huge lead and lost 14 - 9.  And when I found out that Winnie's birthday was Wednesday when I thought it was tomorrow.  And the bridesmaid dress I altered didn't fit at all, totally too small now, and I hadn't changed it much.  What did I do?  I brought it home and took it back to the original seams and we'll try again.

Today is the summer solstice, which I love.  This calls for a celebration all over again.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wonky Bike Pillow

This little bike pin has been in my dresser for a very long time, and I've been wanting to incorporate it in a pillow or a quilt.

A few weekends ago I went to a collage workshop and used my bike fabric from Sewn Studio instead of making a paper collage.  There is still plenty of bike fabric left for another day, plus now I have a bike pillow.  Because of the curve of the pillow, the picture looks as if the collage pieces are in the corners, but there is about a 1" outside wonky border.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Our Kind of Day

A ride on the Southbank Shuttle -

An elevator ride up Carew Tower for 45 floors, then walking up the metal staircase for a few floors since the tiny elevator was out of service -

Checking out the view and everyone was ok with it this year -

Eating our Subway lunch at Fountain Square -

Playing at the small fountain, with occasional glances at the World Cup on the big screen -

And, dessert at Graeter's. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

For Sarah - Yard

For Sarah, who wanted yard pictures:

I like to let my Halloween pumpkins decompose during the winter and have some garden fill during the spring.

And, I'm such a yard work turtle, not one of those people whose yards look lovely on the first of May.  I keep working a bit at a time, filling in as the summer, and the years, go on.  There is still lots to do this summer.

And then there's the back yard, barely started, oh, my goodness.  A couple of years ago I had two large but sadly unhealthy trees removed, and now I have a sunny back yard to work with.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blueberry Pie

It had been way too long since I'd made a pie, like years, and I didn't do a good job of this one.  For the bottom crust, I started on one recipe, to fit the pan, and skipped over to another for a smaller size pan.  Bottom line was that the crust didn't have enough shortening and then way too much water to make it stick together.  It's going to be tough.

I'm comforting myself with the thought that it will still be better than a purchased crust (probably not) and that the filling and top crust will be awesome (probably so.)  I would have redone that bottom crust but I had used all my white flour.

Maybe it was that lovely picture on the cover of Southern Living that put me in the mood to make pie.  And now that I've done it, I'm in the mood to make another one. 

For the past few years, my rolling pin has been used lovingly and exclusively for Play Dough.  It's time to use it more often for the real stuff.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Every Child's Playground

The grands love Every Child's Playground, under the Big Mac Bridge.  I love it too, because the bridge shades the play area and I don't need to worry about how long it's been since we've last applied sunscreen to their fair red-head skin. This may be the last year for the tire swing, at least for the two of them, they've about outgrown it.

The cost is $5 for downtown parking, and the hours just go by.  It's a bargain in kid entertainment.

Aaron begged to not go to Nora's evening softball game, even the thought of the concession stand didn't sway him.  We spent a pleasant evening at home.  He was very proud of the Lego creation that he and Nora built over a couple of days on the cool garage floor. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Crazy Quilt Letters

Nora was excited to see this pillow in progress on the embroidery machine.  Anita Goodesign Crazy Quilt Letters, with quilting over the entire pillow top, including the letters.

I wonder, what kind of fabric would make a nice boy name pillow.  Guess we'll find out.

Plans for today include a visit to the playground under the Big Mac bridge.  Nora has a softball game tonight, so I'll need to not wear her out.  I understand that there was a big day yesterday.

I can't tell whether it rained during the night as predicted.  Plans for the weekend include fertilizing my garden plants.  After a lot of rain this week, things are looking pretty good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bird Batik

For a few years, this batik bird fabric has been pinned on my studio wall, just the piece of fabric. 

And now, it isn't, although it does have a sleeve for hanging on the back. I needed a few quick, or sort of quick, samples of quilting using the walking foot. I'm so enjoying quilting with Aurefil 50-weight polyester thread these days.

And, I'm thinking, it really would be fun to do a little more batiking this summer.

Unrelated, here are some purses I made a month or so ago for a wedding party, plus a few other people.  I wish I could remember the make and number of the borrowed pattern I used, but I do remember that it's discontinued.

There was a bride purse too. White satin, silver embroidery.  Fusible fleece. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Start

Today was my first summer day with the kids.  Rain wasn't predicted until afternoon, so I'd planned an early Kings Island trip, but the rain was earlier.  So, we headed to Newport on the Levee, where we saw Maleficent, which they both rated awesome.  It was still pretty wet when the movie was over, but the hampster balls were open for business.  I forgot to take off Aaron's glasses, but it was fine.

I completely messed up their meal schedule with ice cream after the hampster balls, but I keep hearing that grandmothers get to do that.

Aaron still likes the train, and Nora wanted to ride with him.  They got tickets, with coupons on the back for $2 off the hamster balls.  I'm sure there will be a next time.

We got home and I fixed them cheese quesadillas, then Aaron asked if I'd make another with chicken.  I explained that I didn't have any chicken and he asked if I hadn't shopped for the things on his grocery list.  :)  I found some frozen chicken nuggets, which they ate around 4:00.  Is it any wonder that they wanted very little dinner?

And after all that, there was a quick walk to the end-of-the street park, where their mom picked them up.  More rain tonight.  A very good day.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Last Day

This morning was Aaron's kindergarten graduation from his public school, where he attended two or three days a week, depending on the school schedule. Last week was his final day at Garden Montessori kindergarten, where he went two days a week.  He is now a first grader and next year he'll attend the same school every day.

Siblings got to leave class to attend the graduation, so Nora got to go, then she went back to class and Aaron went to my house.  We picked Nora up at the end of the school day and went to Orange Leaf to celebrate the last day of school.  Just so happened that the kids celebrated at school with a build-you-own sundae bar, so she had half a smoothie at Orange Leaf.

She turned out to be a smoothie fan, so I'll have to look for some recipes.  And, with summer here, I need to pay attention to the grocery list that Aaron made out for me:  pork chops, french fries, chocolate milk, socks, tater tots, ice cream bars, hamburgers, meat loaf, roast beef, ham, bologna, baked wheat crackers.  The kid is a meat eater.