Sunday, March 01, 2015

Beautiful Day

March came in with a bang rather than a whimper!! It isn't even eleven o'clock and it's in the 80's. Sorry about saying that to those of you who are just coming in from shoveling snow. It feels great to get up in the morning and have your workout already done and take back Sundays!

I have a great start on organizing the studio rooms. I have ordered stackable drawers to shove under tables to hold my crafty supplies and other odd things that haven't found a place to call home yet. My goal is to be done by the Ides of March.

What a pleasant surprise for G to check the mail (we get it communally rather than a home mailbox) and find a valentine (my only one!)
It was hand made by my friend Robbie and it is adorable!  She made 28 of them even tho' she was sick for a month!  Wow.

Here is the one she made last year

and the new one will proudly be right next to last years on my bulletin board.  Thanks Robbie, for thinking of me.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting Down To Business

I played mahjong yesterday and won three games!!! I was over the moon. It may be time for me to get my own racks and tiles. I will take it slowly and get the very prettiest set. You can get ones with bling and personalized with your name on the jokers. Do guys play mahjong? I haven't heard of it yet if they do.

My next ten dogs with tan ears etc, are ready to put together.  I am having some things made up to do for when my sister comes in March.  I will also get the stuff ready for the table runner that we are both making together with my new BFF Linda.

I saw this organization cart and had to buy it.  It was very simple to put together and the color is perfect.  Now I have to devise something to do with it!  Maybe a book cart like they have in the library and in the hospital?  It's a thought.  Plants are an idea but I am afraid that they would ruin the cart in no time.

Today I am going to continue with the labeling of all things studio and get a better handle on where stuff should go in the rooms.

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Little Of This

Having two weeks without company has got me to start in the organization of the studio (and thinking about doing the same in the kitchen). Just when I started labeling things, I ran out of the tape and don't have another refill so that is put on hold for a day or two.

I went out to dinner last night with a group called 'Traveling Forks' which consists of four to six couples that take turns picking out a venue to try each month. Because it is high season here, some of the couples couldn't make it. There ended up with three couples at a very nice italian mom and pop restaurant in Sarasota called Dolci Italia. The food was great and the company great too.

Which reminds me, when we were out to dinner with the kids last weekend and the wine list for one
restaurant had an iPad for their wine list.  Very interesting.  I am thinking that their choices for wine change enough that it would merit using something very user friendly to change the menu.  I am guessing that they don't have one for each table tho'.
While out shopping, we couldn't help but notice this Harley Davidson motorcycle all jazzed up with five maltese.  This photo only shows four but I counted five at one point.  I guess the other one got crowded out.  I wonder?  Could they jump out?  I was worried about that.

My girlfriend Martha sent me this pic of a cake.  I probably was for a baby shower at one time and they didn't know the sex of the baby, so the onesie was aqua instead of blue or pink.  I know, don't read into everything so much!!!

I have hit the big time.  I am subbing in a Mahjong afternoon.  I finally know what I am doing and therefore feel I can hold my own.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Purchasing Power

I finally went out shopping to get a couple things that I have been meaning to get for a long time.  First up, a new printer.  My printer hasn't worked for a long long time and I was compelled to use G's downstairs.  Unfortunately, you need a PhD to use his, complicated and all.

I purchased the most expensive one at Sam's Club at $124.  You can now get a printer for $65!  I opted for the cheapest one before and spent most of my social security check on ink for it.  It took me half a day to install the wifi but it's done and it works.  For how long, I don't know.  Nothing is made to last anymore.

My second purchase was also from Sam's Club and it is my very first toaster oven.  My brother was talking about using it instead of heating up the oven for something little and then listening to it cool down for another hour and he was so right.  We have already used it several times in a couple days.  My whole family uses them but I am a new recruit.  Time will tell whether or not it was a good purchase.  At least I put the toaster in the pantry for awhile!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Here Piggy Piggy

I finished up ten more paper pieced dogs with brown ears, nose, legs and tail to join the eleven ones I already made with black parts for the Humane Society raffle.
I have started to cut out the parts for ten more with tan parts, and I will probably do those when my sister comes for a week visit. Now I am going to delve into something that I can't do when I have company, and that's thinking of what to do next.
While we were shopping and eating our way around St. Armand's Circle with Maggie and Evan, I noticed this charming pig that I just had to have.  It is very heavy so it had to share the dog stroller with Bella.

Bella is very accommodating and gladly shared her space.  I had to sacrifice my sweater to cover the sharp parts so we wouldn't have to be stopping off at the animal hospital on the way home.  It is pretty adorable and loves to be by the veges.  Vegan, maybe?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Miss Mike

In honor of my 'older' sister Mike's birthday, I thought I would show you a new product line that has made its debut this year.  These containers are the new SOFI line from Fellowes, the place that my sis has worked for years and years.  They all go down flat and are simple to pop up into the wanted shape.
I actually already put this one to good use!

There are many shapes and sizes and they are classy looking storage with cool colors that blend into any surrounding.
Some have zippers and others can be used as drawers
I'm a sucker for drawers.

I think Mike should get her the whole line of SOFI for her 40th birthday.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Oscar Night!

I snuck out a little bit yesterday to go to the Modern Quilt Guild get together. The attendance was less than normal because lots of the gals were at QuiltCon in Austin, TX.  There were new faces that happened onto the 'Airing of the Quilts' a couple weeks ago.

We are having fun with the kids, checking out the area, the restaurants and tonight, the Oscars.  I have to remember to print out the ballots.

I made some aprons for moi.  I wear them when I cook and sew.  Cooking needs them for splatters and general messes.  Sewing need them for pins ruining my clothing and I need the pockets for iPods and stuff.  I literally wear out my aprons.  The brown pink one is made with pig print.  Very Tommy appropriate.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Crazy Winter

This picture was taken of the beach about twenty minutes from my Indiana beach home.

It appears as tho' Mother Nature has been doing some sculpture!

A Mini Quilt Show

Yesterday was the second time I saw my neighbor, Lynn give a talk on the history of quilts.  She is not a historian and says as much but enjoys quilts, young and old and has a flair of sharing her know interests.  The first time I saw her was a couple weeks ago when she paired up with a designer at Robb and Stuckey, a furniture store, where 80+ women showed up for the talk

The next time was at my women's club luncheon.  Here she is, fondling a quilt.

She knew a lot about the history of quilts and happens to own this crazy quilt from 1897 that she took to

stop her mother in law from taking it to a thrift store!!!

Can you imagine?  It was appraised for $2500.

This butterfly quilt was done completely by hand, appliqué, the quilting and

the buttonhole stitch around each butterfly .

This is one of Lynn's creations, and they are moths.  Lovely.

This was a pattern from the early 1900's called 'two lips'.  Get it?

No you are not seeing things,  this owl quilt was not a rectangle but cut at an angle(it is lying on top of some area rugs when I took this picture) and has been award winning and also, because of the diagonal side, was unable to enter certain shows.  The 'feathers' were made of fabric.

There were lots more quilts, including some of mine but my battery went dead so I have to end her very interesting talk half way through.

The kids come today and aside from reservations, we have made no plans.  It's a chill out visit, which just happens to include the Oscars!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Wallenda Show

I don't think I had been to the circus since I was a kid. I remember being so excited when I was young that we were going to the circus that I couldn't nap, which was a necessity because the circus was at night. I remember lots of animals and a certain smell.   Well that has all changed.

There were four fat hogs doing lame tricks but it was hokey, like it should have been on Captain Kangaroo.  Otherwise, mostly european acts that featured gymnastic skills, juggling, hula hoop and the like.  It was very entertaining.  But the cream on the top with an added cherry was the Wallenda's.
Nik in particular.  He was amazing, as was his entourage.

This is Nik and his helper and his 60 something mother in the center.  She actually sits down on the wire and he crosses over her.

Nik and helper with a girl on a wire going from standing to the splits
This was the nerve wracking pyramid with his mom on top.  You could hear a pin drop.

This is a great picture of them disembarking.  Most of the pictures didn't turn out because of so much movement.

And they even thanked us for risking their life for our entertainment.  Wow, something is wrong with that!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Game On!

The two large quilts I have been working on for a few months have come to the point where they can be submitted for the jury (Nancy Crow). They are not bound or faced and have no sleeve or are not 'tweaked'. But they are, for the most part complete. This was the most time consuming thing I have done. I think it's the size that was overwhelming. I won't be showing them for another year or more. Ah well, on to easier and more delightful things!

 I had some girls over for mahjongg (I saw that I was spelling it wrong; two g's are needed).
It's Maryjane, Mary Alice, Linda and moi.  It was the second play for the new mahjongg tile set of Maryjanes.  It was a turquoise sparkly delight to play.  It was Mary Alice's first time playing and my fourth.  Mary Alice is a quick study.  She won two of the games.  I play again tonight with a large group.  The girls think I am ready.  Yikes!

This afternoon we are going (40 or so) to see Nic Wallenda at Circus Sarasota.  I'll take pictures.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oh Well

Already got our exercise out of the way.  We have to work around the internet guys, as usual.  I have a mahjong game here this afternoon.

I'm a little bummed because after two days of getting to know the Bernina 750QE I was told by it's owner that a new addition is coming out this spring and that she would rather not sell it to me knowing that.  We decided to check out the new machine together when it comes out.  What a  sweetheart for telling me!
I so fell in love with the Moda Comma line that my friend Anne brought when she visited me that I had to buy it for myself.  I need to quit doing that.
I use mostly hand dyed fabrics and my stash isn't getting any smaller.  I just can't help myself.
Look at Auntie Claudia and Bella having a cocktail at an outdoor venue.  Who's cuter?  I can't tell.

We went into this restaurant in St. Pete and what did we come across but a hydroponic wall if herbs and vegetables.  The restaurant was pretty cool.  It is the Birchwood, on Beach.  Wow.  I was very impressed.

Monday, February 16, 2015

George and Abe's Day

  I didn't realize that it was a holiday until I noticed that the Wall Street Journal was not adorning our driveway. Then the brain started thinking of other ramifications and except for more kids out and no mail, I couldn't think of anything else.  I have a quilt guild meeting tonight and that is still on.
Let's touch base with my sewing to see if I like the new (ish) Bernina.

The main thing that I see a difference in all machines except for a long arm is the size of the bobbins.  The green one is from the Viking and, you are pretty quick, the black one is from the Bernina.

The black one makes the green one look pretty sad indeed!  And one more thing about trading up machines is that I would no longer have to try and type Husqvarna Viking.  That's worth something, right?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Learning Curve

My main sewing machine is fifteen years old and lately, even with having it overhauled, it gives me some trouble. I had the same issue up north and a couple years ago, got a new machine. I stayed with the same Viking brand tho' and there were many similarities so I didn't have to constantly check the manual.

The machine (used but not much) is a Bernina  and I haven't sewn on one since I bought the Vikings, some fifteen years ago.  What I am doing today and tomorrow and until I meet up with it's current owner, is to try it and read and try things again.

Here is the Bernina, sitting next to my Viking.  It looks so weird because I never thought my machine was small, at least until now.  I am sure the extra long arm comes in handy for quilting.  I will give it a shot in the next couple days.  The machine will not fit my sewing cabinet, which stinks tho' but then the Janome that I quilt with doesn't either.

It doesn't have a stitch regulator or embroidery so I will have to make sure I love it with less bells and whistles.  I am off to practice!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

V Day

To all you out there who celebrate the day, usually with over priced set menus and flowers, chocolate and the like, have at it.

There is also another version of the Happy Day.

I am spending the rest of the day, that is after my brother and sis fly away to parts very cold, test driving a like new 750QE Bernina.  That's way better than Fanny May!

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Orchid Show

We went to the Orchid Show in Venice.  It was very crowded with people.  Lots of orchids were growing out of odd pieces of wood and bark.
I can't say that I have ever seen a dotted swiss one before!
This one had a bit of hair growth.
I really love the ones with tons of very long air roots.

Most of my pictures were barely recognizable because of the crowds of people and the
crowds of flowers, one on top of another.

These are two examples of the flowers growing
out from the roots.  That's a new one for me.

I really think some of these and the thirty something I didn't post, are hard to make out all the parts.

It's pretty much the same when you are up front of them, because they are not sitting on their own for one to photograph.

Every now and then the wall of people part and I can get a snazzy pic.

This one was spectacular.

And this too was worthy of a quilt.

I didn't buy anything because the thought of it was exhausting!  It was fragrant and beautiful tho'.