Sunday, July 20, 2014

TEXTURE MAGIC Flowers, Poverty, Zucchini Report

These flowers are very interesting.  They were made using Texture Magic.  Here's a link.  The taupe fabric on the right side is silk.  What a gorgeous look when it's quilted.

Pretty much every morning I spend my breakfast time checking out Facebook and a couple of forums and blogs.  This was a link on Facebook this morning.
Sipping my coffee and reading the story got me thinking.  Slow, morning-fuzzy thinking.  When was the last time I raised MY rates?  Two coffees and a bowl of oatmeal later, I blew off the dust from my 2010 shoebox of bookkeeping.  Yup.  January 2010 was the last time I gave myself a raise.  Just out of curiosity, I thought I'd check on some of my annual expenses over those years.
  • Property taxes increased $350
  • hydro costs increased $240.  And now I have to wash my underwear at night.  In the dark.  Using cold water.
  • house insurance increased $420.  Never had a claim.
  • car insurance decreased $35 (huh? clearly a mistake by the insurance company)
  • business insurance increased $100.  Never had a claim, but DID increase my coverage.  It's costing you gals a whole lot more to buy fabric, which increases my exposure.
Every time I get on the subject of money, my brain goes STRAIGHT to Executive Compensation.  I am a former Royal Bank employee, so I like to pick on them.  Even though my years with them were pretty much okey-dokey.  They decided to get all fancy a few years ago and morph into RBC ROYAL BANK.  Poor Mr. Nixon.  Having to get by on a measly $12,700,000 last year.  Let me spell that out for you.  Twelve million, seven hundred thousand.  Dollars.  Per year.
That moved by brain along to "I wonder how much the normal people at THE BANK earn these days?  You will see from the chart below that the customer service reps who actually look after you at the counter earn between $12 and $15 per hour.  On those wages these people are expected to dress professionally?  Um. 
Mr. Nixon!  Shame on you!  A LIVING WAGE is $14 per hour.  Anyone paid less than that is living below the poverty line.
All this financial pondering brings me to the weekly zucchini report.  Feeling as impoverished as I do right now, I regret going out for a cheap (but yummy) dinner at Bangkok Temptation last night.  Today I will eat my free zucchinis.

ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  7
Picked YTD:       13

Sunday, July 13, 2014

the Gift Quilt, Stash Report, and the first Zucchini Report !!

The gift quilt is done except to finish the binding.
I had some fun with the feathers.
The lightning zigs were first s.i.d. then quilted with 1/4" inside lines.  Then I added the cutest border design. (click on the pic for a larger image)
A few leftover blocks for the back.
STASH REPORT
Used this month:  19 m
Used YTD:          64.2 m
Added this month:  0.  Zero!!
Added YTD:       115.75
Net YTD:            +51.55

Now, we've waited all winter for this.  The first...
ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  6 (teeny, finger sized fruits - just right to chop into the salad)
Picked YTD:        6

DH will be accepting donations of non-zucchini-laced food items on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 and 4 pm.  ha ha ha... bad wife...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Scrappy Quilt, Gift Quilt, Strawberry Jam, Stash Report

Here is a "Majestic Mountains" quilt that I made with the Scrappy Club.  Link to pattern here.

This was a nice easy quilt to make, but use caution - all the block edges are BIAS.
I used up some crap unfavorite fabrics on the back.  ($1/yd for the red stuff, about 10 years ago - the only thing I loved about that was the price)  Now it just needs binding.

Here's one that I'm making as a gift for my friend's daughter.  This is really cute (if I do say so myself, ha ha ha).  This is based on one I found on the internet, then I made up a pattern.
I had a little OOPSIE with the pattern, not realizing that EQ thought the blocks were 6" when in reality they are 5".  Yeah - technology is only as good as the operator.  The whole quilt was too small, which meant more blocks were required.  I have ideas for quilting floating around in my head.  Now to get the ideas OUT of my head and INTO my quilting machine.  Easier said than done sometimes.

On the ACTIVITY front:
  • made 15 cups of Strawberry/Orange/Banana jam.  Mmmm... Today, to celebrate, I had toast & jam for breakfast instead of oatmeal.  Did I already say "mmmm..."?  I made mine from the Bernardin Canning book, but here is the SAME RECIPE on the net.
  • Weeded, then shoveled about 10 carts of mulch around the yard.  Still much more to do, both weeding AND shoveling.  Last night I made a lovely chicken-ceasar salad with red and green romain lettuces from the garden.  Yum.
  • Assisted our niece with move number 13 in six years.  Seriously.  I have never met anyone who moved so much.  This time she moved for a real job though, so hopefully she will be staying put for a while. Downtown Toronto. Ick.  Not a fun place to drive. My duties (since I had brought a book with me) were to sit downstairs at the loading dock/garbage dumpsters area where our trucks were parked.  I was to phone my b.i.l. upstairs if the garbage men came to empty the dumpsters, because our trucks were in the way and they'd require moving.  Whew.  Almost broke a nail. :-)
  • Quilting and quilt-making, as you can see above.
STASH REPORT
Used since last report 9 m
Used YTD               54.2 m (averaging 9 m/month!)
Added since last report   0
Added YTD            115.75 m
NET 2014               +61.55 m  - it's coming down bit by bit.

On the I-Am-Such-An-Idiot front:  While carrying out my 'sit in the truck' duties I threw a bottle of water in my purse.  It was 3/4 full.  I had not closed the lid.  I noticed when I wondered why my leg was wet.  Pfftt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!!

I'm so grateful to live in this wonderful country.  A roof over our heads.  Plenty to eat.  We go to bed safe at night and wake up safe in the morning.  Very blessed.


Monday, June 30, 2014

House Quilt, Slipcovers, Cucumber Pot

I had to interrupt the slipcovers for a few days because this House Quilt had a deadline.

I find house blocks to be challenging but fun.  The background sky & stars were quilted with stars and wind, and the trees have a tree design stitched over them.

This little row of geese got feathers.

The skinny borders were stitched with 'L's and 'E's, the wide piano key border was diamond x-hatched.
Tractors in the bottom green blocks.
Here's the 6-cushion couch, all slipcovered.

This is the 3-cushion couch.
If you are looking for some beautiful hand crafted furniture/woodwork, this couple owns Shaker Roads.  Check out the web site.

The cucumber pot I planted up is doing really well.  There are also 2 cayenne pepper plants in here, and 2 oregano plants.  
When Sadie figures out those are CUCUMBERS I may never get any.  That's one of her favorite food groups.  Hopefully she doesn't eat one of the cayenne peppers by mistake.  :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Breaking Bread and Flying Herons

I was surfing Pinterest one night and got fixated on Pita Bread.
I used THIS recipe.  It looks like my 'rounds' need a little more rounding.
Ooh, weird looking pitas.  Tasty, though.  The recipe makes 8 pitas, so the remaining dough is in the fridge (it'll keep for a week).  I found the PERFECT size of Tupperware, but now 2 days later, the dough is going to bust out of it's confines.  Apparently, it keeps rising even though it's refrigerated.  When I bake the other 4 I'm going to try the oven at 500 instead of 450 and see if they puff a little more consistently.  More thin-ness and more heat seem to be the tricks.  Fast - only 3 minutes in the oven!!
DH has been in the garage, all artsy-fartsy-like.
I find metalwork incredibly hard to photograph.  This guy will be gorgeous when it's finally installed hanging over the edge of a pond.  He's a big bastard - the wing span is over 5 feet.
The slipcovers went on hold for a few days while I got this quilted.  I'll show you the quilting next week, after the customer has seen it.
Coming up this week, I have the Scrappy Club all day Monday, then the other guild has the year-end pot luck Monday night.  note to self:  decide what to bring!!!!  I must call the doc's office and arrange for my semi-annual Prolia shot (osteoporosis.  sigh.)  Hairdresser on Wednesday so I stop looking like a Wookie.  And finish the slipcovers.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Log Cabins, IKEA with the Beach Girls, Stash Report

I quilted two really interesting Log Cabin quilts recently.  Log Cabin blocks are so versatile, they are one of my favorites.

This one has the blocks laid out to create a spiral pattern.

This one has wonky blocks with blues running in behind.
The Beach Girls arrived on Tuesday and left on Thursday.  One of the requests was a shopping trip to IKEA, so that's where we went after Tuesday's fancy humble lunch of Tuna Casserole.  Somehow, out of the five of us, I managed to spend the most.  But I came home with the cutest little dessert/yogurt/ice cream bowls.
And a lovely new rug for the front entrance.  (I know I'll regret this come sloppy fall weather, but it's sure pretty NOW.)
And a new IKEA bag to replace the one I have misplaced.  These bags are great for hauling around three or four quilts at a time.
On Wednesday we went to Quilt Canada in St. Catharines.  The quilt shows were very good (!) and I think my favorite was the Fiber Art Network Of Western Canada show where they had two artists work on one theme.  One would be representational, and one would be abstract.  Very fun.  Here's an example...

As expected there was also a VENDORS MALL.  Oy.  My downfall.  I fell off the wagon and bought a few pretty pieces.
STASH REPORT
Used since last report:  0
Used YTD:               45.2m
Purchased since last report:  2.75m (not so bad, really)
Purchased YTD:               115.75m (yeah, this looks a little worse!)
Net YTD:                          + 70.55

I can knock this down a little bit when I get my last SCRAPPY quilt quilted.  If only I could get away from the internet.  :-)