Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Telephone Calls and Potty Redecorating

It's vacation time for me so there are no quilts to show you. If you really need a quilt pic try Webshots. I am too busy working on the bathrooms.

I talk to Margaret (of the Kawartha Retreat Margarets) every Tuesday at 7 pm. Tonight I missed her call 'cause DH and I were out getting stuff for the bathrooms. I always feel bad when I miss her call (it's not like I don't know the schedule) - she leaves a very forlorn message on our machine that even makes the dog look at me like I'm a bad person. I called her back as soon as I had some supper (she did not want to listen to my stomach growling) and she has graciously forgiven me.

I had a telemarketer phone at 9:20 tonight. Don't you think that is a wee bit LATE to be making solicitation calls?

Downstairs potty - the old wallpaper is off but the walls need lots of work before the new paper is applied. The stupid people (bad Helen, don't talk that way) who built the house did not prime any of the walls. They just slapped on one coat of paint. And cheap sh*t at that. When we bought and I started decorating it took me a couple of rooms and some expertise from my s.i.l. (the paint expert) before I figured out what was wrong. I'd put two coats of green paint on the walls and they'd be back to builders beige quick as a wink. Huh?? After I became aware of the reason for disappearing pigment and wallpaper falling off the walls, I started priming before I did anything else. This bathroom never got the treatment, as you can clearly see.
Here is the paper. We went to a Big Big Wallpaper Store on Ottawa Street in Hamilton. They have tons of paper in one half of the store, and the prices are very reasonable (most between $7 and $10 per single roll). The other half is all Christmas stuff.

Main floor potty - the old paper is off and we're ready for the new stuff, but the paper is still on order.

Upstairs potty - the wallpaper is off and we're ready for paint.

This afternoon we loaded up the car with broken stuff that was purchased at Home Depot. They are certainly not in the business of honouring product warranties. The smoke detectors with a 5 year warranty will have to go back to the manufacturer. The chop saw will have to go back to Rigid. The garbage bags with faulty seams (now that is a MESSY problem) were replaced. But we had to pick up the garbage ourselves. On the other hand, our local Home Hardware was happy to refund the purchase price of the smoke detectors we returned to them - an excellent reason to shop local. This probably doesn't make any sense. We had 5 smoke detectors, all the same brand, that all went screwy within two weeks. Two came from Home Hardware and three came from Home Depot. Does that clear up the confusion?

DH was kinda p.o.'d with Home Depot so we took our little selves over to Lowes to purchase the stuff we needed for the downstairs potty. (Yes, I already tried shopping at Home Hardware - they didn't have product that appealed to me.) For 15 years I've been living with a two dollar light fixture and five dollar towel racks. No more, baby! Sadie is guarding some of mommy's new stuff. Nothing fancy, just NEW. To match my word for 2010 - sparkly.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas, Food, Word for 2010

Hubby's latest tree. Five foot-ish.

Christmas was fairly quiet around here this year. The newlyweds came for dinner on Wednesday. She's been creating delicious things in the kitchen. We received a box containing peanut butter cups and cashew clusters, and a large container of Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Butter Cream Frosting. They have a food blog with all their recipes (and believe me - they ARE foodies). It is really hard to feel confident about your menu choices when you are feeding people with high-level taste buds. As a for-instance: he has a computer connected to his Big Green Egg (fancy barbeque) so the temperature can be monitored from anywhere. I am always just happy if we don't burn down the house and the chicken is still edible. However, they managed to choke down the supper DH and I prepared and they did not leave hungry. On Christmas Day I brought Mom home from 'the home' for a wonderful Christmas lunch of pierogy (her absolute all-time favorite food). She was pretty alert for a couple of hours then the confusion set in. sigh... I miss her. She enjoyed her lunch and her visit, and that's all that counts.

For the remainder of the holidays I will be redecorating a couple of bathrooms. Three to be exact. Well, maybe four. One is getting paint and new window treatments and shower curtain. Two are getting new wallpaper. Another is getting window treatment and shower curtain. I need to buy wallpaper for one, and the paper is ordered for the other. The paint is in hand, but I may not have enough. The fabric has been purchased and contrasting trim selected. I think I will make a London Shade for at least one of the windows but I need to double check my yardage.

My other project over the holidays will be to pick a WORD for 2010. My new favorite blog is Christine Kane. Her blog posts are full of inspiration and humour - exactly my kind of thing. At this point I am thinking about the word SPARK.
  • spark of wisdom
  • spark of brilliance
  • spark of illumination
  • spark of wit
  • spark of humour
  • sparkly-shiny
  • sparkly-wonderful
  • sparkly-vibrant
Can you see where this is going?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Olympic Flame in Caledonia, Movie Night, and Quilts

Watching the torch get lit was really kind of cool. It put a little ketch in my throat.

After watching that it was time to get ready for the gaggle of Red Hats who came over for movie night. Julie & Julia was very entertaining and definitely worth the $4.00 rental charge. Captain Billy's Koolaid was enjoyed by all (hic!). The gals brought over all the munchies. And let me tell you - if Red Hats know anything, we know how to eat. There was no shortage of nibblies. I had to check the dog's tail for sweepings of cream cheese dip and hot pepper jelly. The coffee table is just the proper height when she's wagging her tail (and when is she NOT wagging her tail?). She was very glad all the girls came over to see her.

And look - I HAVE been working.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Shoes-ey Christmas & Red Hats of Leisure

My friends certainly know how to put a smile on my face. Christmas gift #1 - my favorite dish cloths and fabric. More specifically, SHOE fabric.

Christmas gift #2 - a necklace. More specifically, a SHOE necklace.

We will be having a quiet Christmas since all the relatives either have left, or will be leaving town. I invited my Red Hat girls over tomorrow to watch Julie & Julia. I figured most of them would be busy and I'd have maybe 3 or 4 show up. Yahh - NO. There will be 12 of us (count 'em - twelve) for movie night. I have our cocktail all picked out... Captain Billy's Koolaid, made with Southern Comfort and Amaretto. I will make this in a large (!) punch bowl with a splash of 7-up and cranberry juice. Yum yum yum. I expect I will have to watch the movie again the next day so I can actually hear it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Christmas Christmas

DH has been out in the garage making wee Christmas trees. This is about 15" tall and is made from stainless steel. This one has already been gifted. Hopefully mine will arrive some time today.
Here is a lovely Christmas wall hanging I quilted for a friend's friend up in the Kawarthas. I don't get many applique quilts, so this was very enjoyable to work on.

I was making Christmas napkins as gifts for some friends (and some for me too!). I told DH what I was doing. I made 44 all together.He was understandably confused when he came in and saw this on my work table. Although he did like the idea of Chrismas undies.
He blamed the misunderstanding on my beverage of choice while I was turning the napkins inside out.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas postcard

Earlier this year I went to Asia, where I visited with my niece. I filched many feathers from Jurong Bird Park in Singapore (bad Helen, bad!). These pretty red & white feathers are my favorite and they made SUCH a lovely Christmas tree. Then I added some beads, gold sequins, and thread junk.

The back of the postcard is a pocket with a little surprise tucked inside. The whole thing was mailed to Singapore in a clear envelope.

I've entered this postcard in a challenge over on Vicki's blog. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

the Dentist (and quilts)


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A gingivectomy is a periodontal surgical procedure which includes the removal of gingival tissue in order to achieve a more aesthetic appearance and/or functional contour. Gingivectomies are frequently performed using electrosurgery to cauterize away the undesired gum tissue.

Yes, this is an uncomfortable procedure. This is from a wisdom tooth removed years ago - the gum was growing over the back molar. Now I have a big hole in my gum which will recontour itself. Ouch.

Quilting happening here: feather curl meander, panto on a Morning Out quilt, straight lines, cross hatching.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Star Quilt and Communist Plots

I finished up a quilt today - leafy/curl vine in the outer border, up & down leaves in the inner border, then a leaf/curl meander in the body. The thread was a pretty variegated which doesn't show up in the photos.

DH was hard at work starting to set posts for my (soon) new railing. I have sooo many customers with bad knees/hips/other body parts I know they will appreciate this. It is crazy warm weather - you can see he's working in shirt sleeves. Tonight they are calling for over an inch of rain. If we were having NORMAL weather this would be 10 inches of snow (according to About.com). Hah - that puts me in mind of the joke about why women cannot judge distance... men have always told them that this (space you finger & thumb 3" apart) is 6 inches.

Today's commentary is regarding the energy-friendly CFL lightbulbs. There is no way in hell these bulbs are saving us money. According to Wikipedia, the life span of a cfl bulb is between 6000 and 12000 hours. I think they have at least one too many zeros on those numbers. 6000 hours = 250 full 24-hour days. BOTH bulbs in our front hall burned out Monday night at the same time. These lights are on maybe 100 hours per year. And there is no way they have been in the fixture for ... umm, no I can't do the math. But you get the idea. Last week one bulb burned out in the powder room (which is also only on for wee periods of time - I mean, how long does it take to have a 'P'?). Today there is another burned out in the main bathroom. I think it's a communist plot. Along with the weather.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Funny little jobs

This week I've been working on funny things.

One normal quilt. Mostly normal - one of the butterflies is made with (I think) a plastic tablecloth fabric. I was very surprised Floyd stitched through it without incident.

One little project I'm planning for the Caledonia Guild.

One quilt restoration. So far I've replaced 13 fan blades and added a patch over some torn muslin. Tomorrow I will finish, up to the customer's $$ limit. If I didn't have a limit I could keep stitching on this all week.

Step 1 - find a similar fabric in my stash.

Step 2 - pin the heck out of it.

Step 3 - applique with tiny stitches, colour matching the thread to the patch piece.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

UFO and final class

I completed a UFO on Monday. This was a 'tinner' from the Binbrook guild - the theme of the tin was Cats & Dogs. The only dog block was made by me after I got the tin back from the exchange. Maybe I stumbled on a secret Cat Society Group??? Because the dog looks so funny surrounded by the eight cats I wanted to name the quilt "What the F**k???". However. I gave this to an old friend who had a brain tumour removed yesterday. I figure she is quite likely to have kids around at the hospital and that would not be appropriate on the quilt. I have been so sad for her. She was the person who raised funds for the SPCA. She was the person who organized a donation box for a needy family at Christmas. She was the person who collected for the Women's Shelter. She was the person who always made you see the funny side of any situation. If you have a minute, prayers for Kathy, please.

Yesterday was the final class for Morning Out. The gals all had their tops done or were adding their final border. Yaaay - good job ladies!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dinner Parties

Broken Star Quilt

Hubby and I need a vacation. On Thursday while I was out with my Red Hat girls, he was doing his 'man thing' in the garage. The phone out there is cheap, old, and covered in several years worth of dirt, oil & grease. Well, duh, it doesn't work very well. As he was bashing it about and punching all the numbers it seems he called 911. The two nice lady constables insisted on going through the house (to make sure I wasn't laying in a pool of blood) while the 6'6'' gorilla constable waited with hubby. As for me - yesterday I spilled a bag of flour in the pantry. That settled the issue of when I was going to vacuum up the cob webs and dust bunnies settled in behind the 14 cans of tuna, 12 cans of tomato paste, 3 bottles of apple juice, 8 tins of chick peas, etc., etc. (Belonging to a bulk food discount store is not always a good thing.)

Here is a lovely Broken Star quilt. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quilts & Dog Theory

Today's Horoscope:
Wednesday, November 18
You might not be feeling terribly ambitious at the moment,
Am I allowed to live up to that? Apparently I didn't - I've been working all day. Mostly. Except for the half hour I took for a walk with stinky-dog. And the half hour for today's Sudoku puzzle. And the 20 minutes to watch Quilting Arts on tv.
On the subject of stinky-dog... I have come to the following conclusion: a country dog that is happy and stinky is the canine equivalent of a man hanging out in the garage wearing a plaid flannel shirt and baseball cap.

Here are two finished quilts. I made the star quilt - it's going to the Caledonia Rotary Club for their auction next weekend.

The Sundays With Seurat is a customer quilt. The body is quite busy so I quilted that with clamshells, then did separate border treatments. I love the little monkey in the cornerstones.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quilting, Shoes & Zucchini (still???!!)

I love this scrappy quilt. Black makes the colours really pop. I quilted it with purple thread - feathers in the black background and continuous curve in the print fabrics.

My friend Anne (I am using the term 'friend' loosely here - you'll see why!) felt that I was making too much progress on my UFOs. At guild on Wednesday she gifted me with a Tinner she won a few years ago, knowing me well enough to be aware of my penchant for shoes. I'm ticked about the extra UFO but I really like the blocks, so I guess she is still my friend.

And this week's surprise in the mailbox. Someone made me laugh out loud when I opened this. Anyone willing to fess up???