Saturday, January 28, 2012

I just machine quilted a queen size

Go me!! 

The back is the same size squares, but solid fabric.  So after pinning both sides roughly matching up the seams, I quilted in a back and forth pattern down all the seams.  That's all I could manage with the bulk of the quilt rolled up and shoved inside the machine arm.  There's really not much room to maneuver. 

Then when it was all secured like that, I went back and filled in the blocks with random stitching, because I was able to wrestle the fabric around, not having to worry about accidentally scooting the backing. 


"Just spraying thread around," DH called it  :-) 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

How can black rubber doormats be pretty?

Like this.
We had mats already, but I saw these and realized we needed new mats.
I realized we needed to move the old ones go down to the bottom of the steps so they could pick up more fir needles down there!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Deep Snow and Ice 2012: Yay!

I LOVE IT when the power goes out.  It's so quiet!  The moment that electric nerve-wrap in the walls goes *blip*... it's just so peaceful. 
It's so lovely and quiet. 
It's like your day just wound down to a graceful stop, and now you have all the time in the world to do word puzzles and learn new embroidery stitches. 
Well... except for hauling buckets of snow inside to heat up for bathing and washing dishes, that is.  There's the backbreaking physical labor part... except for that, it's all good and no bad. 

I love using candles!  Candles are so romantic and friendly, you get a little warmth and personality along with your light.   I wouldn't let the kids take any to their rooms, though.  Poor things, they had to use cold, cheerless battery lights because of their nervous mother.   Oh well, go to bed. 

Of course you have "all the time in the world"... for a while.  Dark is going to come and nothing can stop it.  I love that, too.  There's an elemental quality, a more direct connection between work and life.  If you get water in, you'll have a bathie tonight.  If you get a fire going you'll be warm tonight.  Otherwise you'll be sitting in the dark wishing the power would come back. 

I don't wish the power would come back.  It's so lovely to go to sleep  in a warm little house, when it's utterly quiet inside and outside! 

And then, there's the dawn.  When you've slept in utter darkness, it's SO GREAT when it gets light outside.  Yay!  It's Day!  How often do we really appreciate how wonderful dawn is?   There's not much poetry written to the dawn any more.  Most of the time we sleep right through it. 

DH made me call the power company like five times a day asking for estimates.  According to the recording, the estimate is, "We have 47 separate outages, and here's a list of locations that are without power.  After you listen to the whole list, please appreciate that we are literally stringing up lines and then before we can restore service another tree falls.  We have crews coming from other states to help us.  So sit tight and shut up.  If there's anything else you want, press 1 to talk to a representative." 
The power came back on the first day, then went off again an hour later.  I had to call to make sure the power company realized it had happened, and the nice lady apologized for my inconvenience.  
I said, "Oh, don't worry, I actually love it when the power's out." 
She said, "Oh, I do, too!  It's so quiet!" 
DH said we'd probably get bumped to the bottom of the list now that I told them we didn't want it anyway. 
(But they supply us with power because we pay for it by the kwh, not just because we want it.) 

The power came back on just a few hours later, then went off again in the evening.  Yay!  If it goes off at six, it'll be off at least all night.  And that was before the big freeze; after piles of beautiful fluffy snow, we went out and stomped pathways around, went sledding, cleaned up the remains of our canopy carport that collapsed (on top of the mower and rototiller, which I couldn't get out; they'll have to wait 'til it thaws) and then we had a little bit of rain, then a deep freeze, then some more wet.  Then the wind started blowing.  No surprise that trees were flopping over right and left. 

Day 1 and Day 2: 

snowstorm1201_22 snowstorm1201_25 snowstorm1201_30 snow-12-phone-pix-2

snowstorm1201_08 snowstorm1201_39

DH says it was "at least a foot and a half" of snow.   

snowstorm1201_34 snowstorm1201_35

Day 3:

snowstorm1201_41 snowstorm1201_42 snowstorm1201_54 snowstorm1201_56 snowstorm1201_60 snowstorm1201_67

For our last big snowstorm a few years back, the power was out for six days, so I know my limits.  After six days, one gets used to it!  I had to do laundry by hand.  DH said we could run down to the laundromat-- pffffhooey on that!  Laundromats are as gross as motels.  Who wants their laundry in the same machines as who knows what who else has been stuffing in there before?  Not me.  Anyway it's useful and educational to experience how our grandmothers did the laundry out on the prairie, having to haul the water in buckets.  Everybody should do that once in their lifetime. 

But after six days, I really, REALLY started to miss my email.  Checking it at the library just isn't the same.  

The high point was meeting a group of acquaintances in town and telling them my power had been out for six days, and no, I don't have a generator, but I look clean and happy just the same, don't I? 

This time the power came back on at 2:30 in the middle of the second night.  We had to suit up for the cold and run outside to finish installing the replacement water pump DH had been working on before the power went off   :-) 
It looked like a battle zone out there with all the big fir branches all over the yard, and you could still hear them falling.  They sound like a loud shot, then a cascade, then a big whump, and that sound comes at regular intervals from all sides.  In case of the sound coming from directly above, I put on DH's hard hat.  It caused him amusement, but that's better than a tree limb through the skull. 

When the water was back on, I figured I'd better run the washing machine while I could, just in case.  I ended up going to bed at five in the morning.  You can imagine my feelings the next day, "grumpy with headache".  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Favorite Fabrics Quilt is Sandwiched

The quilt top is together, the back is together, the batting is between them, and the whole thing's pinned. 
Lining those layers up is the annoyingest part of the job, IMO.  Next comes the quilting, which will be the hardest  :-) 

favorite-fabrics-1562 favorite-fabrics-1566

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kitty in the Tinsel

It's like she thinks, Hmm, what's the next household object I can jump into the middle of and be unbearably cute so they'll squeal and take my picture? 



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Phone Pics from Westport and Skechers SRR Resistance Runners

As usual, I had nothing along to record the gorgeousness but my pathetic phone cam. 

Westport-08 Westport-19 Westport-33 Westport-34 Westport-28  Westport-35 Westport-36 Westport-40

I bought a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups last year.  I've been using them in the house (in muddy Washington distinction must be made between dedicated-indoor and outdoor shoes) primarily for Walk It Out, and I love them.   The difference between that rocking sole and regular shoes is huge.  They have a natural stretching in the backs of the legs and a pushing-off motion in the rolling forward step. 
I'd been reading about the new SRR Resistance Runners, they're like the Shape-Ups only more stable.  Click here to read all the rave:

I ordered a pair from Amazon for $65, but while I was waiting for them to arrive, I found some at Costco for $20.  I had to pay the return shipping to Amazon but it was only $5 so I still came out $35 ahead  :-) 

my-new-Skechers-SRR-1 my-new-Skechers-SRR-3

They even leave a pretty spirally footprint which floats my boat. 


In my enthusiasm for having outdoor Shape-Ups, I wore them to Westport the first day I had them. 

CAVEAT:  they are NOT for climbing on rocks!! 
I've climbed on the rocks in everything from flip-flops to snow boots, and I was never so scared as this.  I got back down instantly and watched from the sidewalk like a dedicated old lady.  These shoes have no hollow between toe and heel and they don't bend in the middle at all.  It's the most unnatural feeling on rocks! 

Oh, well, they're for walking and jogging  :-) 
And they're just wonderful for that.  They were comfortable on day one through a whole day's activities and made my legs feel great.  We eventually got to walk on the path for a while, and it felt so good I just wanted to do it for hours. 

Westport-15 Westport-20

Pipecleaner Horse

Here's something Karen made many years ago.  It just came to light when she was cleaning out some junk, and I saved it  :-) 

Karen-old-pipecleaner-horse-1534 Karen-old-pipecleaner-horse-1536 Karen-old-pipecleaner-horse-1538

Friday, January 6, 2012

Favorite Fabrics Quilt Squares Are Done

I've finished all eighty string squares.  Here they are laid out for visualization purposes.  Ed had apparently been keeping his opinion to himself thus far out of politeness (or reluctance to lower himself by taking up quilt critique) but on seeing this, he said it was going to look a lot better than he had expected   :-) 

He said, "It does look like there's some intelligence behind it!" 



That red piece sure sticks out!  I'm going to remove it. 

Here's an alternative arrangement which everybody agrees doesn't look as good: 


I briefly contemplated arranging each of those blocks to best advantage, and decided against it.  We're going to go with the glory of randomness, or at least I'll sew all the blocks at random into squares of four, and then when there's only twenty big blocks to deal with, see how I'd like to arrange those.  


Here's the first block.  How are we doing as far as precision? 
1/16th of an inch off. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kitty In The Box

I bought this neat box at the Goodwill for $3.  Perfect for my medieval feast gear! 

Or the kitty. 

kitty-in-the-box-1497 kitty-in-the-box-1498 kitty-in-the-box-1500 kitty-in-the-box-1501