Sunday, December 31, 2006

All's well that ends well

Just a last post for the last day of the year. We are going out to dinner with friends at a very good local Italian place called Intermezzo. It's right around the corner and the food is outstanding. There will be about 15 of us. Should be fun. We go out early and the return to the same house where we had Christmas Eve, the famous Joe & Jeri's. It's like Ricks place in the movie Casablanca. To paraphrase-"Sooner or later everyone comes to Joe & Jeri's." We probably won't stay long since we have become old farts in the staying awake area. We are both so used to getting up at dawn that by 10 p.m. we are leaning sideways embarassingly. Even my son James and his girlfriend Dani are having a quiet night. He bought a bottle of champagne and some canapes to heat in the oven. We will probably come back early and crash their party. All of their friends are doing something else or have gone away for the holiday. I think they might be happy to see us.

Last night we saw Happy Feet- It was fun but I didn't like the way they did the ending. It seemed like they needed to put in something as filler and decided to use a rather serious subject to be solved by one little penguin. It just didn't feel right. I thought they should have kept it in the realm of a fantasy cartoon. Most of the movie was like a Busby Berkley musical and if you know who that is your as old as me. Then they switched to somber and dark. . Oh well, that's what makes a horse race. All kinds!

Here is a shot of a little chair my husband made for me and two little fishermen along with some of my chickens and a few of the books I have read recently and consider keepers. Big Calvin Trillin fan here I have all his books but "Dinner with Alice" is still one of my favs. His wife Alice passed away a few years ago. She was his somewhat reluctant travel companion and I wondered how he would fare without her. Now he gives great walking tours of obscure and undiscovered places to eat in Manhattan with fabulous food. There's a waiting list to get into a tour. I doubt many will get to go since Calvin is getting on and he only does it twice a year in the spring and fall. The novel "Distant Land of My Father" is one of my all-time favs. It's not new, a couple of years old but I rarely re-read too many things but this is one. Wonderful story.

Lastly-here is a shot of a couple of my husband's more precious toy trains. One is antique and the other is an exact replica of a New York Central train down to the sounds it can make. It's a Lionel and it was one of the first really expensive things Roger treated himself to when we were sort of financially better off.When was that?? Someday I'll take pics of all the trains, and there are many. Many. I enjoy seeing him delight in them the way he enjoys my delight in fabric and art so we work well together and isn't that just the best mix of all? Happy New Year to all of you wonderful people who have given me so much these past months and so generously. It means more than words can adequately express. Be well and warm and safe!

Friday, December 29, 2006

last meme of the year

Do you own a gun? No but there are days when I think one might be called for. Such a weird question.
What’s your favorite Christmas song?I have a few-It's comin' on Christmas(wish I had a river I could skate away on)Little St. Nick(beach boys) are two favs
What do you prefer to drink in the morning?-you haven't read my blog about the tea, have you? It's tea, tea, and then some tea. Strong, with milk and sweetner.
What do you think of hot dogs? I like them occasionally but I prefer some good German sausage like bratwurst.
Can you do push-ups? I suppose if someone put that gun I don't have to my head I could do one. I have disc problems in my back so it would not go well
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?I have a few. I'm an earring and ring person. I own many beautiful pieces of both. For a while I went through a native american jewelry phase and I have a few rings and earrings of that style but mostly I like gold and sterling hoops.
What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex?HAHAAHA In my house-food.
Middle name?Louise
Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:1-what's for lunch?
2. I should get to the store for leg of lamb for New years day. 3 don't forget the mint jelly.
Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:tea,iced tea, iced white tea with apple or pear flavoring. Does water count? Lots of water.
What time did you wake up today? 5:45 a.m.
Current hate?I don't usually hate anything or anyone but in this case I'll make an exception-the media and network t.v. studios for buying up all the good cable channels and putting re-runs of programs on a continuous loop and calling it programming. It's disgusting what they've done to A&E , Bravo and other stations and then to have to pay a cable compnay for that drivel. At first I was delighted by them putting on programs I couldn't stay up to watch but by the time I flipped to A&E for the same CSI-Miami re-run three times during the holiday weekend I nearly lost it for real. Here where I live there is no choice-it's all connected. DSL-t.v. etc. Also, Ted Turner bought up all the MGM old great movies and you can't get Turner classic movies without a package here. He sucks and so do the networks-don't get me started.
Favorite place to be?In my house on a snowy day when everyone is home and safe.
Least favorite place to be? Doctors office-any kind. Dentist. Grocery store
Where would you like to go?I could easily go to Hawaii again. I loved San Francisco and I loved Paducah but I was there when it was 99 degrees and I couldn't really enjoy it. So many places.
Do you own slippers? Not really. I kind of live in flip flops all year round in the house.
What shirt are you wearing?apricot linen shirt
Do you burn or tan? I would burn if I went out in the sun. I'm not a sun person and I guess it has been a good idea since my skin is fairly wrinkle free even at 58.
Favorite color(s)?Another thing I'm a real Gemini about. I love colors and yet I wear almost all beige, white,black and occasional pale tints. I adore red and in my closet of shame there are a huge number of earthy tones.
What is your favorite holiday? It's not that I don't like holidays but I think too much gets made about them and it diminishes the importance and makes people crazy with things they think they can't live without doing. I'm really always happiest when they are over and I can clean up the mess and clutter(I know, I know, but holiday clutter gets old quickly)
What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?Not a lot since I knew early on that I lived with the real monsters. Definitely snakes would be up there too.
What’s in your pockets right now?grocery list
Last thing that made you laugh?I am easily amused and childlike. Ellen had a re-run of the artwork people did depicting her-it was funny
Best bed sheets as a child? Wow, I'm with Janet on this one. I come from a far off universe where there were only white sheets.
Would you be a pirate?Probably not, I'm really a nice person. I don't think I could pillage. I do contemplate giving the odd person a good smack now and then.
Worst injury you’ve ever had?When my son was an infant I stepped out of our car onto a patch of ice and in order to keep from dropping him I fell on my tailbone. It was the begining of the end of my back.
Are your parents still together? No-Father dead- evil step father dead-mother-still living
Do you wish on shooting stars-always. what could it hurt?
What is your favorite book(s)? Oh My! Have you seen my bookshelves? If I had only five to choose-East of Eden, the encyclopedia(I know I'm weird, but I like reading them)The Gold Coast because it takes place not far from me and I love a good cautionary tale in the style of "the bigger they are the harder they fall." A couple of obscure books on the history of China and Japan which would be of no interest to anyone but me.
What is your favorite candy?You would probably think it would be chocolate but I like me a good tootsie roll pop.the chocolate ones or cherry. and I am a total sucker for the hershey kisses with cherry cordial centers. Oh how I rue the day they made those little buggers.
What song did you have played at your wedding?Both times were simple here comes the bride on the organ.Very small dinner afterwards.Second time was the charm.
How is the weather outside right now? Really warm for this time in NY
What was your first thought this morning when you woke up? It was dark and I sensed my husband was not there but I didn't want to reach over in case he was and I would wake him. So(poor me) I stayed in bed till it got a little moe light and I could see. He was already up but being very quiet downstairs.

For Debra

Hi Debra- I am happy to donate the quilt but I just feel bad that some lovely woman is going to have to quilt the BEAST. I have heard that it's a bitch to quilt something wonky and this definitly fits that pic. The size is 68x58 because I was having menopausal mania and decided at some point to make it a lap quilt for myself rather than a wall hanging for a large livingroom wall. Trouble is, I ran out of long border pieces and only had enough to do the top and bottom before I freaked out and put it away. I can easily remove the top and bottom very quickly. I do not have backing or batting, so your offer sounds great. I would be happy to send you what ever the backing costs as well as the batting which I am also out of and I will certainly bind it when done. Just one very important note-We will be gone from the 17th to the 21st of Jan so don't send me anything to arrive around that time. There is no one here to pick up packages delivered. Our mail comes to a box at the bottom of the hill and I don't want anyone to get hurt trying to get up here if the weather gets bad and the drive is not cleared. Any time before or after those dates will work great.

On a semi-related topic-in Jan. I hope to get into the closet and sort out some of the largesse that is just taking up space. Is that the sort of thing that one could post in Traders Village? If so, books, patterns, and some older fabric await some talented person who would like them.

Let me know about the quilt top-TTYL

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

the WIP that was-or-why the 1/4 inch matters

I like to call this my menopausal quilt. I don't really know what the hell I'm going to do with it except perhaps use it one day to illustrate to a class what happens when you don't have a quarter inch foot and you are in a manic phase. I really loved all these fabrics and made may more nine patches than appear here. There in a box in THE CLOSET OF SHAME. When I put this together, I can't imagine what I was thinking. I only know I wasn't measuring. Probably, I thought (in some parallel universe) once I got it together it would all come out right. NOT, and so it takes up a special place of honor(or horror) on the top of my list of UFOs. So much promise-so little matching of seams. One day I will take it apart and figure something out....but not today! I just want you to notice that I am, if nothing else, consistantly wrong about every measurment in every block. Thank you, thank you very much.

WOW-if you click on it it's even bigger more awful...It made me yelp! Good thing we're friends or you'd drum me out of the group!Did I mention I made this ten years ago?

six weird things

I'm a little tired today-post holiday clean-up and such. Getting ready for the 12x12x4 challenge prompted me to cleanup my so-called studio area, which is just a long wall in my bedroom that is the repositary for all the crap in my art life. I needed a big shovel and trash bag to get to the surface and that's what I did yesterday. So today I'm meme-ing and chillin'. The guys are off to work and the house is fairly quiet. Here are my six things-which will prompt a my husband to say, "only six?"

I have a touch of agoraphobia-and I must force myself to go out everyday even if it means just opening the door and walking outside. Skipping a day and staying inside makes it worse the next day.
Shoe fetish here-what makes it really weird is that for years I wore very beautiful and expensive high heels and now I have problems with my feet and legs so that all I can wear is flats. I must have 50 pairs of shoes and I only wear 5.

I am a tea drinker and then some. I drink many mugs of tea in a day. I grew up in a house with a British step-father so I learned to love a good cuppa. I'm so fussy about my tea that I actually carry some with me in my purse so I have my own brand and not that pissy stuff that passes for tea here in the U.S. I drink PG Tips from England and my husband buys it for in in commercial service sized boxes of 500 from the manufacturer-importer several boxes at a time. Can you say OCD. I actually feel annoyed when I can't have my tea fast enough in the morning. I married the best man alive.

I am supersticious about a couple of things to the extreme. Coming from a very horrifying childhood made me afraid to express too much joy out loud. I am still afraid to voice too much happiness for fear that the proverbial foot will come out of the sky and stomp on my happiness. Being a student of Asian history made me aware of certain asian principles that have translated to my own life such as not boasting or being openly too proud. In ancient times Chinese women would not praise a new-born child for fear that the gods would be envious and take the child.To some extent, this is how I feel about things that are important to me. I will never say out loud that life is good. The last time I said it out loud was Sept 10th 2001.

5. I still like herring salad

Being a Gemini, I have many interests and some are polar opposites. For instance, I like classical music(Water Music by Handel, Hyden Trumpet Concerto and most things played by YoYo Ma) and even opera(Italian) but I'm happy to hear a lot of country like Montgomery Gentry's "Christmas with the family"(the funniest seasonal song ever made) and I love my Charlie Byrd retrospective and some Dixie Chicks as well. I draw the line at most rap but I have heard some I almost like though not in large doses and I have to be in the mood.

Well, if you're still with me... your really a good friend....I'll try to do better tomorrow or even later.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

because this can't wait for tomorrow Enjoy!

Big fun with the family

Merry Christmas to you all. We had the best time. A mix of fun, really good food and friends and of course loot to boot. These are some of things I got from Santa. The JoAnns cards are from my very generous and funny BIL Bob. He couldn't find any large denomination cards so he just grabbed a handful. I got Borders cards from Roger and books I wanted. There is a biography of Chas Addams, of Addams Family fame, missing from the pic since I already took that up to bed last night-very interesting. He had a very unusual life. I love me a good biography. I also got the Quilt National Book for this year which has some very unusual quilts in it by award winners. I had written these titles down wanting to go and ask my friend at the Library to get them for me from interloans. I guess Roger saw the list and smart fella that I married-he got them for me! How cool is that ? Especially since that list was laying around forever on some corner of the desk and if you could see the chaos on the desk you would be amazed too! The other gift missing from the pic is from my son. It's two DVD sets. One of Animaniacs and the other is Pinky & The Brain. I can't wait to open them and watch. When James was a little boy we watched them together and I would plotz at the dialog and music. They occasionally show them on the carton network and we still get giggles. We used to sing all the songs together(well O.K.....maybe I sang them alone) and burst out laughing. We still watch cartoons. (I know-sad...overgrown child here)
On Christmas Eve we went to our friends, Joe & Jeri's house for a buffet dinner. Our son James came along after he was finished with work. We're still groaning from too much food and a bit of drink. The table was full for hours and then... came dessert. Oink! Life is good but somewhat larger.
The weather here is very warm and that would be alright if it weren't for the fact that we are all melting in our winter clothes. Also, we know what's coming and it makes it that much harder to go from very warm to verrrrry cold!
I hope you all had a great celebration. Tomorrow I'll get more pics together of Christmas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

little baskets...of what?

This little basket quilt is one I found in among the UFOs(what UFOs?) in the closet of shame. It's one of a couple that were done several years ago and before I got a 1/4 in. foot and didn't think it made a difference(wow). Of sourse it means everything or at least the difference between a piece you are proud to have displayed or one that someone will one day refer to as naive or country-crafty or some other words for something not very well done. The fabrics are much like the ones in the little houses I showed the other day. It was bits and pieces of really nice fabric I hated to throw away and so I paper-pieced these baskets with the intention of eventually doing some sort of applique or needlework in the baskets. I'n not sure that I can manage to do that now since my hands are geting more arthritic by the day and embroidery and applique and even hand quilting are not high on my list of things I can do comfortably now. That's not to mention the eyesight. I take a medication that effects my eyesight and there's no way around it. I have a lot of trouble focusing sometimes. It's not too bad but just bad enough that it makes trying to see small work a struggle sometimes. Can't see up close with the glasses on and can't quite focus with them off. I've gone the bifocal route and it made me crazy. Maybe I'll just fuse some flowers and call it done.I'm in awe of you ladies who do the beautiful crewel and french knots and such. How pretty would that be? Any suggestions?
Among the many things I plan to do very soon is learn to machine quilt and I think it will make life with sore hands a bit easier.
I signed up for the 12x12x4 challenge today and my theme is going to be Asian shoes and purses. I have seen a lot of really fun quilts this year that have a theme of handbags or shoes and I have a large amount of Asian fabrics so I'm going to have fun playing around with that idea(cause I really need something else to do-heh) It's good to venture into a new area though and I need to loosen up in the art area so I'm hoping to incorporate those two things into these pieces.
Well...packages to wrap-tea to drink-cookies to eat. Have fun everyone.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Little wooden artist- for Janet

What??? two posts in one day, what does she do with her time???? Not a lot today-yay!!!
Janet left me a comment that asked to see the wooden-soldier-artist my husband gave me years ago-it's a favorite of mine and I'm tempted to keep him out all the time except I get such joy from unwrapping him once a year. It's small & so hard to get a good shot so pardon my pic. Click for a larger shot but pardon my dust. Just warning you.

WIP Wed.

Here is a Wip that I unearthed recently. I love making houses. These are paper pieced and made from left over bits of fabric that I just couldn't bear to throw away. It's a mixed bag of everything and I will quilt feathered wreaths in the blank bocks-eventually. In it's original form it had a checkerboard around the edges but I was a bad quilter and left the top in a place where it got something spilled on it. I think it might have been sewing machine oil and thank goodness I found it when I did because all that was required was removing the borders. As long as I had to do that I decided to take the whole thing apart and put the plain blocks separating each house. Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
The window is one in my living room. I don't know if it was the time of day or the camera but I couldn't get a good shot no matter what. These are little houses that my husband bought me several years in a row. on the right is a wooden soldier but he's holding a big brush and artists palette. It's one of my fav. Christmas things that my husband got for me. Well, I'm off to do some errands and think of some type of finger food to provide for the Christmas Eve dinner that we go to at our friends house. I've been charged with making a salad and an canape. I will be making a pasta salad that's basically tortellini with antipasto ingredients included=tortellini,diced salami, diced capicola ham, diced provalone, green and black olives, diced celery, strips of roasted red pepper, and Italian dressing, marinate for a day(it's delish but even better a day or two later.) Along with that I'm making crab stuffed mushrooms. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Giving thanks

I had so much trouble with blogger yesterday that I never really got it together. Try, try, again. I have read what a few women have written on their blogs about the season and all that comes along with it-the pace, the over-hype, the seasonal frenzy, and so on. It would be really good this time of year to be removed a bit from all that and just appreciate what we have. It's very hard to keep the focus but all we have is right now with a prayer for more tomorrows. This morning I was in full panic mode and very grumpy. Most of this was brought on by my own personal lack of focus and excuses for not having done things in a timely manner when I had the opportunity. Back in September-everything seems possible. So we say to ourselves-I can do that, and that, and that and so on. I remain ever the Gemini psycho personality. I work really well with my back against the wall. Well, for me that is. Not so much for my family, who really deserve this Oscar.....Oh! where was I? I'm married to the most thoughtful and kind man who has ever lived and together we raised a great kid. We all have a wicked sense of humor and so why is it that I put myself into this panic and completely loose that sense of humor when simply delegating and organizing a bit would make life easier for everyone? Possible New Years resolution here?

Anyway, my January is starting to look a little more ick than Jan usually looks. We have a trip the third week to celebrate the 90th birthday of our Aunt in N.C. not far from Charlotte. To drive or to fly, nothing to wear, dealing with my least favorite family members socially. All things to look forward to(not). We go because the delightful Uncle has asked us to and there is nothing we wouldn't do for him-even face some of my least fav people. I keep thinking it's only two days-then I remember what one day is like with a couple of these relatives and I feel the need for Valium or large quantities of liquor. Good thing I don't like drugs and I can't drink more than a couple of glasses of wine. Hey! Maybe that's the ticket...Drink wine going-drink while there(a lot) and someone can tell me how it went when we get home!

On a much brighter note, I want to thank you lovely ladies who comment and say such nice things. It really does make my day. I wish you all Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Kwanza or Druids Day etc. Don't want to leave anyone out and the way Blogger has been working(or not working) I may not get the chance to wish blessings upon anyone before the 25th. How fortunate are we to have each other to bounce ideas off of, give value to our creations, and generally be hear to listen to each other. What a gift!
Not sure why this came out so blurry-I'll blame it on Blogger-everything else is their fault...Click for a close up if you want it's an old one from 10 years ago or so.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Festivus...for the rest of us! Enjoy the pretty tree-I'm making stuff-see you monday.
Thanks to Debra for the Quilt Studio weight challenge in Jan. I'm there...sooooooothere, waddle, waddle.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Maybe I'm just being touchy, but

Why, OH WHY does Blogger Beta have a check box to remember you and you still have to sign in every damn time you do anything???? It's pointless not to mention verrrrry annoying. They may be a free service but it sucks more every day. Rant over...carry on.

WIP wed on Fri

I thought I would post a pic of the blocks that I made the other day when I had no internet connection. Oh! the things you can acomplish when forced to focus. Anyway, these are just lying on the floor in no particular order. It was a good idea to do that today since I saw the need for an extra row and I'm short two blocks which will take no time at all. I ahppen to be a collector of Asian fabrics but my son is a big fan as well. He picked out all of these fabrics himself with the exception of a couple that I needed to make a clear definition between the light and dark. Since he will, no doubt, drag this around and I will probably find it in a ball on the floor-I decided to take my husbands advice and keep it simple stupid(well he didn't say that but I infer)so that I won't go crazy when it gets abused.
I am now at the point of the Christmas cycle when I fear that I have forgotten some impotant thing for someone. Don't know what that is but these things often appear as a blinding flash in the middle of the night. Sitting bolt upright in bed from a dead sleep-that's when my memory apparently engages relly well. Whatever! Why not make a list you may ask? Well it's a part of my DNA-buried deep in the genetic make-up that I'm just not complete unless I'm worrying about some obscure thing.
Yesterday I was on the treadmill watching Elizabeth with Cate Blanchette(great day on AMC-mostly period pieces. I even saw the old Bette Davis Elizabeth )and I suddenly had the most awful problem with my restless leg syndrome. Numby(word?)toes and crampy toes on the left foot. Couldn't find a comfortable position all afternoon and it didn't help me get to sleep any easier. They have meds for this but the meds are a sedative and I think that's the last thing I really need. If anything, I need a good shot of adrenaline to get off my ass and keep moving. So I ,more or less, try to ignore the spasms and pains. Yesterday it was nearly impossible. Hope it's not a thing that happens often.
Well, I'm off to make another couple of blocks, wrap some stuff, figure out dinner plans etc. Hope you have a great day. Do something fun!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

a day without a modem, or, how I got a lot done for a change

I totally missed WIP wed. We had a modem that was ancient and needed replacing and so my helpful son, James, took it to the cable co. store yesterday and go a new one. Whatever was wrong is now fixed and, for me at least, the internet is now not closed. Funny thing though, a whole day without connection equals a day that Dee got a lot done for a change. I worked on James' quilt top and nearly got it done. I'm having some issues with blogger(as are many) so I'll post pics at another time. For today, I'm trying to get over a weird sinus thingy(tech term). I don't have a sinus infection or a cold but when I bend forward I almost loose the ability to reamin standing. Really woozy and a little nauseating. I don't do well on most meds- a touchy stomach- but I had to resort to some Sudafed to try and get active enough to stand upright without feeling like I was on the water in a boat, something which normally makes me feel good but not so much right now.
The quilt above is only a pre-printed piece I bought years ago and outline stitched and quickly bound. It's bright and cheerful though so I still hang the thing. Someday I'll get around to making a really pretty Christmas quilt like the ones I've seen on Rian's and Jenny's blogs as well as a number of other blogs. Again, that would be a great thing to do in the new year or even in July. Where did I put that list?
Well here on Long Island it's spring in December. Right now the temps are around 50-60. This must be what it's like to have Christmas in places like California. It's really weird for NY in December. Not complaining, mind you, I just don't know what to wear. It's t-shirt weather all day and then it gets down to 37-40ish at night. You go to sleep wanting the window open a little and in the early morning it's fricken freezing! It's finally happened-I am OLD. I have blogged about my health and the weather.....UGH..sorry. I'll do better tomorrow when, hopefully, the stars are in alignment and blogger is working(heh), and I feel more like Dorothy , who is often a very funny lady.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A more festive approach

these guys came by and ate all the herring salad-thus the look of pale, glass-eyed fishiness.
Really they are a couple of the Santa figures(duh) that I have collected in these past years. One of my most early memories as a child(that ws not horrifying)is that of a very large, real live Herr Christmas who came to my Oma's house when I must have been a toddler in Germany. It is, in fact, one of only two memories I have of that time. He was, of course,huge and had a sack in which he had lumps of coal and twigs for some and gifts of candy for others. I seem to recall that it was chocolate but I think I know this because I was told it, and not from memory. I remember a tree with real candles burning and of course the ubiquitous german spice cookies along with something that you can't get anymore. Little champagne bottles made of chocolate and filled with liquor. You can get some kinds now but not like the ones I remember being imported back then. They were made from a type of chocolate that had a very crispy crunchy texture and with the liquor-they were a festival for the mouth. I think I remember someone telling me that I absconded with a package and slept well that night(tales of things to come)hic!
Anyway I thought that the Santas would make a more festive picture than the hideously pepto-pink herring salad.
I'm waybehind in everything and since I've vowed not to panic anymore(heh)I better get going to the post office, grocery(there's only herring salad left)and bookstore. have fun!

Monday, December 11, 2006

the things we do for love or, eeew... herring salad

I haven't posted for a few days-Christmas got in the way and today my son took the camera to school for his photography class so tomorrow will be a post about the house and decorating. This weekend, my husband, the best husband ever(Hi Honey!) made an annual tradition at our house. I was born in Germany and without going into too much detail-my Grandmother or Oma, was a major influence in my life. Many of her influences were hard to live with while some have become a gift that it took me a while to unwrap. One of the influences is cooking. I grew up with really good German food and much to my dismay, there are many things that I can never duplicate because I never took the time to learn these recipes when it counted. From time to time I see on talented Kristens delightful blog from Germany the occasional recipe or item that she blogs about that makes me have a sharp intake of breath and a real longing for those moments so very long ago. It's a shame that due to circumstances beyond my control, much of what I learned from Oma has been lost to my memory or should I say lack of memory. Stuff like farina dumplings that were (I think )called griesklosse(sp)and a number of spectacular baked things. Anyway, of all things to remember, I remember the foods at Christmas and the wonderful stollen and liebkucken that we always had. I also remember a traditional food that will most certainly die with me. Herring Salad. It's festive....very festive.....and pink from the beets and mayo(I know, I know an aquired taste) requires a lot of chopping. Chopped herring, green apples, pickled beets, onions. Every year my husband makes it for me..mememe all me(cause no one else wants it). It's one of those things that people do for each other out of love and probably a lot like the lutefisk thing in Scandinavian households to which I would add my gag. Except this really is good...and pink. Oh, alright I'm shuttin' up now. Until tomorrow.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

panic in the streets!!(O.K. just my street)

Christmas Panic has set in-AGH!!!
I finally managed to get this post done-Blogger was being a pain this morning. Here is the WIP I should have posted yesterday when I just had no more time to play with posting. It's a Laurel Burch pre-print (click to make larger-but it really gets big & I don't know why)and that's about all I have to offer today. I just machine outlined the squares and finished fast. Many Christmas things taking precidence. I'm trying to keep the Christmas spirit going but it always seems to wind up being so hectic feeling that the enjoyment goes out of December and what should be a fun time for the holiday. Of course, if I would make a plan and make things in August-when there is all the time in the world-all of this panic would not be happening. I think a lot of it is artificially induced by merchandising and media but my internal panic button is pushed nevertheless. Speaking of buttons-Below is a button that will take you to a candle which you can light for free. It's a drug company but however they get the money to fight this deadly pervasive disease is O.K. with me.
Off to the stores and grocery etc. maybe I can have some of that gelato fall into my basket again....maybe lemon this timemmmm.

Late Afternoon Addendum-Note to the hubster.. reading this while I'm out shopping...good news-I didn't get the lemon gelato. Bad news-there's still some pistachio

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tales of my morning-sushi & flowers & trees, Oh my!!

I had the most productive morning. Clearly all the planets were in alignment and the holiday spirits are happy. I cleaned, shopped, got the tree, got some special cards, stopped for sushi(Hi Garrison!) and some other asian fast-food for my husbands lunch and I am now going to sit and finish writing some letters for the Food Pantry donations. Excellent day. Isn't it great when you set out with a list and actually come back (having forgotten the list) and have everything!!Eureka-hot damn.I did buy one thing that was completely unexpected...pistachio gelato. Gad !I fought with that container until it overwhelmed me and clacked along behind me out to the car jumped up and sat on the windshield blocking my vision until I finally had to relent and give it a ride home with me.

The sushi was delicious and I toasted fruit jar nicky for having a son with great taste and Oh! by the way-she's got talent to die for. Have you seen her woven quilt pieces-go now and look.. I'm going to entertain myself with the pistachio gelato while you do that. I'll be here-I'm the one with the spoon, the gelato, and no self-control.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Havin' lunch with these guys

I had a devil of a time trying to get anything to work on Beta Blogger this morning and I hope this will even load-I dragged out some of the Christmas stuff and I'm always happy to see these guys. It's a pre-printed Debbie Mumm panel but it's cheerful and people like the look of it so up it goes-
Winter has come to Long Island-it's crystal clear and you can see all the way across the sound to Bridgeport. The wind is a bit fierce and a little mean so I didn't spend much time outdoors. Tomorrow I will run to the nursery for a tree. We always get Frasier Firs because they have thicker branches that hold heavy ornaments and we have many of those. Plus we are convinced that they last longer and smell wonderful. They drink a lot of water and stay pretty right to the end-then all in one day they drop everything. Since we have done this for many years now we seem to be able to time it perfectly or near perfect anyway. Just about Jan 1 that sucker is dead, dead, dead. Perfect!
This weekend we rented The DaVinci Code- all I have to say is what was all the fuss and hype about? It's not even a really good movie...Meh! Funny, because it contains all the things that would ordinarily make for good watching-fabulous art, religious icons, historical exposition,Tom Hanks, great scenery, but I was nearly asleep in the first 15 min. How could they make a movie about and with all these great things and loose me? It was so dark I had trouble seeing what was happening. I understand the need to transmit the concept of darkness but I hate when I can't see what 's happening-would a little light have killed them? Anyway, like I said-Meh!
I'll go and work on some secret projects now and hopefully tomorrow will go better on blogger. I may spend some time praying that Debra is still talking to me since I threw a wrench into her motor this morning regarding my lack of talent with certain piecing principles. Hi Debra!!Love you!!!!Does anyone else watch The Amazing Race? Thank the Lord those two bimbettes are finally gone-off you go with your tiaras....gag

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hi everybody! A couple of people have asked me to show some of the Amish-type quilts I've made and today I came across this one. It needs a little press but I just don't have time. The season is really upon us. I have much to accomplish for the Food Pantry administration-letters to write etc. so I'll keep it short. Also there's a doozy of a storm outside. Two weather patterns colliding over us. It was bound to turn to winter sooner rather than later and based on this wild wind, I'd say it's coming sooner! I have a chicken in the oven with some sweet potatoes on which I have put olive oil and a little cinnamon. It's begining to smell a lot like Christmas(good title for a song)around here and I am just praying that the power doesn't go out before the bird is ready. This weekend I plan to clean a little, put up some more decorations and I will most likely get the tree on Mon or Tues. Roger bought me a new tree stand-it's one of those things that rights the tree with a foot pedal. Cool. In the center it looks like the jaws of life and they come up out of the stand and clamp on it automatically. Cost a bundle-but men and their toys etc...We are all chiropractors dreams around here so anything that eliminates the need to be on the ground fiddling with Frazier Fir is a good thing.

Well, I have much to do-I signed on for Debra's 2007 charity quilts effort begining in Jan. Hope there will be other folks with some time too. It's a little frightening to sign up for anything right now since I'm really swamped but I am blessed in my life with a wonderful family and there are so many who have been delt a terrible blow by this war in Iraq. No matter how you feel about the war itself, And everyone knows how I feel about that (trying to remain calm) but I feel even worse about how the lives of these young people who return with injuries and are seemingly left alone with their wounds both physical and emotional. They deserve our comfort in any way we can give it. Debra also has a call for a group of quilts that will be made for Ronald McDonald House so that's another way to help. O.K.-stepping down from the soapbox and returning to the sewing machine. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Channeling(and then strangling) the Martha gene

I was reading a great blog entry by a talented fellow blogger the other day. It was by Marty from textiles in time. It's only from the other day and about being a creative woman who also has a house to keep and family to care for. Go ahead and read it...I'll wait, lalalalalalalallalalalalllfalalalala back? O.k. that's a smart lady with a great attitude and I want some for Christmas. However, I can't seem to let go of the urge to so the Martha-thing. Now mind you, it's not because I have a demanding husband and child. In fact, they're very much like the experience that she describes in her writing-if I only asked, they would do so many of the things I hate to do without complaint. They love to see me happy and being creative. So I'm putting on my shrink cap and examining my own head. Why do I fight asking? Why do I wait until things are at a dramatic point and I'm totally not enjoying the time of year or being creative? I think it must be some genetic thing. Martha is eastern European descent and I was born in Germany. It must be something bred into the genes. I say this because I know several people who are the same way. They can't, or won't delegate. Somewhere in my messy past someone told me that I wasn't a good woman if I didn't have a sparkling home and further-that I should be ashamed for not making it so. For heavens sake-I'm very close to 60-when does one develope the ability to let go of the Martha gene? It really takes a lot of the fun out of many things including holidays. I don't usually make New Years resolutions because I get depressed when I don't keep them but I'm making an exception this year-This year, I will find a way to strangle the inner Martha.

Having said all of that and asked myself all of these questions I must now say that I'm late posting today because I painted my front door a beautiful intense barn red. I am so happy with the color I could plotz. The bad part is that it's oil based paint and will not dry till March and I have people in and out of this door all the time. Gad, My son got annoyed with me for putting Wet Paint signs up all over but I think he'll be a lunatic when he ruins his good clothes. Why didn't I do this in July? The sun hits that door all day-it would have dried in a day.

Also, I went up in the attic(shudderrr) and got some of the literally thousands of decorations down. I have a number of Christmas quilts. All wall-hanging size and masses of things like you see above. Every year I say I'm going to weed out the stuff-and then the day after New Years I am so sick of everything and in no mood to look at it-sooo I shove it in boxes and say something like "I'll sort out this crap later" HA! Another year passes...... There is some really awful weather predicted for the next day or so and in anticipation of this I went to Blockbuster and rented the only two things that interested me. A study in contrasts here- The DaVinci Code, and The Libertine with Johnny Depp. I ma curious about the DaVinci thing and Mr. Depp can just stand there and look rakish anytime for me. He doesn't have to do a thing except cast that devilish eye around. sigh..... Funny that I should find him attractive because most of the time he really looks like he could use a good washing and I'm very fussy about personal hygiene. Must be the BAD BOY thing. Also not normal for me. Maybe I can get rid of it the same time I get rid of the Martha Gene. See ya later.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It fell into my basket WIP-really

Every year by the time I get the tree up I'm hitting myself over the head that I didn't make a new tree skirt. By then, of course, it's nearly over and I have grand plans for the coming year where I will make a Martha Stewart Christmas by the following year begining with a fabulous elaborate tree skirt. Well, that never happens so yesterday while I was perusing in JoAnn's for assorted items, I saw this really fast pre-printed sew-it-up-in-an-hour tree skirt. It's a lot more cutesy than I normally would pick but at this point in the game I had to take what was available and it's bright and cheery. I got two Hobbs batts and was able to use my coupon on the big one so that was a great buy. I also bought some Robson-Anton thread for which I had to trade my first-born son, but I do like this thread. Again, I only use it for top stitching since I only have one son. Then, since it's in the same shopping mall area as Wally World(walmart) I went there to see if they had the iron I was looking for. I won't go into the great iron extravaganza of last year-sufice to say that even though I was born in Germany I will not ever buy another Rowenta. Anyway, the best iron I had for years was a cheapish Black&Decker. That thing went on forever(until I dropped it) and then began to leak. Last week I saw on JoAnn's on-line that B&D had come out with a new model that is supposed to rival the Rowenta in terms of weight and heat etc. I like a good heavy iron that gets really hot. JoAnn's store person told me they only have it on-line so I shuffled over to Walmart and found it-on sale. I'll let you know how it turns out-today I need to press some window toppers that are drapery weight material and if the iron isn't a good one it can take forever to press them.
On an artistic note, I am begining work on a wedding announcement for my friends daughter who married a few weeks ago. I make these things look like antique sampler-type framed pieces with the names and dates and such. I'll show it when I finish. This one will be water color pencils and pen and ink. I should probably clean my house-dust bunnies are taking over. Before I go I want to thank all the nice people who stopped by to comment on things I've shown-Since I started this-I feel so energized and encouraged. That's a wonderful feeling and I suppose what makes this blogging thing so special. My family are all great people but they have almost zero interst in what I do artistically so it means a lot to have people I consider really talented, say nice things and offer encouragement. Great motivation.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wheeee..lookee what I got

I just wanted to let you all know that I got instant fun-in-an-envelope in the mail. I got my copy of darling Deborah's delightful book(say that fast 4 times) It's really fun. Plus I have this great piece of hand dyed loveliness to get to work with. This would be a great thing to have if you are one of those folks who need to entertain young people in extra-curricular activities. It's not hard stuff to do and one could jazz it up as much as desired or just keep it simple. Anyway-get your copy today by going to Deborah's blog and ordering immediately for a fun time for all. Even if you don't want to buy one you should go and see what fabulousness there is. Deborah is one amazingly talented woman.I'm going to check out my copy right now...

the camera-I wish it would lie-and shopping day

Today I am off to do some shopping and so I will leave you in the capable, (if bacon grease spotted) hands of my kitchen pals. Digital cameras are ugly truthtellers. I 've been thinking lately as I take pics that I should go around and take random shots just to see what I can't normally see- and for crap sake clean it.
So, I'm off to see if any of the Black Friday people left anything for me to buy. I plan to go to JoAnn's(no.. not for me-settle down now)I need to get some gifts for the Thursday night quilting Ladies. I feel I must come up with something special for them since they are not obsessive compulsive fabric hoarders and actually require and occasional purchase to increase their stashes. One of them is very traditional and makes lovely, well constructed, traditional patterns. The other does the same but really takes off when I give her something very different in the way of a fabric she normally wouldn't have picked out. Beneath the surface lies an artist screaming to get out. Then I have to come up with something for the "Guys" around here and of course, for Dani-who will probably get a gift certificate to the Salon that we both go to. I did that last time but I think she really appreciated it. Other than that I have only to get something for my niece. I'm making a quilt for her but I am not gooing to drive myself crazy trying to finish it by Christmas since I have a number of other things in the works. Say...what happened to my "I'm going to make things in August so I don't go crazy in Dec.?" Oh well-best intentions. One of the quilt ladies likes those Jim Shore quilt angel figurines so I ordered her one of those too.
I just wanted to say how happy I was to get my copy of Deborah's great little book on making small art pieces & post cards. It's so cute and full of fun ideas and only $12. Great gift for someone who has never done this type of thing before- here's a link to her at Deborah's Journal. Tell her I sent you.... Hey! I better get going before the day gets away from me. I'll let you know how I make out later.

Addendum to the trip some 4 hours later.....Shopping sucks but I did remember the most important purchase of the day-Bagels, fresh from the little old bagel maker..

Monday, November 27, 2006

Further evidence for my new Sistah down camera battery died

This picture is for Jodie-The Carolina Quilter-(there's a link in my list) who we have now discovered is a long-lost southern relative. Funny thing is-I never got around to commenting on her blog that we must be related since we have read all of the same books-separated at birth...hmmmm. I think probably not since she's such a young thang whereas so much. however, Roger lives by the old saying that you're as young as you act-in which case I am 12. So-the picture is one of several I took the other day to show my ugly stash keeping. On that day I decided I would show the lesser of two hideous pics. Today I attempted to take a nice pic and found the camera had no battery power and all of my men were missing so no one could help me with that. So here is the awful truth. What you can't see above all this fabric is Lionel trains and accessories all the way to the ceiling. I may have mentioned that we never argue about our purchases since we are the 2 oldest children in the house. Roger has some really beautiful antique pieces and many, many, wonderful Lionel train layout pieces. We're waiting for the only real kid in the house to get married and give up his room(dreaming here) so that Roger can set up a layout with mountains and train stations, scale model cars and stores and such. That's not likely in the near future and McDonald men tend to move away, marry, and then come back home with the wife and kid in tow. Hell...that's how we got this giant house to begin with. Anyway-someday, when the train stuff moves I will have lots of room for more fabric(cause I really need some-heh)
I really enjoyed the blogs about Thanksgiving- we had a great day. I started my son's quilt and decided that since everything of his is always in a ball on the floor in his room-I wasn't going to go crazy with any fancy patterns. I just started a large block courthouse steps with very big centers and large pieces. It will go together fast and I won't cry when I see it laying around. Other than that I have had to go and buy some food since everyone was home for 4 days and it looked like a plague of locust came through-I got some delicious jumbo shrimp to make scampi tonight-simple and delish with a salad and a little rice to sop up the wine sauce. I hope you all have a nice dinner too-see you tomorrow with new pics(I hope)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I screwed up something when I posted the first pic-not gonna change it now-later ladies.....

In the closet-in a frenzy

This is what happens when you don't know what you want and you can't find what you are looking for...FABRIC FRENZY. I am hanging my head in shame. Let me also say that I'm a gemini-full on snakes in the head gemini....When an idea strikes-back away slowly-run- and don't look back. I think I'm in a sort of manic phase-that's good in some ways and REALLY bad in other ways like this closet situation right here. The smart thing to do would be to take it all out and re-organize it by color the way it should be. MMMMMnnnnooooo. When the frenzy strikes-the crazy get going.
I'm not one of those folks who need to go out and join the maddness at black Friday weekend sales-there is almost nothing I can think of that I need badly enough to enter the twilight zone of consumerism this weekend. I'm fortunate enough not to have to go to a regular daily job so I'll wait until maybe tues. or wed. and head to JoAnn's. I need wonder under and backing for the boy's quilt and for my nieces too. I need thread-May order that one on line since I found I like that King Tut thread I got at the fabric store in Maine. It's varigated and really silky. I love it. I only use it for top stitching though since it costs King Tut prices.
I leave you with a picture of the best thing I ever did in my life(James) and hope you have a great weekend. If anyones looking for me-I'll be in the closet. If you don't hear from me-send in the troops I may be on the floor under all this stuff.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Leaves- fabric wip done-art wip..not so much

Here is the fall quilt that I finally finished putting the binding on. It's been sitting around so long there are creases in the middle that I hope are not permanent. I will attempt to press it later.

The sketch below is one I started last year and put aside. I have few of these. and this one fell out of a pile when I was unearthing something else yesterday in my work space. I started it as a gift that was supposed to be for my friend for Christmas last year. I wound up buying her a bunch of fabric and a book instead. I lack confidence and technique. When I do one of these drawings I almost always have the urge to do MORE. What I mean is I just can't leave well enough alone. I have to go back and add more-outlines, more color, more everything. I need a sign that says LESS IS MORE-Put Down the Pencils and walk away... So....I'm usually unhappy with my results and I find unfinished pieces like this collecting dust. Attitude adjustment needed here! I'm off to the store now for a number of last minute things-fruit, wine, flowers and lots of Tylenol 8 hr. The weather has turned dark and stormy here and I feel achy and tired-Winter sucks but I don't really like summer either. I already have some whine with my wine...Have a happy turkey day everyone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's all about the bird, baby

Thanksgiving Horoscope for Gemini
You're the sign most likely to bring up interesting and controversial topics at Thanksgiving dinner.
Your signature dish: Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
Your signature dessert: Pumpkin cheesecake
This holiday: Play bartender. You're family is much more lively with a few drinks in them.
when they're right they're almost right. Love the sweet potatoes and love the marshmallows but not so much together. Pumpkin cheesecake totally rocks the holiday. Just give me a spoon and leave me alone with it. I don't really need to play bartender though since the family are all really good at helping themselves to various libations without any prompting from me. The guys are all about beer drinking before dinner and in front of the football game. Dinner itself is always a good deep, rich, red. The other day someone mentioned Ravenswood and I second(or third or whatever) that motion. I also like a nice Zinfandel and Merlot. Depends on what the husband or brother-in-law picks up tomorrow and I long ago stopped caring about the red with meat and white with fowl thing. There will be pumpkin pie(no cheesecake this year)and whipped cream, because for me it's really about the whipped cream(German heritage here-whipped cream in everything, that's how I got this way)Whipped potatoes(mmmm),sausage and cornbread stuffing-asparagus and all the fixin's. Last but not least there will be fresh fruit-melons,berries,etc. Something for everyone. Oh!-I forgot the gravy and cranberry. I make a pan gravy with just juices and 1/2 Knorr turkey gravy packet and enhanced with a good stock. It's not thick like "stand a fork in it gravy" it's thin and more about the turkey flavorand we have the old-fashioned cranberry that you plop from the can and can cut with a knife(they like it that way, what can I say) Well, that's Thanksgiving around here. If the weather is nice we all troop to our beach, less than a mile away, for a nice walk and to collect beach glass for me. I have several large glass containers of beach glass. That started years ago with a gift of a piece by my little boy. Now people bring me beach glass from all over. It's lovely. As for the controversy in the first part of this quiz-I leave that to someone else. I'm usually too busy to take part in many BIG conversations and most people in this group know how I feel about hot topics without mucking up a perfect day with that stuff.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful celebration and plenty to be thankful for.

Monday, November 20, 2006

the naked truth-sort of

I took a look at Rian's blog- Rian's Pages - this morning and she commented on the size of handbags and asked us to be brave and show the contents. Here you go. The only thing not showing is the 3000 reciepts I had stuffed in the bottom which I have now put through the shredder-thanks Rian!
Years ago I worked in the cosmetic business first as a make-up artist and then as a buyer for imported fragrance lines. It required me to be made-up and well dressed every day. I miss this to a certain degree. I'm no longer the size 8 who lived that way and I love me my comfy clothes too much to change now but I still have the handbag and shoe attitude. Sloppy bags and shoes are telling to me. That is not to say that I don't have some sloppy shoes and the occasional old bag(besides me).It's just that it's one of the things I look at. Shoe shopping is therapy to me.
My niece recently had to take a trip into Manhattan while she was visiting us so she could go down to Canal St. and look for a Vuitton knock-off. She got a good one-but then she went up to Madison and 5th and bought a Coach bag for $200.00. She had saved all her money for months just for this one small(7x9) Coach bag. It wasn't even a traditional Coach leather bag that's made to last a lifetime. It was one of those fabric things they retail to young people today. And it was white. Last week she went to look at colleges and left it somewhere in Wyoming. Still got the $25.00 knock-off. Hard lesson learned for our sweet Michelle.
Anyway-thanks Rian-for making me clean out my bag. It's not a big one-only about 9 in. and sort of square.A Liz Claibourne on sale from Macy's last year. Not really big enough to hit someone with in defense like the old lady on Laugh In years ago. I agree with Rian about the gigundo bags-If you're in a store around here on a busy day you constantly find yourself being bumped-not by people-but by these bags that are big enough to hold clothes for a weekend in the country. However-I do have lots of keys. Along with mine-there are keys to a number of churches in the community. Running the Food Pantry means I have to pick up food from several deposit points. It was easier for them to give me keys than to come down early in the a.m. and open doors. Maybe when I finish that pick up stuff, I'll take myself for some shoe shopping therapy-perhaps a new bag too. Really thanks Rian-I don't need much to get me motivated for that. Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Last night, I went to bed with my ruby slippers on in case the house fell on me.Wow-that was a wind storm. The good news-nearly all the leaves are blown away. All except those tenacious oak trees. They still have leaves from last year hanging in bunches that just won't quit. This is a pic out the port hole in my bedroom.Sorry for the quality of the shot but it's through a screen. My husband put this moon viewing window in when we built the house. It's in a corner of the bedroom and when the time is right the moon shines right through it so beautifully. At top you can see the stained glass bluebird I bought him for Christmas one year. This little quilt below is made up of hand dyed fabric that a friend gave me a while back. I made a baby quilt for a friends son and liked the colors and 9-patches so much I made extra and put this little wall hanging together for myself. There's nothing perfect about it but it is very cheery and bright. It will be coming down now so that I can put up more seasonal things. Maybe it's the artist in me but once I get the basic construction of a top done I get very slap happy about the finish. The checkerboard border didn't finish the right size because I am math challenged and I just wanted to get done so since it was not a gift for someone I just slapped that baby together. I should pay more attention but at that point my mind is raing on to the next thing to do. I think I will go out & spend some time picking up broken branches and fallen debris in the driveway and rejoice in the fact that it looks like the sun is coming out-Wahoo!! Dry air and sunshine-what a great blessing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just Me & The Boys & thanks

I'm home alone with these guys today and frankly they've been no help to me at all. So I left them to their own strange devices and face making and gave in to the cleaning did I need a good dusting and frankly the carpet was alarming. Bleah. Of course this would have been a lot easier if the temp. in my house wasn't 70 degrees-It's November, isn't it?I'd be happy to have this all winter long but then I would put on the air conditioner and vacuum with wild abandon in my shorts... with a margarita(no salt). I know, there are many who say 70-that's chilly(I hear you Texas people loud and clear) but here in the northeast 70 in Nov. is just weird and so wrong and yet so great. Trying not to bitch about the weather since that, along with bodily function complaints, are a sure sign of advancing age. I have a pot of pea soup on the stove and so the all the signs are in place for winter..but 70, hmmm.
I want to thank all you lovely ladies who were kind enough to comment and those that sent me e-mails-WOW. You guys are inspirational.I live in a house with four men. Now they are the sweetest guys you could want to know, but nevertheless typical men. Most of the time you could be laying on the ground gasping and they would look up from there assorted hobby things(books, computer games, name an electronic gizmo)and say something like "Problem, Dee???" So when I get encouragement from people I don't even know-I'm SO THRILLED. What a great group of women you all are. Take a quick bow...go ahead...o.k. Today Janet, of Just bee-cause made me laugh out loud at the crack of dawn-what a great way to start the day. Her Thanksgiving recipe is hysterical. Scroll down to yesterdays entry for a laugh. Talented lady that. Anyway it's great to be in such company. I also read Crazy Aunt Purl today and this was also laugh-cramp inducing. Not a lot of quilting stuff getting done today but a funny and amazing thing happened as I was writing this-My son came home and said he really liked the Japanese lantern quilt from yesterday-I believe he said this because it was on the staircase to be taken up to my work area and he nearly fell over it-see- They love me !! They really love me...Maybe I'll make biscuits(suckah)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Japanese lanterns & WIP wed.

Got a bunch of stuff to do right now but I'll come back later. Until then-here's a piece in progress. I started it to hang above our kings size bed so it's quite long. The lanterns look like they're swinging in the breeze. I'll post a better pic later-Just wanted to get in a WIP today...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Favorite things by talented friends

Another gloomy rainy morning around here. I always thought I could easily live in the pacific northwest but after a few of these days in a row I wonder about that. Here is a shot of some of the things that make me smile in my workspace. These are works by some of my favorite artists who happen to be bloggers too. The red shoes are by DebR of (what else) Red Shoe Ramblings-who is not only a wonderful artist but a very tlented writer as well. Visit her blog for something new and really interesting every day. She's very prolific and funny. The small piece next to the shoes is by Deb Boschert of Deborah's Journal and if you click the pic (tee hee)you can see it better. It's done on a piece of really beautiful hand dyed fabric and stitched with beads. I love her work and if you go to her blog you will see that she has written a a book on how to make these wonderful pieces. It's very inexpensive and well worth having. Very detailed descriptions and insights to technique. Go get you one! Before they're gone!!!! On the right is my latest purchase and the picture really doesn't do it justice. It's "Kimono Collage" by Gerrie Congdon of Crazy for Fiber. The whole thing is beaded on top of really lovely pieces of kimono fabric. It makes me happy just to look at it. A riot of color and beauty. I really love red and don't know why I don't have more of it in my house? The sampler above is by my cousin Susan who was kind enough to make this for my son James when he was born 22 years ago. Since he's a little (heh) too old for this to hang in his room anymore I absconded with it. What I haven't put up yet are 4 postcards, also by Deborah B. that I am having framed. They are bright and cheerful and just delightful to look at. I can't wait to get it done. These are some of the things I try to focus on when I am in a gloomy rainy mood. I hope your day is brighter. I'm off to the grocery store. Can't put it off any longer-there's nothing to eat for breakfast(it's all about me, you know!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

conspicuous consumtion and orphans

This is a REALLY bad pic of the fabric I ordered from Hancocks for my son's quilt. Sorry you can't see the spider mum fabric on the left and next to it the dragon, the leaves and watery Kanji. It's really great fabric and I'll take more pics of progress where you can see the actual details. This morning I was searching for something to post on WIP Wed, I came up with a number of things I had completely forgotten. I think that's so much fun.Like fabric archaeology. For a while, when I first started quilting I tried a number of things to see what I liked. I did a lot of paper piecing and I still do. A fascination with houses led me to make a number of quilts like that and I also tried applique. Most of the applique was done as gifts for children. Happily I found out about fusing and since my eyes are not as good as they once were-that will be the method I would use for any future applique. are some more houses I made while on "the great HOUSE jag. They are just so graphic and fun I couldn't stop myself. There are more houses, unfinished and found this morning. They will appear eventually. I also found 9 log cabin blocks made from the first Moda fabric I ever got. Once you go Moda-there's no going back. I really love working with that stuff. Along with all that there were a bunch of orphan blocks, some PP sailboat blocks, a few mini log cabins, a pp sunbonnet sue, some long ago abandoned pp Christmas ornaments and last but not least, a couple of tops that I had folded and put away probably for lack of batting or backing.. Lots to do....Yesterday was so gloomy and the rain and wind kept me inside instead of going to the JoAnn's sale to use my coupons. I know I will regret having to let those coupons expire because I need wonder under, backing, batting, thread and such. I spent a lazy day watching dvds and doing laundry and ironing. The best part was that the guys took pity and got take-out both days. How lucky am I??? Saturday was Chinese and Sunday was Greek. Yumm.
Yesterday I talked to my friend Trisha regarding the quilt that unfortunately went along with Max to the great beyond. She's going to make another one and I, for one, am thrilled and will post a picture when it's done. It was a reminder to take pictures of your finished work before something unfortuante happens-like being buried with a relative...scroll down and see the entry about Max if you don't know what I mean and care to.
I have to get along to the Food Pantry to pick up my mail and deposit checks and such. It's a busy time right now-everyone remembers the needy at the holidays which is very wonderful but for me it means keeping up with the thank you letters right away, lest I find myself with hundreds rather than just half that. Everyone who gives a donation get a personal thank you from me. Be it grocery food drives or checks or even kids and money from lemonade selling in the summer(very cute) It's something I have done for a while and we could (and soon may have to) print out form letters but I really hate to do that. In the past I only had to write 20-25 letters a month but now it has become a popular charity in our community and people even send memorial donations when someone dies. That requires two letters-one to thank the donor and one to the family of the deceased in acknowledgement. It has become a big job. I just finished a pile of letters last week. Often lately, I make up a letter for money and one for grocery donations and just change the name and addresses on each one, as well as, any pertinent info such as the dollar amt. I became discouraged last year when I made an error on the dollar amount and recieved a really snarky letter from the person who made the donation. He suggested that I was a moron for getting the amount wrong. Since I do this as a volunteer and I pay all postage and cost of this operation, I suggested to that person in a follow-up letter that perhaps they would like to take over my job, as volunteers are few and far between and...mistakes happen and can easily be corrected. It's very discouraging to be a volunteer and have your a__ chewed out because you did some small thing wrong. A that time we went through our records and it turned out that in nearly 1700 letters, I had made two mistakes. Figures I would get the one hump in the crowd. Further proof that no good deed goes unpunished. Have a great day-and thanks to everyone who left comments. It's a really nice surprise and fun getting to know new blogging friends.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I gotta be me...

My son was reading this and had an interesting question for me-what if the people who read this think that the picture I posted a couple of days ago is really me? I laughed and joked around and then...I thought, what if the people who read this think that picture I posted a couple of day ago is really me..NOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo. James said "Mom, no one had made a comment after that post so it may be true." Let me just say..I have what might be called a bone dry sense of humor and will do nearly anything for a laugh. Also, I don't smoke. I 've been trying to find a picture of me that doesn't look like Dame Edna Everage but I'm coming up empty.
Yesterday, Roger took me out to the east end of the Island to the Tanger Outlet mall and then to lunch- We went to the Lobster Roll in Greenport or Mattituck I can't remember which, but it was fun and delicious. Not a lobster roll from Maine but delicious never the less. Then we visited friends who have a koi pond on their property. The koi had hundreds of babies. It was really neat... I'm off to finish some prep work on my son's new quilt and maybe I'll have pics on Mon. until then, have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

First you grab a bag full of squares....

Random scrap quilt for myself-Made from 5 inch sample squares from Hancocks in April Cornell fabrics. No time to be artsy. I need something warm to cover me and everyone but me has a quilt.
I'm not sure why this picture came out this way. It is revealing in that below the quilt you can see evidence of the large male pack rat that lives here. In his defence, there are a number of places in our house where he could store his paperwork if not for the fact that our son, James, has taken over with various computer and media items. What space remains is taken over He's a good natured spouse and so it all comes out well in the end except that there are stacks of things here and there. This quilt is one of the first things I made way back in the early '90s. It's very cheerful and bright and this part of my house is on the dark north side. We live on a large hill and at about 2:30 the sun is over on the other side of the hill and behind a forrest of trees. This works in our favor in the summer when we are glad for the sun to go away in the heat of the day-not so much in the winter. Here is a picture of what I collect other than fabric. That's a shot of half the bookshelf and on top are a couple of my husbands antique toy trains. I'd like to say that this is the whole collection of books but I would be lying-There's another bookshelf and two upstairs-all full. Hello my name is Dee, I'm a
bookaholic....The last picture is of a far wall in my livingroom where we are doing some prep-work for painting. I have removed a hideous border from around the window in preparation for new paint, coming soon. On the wall is a small piece I did using Aunt Grace repros. I had made one for my niece and liked the brightness-it's coming out wobbly in the pic but I think that's because I tried to re-size the pic. I'll figure out this stuff eventually in the mean time thanks for looking and reading and welcome to my home....Come on in, have a cup of tea and visit.