Monday, August 28, 2006

(Laurie on the way out the door to Psychology class at 6:40 a.m.)

"aww Mom, why do you have to take a picture....I'm cranky!"

"because you're going back to school again this semester, and because I'm proud of you and that's what mothers!!....have a great day honey!!" :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Karene's love blanky

She liked it, she really liked it! (in my best Sally Field imitation....teehee!!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The highpoint of my week.... :)

For just a little while tonight - everything was alright in my world. We had dinner with the girls tonight, at Northwoods Inn.

Not my favorite place to eat, although the salad is a hit with me.....(two helpings!!). However, its is Michael's absolute favorite place, and he's loved it ever since his Mom and Dad brought him here as a child each time they visited this area to go to Disneyland, etc....

It was fun to listen to the girls' dreams and hopes and plans.

Laurie starts another semester Monday, taking Psychology in the morning on campus and taking another class online at night after she drags herself home from a full day of work and her evening meeting. She's looking forward to a trip to Paris with Kim (her sponsor/friend) and several sponsee sisters, in February.

Karen is contemplating some changes at work, and earnestly studying Japanese language and culture, in the hope of becoming a participant in the JET program in 2008. (Here's a link that explains a little of the program: )

(Nope, I'm not thrilled about that one.....its one thing to feel that it is time the girls aim for getting out on their own and progress toward assuming full responsibility for themselves as adults, etc.......its another to have one of them on the other side of the ocean.......Sigh.)

But tonight, all was well with my world. Both of them were with us; we shared a meal and a really nice time together. It was kind of bittersweet. Our days of impromptu dinners out when everyone's schedule allows it, are numbered. Things will change. Some change is good. Some change is really really difficult.

I love my daughters. I'm proud of them both and I love them so much...... :)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It isn't a UFO, it is an FO!!

Finally, Karene's love blanky has been completed. This was just an experiment. I ordered some four inch squares from an ebay seller, because while looking at various sellers' fabrics, these reminded me of the colors she wears, and just somehow said "Karene" when I looked at them......

I took them to my parents' home last September and made the has taken me an embarrassingly long time to quilt it and bind it....but it is done!

It isn't supposed to be an example of technical excellence. It is supposed to sort of showcase the pretty flowered fabric, and become a well used and worn out symbol of my friendship with my bestest friend. If she ever needs a hug and I'm not there, she can wrap up in it and hopefully "feel the love!" I hope she watches movies and drops buttered popcorn on it, drags it outside and has an impromptu picnic on it, tosses it over her when it gets chilly in the rainy winter.....or over Craig or Matt when they dose off on the couch.....

I'll make Karene another "real" quilt some day. I have several in mind....but I wanted her to have a love blanky first.....

Next, I'm working on love blankies for my daughter Laurie and my daughter Karen, and my niece Elizabeth, whom I have known by the adorable nickname Wiffie all her life.....And of course there is the Irish chain to finish.....and the kaleidoscope quilt in shades of deep forest green, aqua and burnt orange.....sounds unique but its quite pretty.....

And my knitting.

I think my job just needs to be sacrificed so I can devote more time to these projects!! ;)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Irish Chain Quilt

UFO report.....The Double Irish Chain

A bit of progress has been made. Two types of squares were created. 18 of the one on the right and 17 of the one on the left (above)! First they were put together in horizontal strips as below.....(yes, the only place I had to sew today was my office)

The horizontal strips were sewed together.....This created the center of my twin sized double Irish chain quilt....

Now, I could have stopped there with a simple binding and called it a day....
But nooooooo.....
I had to fall in love with the seminole border.....pictured below in Eleanor Burn's book Quilt In A Day Irish Chain..... which I just discovered is made up of a mere 70 additional blocks, each made up of groups of three squares.....I think I need to lie down. After a couple of drinks and some serious chocolate.

I guess it will be a UFO a bit longer....that's going to take until February, 2008 some time, encouragement and assistance from my Teacher Extraordinaire, Janet.....I have no idea how to make those little seminole trims come out exactly the correct size, butting up against those 9-patch squares. But if anyone can get me through it, Janet can! Stay tuned! (Pass the chocolate!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Patio 2

Then again, maybe not. Trying again!

So there you have it. Even the flower pot doesn't help! It tries, but up close, the leggy, "so over it" appearance of the impatiens just adds to the overall not-quite-doing-it-for-me. Back to the porch.

I tried moving the fiscus out to where it would get more light, and I arranged a few of the afore-mentioned leggy and so-over-it impatiens - the turtle is a nice touch. It was a gift from Karen on my birthday or Mother's day - and its a shoe cleaner in disguise....I love it!!

I lightened up the previous fiscus corner with Mr. Spikey and the remaining impatiens and a succulent group that needs a repotting for the top plant - I love those plants. They look like quilting designs on a cool. I am trying to determine how to successfully repot them without breaking them. I like the corner better now.

Mr. Frog likes it too.

As I said, overall, it is neater. I need to get the round top for the table experiment. And a number of cans of Fusion paint by Krylon. Makes cheap resin chairs that are past their prime look brand new, according to the customer reviews on some other blogs and sites. If it works, I will have a fairly decent table/chair set for the cost of the paint and one plywood circle from HomeDepot (my favorite toy store....well, one of them anyway!)

I'm tired. I am also just a bit sad. I live in Southern California, and as I said to my best buddy Karene - I want a yard that says SoCal. One that takes advantage of our year round growing season. Green, beautiful, flowering, with decent grass, and NEAT. But life (work, laundry, sleep, dinner) just keeps getting in the way of what I want to accomplish. (on the quilting and knitting fields also!!) Oh well. This is an improvement. So there!! :)

Patio 1

I'm going to post in bits. I had a nice entry ready and Blogger wouldn't take my pictures. Not one. Trying with a smaller narrative and only a few pictures.

Its better, because its neater and a number of pots got tossed and I'm just simplifying a bit. Here's the "before" of the patio:

Pretty pathetic. First we must lose the grill, which involved some research, trying to determine how to fasten the propane to the frame of the grill. During this time, I was kneeling under the grill with the book beside me, following directions and bending a wire that simply was not doing what the picture indicated. I sat up at one point to look at the book again and my head hit the shelf on the side of the grill. The side holding my iced tea. I realized this, because I was deluged with iced tea, over my head, neck and back. Felt great for a moment, but all in all, I wasn't too impressed with myself.

All this was happening with the accompaniment of the little rugrat in the yard behind me, practicing after what had to be his first trumpet lesson. I was so impressed with him that I called Karene so she could listen. We agreed that a cow in labor would have sounded better. Don't get me wrong. I love kids. I really do. I am currently knitting hats with my daughters to keep kids warm in Mongolia because I love kids. I can't blame the kid - he's not really a rugrat. He just has parents who think I'd love to hear his trumpeting, so they're sharing the experience with the entire neighborhood. I'm not stupid - I can imagine how that would sound inside the house. Yep, "Its a beautiful day Junior, go practice outside."

Back to the patio. The old umbrella stand must also leave. Heaved it (dripping iced tea all the way) to the garage into the garbage bin. Began creating a place for the grill to hide when not in use.

I had dutifully measured the wheels/legs of the grill. I had purchased enough one foot square blocks to create a hard surface for the grill to sit on while not being used. I figured I would pull the grill forward, or even lift it with the assistance of Mr. B., onto the grass, and cook, and then put it back. The two times a month that we grill, it seemed like a swell idea.

Well, the execution looks a little "white trash" to me. And actually, again, I am not too impressed with myself. I neglected to take into account the width of the shelves of the grill. Hence, the grill appears to be holding up the palm trees......just between you and me, its called careful wedging. Well, maybe shoving and creative cursing. Sigh.

Blogger is not cooperating. I will post this and start a new one.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Not Enough Time

My newest addiction. I got the Knifty Knitter round loom set. I'm doomed. I want to make things by the gazillion. But I will restrain myself. This little gizmo is great for taking along when you want to not have to worry about sticking someone with four double pointed needles, or dropping stitches.....I will definitely work on a hat while flying to and from Wyoming in a few weeks. I'm interested in making a few items from time to time, saving them up to send in a box for the yearly Dulaan project....Here's a link to the project....

I'm rediscovering how much fun it is to knit, and my friend Deborah keeps sending me links for new yarn, each more beautiful than the last.....sheesh. I want them all. I commented to her today, even if I could retire right now, there is Not. Enough. Time. (She agreed.....and she's semi-retired already.....there's just not enough hours to do all that we want to do that is creative and crafty and fills that need in us to make something useful and beautiful, all in one....)

But here's my first hat - whipped up in one and a half hours total time.....the last hat I knitted for Karen on double pointed needles took me hours and hours and hours and even a tad of creative cursing.....this is SO much more I'm contemplating ordering the rectangular looms I can make scarves for the Dulaan project that match a few of the hats......

I'm working on the adult size now (for Karen) since I have a ton of that yarn and she likes the colors.......Then will switch back to child size and finish up my six skeins - making good use of them!

My quilting class with Karene continues, and my quilt continues.....though not as quickly as I would like....(I know, don't comment about the rabbit trail I went down named Knifty Knitter.....) I have made 18 of the blocks for the double Irish chain.....This week I'm starting a set of different blocks that work with the first 18, to continue the pattern. Its so much fun to see how the Eleanor Burns pattern/style of constructing this quilt makes it happen so easily!

I've tried several times to load a picture of one of the 18 squares.....but Blogger is not cooperating.....Another time perhaps....Back to work for me!