Sunday, November 28, 2010

When I grow up...

I will have all the pets I want: As many as I want and I will name them silly names and take good care of them. I will keep my house more for comfort that for show, and all, even those with muddy feet, will be made welcome.
 I will put my children's needs before my own, remembering that I am the one who brought them here, and that sometimes being the grownup is no fun ,but worth it. I will protect them without smothering, and I will always do right by them.
 I will do crafts all the time, whatever I want, whether I am good at it or not, and if no one in the family wants what I make I will cheerfully give it to friends and strangers.  I will never say to anyone "you do that wrong". I will make things because I want to, and I will squash the little voice that says "why bother? You're not perfect".
 I will keep a sense of humor and silliness, showing my kids that it is not necessary to be grim to be dutiful.
I will live somewhere beautiful, where I wake up every day and think "Pinch me! I live here!"

What  promises did you make to your little self?

Friday, November 26, 2010

May I Introduce...the Bead Family

 So, uhm, yeah.  A new craft!  When Maggie from MI visited, it got me fired up about the beads again.
 This one, I made a Byzantine chain, (scroll down, for some reason here is a blank space on that page), then wrapped the beads and added them.  Pretty pleased with t.  Makes a nice jangly sound.
 This one is called an Egyptian chain, directions from Instructables.
Very fun.  Best of all, the whole stash takes only one yarn tub, including tools.  I am actually remembering to wear some jewelry now that I am making it. ( What little I have of good jewelry is in a safe deposit box, so I never really wear it, but I do visit it sometimes at the bank! )

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amazing Luck

 So, I'm minding my own business in the Middle School library, shelving books, when the librarian came staggering out of a closet with a big box.  On top of the box is a dodgy plastic Christmas wreath, and I mentally composed my excuse for why I would not help put up Christmas ornaments.  The other volunteers, not being allergic to the closet clearing out that appears to be brewing, go over to the box and start to pull out these Saris.  They are getting rid of them.  All of them  Not only the Saris, but the little matching tops and silk scarves, and salwar kameez ( the tunic and pants ensembles) Many of them silk.
 with hand done bead work.
 Glorious metal woven accents
 Batik and the little mirror embroidery
A stunning, overwhelming amount of color ans beauty.
That is going to the trash.
Uhm, no it's not.
It all came home with me.  All of it.Strangely, no one else wanted any of it.
No, I don't know what I'm going to do with it.  Some of it is damaged- it looks as though it was stapled to a wall somewhere, and some of it has some staining and small holes, but the great majority of it is just lovely  The librarian recollects that it was donated by someone for the drama dept.  This states schools being bankrupt, there hasn't been a middle school drama dept for maybe ten years? So, lots of dust and dirt, and staples, and some areas of reaction to the  cardboard.

I have a lot of hand laundering to do, and for no it is airing on the porch.  This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Look Who Flew In!

From artist who sells on ebay.  Wonderful paintings, too.  The crow is hanging on the front porch (It's covered, and the kitty will join a pink dog  painting.I have downstairs in the playroom.

I have not been sewing much. I have been beading a lot, but like everything, what the heck can I do with all the stuff I make? At least quilts can be given to charity.  But charity beading?  I will have to take some pictures.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wonderful Book!

I have just read the most wonderful book called Passing On the Comfort.  It was in the quilt section of out local used book store, which was a good thing, because I avoid books about World War II. I am just too overwhelmed to read about all the people exterminated.  It is so sad, to think of all the people gone.

This lovely book, though, tells the story of a young woman, a Mennonite, who was active in the Dutch resistance, and as part of her refugee relief work got quilts from the Mennonite Central Committee.  The Mennonites shipped literally tons of these quilts to Europe for refugees.  It is such a clear, lovely book, calmingly telling how she saved so many Jewish children, and adults, and others through her magnificent work as a resistance fighter. Some of that work was smuggling a Jewish baby to safety in a handbag, some of it was finding a way to empty chamber pots without being seen ( as too many chamber pot = too many people in house).

I like to think of the quilts all we quilters( and knitted and crocheted things we send, too!) send out in the world ans having these ripples, like this.  If you get  chance, it is a very nice book.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween already?

Wow. I have a lot to do! I haven't been sewing, bu I have been knitting hats. I have 4 done. For some reason Picassa has crashed and I can't seem to even re-download it. That's where all my blog pictures came from.

Ever seem like life is just really a lot of work? I am i that phase right now: behind on house work, unmotivated with my job, unsure what to do about my sons and their issues, extended family is acting up and struggling, even the dog has pooped in the house! Trudge, trudge. One day at a time!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sukkot Quilt

That I didn't finish in time, as Sukkot ends Tuesday. I had made some pennant decorations, like these, out of the apple and pear fabric and made this out of the leftovers. The people are from an old photo taken at our synagogue nearly a hundred years ago- I thought the Sunday school class might enjoy being invited to a Sukkah Party! I have started hand quilting it, and when I finish I am considering making more of these for the different Jewish holidays, always with the Sunday school class. Dunno. Might get bored of it and just move onto something else.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bad Day All Better!

White Bunny Slippers for Women
When you have had the kind of day I have, with manglement encounters, squirrely patients, short staff, coworker too sick to work but working anyway ( causing me to worry about said coworker), another squirrely patient, a really really mean doctor who bullies you into doing a whole lot of work for a discharge that is then changed completely; well when you have had that kind of day, it is right nice to come home to a box with these in it.  Ahhhhh.  Get yours here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Some one isn't pulling their weight around here...

As evidenced by this petite little egg. To the right is the usual size. This dainty little egg, I notice is much darker, and very cute, too. Chickens are funny!
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Owl Fabric Spiderwebs

This was an experiment in using "modern" fabrics.  Mostly blue and brown.  I really like the pale blue background owl. As per usual they were all $2 a yard things from the local fabric store sale.  I had thought to use the brown background owl fabric as a back, but what the hey. It definitely has the low contrast thing going on.  I kind of like it, but not a lot.

We have had a quiet Yom Kippur.  After the children's service, my husband brought the kids home.  It's the first year my 12 year old has tried to fast.  He has done pretty good.  It's 5:30 and he has had 2 saltines and one cu of water.  It's kind of cool to see him wanting to be an adult.  Later on tonight is the evening service, when sundown comes, and then we all have a nice snack at the synagogue.  When we get home I have a steak in the fridge and I will make that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Glass Beach

There is a beach about a hour from our house that is really just the place where the road meets the water. It is alongside a big bridge, and there is a fishing pier. The beach was filled with the kind of things that wash up from the ocean- driftwood, bottle caps, garbage, and lots and lots of sea glass.
Almost every other stone was sea glass or porceline that had been worn smooth. Some of it was red glass, obviously tails light, and that made me shiver hoping that the crash that nade the tail lihts shatter had bee a mnor one. The vast majority was white glass, with a littl blue, a little green, and slighty more beer bottle brown.

I can't figure where it all comes from. Was it duped? Does the bridge make a current? Can there be that many kids, sitting on the pier at night and tossing their beer bottles?

This reminds me of when my brother and I used to take our red wagon out to pick up all the beer bottles left by kids who were parking and drinking. We had a nickel deposit on bottles where I grew up, and we would make $5 each, some days. My poor mom- it never occured to us that we might not be sending the best impression, always turning up at the grocery store with forty or more beer bottles every Sunday!

The kids picked up at least five pounds of sea glass, I picked up a small bag of trash, and we had a nice day.
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Monday, September 06, 2010


The girls are the only ones who are happy with our hot weather. They scratch out dust wallows and loll around limply, wings extended to absorb maximum heat. I made fountain out of an ebay purchased metal junk sculpture. Originally, I wanted him to be above the pond, but the Little pump I have was not strong enough. It runs off a solar panel. I haven't seen any of the girls drink out of it yet, but they may figure it out soon.
These are the new chickens . They ar Buff Orpingtons, and have small combs. They are rally skittish, even though they were picked up every day for two months when they lived in the house. I Think they are pretty, but they haven't layed many eggs, spook easily, and had a hard time getting along with the other chickens. I won't get them again, unless egg production picks up considerably. We named them when they were chicks, but they have so little personality we just call them the babies.
This is Lucy, one of two red sex-linked chickens. She's a good layer, calm around humans and bossy to the other chickens. I think the big wattles and combs are funny, and since it doesn't freeze here, there's no problem with them. Her hatch mate Sally had a bout with pneumonia last winter, and against my better judgement, I treated her with injected antibiotics. Picture me, sneaking out to the coop after dark, a syringe in hand, to grab her and stick her in the breast meat with antibiotics! I kept her warm with a lightbulb, and she pulled through. She doesn't lay much, but she has a happy chicken life, eating her head off and so forth. I was too tender hearted to do her in, and we don't ( can't in city limits) slaughter them because they are pets. So, I have a happy creature that lays an egg maybe once every two weeks and eats her weight in feed. Oh, well, she kept Lucy company until the babies grew up.
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Cookies as Big as Their Heads!

Posted by PicasaThat is all.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

What I did this weekend

Here is the front of the Liberated Sand Pails...back brought to front and machine sewed down for binding...
And here is the back. Took a while to get the back to match the front in size, but I tell myself that the scrappines only adds to it's charm. I like this giant quilt block- I will do this again, especially for a large print like this fishy one. There is no batting, so there will be no quilting, so it is done!
Slogged through the husband's T-shirt quilt with minimal in the ditch quilting. Binding is on, needs to be hand sewed down.

Also sandwiched another two sided summer spread (quilt with n batting inside) that I want to send to a friend, so I'll post it after they get it. I don't know if the recipient reads my blog or not, so mums the word for now. Altogether that's FIVE tops that were used up today. If it weren't so hard to match sizes, I would do more two sided quilts. Measuring is not my strong suit.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

White Rotary Sewing Machine Rescue!

Saved from the trash, a perfectly nice early 1930's White (brand) sewing machine. After removing what looked like an entire spool of thread that had wound around the drive shaft, it ran . After cleaning,oil and grease, it ran well and made a nice stitch. Not bad for an 80 year old machine.
Has an unusual foot pedal. Very comfortable to use, though. The krinkle finish on the machine's paint was supposed to be easier on the machine opperaors eyes than a shiny finish. It is a very respectable olive green/black color. I also got the machine's case, which needs a new handle and a thourough airing. It even has a clever place to put the foot controller in the lid of the case. The hinges that hold the machine to the wooden base are identicle to the ones in the White treadle cabinet. The bobbin is the same as the treadle, too, and the foot is of the old back clamp variety. This meands that I have a set of hemming feet that fit it.

What will I do with this, my 11 th machine? (eight electric, two treadles). I dunno. Maybe find someone who wants it, after hoarding it for a while? Not sure. It has a nice understated deco vibe to it. I think it's happpy to be rescued!
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beach Art

My kids built this o the local beach.  School starts tomorrow, and I am sad to see the summer go. I am deeply ambiguous about how our local "good" schools are education my kids.  I'm not sure I have the chops to home school, and as I am the only one with a paying job at the moment, it is not really an option.

 I also have my own school issues.  Back when I was a child ( when dinosaurs roamed the earth) bullying was just a fact of life.  The fact that both my brother and I considered suicide to escape from the constant teasing, bullying, and physical abuse we suffered at the hands of our classmates- well that was just more evidence that it was our problem. If we hadn't been so weird, then we wouldn't be bullied, right?

Despite being very, very bright kids, my brother and I both barely graduated from high school ( his an expensive private school, mine a public alternative school. I actually made the stupid but deliberate choice to move away from the parent who loved me to the parent who did not, just because I was so afraid of the school .) We both had mediocre college careers, and while I fell into being a nurse, and am very happy with my job, I could have done a lot more with these brains.My brother, who was really a brilliant child, has worked for a bank most of his adult life, never married, never really recovered from his school years. I try to keep my own past out of it, but it's like trying to run away from my own shadow.

So, I will put on a happy face as I send them off- we went through the supplies, packed the backpacks, and so forth today.  They both got haircuts and picked out what they wanted to wear, and I will be happy and cheerful and reassuring until they get into their new classrooms, hopefully to have good school years with teachers who see the goodness and smartness in them.

And then, me and my shadow will walk home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I'm hand quilting

Funny, when I laid it out I thought it looked like a star. Now I don't see the start! I'm quilting this with heavy gold thread, like what is used to topstitch denim jeans. My usual giant stitches. Another experiment in using just a few colors. I had this laid out for a while, then had to pick it up and forgot about it, now I am back to it. The olive fabric is a shot cotton of lime green and purple that optically blend to an olive.
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When life gives you clotheslines

Make a groovy pin holder. I cut a scrap as wide as a plastic hanger and hemmed the short ends. Then I folded it, inside out, and traced the shape of the hanger, and sewed the "shoulders" and side seams. Maybe the next one, I'll put fake sleeves on, and make as a little Hawiaan shirt. Next time I'd make the opeing a littlw closer to the top. I like it, but not eough to not get the dryer fixed.
This is the top I'm currently working on. I actually hate it, right now. To the left is Muggles, the dog that is not Magic. He looks like he'd be perfectly willing to bury it in the yard for me, i that would help. I assure you, it is even brighter in person. An experiment in using a few fabrics rather than a few hundred. I might like it more, latter, or not. Can't tell yet.
Have I posted this one? The house in the middle is where the quilter lives! I had to take the sleeve off and try again, because it is giving me trouble hanging right.
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Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Good Way to Hide the Power Strip

Although it looks like I ought to send Roomba on a mission.  This is just a cardboard git box, with a slot cut down one side.  The power strip and all the charger thingys go inside, and you don't have to look at them.  I guess you could also make a slot on the opposite side, if your wires needed to run off in the other direction, but mine is just for the laptop and kindle charger.  The laptops and kindles are stored on the end table, above this box in a wooden rack meant to hold cutting boards.  There are three laptops and one Kindle in the family and one cutting board rack it the four of them.  It doesn't seem to get hot inside the box.  If I'd know how much I would like this, I would have made an effort to find a box that coordinated more. I guess I can paint this one when it gets too nicked up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Crown of Thorns is SO BIG....

Inspired by Tonya's little bitty blocks, I made one out of 10.5 inch blocks. I made it to be the back of the sand bucket quilt,( a few posts ago) but then I added borders to that, so i would have to add borders to this, so I am in flux again. I think I will add borders. I have some large scale Hawwian print that has been loitering in the stash, and it would make a very cute binding on the sand bucket quilt.

Trut be told I don't really feel like I've ever gotten all the way well from my pneumonia bout. I had to go off my RA drugs, and they sometimes don't work as well when you go back on the. I tried to remain positive and hope, but actually I have been in a lot of pain. I even made the great sacrifice ( snort) of trying to slow down, but it did ot improve my pain levels, and quitting my walks made me even lower energy as well as made the dogs wild and nutty. So, back to the walking, back to pain meds, back to swollen hands and, oh crap.  I know I need to remain positive and hopeful and grateful, but I'm loosing my grip on all that just now.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. A least, my attitude has no where to go but up!
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