Archive for Everyday Things

:: Totally random ::

Very random Saturday morning stuff. Mental meanderings allowed by a still-sleeping 12-year-old. I’m still not used to this sleeping in business. Very recent tween development. I’ll have to make some very quiet plans for this “free” time.

I’m trying to learn how to use the household DSLR. Please bear with me.

I hope to get the hang of it before I go to Quilt Market. (See you there??)

And I’ve added these because the outdoors at the front of my house approximates the convention center lighting conditions?

Have to start somewhere, I guess.

I believe I captured Pepper’s earnestness.

I may not get the hang of it but I do know my camera will have a stylish camera strap. After I make it one.

I’m taking along my old point and shoot camera just in case. Does that mean I have to take two pictures of everything with two different cameras just in case??

Speaking of travel. I miss Dan. I miss Dan’s silver Delta frequent flyer status. The free checked bag, the getting on the plane right before the general cattle call. It’s the little things sometimes. I’m sure I will survive.

What are your weekend plans? No soccer game for us this weekend. Which works out because it’s supposed to rain the whole time. Which also means we can’t do anything fun outdoors with our free weekend. Because I would surely melt. Or freeze. But we are going to see Regina Spektor tonight. I’m sure it will be warm and cozy. Strangely enough, when I was going through the DSLR camera case this week, I found a bag of ear plugs. These would have been from a music festival Dan took the kiddo to. How handy!  Taking them along to the concert tonight.

I do find it strange that in the last year, I have found things like the ear plugs just when I’ve needed them. They wouldn’t have been things — various paperwork, for example — on my radar at any point before and weren’t part of my household job description previously.  I just think it’s goodly strange.

Here’s a couple of quilt photos just to randomly round things out.

Oh, and the Bleachers quilt which now just needs the binding sewn down.

I have been calling this quilt Dear Stella, Wear Your Grungy Little Black Dress on the Bleachers.

Good, still sleeping. If she sleeps much longer, I can get away with brunch and will only have to feed her twice today. She got lucky too, I just found this recipe for caramel and sea salt pear pancakes.

Hope you have a photogenic weekend!


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This time last year

This time last year, we were just about to the top of the highest roller coaster hill. The many months preceding had been the long drag to the top. Crazy outpatient surgery, major surgery, brief grace period, followed by monthly trips to Philadelphia for treatments, weekly blood tests, bad news, bad news, bad news. Click, click, click, click. Endured, adjusted to because to do otherwise would have seemed pessimistic.

Something of a last-ditch new treatment would start just after July 4. That was the very tippy-top of the hill. Who knew?

Who knew how fast the trip to the bottom would be? This time last year is vivid and a blur. Everything stands out. I don’t like to wear the clothes I wore last summer because they remind me of the hospital days.

We nursed optimism then to keep disbelief and panic at bay.  We were surrounded by love and support.

At some point realism surfaced and I had to imagine some part of the future just to somehow prepare myself. I am somewhere in the middle of how I thought this would be. It’s kind of a badness scale. I made a good run at all of it early on. I had some momentum.

The kiddo had a good and calm school year, active and engaged. We did it.

Only in the last few months have I kind of lost my creative energy and sense of direction, feeling that important part of me grinding to a halt.

I think that going through some creative motions will help.

It can’t hurt.

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Long time no see. Thought I would check in before you all thought I’d disappeared altogether. Nope. Still hanging around. Still hanging in.

Sorry it’s been so long. I’ve begun posts in my head many times but found my thoughts kind of trailing off as I haven’t felt much of anything creative and insightful. I’m sure you understand.

There have been good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad. There is much activity. I credit a busy 11 year old with that.

There are still so many things to be grateful for. I feel like I say that to myself pretty regularly. At least I hope I do because we have much to be grateful for under the circumstances of this life change.

But I find myself holding my breath a lot. Waiting for the first big thing to go wrong. Waiting for the car to break down. Waiting for all of the odd sounds in the house to turn into a plumbing disaster. And so on. Knock wood.

We’re just weathering our first sick kid bout. I’m telling you, that kid is a trooper though.

Along the way, I’ve done more sewing recently.

Oh, did I mention this:

We are still getting to know each other. There are some threads and needles (mainstays in the past) that the 820 doesn’t seem to like. Like any relationship, it’s a work in progress and I’m sure we’ll be best buds. Hopefully soon.

But we did work on some zebras together (using a block pattern from Camille Roskelley):

And quilted the Habitat quilt (using one of Scott Hansen’s patterns) that has been basted and waiting probably since July:

So that’s where we are. I feel very out of the loop but am hoping to feel more like jumping back in the creative loop.

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Wordless Wednesday :: yellow

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Thank you and events

First, your kind words  have touched me deeply. I appreciate all of your comments and your support. Thank you. We are doing OK here. Having a school-aged child has kept us moving through the routines and schedules of school days. I am grateful for the structure.

Before the big change in our lives, I happily committed to some online quilting adventures. I am a little late at keeping up with the goings on but am still happily committed to participating and hope you’ll join along in the fun. First up is the Blogger’s Block of the Month quilt-along  put together by the fabulous Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works, and it features original blocks by 14 amazing and diverse quilters from some of our favorite blogs.

Because this is a monthly program it’s a great long-term project. And with only a single 8″ block each month, it’s TOTALLY manageable for us time-starved quilters.

Here is the packet of beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics that Jackie sent to each of us to design our block … though, of course, you can use whatever fabrics you choose for the quilt-along.

The quilt-along kicks off tomorrow on Sherri McConnell’s blog, A Quilting Life, and each new block is posted on the 25th of the month. And since it’s a monthly program, have no fear if you don’t have your fabrics together yet — you’ve got plenty of time to catch up. This is also going to be a GREAT stash-buster project, so why not just pull out some of your favorite leftovers from your other projects?

You can learn all about the Blogger’s Block of the Month program (and grab your very own blog button!) on Jackie’s blog post. She’s even set up a Flickr group for everyone to post their blocks and progress. And here’s the full list of block designers, along with the month their block will be posted:

September – Sherri McConnell – A Quilting Life

October – Vicki Welsh – Field Trips in Fiber

November – Stephanie Dunphy – Loft Creations

December – Pat Sloan – The Voice Of Quilting

January – John Adams – Quilt Dad

February – Amy Smart – Diary of a Quilter

March – Allison Harris – Cluck, Cluck, Sew

April – Amy Lobsiger – Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts

May – Cathy Underhill – Cabbage Quilts

June – Pam Vieira-McGinnis – Pam Kitty Morning

July – Victoria Findlay Wolfe – Bumble Beans Inc.

August – Amy Ellis – Amy’s Creative Side

September – Sarah Fielke – The Last Piece

October – Jackie Kunkel – Canton Village Quilt Works

Hope to see you along the way in the Blogger’s Block of the Month. I’ll be back soon with info on the other quilty event I’ve joined in. And again, thank you all so much!

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Great sadness

As his world was so much bigger than mine, I feel he would not mind and it would be a fitting tribute to share the news that my dear husband passed away today. It has been a hell of a year. He was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2008. It is a vicious disease that returned in 2010. The end of the summer was agonizing for him and for those who could only stand by.

He showed me how to behave through it. I tried to follow his lead. It will be hard to have no one to laugh at my asinine jokes, “listen” to my running narrative of everyday annoyances, and to help make parenting decisions, but I believe he would not have left me incapable. Our separate interests meant that parts of our lives did not always intersect. I am getting by today on the love and support flowing abundantly from his world and from our families.

And I thought my world would get smaller.

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Put a bucket on your head!

School’s out for summer!

School friends seemed to be going down memory lane today, so I thought I’d join in. She’s gonna kill me.

Speaking of joining in. Trying to keep up with the Joneses by joining in The Farmer’s Wife Quilt-Along being led by Amanda and Angela. Katy predicts I will last until sometime in July. Sounds about right. So far I’m just making in numerical order and I think I’m going for slightly understated colors. So far.

And then I look at other people’s blocks and I like their fabric choices better than mine. ::sigh::

Are you making Farmer’s Wife blocks? Don’t forget to put a bucket on your head!

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Scenes from mother’s day

I hope all of the mothers had a lovely mother’s day!

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Around the house

Here are some pics from Monday:

Dear Mother Nature, thanks for that.

Later on Monday, things cleared up nicely:

Flowers were blooming all around.

People seem to want to move in.

I think I’ll charge them rent. Not everyone gets to live in that townhouse on THAT table. Prime real estate.

I’ve been sewing away on a project for summer. Even though apparently it’s not even spring here. I’ll show you the sewing when I can. Mmmmm, cool greys and lots of the Marcia Derse fabrics! We are getting to know each other very well, the fabric and I.

Since it’s still been cold, I made a shawl (Ravelry link):

Mmmm, Noro! I also soaked it in Amy Butler soak. It smells so good! Trying to conserve it since the Amy Butler “flavors” aren’t made anymore. Good thing I knit slow.

I just hope it didn’t snow at your house this week!

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Old and new

Some new and old things. Some new things that are also old like my new table.

I ::heart:: that table. Mwah, table!

A broken record every year crowing about the re-appearance of ranunculus at Trader Joe’s. So that’s an old story.

Learning from years past (and a regular old story with that Trader Joe…), buy more than one bunch cuz you won’t see them again and if you do they won’t be as good.

Some new quilts that are now almost old compared to these pics because they are now done and bound.

Love Liesl’s Modern Workshop quilt so I had to make it!

A spring-y quilt from Pat Sloan’s Fast Forward Quilts. Um, this counts as old because I pieced the top quite a while ago…ahem.

The colors are helping me keep in mind that it is indeed spring despite the still chilly temps. I have one sad little daffodil blooming in the cold.

I hope new things are blooming where you are!

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