Sunday, August 30, 2015

blink

and summer break is gone...

i didn't manage to post even once ... it's a little late, but i'm gonna tell you how i spent my summer vacation...

we painted... 
for two stinking weeks... 
the living room and the dining room and the hallway upstairs are done... 
no more green walls... 
there's more to that story, but it can wait...

i did lottsa yard work...

it was hot...

stinking hot...

we DID manage to have some fun...
 where have you taken me?!?
he followed me home ... can i keep him?!?

 crosscut dinosaur track - what big feet you have!!!
 dinosaur tracks across the seabed
up close and personal - with a little help from Auntia
discovering dinosaur tracks on a nearby mountainside that used to be an ocean floor - which is a little hard to wrap my head around cuz now the seabed is a high desert...

and then going to see Jurassic World a couple of times...
meet Rexie - my half-birthday present from Auntia - and her hamster ball/gyrosphere ... chompity chomp chomp
sans the littles because it is waaaay too intense for little kids...

and seeing more dinosaurs at the Colorado Railroad Museum... 
finding fossils
someone needs his toenails clipped
LuLu  cracking geodes
i hafta wear these?!? seriously?!?
Hulk smash!!!
riding the rails
all aboard the dinosaur train!!!

it would be so cool to have a miniature garden railway in my backyard!!!

we went to the Mythic Creatures exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science...
 
no flash photography ... sigh
and escaped without spending any extra money, even thought the exit from the exhibit was a gift shop filled with all kinds of dragons and mermaids and unicorns that were very, very tempting...

we did some Row By Row shop hopping...
 
when she was a little girl i had Auntia convinced that the M on the mountain is for MELISSA ... but i don't think she believes me anymore 

what am i gonna do with all those license plates?!?
and some Rocky Mountain Quilt Fever shop hopping... 
we went on Row By Row quilt shop excursions a couple of times each week, spread out over the summer...
but the 10 RMQFSH shops - over 400 miles on the car's odometer - in one weekend just because there is a "exclusive free" pin at the end was about 200 miles too many for me...

we went to the Lafayette Peach Festival and ate peach cobbler and peach pie and peach pizza... 
it was just peachy... 

and we celebrated my baby boys' birthdays...
 
Samanardo and Leonardo
 
Michael Myson and Samuel Mygrandboy ... 33 and 3, respectively

the only piecing i was able to accomplish was...
 2 times 32
plus one
sixty-four pink roses and one rosebud ... they were sewn into a BIG flimsy that is on its way to Michigan so Liz can work her long arm majick ... and when they come back i'll tell their story...

anywho, summer break is over...

pooped out
which is okay cuz all that fun wore me out, too...


 today it is hot...

stinking hot...

but i know that Winter Is Coming...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015

the monster in the kitchen

back when Auntia and Mrs. Moth were taking cake decorating lessons, Auntia burned up our mixer and i had to go buy a new one... 
a mixer that could handle beating a gazillion pounds of royal frosting for thirty-five hours without setting the house on fire... 
okay...
 okay...
 okay...
the poundage and the time may be exaggerated a bit...
 i'm just sayin' 
she did her research and decided that the only mixer that could handle what she was planning on putting it through was this monster...
ugh...

she was gonna call it Black Beauty... 
but after we heaved it outta the box and onto the counter and she plugged it in and turned it on, i decided that it may be black, but it was no beauty... 
it makes the most gawdawful sounds when it's doing its job...
 and it is impossible to keep the dust (especially flour or powdered sugar dust) off of its shiny, glossy, sleek surfaces... 
we have a teeny tiny kitchen without enough cabinet space for canned food and staples, glasses, and dishes, let alone kitchen appliances that are the size of a small horse... 
so the mixer, the toaster, the food processor, the coffee pots (two - one for me and one for her on accounta she and i don't agree on coffee, for the most part), the quesadilla maker, crockpots in just about every size and shape, and the blender (which she just HAD to have after she went to Florida and came back wanting to make butter beer - thanks a LOT, Harry Potter - but we didn't have a way to shave ice) and whatever else - all of it - sit out on the counters and shelves...
 and all of it collects kitchen dust (the worst kind) and looks ugly...

anywho...

when that ugly mixer came to live here FIVE YEARS AGO i decided that i needed to hide it with a cover...

 and i put that on the List... 

i have a BUNCH of Mary Engelbreit fabric in the stash and just knew that it wasn't gonna be a problem...

yeah, right...

sometime last year i decided that what was keeping me from making the cover was i don't like to do my own quilting... 
so i sent a BUNCH of Mary Engelbreit yardage and some white muslin to the World's Most Wonderful Longarm Quilter, Liz Bowman in Milan, Michigan and asked her to quilt something Mary Engelbreitish on it... 
she sent it back quilted with pretty posies and butterflies...

and it sat in a pizza box with two paper patterns (from about thirty years ago) for kitchen appliance covers (that no longer fit the modern world's kitchen appliances) and a Mary Engelbreit panel...

till sunday...

i was on the Pity Pot (Fathers Day always does that to me) and thought i should wander around the Magick Shoppe and look for a distraction that didn't involve snowflakes or skulls...
 my eyes settled on the pizza box labeled kitchen appliance covers...
 it was armed with everything that i needed other than a pattern that would actually FIT the mixer or the food processor or the toaster or the quesadilla maker and if had time to feel sorry for me, i oughta have time to do this, right?!?

i took out the cutting mat and set up Thor Batrastardson in the dining room and went to work...

a few hours and several bad words later...
SO MUCH BETTER!!!
it's not perfect... 
it could be an inch or two longer ... and i'd already cut the curves in the fabric before i realized that it was directional and i had it upside down... 

but it is done...

 and done is better than not done... 

i put pockets on the sides to hold the whisk...
shouldn't that be eat your cake and have it too! ?!? i've always thought that was backwards...
and the dough hook and paddle...
you and me, both, Counselor Troi!!!

 the mixer made the other appliances jealous, so i made a cover for the toaster, food processor, blender, and quesadilla maker, too... 
but then i ran outta steam and decided that the coffee makers didn't need covers on them, anyway, cuz we are always brewing a new pot...

so... 

cross THAT off the List!!!


We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die.
Umberto Eco

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

hello, handsome!!!

this time i'll start out with a picture instead of filling up an entire page with words, lemmetellya...
so very, very cuh-reepy, lemmetellya!!!
Michael Myson has a young man in his life who is like a son to him ... Mason Nikison will be sixteen at the end of this year ... this quilt is for his birthday (and christmas, too, Mason - on the off chance that you might be reading this - don't be looking for any other thing under the tree, lemmetellya)... 
and it is actually finished six months ahead of schedule, lemmetellya... 
ahead... 
a head... 
tee hee hee 
and, seriously, i just might give it to him early cuz i really do not want to spend any more time with these guys living in my house, lemmetellya...
say hello to my little friend...
the two skulls were only 432 pieces of fabric... 
the roses, however, are a different story... 
each rose is 51 pieces... 
there are 20 of them... 
do they look like 1020 pieces of fabric?!?
yeah, i didn't think so, either, lemmetellya... 
and when Michael Myson said that he thought they were printed on fabric?!? well, i stopped making them, lemmetellya...

and just when you thought it couldn't get any creepier...
it's enough to give a poor woman nightmares, lemmetellya!!!
the World's Best Longarm Quilter, Liz Bowman of Milan, Michigan, quilted sugar skulls in the center with... 
wait for it... 
wait for it... 
glow-in-the-dark thread!!! 
the roses and skulls border is quilted with thorny roses in red thread... 

i swear, i could NOT sleep in a room with these guys, lemmetellya...

but enough about THEM... 

now lemmetellya what i learned from this...
pink is NOT the new black!!!
and it isn't NEWS to me, lemmetellya...
 it is a very, very good idea to PREWASH... 
those dye grabbers were from the third time i sent the reds through the wash...
i was beginning to think that i would never get to start making roses ... so i threw them back into the washer one more time with some more dye grabbers and a few pieces of the skull's white fabric...
what does this dye grabber have to say for himself? 
"Just doin' my job, ma'am."
and i decided that when the quilt is gifted, it will be accompanied by a box of dye grabbers, lemmetellya...

and the other thing that i learned is that i should not ask a question if i might not like the answer because it just might lead to having to make a cuh-reepy skull quilt, lemmetellya...


Questions are a burden to others; answers are a prison for oneself.
Patrick McGoohan

Saturday, June 20, 2015

snow pact


not snowpack...

nope ... snow pact:

snow
snō
noun
  1. 1.
    atmospheric water vapor frozen into ice crystals and falling in light white flakes or lying on the ground as a white layer.
    "we were trudging through deep snow"
  2. 2.
    something that resembles snow in color or texture, in particular.

  3. combined with:

pact
pakt
noun
  1. a formal agreement between individuals or parties.

a couple of years ago, Auntia and i made a pact to work on Snow Days (a Crabapple Hill pattern for an embroidered quilt of a small, rural community that is celebrating a snow day) together ... we collected fat quarters and embroidery floss and sparkly thread and more fat quarters and yardage and more embroidery floss and more sparkly thread and more fat quarters and more yardage till we decided that we really oughta start the actual doing ... we agreed to embroider one block each month till we were finished ... neither of us had done much embroidery with sparkly thread and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into...
i got this far:
my house and barn - the same one that is in Awesome, but from the back
the covered bridge to Auntia's house
before i put it down and started working on anything else because i hated working with the sparkly thread - it shredded and knotted and tangled and shredded some more every time i tried to use it ... after two or three months, i decided to give it another go... 
Auntia's house
and got that far - right before i was gonna need to start in on that sparkly thread again - and realized that i was never never ever gonna work on it with any joy if i kept using that stupid sparkly thread ... so i ordered more fabric waaay too much, as it turned out, which led to yet another embroidered quilt project that is still hanging out in the to do's cuz paper-pieced snowflakes are not all that fun and started over ... i caught back up with Auntia who is STILL using sparkly thread in a different color scheme and embroidered my little heart out for the past year ... and then it was time to trim the stitcheries and add some piecing to the sides...
 trimming embroidered blocks to size is not for the faint of heart, lemmetellya
and piece the center blocks...
is this all gonna come together?!?
yes ... yes, it is!!!
then trace and stitch more embroidery ... and then put it all together...
don't you love it when a plan comes together?!?
pretty doggone cool, innit?!?
here are some closeups of the embroidered blocks...
 little bunny and little birdie
my house and barn ... it's a very, very, very fine house 
 mmhmmm ... the dragon lady DOES live here
 the covered bridge ... which leads to Auntia's house
 Auntia's house
and her barn ... which shelters Tug
Tug ... a true ranger's horse
 yes ... Auntia DOES run with wolves
 snowmen under construction ... look out for snowballs
 LuLu's house and barn
 
 she and Auntia are my sunshine ... and i am their moon
 the general store ... it has EVERYTHING you could possibly need on a snowy day
including Moon Pies
God's house
with free wireless access
school?!? nope - no time for learning the three R's today
land of the free
  run little doggie!!!
 sledding down the hillside...
 ...is worth hauling the sled back up to do it again
 and another house and barn for family and friends
Superman AND Wonder Woman ... with room for Willy the Whale
the creek bed
whew!!!
i bordered it all with lilac hydrangea petals from LakeHouse Dry Goods and it is ready to send off for quilting ... and now i get to watch Auntia keep on keepin' on with that nasty sparkly thread cuz she is Not A Quitter like me, lemmetellya...


If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.
Thomas Edison