Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jiggity Jig!

You missed it! I was just in front of the TV doing a jig (while trying to fold up a quilt). LOL! I've been finishing up the hand work on my Bargello Bowl quilt with the TV going in the background. It happened to be Spice Up My Kitchen on HGTV.

I can't believe what I just heard. GASP! Lauren Lake just said the "new" thing is WHITE appliances. Wooohooo. :-) Can you guess I believe stainless steel is a waste of time, effort and money? (not to mention the ugly aspect) Not that Lauren is the last word on kitchen design. She isn't. But damn it was nice to hear someone on HGTV actually say that.

I'm gonna be chuckling all the way to bed. Nighty night. :-)

Sweet Baby James

Actually the baby's his nephew, but JT's music sure is sweet. Last night we went to the James Taylor and His Band of Legends concert at the "Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek", in Raleigh. (I'm all for corporate sponsorship, but isn't that a ridiculously long name for a venue?)

It was a rainy, windy and chilly day yesterday, in the 50s. And the day before was in the low 90s! Sheesh. It didn't discourage anyone though. There were even tailgaters in the parking lot with their barbeque's and beer. Most of us wore jackets and carried blankets to wrap up in but some were dressed in shorts, t-shirts and sandals! *shiver*

As per usual we had some oddies sitting in front of us. (not the heads you see in the photo) A grey-haired male couple sat down directly in front of me. No problem. But one of them clearly wasn't interested in the music and spent the whole time either whispering in his partner's ear or gazing around in such a way that it blocked my view. The perfectly-nice-gentleman sitting to their left seemed to make him uncomfortable so they moved over a seat (yay). Then when some other men came and sat down on their right I guess partner was uncomfortable so they moved back (sigh). And at the break they moved over to the right again (?). Then the perfectly-nice-gentleman moved to the other side of his lady/date/wife and they moved back left again (for heaven's sake). They came late and left quite early so all this was going on during the performance. I wonder why they spent the money to come? Especially as they didn't want to sit next to anyone. Weird.

The Tramp was highly excited to discover that Blue Lou was one of the Band of Legends! Not long after we sat down, Blue Lou himself suddenly appeared, to visit with some folks two rows behind us. I thought The Tramp was going to fall out of his seat. LOL

As is always the case at a James Taylor concert the music was absolutely top notch. The band did many songs from JT's forthcoming "covers" album so we were treated to more than just the wonderful old favorites. I'm now looking forward to the new release more than ever!

So here he is, front and center! Great music, THREE encores, a new t-shirt and I'm one happy fan. :-D

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sewing and Mowing....Again!

The theme is recurring...sigh. The grass grows and the UFOs do too!

The Tramp and I have both been feeling better so we're taking advantage of the long weekend to get some stuff done around here. As usual the list is longer than the hours we have but oh well, we'll do our best.

Yesterday The Tramp donned his coverall and went down under the house again to bring cable to the sitting room. Since our addition was kind of tacked onto the back of the house, leaving the back stoop and outside brick wall intact and now on the interior of the house, the access to the crawl space is inside the house too. Each time someone has to go down there, the damp, earthy smell stinks up my house! Ick. The Tramp quietly goes about his business of scooting into the crawl space to work on something, then comes out calling for my help. Not knowing that's where he is, I walk into the room and get the bejesus frightened out of me every time by him rising, black with filth, out of the hole! LOL

We also mowed the lawns, reduced the burn pile, started painting the plastic lawn furniture, and in general got stuff done.

Of course I can't really complain about the opportunity to mow the lawn. We are so lucky to be out of the drought! One day last week we had a couple of nasty storms pass through. There was no chance the gutters could keep up with the wind and rain. And it hailed!

And since it has been raining we can finally feel comfortable lighting the burn pile. It's been steadily growing. The Tramp had a pleasant couple of hours playing with fire and water. :-) Ngaire "helped".

Mostly Ngaire was interested in the part of the job that involved water. She LOVES to play with the water from the hose. It's hard to water the garden with her constantly darting in to attack the stream of water! :-) Here she's guarding the hose and hoping The Tramp is going to spray around the fire again.

This week I've been working on my Bargello Bowl quilt. I'm practicing "line dancing" with my new BSR and learning (by trial and error) how to manipulate the large amount of fabric in the machine. Tricky! I had to set up a folding table to make it easier.

Oh...and the madness this week was Belle being bitten by a larger dog. Her fault...sigh. She was a very lucky little dog. She has a nasty stitched up wound, which you'll be happy to know I won't take a photo of! She improves every day thank goodness. :-)

So I have instead, a couple of gratuitous photos of Ngaire the Nut. I don't know how she can sleep like that. Oh my aching spine!

Then after I stepped over her a few times, she curled into a ball the other way and went right back to sleep. Isn't it nice to be young and flexible!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sewing and Mowing...

Busy, busy, busy. I'm getting very good at finding reasons not to spend a few minutes posting. Not the least of which is that The Tramp and I seem to be having a bad run of migraines. I'm hoping it's just the seasonal change thing and the days of pain will be over soon.

Anyway...we have been busy nonetheless. I've jumped on the thrift shop bandwagon. I haven't found any "terrific" bargains but I have been buying cotton shirts and things for making Bonnie's Blue Ridge Beauty quilt. This is the photo from Bonnie's website. I'm determined to do the "leaders and enders" thing. I hope mine comes out like this!

So I put my first load of thrifted clothing through the wash. (The stuff on the right) I had shirts, skirts, capris and of all things, a maternity dress.

Ngaire was pretty bored with the whole laundry thing (it didn't involve tennis balls) so she made herself comfortable under the towels.

Then I mowed "my" bit of lawn. I do the part by the gardens with the little electric mower. The Tramp takes care of the rest with the big orange beast. Too noisy for me! The other stuff I bought at the thrift shop were plates. I'm using them to edge the garden.

The garden is starting to shape up. Not that you can tell from this photo. The lawn is still pretty bad. Still full of holes from the tree removal session. And the bit of long grass with the fence around it in front of the garden is our own private little cesspool. We're hoping the septic people will be here by the end of this week!

I had to fence it to stop myself from stepping in it. Which I did.....twice! Ewwwwww.

The weather has been sooooo beautiful I can sit outside with my piles of shirts and things and start to cut them up.

And while I'm working, the intrepid Ngaire protects our yard from the neighbor's cats. She's very serious about it. Just as serious as the cats are about teasing her. Here she is with every hair on her body quivering with excitement.

And she wears a groove in the ground running back and forth. (much to the amusement of the cats)

I have also finally finished putting the little colored plastic backs on my basting pins. Ouch. What a job. I didn't realize it was going to require a pair of pliers and several hours work!

Today I basted the Bargello Bowl quilt...finally.

I even managed to do it without stepping on Madam's nose. :-) (Those cats wear her out.)

I also finished the rest of Part 4 of Orange Crush. Phew! Those last 10 blocks are the hardest. :-) The DVD player in my sewing room stopped working so The Tramp hooked up another one. He also hooked up my dad's leftover stereo to it and attached an Airport Express so I can listen to iTunes in there as well. So I watched Jethro Tull Live at Montreux while finishing the blocks this morning and then enjoyed cranking up iTunes while I basted. Nice. Thanks honey.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Part 4!

Bonnie made Part 4 of Orange Crush available today. I've cut all the triangles and put one block together to see how it looks. It looks absolutely YUMMY! Definitely a chocolate moment. :-D

One lucky mama

That's me! More Mother's Day goodies arrived today. Our poor mail carrier. It must have been hard to get the box in the mailbox because I had a heck of a time prying it out. :-)

Looky what I got from Eldest Daughter and her SO! Bagels! Woot! I couldn't figure out what the smell was at first when I opened the box. LOL So of course my study now reeks smells of lovely everything bagels as well as plain and cinnamon raisin. Very cool.

Things just kept coming up from the packing paper. Including this...

Chocolate of course... (they know me so well)

Also a cute one-of-a-kind card and a copy of the latest issue this magazine. Eldest Daughter is one of the editors and she also took the cover photo this month! It's cherry blossoms at Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. I'm kind of sad I missed seeing them this year. It's a spectacular display.

Lucky me. Thanks guys.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rainy day doings...

Today was a much easier day. Dull and rainy and perfect for sewing. First I set the Bernina back up in the table. Yay!

While I've been waiting for the Bernina, I did part 3 of Orange Crush on the Featherweight. Then I started on stitching up wallets for me and Mom. The pattern is by Karen Comstock/Quiltricks. I actually bought the pattern directly from her in the store in Cary before I knew who she was! I made what could best be described as a prototype a couple of months ago. The bias binding I made was too narrow and the thing has been falling apart. But Mom said she would buy me fabric for a new one if I made one for her. So sucker me has I've been making wallets. The small one for me....

And the larger one for Mom. They really aren't hard to make. It requires a bit of concentration though...which I lost when I stopped to make dinner. I put the inside and outside together backwards, covered the whole outside edge with the bias....and then of course realized what I had done....groan. But it's now back together the right way and I'll take it to Mom tomorrow.

I received some goodies in the mail today. One dozen churn dash swap blocks from the Karolinakwilters Yahoo Group. I'm going to meet some of the ladies in a few weeks. We're having a retreat at one of the member's houses. It's going to be fun! This is one bright set of blocks. :-)

I had also ordered David McCallum's book and new DVD set on Singer Featherweights. It came today, autographed by David! That's nice. The DVD box was beat up so I've put them in a new box and I'll test them tomorrow. I hope they're ok.

I didn't take the car out today since it was raining and we haven't installed the new windshield wipers yet. The old ones are very nasty and I'm afraid of scratching the new windshield. What I did do however, is download and print the radio manual. The car has a fancy dancy after-market radio which I absolutely cannot figure out how to program! And the doggone manual is 40 pages large! Oh my poor brain.....

Wish me luck. :-)