Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Color Splash"

(I started this post last night, then put it aside when we decided on a trip to the library.)

I just finished the blocks for my Scrappy Trips Around The World...while watching a David Bromstad show, The Ultimate Color Guide, on HGTV. I've got the blocks up on the design wall and have been moving them and moving them and moving them. Arrrggghh. I decided to take a photo of it to get a different perspective.

I can see room for improvement. There is a "light" spot in the center...sigh. I'm also trying to figure out what in the world I can use for a border that will compliment it. I thought black, like the Bargello Bowl quilt, but it Just...Looks...Wrong. I'm also wondering about making it larger. Hmmmmmmmmmm........

So I took a break and went outside for some different eye candy. :-) It's been dark and rumbling thunder for about two hours now so colors look more intense. Nice!

Petunia from a seed packet. Who knew they'd come out like this!

Hibiscus in a brief moment of late afternoon sun. It's a much hotter pink than it looks here.

Hot pink geraniums. Yum.

Marigolds, also from a seed packet. More green than flower, but oh those flowers!

Sunflowers next door in front of a dark pink crape myrtle. (I have to get me some of those!)

My neighbor tells me these are Four O'Clocks. I have them everywhere!

French Hollyhocks

Rain on the Bleeding Heart. That there is the total amount of rain we got....sigh.

Hard to improve on nature, isn't it! :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

But we don't have a belfry!

On Sunday The Tramp and I decided to sort out his workshop. This house is a '70s ranch and the workshop space is what was originally designed to be the carport. The original owner had it enclosed when the house was built but never used it as a garage. The previous owner used it as her "art room" and we are using for overflow kitchen storage/broom closet/cleaning stuff and badly organized workshop.

The Tramp has some large floor-standing tools such as a drill press, table saw, chop saw, and scroll saw, as well as all the small stuff you have in a workshop. He's finding it almost impossible to use them! The room has built-in counters on three walls and a few kitchen cabinets. We moved a whole bunch of stuff (which is now laying all over the kitchen/dining area...sigh) and got busy tearing out to make room for the big tools. We've got our eyes on some big cabinets at Lowes to store the kitchen and cleaning stuff.

We also keep the dog food in there. Everything is closed up in plastic bins but even so we've had to set out mouse traps. About a month ago I started complaining it smelled like something died, each time I went in there to get something. I looked! I really did! The mouse traps were empty and poking around didn't find anything else. The stink disappeared after a while and I didn't think any more about it.

On Sunday we started the reorganization job by surveying what we had and what needed to go. And for the first time...I looked UP!

Yep. That's a dead bat up there. About 10 feet up. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. The Tramp stood on the counter and gingerly (with rubber gloves and plastic bags) removed it. He stuffed the holes with steel wool. There hasn't been any evidence of bats in the attic but now we're going to have to look closer. It got in somehow!

The kicker is, yesterday he sent me the link to this article (and I found another, less sensational version, and the BBC version [funny how they are all different]). Cripes! Bats don't particularly freak me out but I'd rather they weren't in my house...or in my underwear!!! I guess I'll be shaking my clothes out better when they come off the clothesline!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Naval Maneuvers

This is the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. It's been in the maintenance yards for months but is now back at sea. The Sailor Son gave us a tour of the ship last year. Pretty amazing.

DIL and I were chatting online on Sunday and she asked if I would like to see what The Sailor Son is doing out at sea. Of course I said, "Sure!" So this is what I received. These are actual photos of the Eisenhower taken about a year ago, that they email to the families to show them what's going on.

Well I couldn't imagine what they were doing so I said, "Speedboating?" She laughed. "Nope," she said, "they're tipping the see what it can withstand. Look closely", she says, "you can see people standing on the air deck and it's nearly touching the water!" It's like tipping a 24 story building! Yikes. I can't imagine what it must feel like for the 5,500 people on board.

Can you?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Not much sewing these days...

Not much sewing happening here these days. I'm in the middle of mastering Adobe InDesign. I'm the new newsletter "editor" for the Capital Quilters Guild. I used MS Publisher for years, so this isn't so terribly different, just so much better! I have a Classroom in a Book, which is a week-long course, and have plowed my way through most of the lessons. I have the Photoshop book too but that has to wait. I have a deadline!

It's been fun. I think my brain needed a little exercise. I've created all the master pages with the banner, boxes and graphics that will get repeated each month and now I'm working on content. It's a long row to hoe since I have to keep looking things up online, in help, and in the book but it's going pretty smoothly even so. I'm sure The Tramp is breathing a sigh of relief that there haven't been any tantrums! LOL

So I've been pretty much stuck here on my stool for over a week (I sit at a counter). The view is great though, I get to watch the flowers grow and the birds frolic. Yesterday afternoon we had another rain storm, just about the time the daily afternoon avian feeding frenzy started. This is my view, over and around the monitors....

Do you see that little yellow ball of fluff by the window feeder? Here's a slightly better view.

Just as the rain was starting the male hummingbird started his patrolling again. This time he watched over the feeder from the Spirea bush. I am so pleased to get a good photo of him! :-)

Then as it started to rain harder, a male goldfinch came and perched on the windowsill. Because the bands of rain from the tropical storm were coming from the SE, this was a protected spot. (excuse the dirty window, the birds make a mess)

And he just sat....checking me out.

And his eyes started to close...

And then he tucked his head...

Tucked it tighter...

And completely shut out the world!

This house finch showed up but decided not to disturb him.

Now mind you. It's dark and rainy outside and I'm sitting right in front of the window in a well lit room. Mostly if I make a move the birds fly away. But here I was able to get out the big black camera and snap away at both birds. I had the camera nearly touching the glass part of the time! He just fluffed up and curled up tighter. :-)

So I just waited to see what would happen. And when he decided to wake up for a snack I got the camera and moved all around snapping more photos. Kind of neat.

This is my buddy who shares the counter with me. I couldn't leave him out. :-)

Good night!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hummingbirds and Sewing Machines

I had a nice unexpected diversion late this afternoon. A rain storm! When there wasn't supposed to be one! As I was driving home the sky got darker and darker and darker. I got in the house and managed to let the dog out before the rains came. And BOY did it rain! And blow, and thunder. It's hard to take a photo of but you can kind of see it on the roof of the neighbor's house.

The whole time it was "storming" the hummingbirds kept coming to the feeder! They didn't seem to notice anything amiss! Now the rain has let up a bit the rest of the birds are back. First the Goldfinches, then came the Cardinals, then the House Finches. Right now there are a gaggle of really wet and straggly finches fighting at the window feeder in front of me. Too bad they all fly off when I get the camera out! It's a feeding frenzy out there.

What a motley crew! All half drowned looking. :-)

I tried to get a photo of the rain pounding in the birdbath but apparently I need to be a better photographer to capture that.

And then I spotted a hummingbird sitting in the red maple in front of my window.

I'm wondering how often he sits there and I haven't noticed! (With the binoculars I can see it's a male.) It's still raining even though the sun is out shining now and I've figured out what the hummer is doing. He's guarding "his" feeder! He keeps leaving his perch overseeing the feeder to chase the other hummers away! This has been going on for almost an hour. I wonder how long he can keep it up. It makes for some wild aerial acrobatics! :-)

On another subject.... sewing (what else) :-)

I've been browsing the net for Singer sewing machine cabinets. I have my Mom's Singer 201-2 and have been anxious to get it back into a proper cabinet. I bought two cabinets I saw on craigslist. One is quite plain and needs refinishing. The second one needs a bit of work too, but it's a cool art deco style #42. It still has the inkwell and everything. It was sold to us with the drawers packed full of sewing notions. Everything from old Wiss pinking shears (with the oringinal box and leather case) to Singer attachments, pins, needles, fabric, buttons, patterns from the '60s and all sorts of bits. ESD and I had a great time going through it.

But....what I really wanted was a Spinet cabinet. That's the one Mom had and the one I learned to sew on. Note I said "wanted"....because I found one! YAY! I bought it from McKenna Lynn. She has lots of interesting machines and cabinets on her site. It arrived from Florida last week, via FedEx with no problems. *happy dance*

So here it is! :-D

I polished it up a bit and put the 201 in it.


Christmas in July. :-D

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New member of the family (no, not the horse!)

Eldest Daughter has a new guy, the Led Zeppelin Fan.
He recently proposed to her, on horseback no less! :-D

Now....if they would just settle close by. ;-)

Well, how nice!

Deb has given me an award. Thanks Deb!

Only catch is there are rules to go along with it. Oh dear, this sounds like work. ;-)

The rules are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog/
2. Link to the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.
I would like to nominate.... the tricky part. At least 7.

ESD. She has a new blog...and three new sewing machines! Wooohooo.

The others I chose because they're local to me. After one year I still feel like a newbie here, so I love to meet other quilty Carolinians. (I read so many fun blogs I had to come up with some criteria to make this possible!!)

John. His enthusiasm for his quilting (and his new dog) are infectious.
Anita. How she fits in sewing amongst all the other stuff I have no idea. But she does! (Love those chickens, cats and goats!)
Lynn. We recently met by accident in a LQS. What fun!!
Cathie. I've seen some of her work at guild meetings. Very cool.
Joan. One busy lady. Another one who makes me wonder how she steals time to sew.
Nancy. Honorary Carolinian! (Her parents live here.) Apparently we all need to teach her how to bake pies! LOL
Bonnie. Carolina Crossroads. Need I say more?