Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catching Up...

Boy it's hard to believe it's been more than a week since I posted... and it's been a very busy week.

First off - remember the house we want to buy - well that isn't going so well.  Last week we signed papers to end the process and get our deposit money back because the owners cannot provide the paperwork to prove a leaking oil tank was properly removed from the ground when they purchased the house.  And since it would be such a costly mistake for us to buy a house that has contaminated soil... we decided to just walk away.  This week our realtor called and asked if we minded giving the owners a little more time to find the paperwork - apparently our bailing out of the deal made them realize that we were serious about wanting the proof...?  So - this is an on again maybe off again thing... in the mean time I'm starting to look at houses online again...  I am not having fun.

We went off for a long weekend with the dogs in tow to visit family in VA.  My nephew earned his Eagle in Boy Scouts and we went down to attend the ceremony and help celebrate!  We are very proud of his efforts and the fine young man he has grown into.

Cool thing about The Engineer being a virtual employee... he sat in the back seat and worked during the 5 hour trip on Friday (and again on Monday) so he didn't loose work time.  Just plugged in his Blackberry and had no problem keeping an Internet connection all the way down and back.  Ain't technology wonderful?  Oh - I'll bet you are wondering why I make him sit in the back seat huh?  Well - the first time he climbed in the front seat and opened his laptop - all I could see in my tiny little 'what if' brain was the airbag deploying.  They would be picking computer keys outta his teeth for days... just gives me the willies thinking about it.  I get squeamish when ladies tell me they sit and knit while their husbands drive... think about it.

I ran across a new blog - Balancing Everything and she has the coolest method she's using (her folks before her) of growing a garden... go check her post out if you are a gardener.  I've got to send this link to those in my family who garden... might be a great method for one of my sisters who has back problems - she won't have to bend over to pick some of her crop.  Now I want a garden - I want to grow things... but I need a house first.

I received my Nashua 10/10 Challenge Quilt last week.  I can't remember if I mentioned this challenge before.  A group of us submitted 10 Fat Quarters - those were given to someone else who added at least 10 FQ's and what ever other fabric they deemed necessary to make a quilt.  When everyone was done - the quilts were sent back to the person who owned the original 10 FQ's.  Quilting was optional... and about half the folks quilted the tops before returning them - sadly I wasn't one of those overachievers.

Here are pictures of the quilt I made for a quilter friend Teri. bargello 003

10FQ Challenge quilt 007

After looking at the quilting she did on a New York Beauty quilt she made - I'm glad I didn't try to quilt this one for her.

I was inspired by the Scrappy Bargello Quilt from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site. I just made shorter sets and set them to 'echo' from that off center 'center point'.  Then I added a quirky sorta curvy border.

Here are some pictures of the quilt I received back from a quilter friend TJ... and oh my goodness it's hand quilted - TJ spent over 90 hours quilting it!  10FQ Challenge quilt 011

10FQ Challenge quilt 012

I had sent in a variety of blues and browns and she found wonderful fabrics to complement what I had started with.  It is truly YUMMY!

She said that the pattern is Pinwheel Pirouette out of a book called Strip Clubbing.  Did I say it was Yummy?


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nitwits are forgiven...

I've been shopping at Costco for well over 15 years.

Our recent trip was a long time coming - we've only been there once since moving here to PA.  Our cart was overflowing and our pockets were... quite empty.  As we made our way across the parking lot - a box that was precariously perched on top tipped off the cart and landed in a heap on the pavement.  The only loss was a jar of sundried tomatoes in olive oil...

We picked up the other items and dropped the oil smudged ones into a separate bag.  As I was picking up what was left of the jar and pieces of broken glass off the pavement I heard a woman say "they will replace anything that is broken".  My thought was "yeah sure like I'm gonna go in there and tell them what an idiot I was and expect them to replace a jar I broke".  I looked up - fully planning to wave to the nice lady my thanks and continue with my cleanup and get outta Dodge.  To my surprise - she was a Costco employee.  She and another employee must have been in the lot and saw our mishap.  They came over - the young man took the box of oil soaked, glass shard coated sundried tomatoes from me and they escorted me inside as The Engineer took our purchases to the car. 

The young man threw out the mess and went to fetch me a new jar while the woman took me to the front desk and gave me paper towels and some Purell to clean my hands. 

I never in all my life would have expected them to replace something I broke in the parking lot... but she says they do it all the time.  It's nice to know that their customer service is such that they do care that I at least get out of the parking lot with what I paid for.

I'm also really thankful that they didn't report me - I would have hated to have my 'Shopping Cart Driver License' suspended for reckless driving.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Six-Word Memoir...

Lisa Boyer over at Dorky Homemade Quilts posted here about being tagged for a Six Word Memoir... and I was intrigued by that. 

I often feel that I put too many words together in my efforts to explain something.  So I thought this Six Word Memoir would be a real challenge... but as it turned out... it came together pretty quickly for me. It's a concept I've pondered many years but couldn't put into words... probably because I was trying to use too many.  So here it is...

"Consideration exercised makes living better everywhere."

 The dictionary defines consideration

  • a matter weighed or taken into account when formulating an opinion or plan
  • a taking into account
  • thoughtful and sympathetic regard

One little word could lead to world peace don't ya think? 

Are you exercising?

So - how about you participating in the Six Word Memoir... and let me know that you did OK?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just a Note... a very Pretty Note!

A quilty friend Doodle Bug Gail over at Quite Quilted is celebrating! 2 years Blogging, 200 postings on that Blog and the start of her new business!

Go check out her Blog and post a comment so that you can win a lovely set of Quilty Note Cards that she is going to be selling in her new business.

They are cute, cute, cute and even if you don't win you will want to buy some! I know I will.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm too old for this Pogo Stick...

That was my thought today when I got off the phone from a conversation with our realtor...

"I'm too old for this pogo stick!"  I feel like I'm bouncing up and down... good news... bad news... no news... more questions... aauugghh!  LOL

So - what's a girl to do?  Seemed like a good time for a ROAD TRIP!

I decided I wanted a real live honest to goodness hamburger and french fries.  So I headed out to a diner out near where our (hopefully) new to us house is.  Mmmm that was a good burger - I ate almost all the fries too because they were very crispy!  Sorry no pictures... I was very hungry!

Then I decided to see just how far away Burkholders Fabric was.  Ssssshhhhhh... don't tell The Engineer - but it's just a hop, skip and a jump away.  Not as close as Sauders Fabric is to the new house - but close enough to head over any time I needed something they might have... I'd say less than a 20 minute drive.

It was late - so I only stayed long enough to get a good whiff of sizing, cruised the isles to feast my eyes on the colors and prints available and then I treated myself to a new pattern.  I'm thinking it will work for the Prairie Paisley 'Layer Cake' I bought myself at the Lancaster show.  Who knew that stack of 10" squares was called a layer cake?

I sure needed that trip out of the house on this mild sunny spring day - a few hours of not thinking about inspections or negotiations.  Yep - I feel refreshed!

Of course tomorrow will be a different day... and I say "bring it on!" (but not too loudly)

Oh and a PS... check out the links over at the top of the side bar.  I'm going to be adding some 'Green Links' as I come across some to share.  If you haven't watched The Story of Stuff... you should check it out!  Very Interesting!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Stop the world, I want to get off...

Do you ever have times like this?

I'm tired of trying to find the right people to call to do the job that needs to be done.  The Internet is wonderful... as long as you don't really, really, need something important... RIGHT NOW!

Then when you do find the someone to do that specific job... they either don't do that job in that part of the state (?) or they just don't return calls.

This would be a whole lot easier if I handled conflict better... I'm not one to rock the boat or be nasty... I'm way too patient and understanding.  And when things aren't going my way - I'd just as well go take a nap... except my room here isn't dark enough really to give you that 'I'm hiding in a cave' feeling.globe_east_540

Buying this house... is getting to be a pain.  Trying to schedule all the various inspections that need to be done... and those bring up other questions that lead to other inspections.  I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end... but boy oh boy am I gonna be ticked off if this place doesn't pass the various inspections or the sellers don't give some concession for the work that needs to be done.

Yes - Thank you for pulling over... I'd like to get off right over there...


Monday, April 7, 2008

Lessons learned...

I really do know better...

I had a cup of coffee late yesterday afternoon.  The house was starting to cool off - I wasn't in the mood to fix dinner yet... there was some left over coffee in the pot from earlier - so I heated it up and enjoyed it.  It hit the spot - then it kept me awake until about 2 AM...

After I finally went to sleep - I learned something new.  If you spend a lot of time going through your pictures on your computer you will very likely dream in what I now call... "Slide Show Mode".  Not a usual dream... just random images of things you've been pondering that pass before your eyes like a slide show. 

It was comical enough to wake me up... kinda looked something like this...

Never had a "Slide Show Dream" before... how about you?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Good News, Bad News...

First the Good News...

I found a really good place to get pizza...Yum 001

This pizza has Pesto, spinach, chicken, a 3 cheese blend, ricotta cheese, and sundried tomatoes... OH MY GOODNESS was that good!

You go into the place - place your order and are handed a pizza to take and BAKE AT HOME!  The place is called "Mommas Bake at Home Pizza".

Now I'm sure you are wondering what could possibly be the Bad news?

The Engineer was traveling when I bought this pizza... and I had to eat it all by myself!Yum 002

Well... I did manage to spilt it between 2 days - it was as good on the second day as it was the first day!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Little More Green... faux paper towels

Yeah I know that sounds kinda weird... faux paper towels?

Problem is that I became a 'Paper Towel Junkie'.  I didn't start out like that - early on we never wasted spent money on paper towels.  I used a lot of dish towels - but they are often too big for what I want and too thick and don't dry quickly.

Then we started getting those folded paper towels (from Costco) to keep in the kitchen and over time I used them more and more.  By the time we moved from Massachusetts I was using them for just about everything... I had gotten outta control.

I'm trying to be better about how I impact my environment and knew that my paper towel usage had to stop.  But I still don't like the size and weight of dish towels. 

When I unpacked my cloth napkins and started using them again at meals I began to ponder... I figured I could replace my paper towel usage with cloth towels but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on fabric or spend time finishing the edges on the 'faux paper towels'.

My solution:

  • Buy discounted fabrics - clearance or 2nds are great
  • Cut the fabric on the bias... no need to finish the edges because they will NEVER fray, never shed any stray threads... NEVER!faux paper 012

I've run through 3 trials to test out my ponderings...

For my first set of 'faux paper towels' I purchased 2 yards of a cheery yellow print that was supposedly a second... personally I couldn't find anything wrong with the yardage I bought - nice at $1.69 a yard.

I wanted to try and use as much of the fabric as possible so I sewed the selvedges together faux paper 001 and then cut on the bias (45 degree)faux paper 005 so that my squares were approx. 10 inches square.  This way you got a square from the folded edge and the sewn selvedge edge.faux paper 010   If you wanted to have scraps to use for quilting then don't worry about sewing the selvedge edge together and throw the triangle pieces in the scrap bin.  

faux paper 017

My second trial was from a happy floranapkins 001l print that had a very evident 'blurrrry' print effect along the selvedge edge.  But at 1.69 a yard I didn't care - I didn't bother to sew that edge together.  Again a 2 yard cut - and I ended up with 22 squares at 10".  I also cut some of the larger leftover triangles from the edges down to makenapkins 005 a few

little napkins for my granddaughter to use - I was able to cut these about 6" square.   I didn't get many - but she'll be happy anyway!

My third trial was a pink 30's print - again from the seconds rack that I didn't find any flaws in my 4 yard cut.  I didn't sew napkins 006the selvedge edges together (couldn't be bothered) and from the edge scraps I cut pieces that measured approx. 5" x 6" - again figuring these would be great little napkins for my granddaughter to use - she loves pink!

  napkins 0011


I'm going to send the floral set to my daughter and some of the pink ones too. 

I love it that now I have lots of faux paper towels to use in the kitchen for what ever I want and don't have to feel guilty.  I can grab one to wipe down the counters - no more icky sponge or dish cloth.  Rinse it out and because they are thin they dry quickly so can go in the hamper and not get moldy.  My dish towels can be for drying pots and I can use these to dry my hands and therefore always have something clean and dry to use.

I can grab one for under my coffee cup and use one as a lunch napkin too or dry off that apple I just washed.

Throw them in the wash with all your other towels - remember no fabric softener in your towels if you want them to remain absorbent.

You could cut them bigger if you wanted to use them as regular napkins - I really like the unfinished no work at all edge to them.  Just remember your cut edges have to be on the bias and they will not fray.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Windows Live Writer review...


Not like I'm an expert or anything - but I ran across this tool when it was mentioned by Dawn Meehan from 'Because I Said So'.  Seems she has a lot of problems posting with Blogger.  Since she posts pretty much daily - I consider her an expert on having problems with Blogger.  I admit I've had a few problems getting the layout of my posts to do what I want - especially when adding pictures and sometimes I'd wind up with multiple spaces between paragraphs - but I figured it was just me.

Here is a link to Windows Live  where you can download Writer (yep it's free) along with a bunch of other stuff - which I didn't do... cuz I just don't need more stuff I ain't gonna use.  So far it's pretty cool - it spell checks as you type and it doesn't like words like cuz and ain't and gonna and I bet it won't like y'all either... yep I was right - red squiggly lines under each and every one... LOL - well you can't see them but I can and despite the fact that the spell checker doesn't like them - they are spelled correctly in their incorrect sorta way... LOL

You can mess with the fonts... and that is always fun!

You can do all the same kinda things you could do from Blogger -

insert hyperlinks as you go - how about some quilt blocks from Quilters Cache to jump start your next project?

And you can add pictures - here is Miss K with some of her friends...

keao turtlesand hey look at this too...

You can put in a table which is cool
if you need a table to makes lists and such

And a map... go ahead and click on it - it shows you where Southampton Quilts is in Massachusetts... just in case you want to visit sometime.

Map image

So if you want to try out something different - give Windows Live Writer a look...

I'm thinking I like it and will be using it...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008