Thursday, March 29, 2012

Me and Will
 Phoenix, Arizona...

Had a great time.  Tiring, but good.  The accommodations were excellent.  Had a suite with our own living room and kitchen.  Not that we cooked much as there was a Cracker Barrel, two doors down.  With a Cabella's in between.  We were both happy campers.  The highlight of the trip was seeing my brother and sister in law.  I hadn't seen David in a couple years, so it was great that we got to spend the evening together.  Wish it could have been longer, but we all had work to do so I was very thankful for the time we had.   
Brother David and sis-in-law Beccie

Arizona desert at dusk
 We visited the edge of a mountain- no time to go up as it was getting dark.  Then we drove around town for awhile trying to decide where to eat.  In and Out came up and Bill was immediately intrigued.  Had to try it.  There are four items on the menu, so deciding what to order was a cinch.  Very good burgers, by the way.
How could you drive by and not stop?

Stopping in turned out to be a good decision
 My sissy, Lisa, is a little amused by my ability to stop and talk to anyone.  It's amazing how willing people are to share, though.  Especially when it's something they're passionate about. I figured that anyone who choose to take their hatbox as a carry-on had something interesting in there and would be willing to show it off, right?  Yep, I was right.  She gets her hats made in New York and it makes me wish I could come to church with her just once if this is a sample of what the ladies wear.  "We don't dress up to go partying, so we dress up for church." 
Now that's a hat!
 Funny strikes me in the quirky things.  This phone in the hotel room's bathroom brought a chuckle. 
Conference call, anyone?
I think not
Giggle and a smile.  I have yet to approach the quilting room, this week.  Just been too busy, but I might get out there, today.  Might.  It needs some de-cluttering. And while that may sound mundane, it sounds mighty fine to me.  Have a great weekend! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Joe and Laurie

Jacob and Dan





Blessed, indeed!

Getting ready to leave for the airport.  Headed to Arizona for the week.  Figure I'll be able to enjoy their sweet faces when I get online out there- and maybe I won't miss them quite so much. Maybe. Have fun while I'm gone!  But not too much fun- that can wait 'til I get back! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

jacob in his manly apron
 Forging on...

How do you spell goof-balls?  J-o-h-n and J-a-c-o-b.  Paul... not so much.
The guys are building a forge in the old barn ruins.  They've salvaged some handhewn beams and lumber from the old structure and are getting all settled in.  Will and John tore down an old "shed" for a friend and they were able to keep the metal in trade for the work.  (Only in Indiana do they call a building a "shed" when its bigger than some folks' home.) Walls and a roof will go up soon.  They've been pounding away but the forge is far enough from the house that we really don't hear anything.  They've been staying up late working on their projects.  They all smell of woodsmoke. Right now, it seems that rebar is the metal of choice- good for beginner blacksmiths, I suppose.  They have a friend who is all pioneer-y and he's been able to give them words of wisdom and advice from time to time.  Jacob didn't want his picture taken in his apron, but I said it looked cool and so he started  posing for the camera.  My dad would be in his element with those boys- only he'd make them pick things up a little better.  And I have to say that they have been ingenious making do with what they have.  A certain satisfaction in that, isn't there?   The forge is on the backside of the milk house.  The floor is concrete. Two of the walls are original to the barn and the other two they are making from old wood.  The cross beams will come down once the walls are attached to stabilize everything.  See that one sticking out in the foreground on the right of the picture?  There's a drain ditch in the floor and I was stepping ever so gingerly over it and wasn't looking up- banged my head so hard I broke my glasses(fixable) and nearly knocked myself out!  Even got a hug from John for that little trick.  They're using an old blow dryer of mine that no longer heated- seems to do the trick for bellows- where does one acquire bellows?
forge in the works

Necessity, the mother of invention- blow dryer bellows

 Speaking of making do with what you have...  Sandy came over last week and spent the night.  We did a little sewing and generally had a great time.  We usually try to think of projects to work on ahead of time, but I was drawing a blank.  Then, I found this nifty pattern- Simple Star by Bonnie Blue Quilts.  When Sandy saw my meager stash I do believe I heard her gulp.  She said that she would be all panicky if her stash got that depleted.  Yeah, it's pretty lean in there, but I was determined.  Sandy sat back and watched me audition fabric- I needed 11" WOF X 8.  Four lights and four darks.  Sounded pretty simple.  That, my friends, was a real challenge.  But I think the quilt came out right nice.  You might notice that the 4 corner squares are a tad different(gray instead of green)- and I had to do some creative piecing a couple times to make things work.  But it's all good and I like it all the more because I just used what I had.  I "made do."

I like!  Wish I had enough fabric for 4 borders... 56x63"

 A couple more "make do's"
Hand dyes in the collection 20x24"

Sampler- perfect for little bits of fabric 19x23"
I quilted a few things the other day.  I was on a roll. Got three floaters done and one small.  A floater is what I call a small piece that doesn't need to be pinned onto the bottom leader.  Quick and easy.  I'm teaching that class on Quilts Without Corners, Saturday.  I stopped in at the shop, today, and they had enough interested in the class that we lined up another one in April- already full.  Who knew?      

tree skirt- still needs its ruffle and binding

rerun- 'cause it makes me smile

36" of makin' do

floater quilted

Monday, March 05, 2012

My Mundane Monday...

Great day, today.  I got to stay home and sew.  Not that I'm complaining- much- but I haven't actually been home all day for a couple weeks, I'd guess.  And I do so like being home.  So, I sewed.  Had a grand time.  Got some quilting done- not too much or I'd stove up my old arther shoulder- but enough to feel like I accomplished something that needed to be done.  Then it's play time for Nines!

Started a little mini-sampler.  This block is 4" finished.  And I am loving the colors.  The other blocks are earthy reds, greens, rust and even a little teal.  What fun.  I've a beautiful rust colored fabric that's been in my stash for almost a year and I plan on using that for the border- I don't know why I'm telling you all this- I'll show you in a couple days, I hope.

And lookee there!  Some one made little ole me some lunch.  How tremendous is that?
  Can't even remember the last time that happened and I enjoyed every bite of the PB&J and chips- even got a little dip!  John was so sweet to do that for me.  I actually made an occasion of it and stayed seated for the duration of the meal- another rarity.  I'm usually on my feet and just swing by the plate and grab a bite periodically.  But it just seemed so luxurious to have food prepared for me, I wanted to savor the moment.

Now my other son...  When I finally did leave the quilting room, I found that some kind of trash slinging elf had vandalized my kitchen!  It looks like something out of a Grimm's fairy tale- you know, the ones that rarely have a happy ending. Honestly, it was clean when I left it.  Jacob(18y- and old enough to know better) was rushed for time, it would seem.  He overslept and then remembered that he'd promised to make some of his famous coffee-biscuits for a co-worker.  He showered and dressed while they were baking and didn't have time to clean up the mess.  I don't wonder... it would have involved washing two sinks full of dishes, putting up the ingredients, wiping down the counter and sweeping the floor.  And then he took all the biscuits with him!  Talk about insult to injury.  I hear they were very good.  I should hope so.  I know I should be outraged by the whole mess, but I was honestly more...amazed... than anything.  I think John was traumatized as the counters and the floor are his chore.  I thought about waiting for Jacob to come home from work to clean it up... as laid back as I am, that mess just couldn't wait.  I did stack the dishes for him to wash, but the rest was put to rights.  See?  I'd like to ground him from cooking his biscuits... but they are soooo good.  I just can't win here.

Signing off.  Have a great week!         

Friday, March 02, 2012

The other side of the tracks...

I was told that if I visit French Lick, I wasn't to miss seeing the French Lick Springs and the West Baden Springs resorts.  So, on our way out of town... 

Come on, as quilters, don't tell me you don't look at floors like this and say to yourself, 'Hmmm... wonder what that would look like in a quilt?  And I like that color combination- I'll have top try it in a quilt."  It's all about the quilts.  Even though these mosaic floor tiles are circles, I think this would work with hexagons.  How unusual would that be?  No, I'm not going to try it, but I have seen some insanely time-consuming hexagon quilts being sewn up and finished out there- you know who you are.

This following picture is actually squares.  That I might try.

I would love to try this one as a border.  Sorry it's on it's side- the photo program is giving me fits.  It's all Lisa's fault 'cause she could have set me up when last she visited but no...

The next couple pictures are of of the West Baden Dome in the West Baden Springs Resort.  It is truly impressive.  The kinda impressive that makes you go, "whoa" when you walk through the door.  Fun to watch the looks on everyone else's faces when they come.  Its a universal reaction.  Each of the french doors/windows open out to the atrium. The atrium space is surprisingly quiet.

the "small" lobby
 The lobby at French Lick Springs follows.  Enough gold for ya?  Lots of naked Greek mythology- I'll spare you.

 And then the funny occur ed to me.  I felt like an impostor, like I should slink around behind the pillars. I smelled of smoke from the fireplace.  But take a gander at the differences.  No wonder it was a culture a shock. 

Theirs holds 14' logs

"my" fireplace holds 2' logs

their front veranda

"my" front porch
 And ya know what?  I felt so at home in the cabin- like my true self.  But I could see where a couple days of make-believe would be fun!  Get out the costume box.  Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour.  Take care.