Monday, January 21, 2019

Just a quickie post

Well it was supposed to be a quickie, then I realized I had 21 photos.  Heh.  Anyway.....

This is why I take so much trouble with my african violets.  Eye candy!

I mentioned sorting out The Sandbox.  A table has been removed.  In it's place is the Ikea Alex drawer unit.  Moving the drawers out from under my cutting table meant I could shove the dog beds under there and not be tripping over them.  Win!  The 301 is in a better place too, as is the serger.

I can now walk all the way around the cutting table without bumping into, tripping on, or stepping over anything.  I can breathe!

Over there is the computer corner where I can print out the Inklingo pieces for my La Passacaglia quilt.

I've finished this round and started on the next. The spotted fabric in the center of the rosette is still bothering me, but I'm not going to rush to change it.  It may get nicely lost in the larger scheme of things.

The Viking is tracked out of school for one more week.  (He is so anxious to go back.)  In a bid to keep him busy last Friday I rummaged in the garage for some cardboard boxes and we made a dog house for the four stuffed dogs he arrived with in the morning.  My best efforts at "packing tape engineering."  Heh.  As luck would have it, the night before, at the quilt guild silent auction I had come away with a bag full of assorted laces and trims.  The Viking enjoyed taping the sequined ones to the house and we made curtains with some of the eyelet and ribbon. We were essentially making Snoopy's dog house which brought up questions about how it flew and how does Snoopy sleep on the pointy top of the house.  I wasn't much help with the answers.  :-)  He was however, very proud of the fact that his house has an attic and Snoopy's doesn't.

We also took advantage of the warmth for a trip to the dragon park.

There were even some very confused forsythia bushes trying to bloom!

So much for the warmth.  Today and yesterday have been freezing.

I enjoyed some indoor time making a storage unit for my color pencils.  Basically more packing tape engineering.  Ha.  Some magazine files from Walmart, foam core, shelf liner, Tacky Glue, and packing tape.  The prototype came out ok.

So I made a set of four.

My coloring corner is looking comfortable.  :-)

The other project for the weekend was obtaining this Ikea Kallax unit from Craigslist and making it into a useful place for The Tramp to put TV and stereo in his study, along with various the computer components that keep our network functioning.  Ideas were tossed around, furniture was moved,  cables mounted on the walls, equipment was shifted and reconnected, and much was left undone for another day, but what a great start.  And it looks nice too. :-)

Oh, and we also met with Patrick, who will be taking down the oak tree.  Now the decision has been made, I'm very anxious to see it happen.  Especially as I listened to the wind howl all last night.  Next Monday.  No more wind until after then please!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


The Sandbox is mighty crowded these days.  With the addition of the Singer 301 machine and cabinet it became an unpleasant place to work.  I felt trapped by stuff!

I don't know why it takes me so long to figure out what's bothering me.  It's a no-brainer really..... CLEAN UP!  Heh.  So I've cleaned up and rearranged and removed some of the furniture and it's soooo much better.  :-)  I will have to take a picture tomorrow while it's still neat (relatively).  

This 301 and cabinet are still where they landed near the front door.  

After doing some more online research we decided to buy these specialty screwdrivers from The Singer Featherweight Shop as well as a tube of motor lubricant.  On a warmer day when I can open the back door for ventilation I can start refurbishing my "new" machine and cabinet.  What a bonus to have the proper tools.

In the "plant room" I'm still battling mealybugs on the african violets.  I need to go over the plants again and separate out the ones who still look buggy.  (Ha!  One way to repurpose a table that came out of the sewing room.)  In other plant news, the amaryllis bulbs I saved from last year are finally showing signs of life.  I didn't kill them.  Yay!

The last of this year's batch to bloom is absolutely spectacular.

Five huge flowers on the stem!  Nice.

Since I was sorting out the sewing room the only actual machine sewing I've accomplished is making this quilt into a curtain for the laundry room.  The double doors were very awkward to work around and it's a big relief to have them gone.  This quilt wasn't doing anything useful so it got pressed into service.  It's a Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt from a few years back called Orange Crush.  Mom pieced this top and called it Tutti Frutti Crush.  :-)  I added the borders and quilted it, and we gifted it to The Tramp because of his love of bright colors.  Since the laundry room is near the desk in his study, and the quilt is just about the right size for the opening, it was a no-brainer.

Nothing fancy.  I just sewed on a strip to attach the clips to.  The top of the quilt flops over so there are safety pins involved as well, to stop the flop.  Not elegant, but it works.

I'm working on a rosette for La Passacaglia.  I've finished all the blue star points and have moved on to the next row of pentagons.  Another photo I need to take!

Today, sadly....very sadly....we made the decision this big old oak tree has to go.  Sniff.

When we moved in a year ago we had the tree trimmed for safety.  The tree was also covered with large poison ivy vines and a huge grape vine.  We cut the vines to about six feet up and it took months for it all to die off.

You can see how thick the grape vines were with my foot for comparison.

I have taken many photos this year of the lovely greenery against bright blue sky and cheddar house from my chair on the deck.  This was in the spring.

In summer the viney stuff finally turned brown.  It's ugly, but the birds like to perch in it.

I'm going to miss this view.

This was Thanksgiving morning.

And a few weeks ago in the snowstorm.

 On the weekend I was quite annoyed with Maisy.  I'd call and call her and she wouldn't come in.  And I couldn't see where she was!  Turns out she was digging behind the tree next to the fence.

Or rather....she was in the tree!  I'm wondering what was living in there that caught her attention.  Do I want to know???

Today I got down and took a proper look into the hole.  Oh my.  I poked my yardstick in there and almost lost it in the depths.  The tree is hollow!

North Carolina had two hurricanes come through in the fall, record rainfall last year, several snowstorms in the year we've been in the house, and each time I worry and worry about this tree.  In particular, it looms over our master bedroom.  Three sheds, several fences, and more importantly at least three homes are at risk if it falls.  So with our discovery today (thank you Maisy) it's a no-brainer.  It has to come down.  :-(  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Equilibrium, or lack thereof

Both the Juki and Bernina have been in the shop for service.  I find it extremely unsettling to have any of my machines out of place.  The Juki came home first and I absolutely could not figure out where my straight stitch foot disappeared to.  The shop insisted they didn't have it and I had signed a paper when I dropped it off that said it had no presser feet with it.  Well dang!  I searched everywhere I could think of.  All my pockets, all the purses I've used lately, the cabinet I keep the Juki accessories in, the Tutto case I transported the machine luck.  I went back to the shop and he searched again and generously offered to order one for me at no cost.  I kept on looking, for another week.  So frustrating!

Well guess what turned up this morning.  Yep.  There it is.  I was shifting between purses again.  I keep a packet of tissues in each purse for convenience.  This time I decided to shift the fuller pack to the current purse and guess where the presser foot was hiding!  I was going to tidy away the small purse to the bin in my closet and who knows when I would have taken it out again.....and when I might have needed a tissue!  I called the shop to apologize for being such a ditz and thank them again.  Yeesh.  You just never know.

Can you see the presser foot in there?

I've moved my coloring books and pencils upstairs to The Tramp's study.  Silly for me to be sitting downstairs by myself in the evening.

The Viking is still tracked out of school.  Though he is getting a little big for it, he was happy to spend a couple of hours in the play area at the mall.  "Look, Nini!  I've reached level 27!"  He is very much about video games these days and levels and portals and such punctuate his conversation.  :-)

While moving my coloring stuff I cleared out some of the lingering boxes around my desk left over from last year's house move.  I still have a collection of tape cassettes and sorted out a pile to throw away.  Well!  Guess who was fascinated with them.  He read all the labels, stacked and sorted them, wondered what they sound like, and insisted I should buy a cassette player.  lol  Not likely.  :-)

Last year I had made him an orange kitten.  Out of the blue he asked me to make a Mommy Cat for his kitten.

Quicky followed by a request for Daddy Cat.  Same pattern, but somehow Mommy and Daddy are smaller and skinnier than Kitten.  Not sure what I did differently.  They are a strange looking bunch, but he loves them.  The day wasn't complete without a family portrait.

I made a Catch All Caddy for Mom for Christmas, but didn't get any photos of it until this week.  I've had that pansy fabric forever.  About five yards of it.  It's pretty.  I should use it!

The boy showed up very out of sorts Wednesday. Bad in his stomach, sad in his heart, and mad in his head. So we made a feeling doll.  Of course he insisted it be a dolphin.  A sad dolphin.  He drew pictures of sad dolphins and I sewed.  He's given all his sad feelings to the dolphin and says he feels much better.  Amateur psychology at it's best.....or worst.  So far, so good.  

I also made a pillow sham to match Dad's train quilt.  I'm happy to say he likes the quilt very much.  :-)

Rollercoaster weather continues.  No rain (hallelujah) and warm enough this week to play outside in a t-shirt.  He was drawing quilts on the driveway (as well as trucks and creatures and portals).

The purple "quilts" have pictures of us in them and I've been told I need to make us matching quilts.  Hmmmm.

And then we get to today which was downright cold.  The sun is always warm, but the wind chill was just too much for the sun to overcome.  Of course the boy was very warm from running around.  There are steering wheels to his left on this play structure.  He was piloting a plane.  "Get on the plane, Nini!  We are going to Indiana!"  Indiana??  Then we flew to New Jersey.  That makes sense, he's been there.  In the car on the way home he abruptly informed me he'd never been to Indiana, but he has an Indiana Jones game.  Oh.


Also today, we retrieved my Bernina from the spa.  It's back in it's table and ready to go. Ahhhhhh....that's better.  Equilibrium has been restored.