Friday, June 15, 2012

Slowing down

Things are slowing down.  The last graduation t-shirt quilt has been delivered to Julianne.  Whew!  These are the last four.  Of course there are always more waiting in the wings, but the rush is over.  :-)

Duke blue!

Arkansas red.

When I started cutting sashing I wasn't sure about the pastel blue in this one but it seems to work because the shirts are interesting.  I like it!

I spotted another sewing machine on Craigslist that I just HAD to have.  (send The Tramp a sympathy card.)  We drove out to a Chapel Hill address to look at it.  It was nice to get out and go for a drive in the "country."  I especially enjoyed getting out from under the trees and seeing the sky.  We drove over Jordan Lake.

I only had my cell phone but I had fun snapping photos.

And this is what we brought home.  A Singer 500 "Rocketeer" in what I've since found out is the Fairhaven cabinet.


And the full compliment of attachments with the storage box.  Also lots of bobbins....and the manual!  Very cool.

Unfortunately the dwelling it lived in was mostly empty and must have been unoccupied (no heating or cooling) for quite a while.  The mold and mildew smell was awful!  As soon as we got back into the car I had to use my inhaler.  And we drove much of the way back home with the windows open.  Yuck.  The machine and cabinet were banished to the screen porch for a couple of days until I had a chance to wash them down.  A lot of brown came off the cabinet, maybe nicotine?  And also some of the painted on woodgrain.  I'm in love with the machine but I'm undecided about what to do with the cabinet.  It could be nice after sanding and painting.  Hmmmmm.

This Singer book, copyright 1949, was with the machine.  I had fun looking through it on the way home.  It is very much of it's time.  Yikes!   You can imagine.

I think if you click on this you'll be able to read it.  When I get a chance I'll share some other "interesting" selections from the book.  :-)

I'm still behind on my houses but I thought it was time to select the sashing and cornerstone fabrics.  The Tramp helped me out and we decided to go with a light blue sashing and green for the cornerstones.  I can't wait to put a few together to see how it looks.

Since the foundation paper pattern came from The Netherlands the blocks measure in centimeters.  8.5 to be precise.....with 1/2 centimeter seam allowances.  Well geez.  None of my rotary cutting rulers have even a hint of metric on them.  What to do, what to do?  Ah!  Cut my own template.  So length of the sashings is now easy to cut.

But the width!  Oh dear.  Without giving it any thought (or reading Jeanneke's directions), I jumped right in and started cutting 1.5 inch widths.  Hmmmm.  Is that right?  Oops.  She is using 3cm (1.18") as her width.  Okaaaaay.  Now what?  Do I go with the narrower width or just keep on with what I'm doing.  Do I have enough fabric???  Ohhhhhhhh my poor head.  Math is never my best subject.  I have to work my way through the calculations talking to myself the whole time.  Crossing out, restarting and getting generally confused trying to combine inches and centimeters.   Thank goodness for the Convertbot app on my phone and for the patience of The Tramp!

Whew!'s always a big if....I've got it all right I have enough fabric!  Yay!  But even so I've hopped online and ordered another yard.  Better safe than sorry.

No wonder she snores.  :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

In the sandbox

This weekend the weather was about as gorgeous as weather can possibly get.  Breezy, sunny, fluffy clouds, low humidity and almost cool.  Saturday we went with Mom and Dad to the live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion at the Koka Booth Amphitheater.  

The set.

Garrison Keillor and Heather Masse sang while walking through the crowd before the show.   They sang three songs.  I can't remember what the first one was.  The other two were Unchained Melody, and I Saw Her Standing There.  Mr. Keillor manages to be both sweet and silly, without missing a beat.  :-)

I should have brought a better camera than my cell phone.  I fooled around with taking photos through my binoculars.

It was great weather to walk around our small property admiring blooming things.  The gardenia bushes are in bloom.

As are the hydrangeas.  We have pink, blue, purple and white.  :-)

The bluebirds have built another nest.  As of today there are four eggs.  They abandoned the second nest last year so we'll see what happens.

Shepherd's Pie for Sunday dinner.  The ultimate comfort food!  I put ketchup on my serving, a hold over from my childhood.  The Tramp however, took my putting out of the ketchup bottle as an opportunity to insist I must be indicating the dish wasn't flavorful he doused his plate with barbecue sauce!  *shudder*  lol

The Tramp and I took a leisurely walk on Sunday....before the Shepherd's pie.  (I'm just too lazy to move the photos around.)  :-)  Our neighbor had put the green algae treatment in the pond.

There were turtles basking all along the bank and on various floating branches/logs.

Now the pond is well stocked the Great Blue Heron is around most every day.

Our house is enveloped in green again.

The goose family pops up all over the neighborhood.  Gosling is getting to be a leggy adolescent and a few feathers are beginning to show.

Dragonflies, blue or otherwise, are enjoying the pond too.

Turtles gathered to see if we were going to offer any food.  The Tramp spotted this large turtle trying to figure out how to attack an egg.  We think it's one of the abandoned goose eggs.  If so, it's been floating around for about three weeks!  I'm not sure that's possible.  I did take video.  I'll see if I can post it, maybe on a separate post.  I haven't had any luck lately with videos.

A Belted Kingfisher was swooping around overhead chattering loudly, and while we watched it, several crows (middle of photo) came into view chasing a Great Blue Heron!  As soon as the heron landed we realized it was a second heron as the resident heron quickly chased it away.  Never a dull moment!

I finished this large quilt last night and delivered it to Julianne today.  I like the yellow and black (Steelers fan).

I had to go to the dentist this morning.  Ugh.  So this afternoon I treated myself to some dirt and flowers at Lowes.  :-D  I repotted my Boston Fern.

Dug various old flower pots out of the corners of the garage and filled them.  The yard may be ugly but I will have flowers.  Yay!

Also on Saturday we talked to a landscaper about our mud pit backyard.  He assured us it could be beautiful.  I'm counting on it.  The River Birch I got on Earth Day seems to like it back I've killed the aphids.

I also scored a Knockout Rose for $2.  I think I should go back to get more!

The Tramp got home just as I was cleaning up.  He said I was "emanating contentment."  That's me.    "Happy as a kid in a sandbox."