Saturday, November 17, 2012


As I offloaded photos from various devices I realized how much color I have going on around me at the moment.  :-)

Everywhere you look outside there is color.

Flowers, shrubs and trees are blooming, even as the leaves fall.  Everywhere.

After a couple of dark days the beautiful blue sky is back.

 It's been very colorful in The Sandbox as I work on these six memory quilts.  Two down, four to go.

It's spring in New Zealand so I expect to see colorful blooming things there.  :-)  Especially sweet little boys in Snoopy jackets.

Stardust in color.  Gotta love the striped pants and striped socks!

No color here but the hands are sculpted.

As I work in the Sandbox Annex, Ivy has chosen the most colorful place to settle and watch over me.

This afternoon I plunged into sanding and painting.  Not too shabby I think.  It still needs the sealer coat.

The gel pens I used for the eyeliner, pupils and upper lip are too metallic-y and in certain lights she looks pretty creepy.  Colorful though, and fun!

The Tramp had to go to work all day today, poor baby.  And look what he came home with!  Just because.  Sigh....  He's a keeper.  :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Despite rumors to the contrary (an extraordinarily warm November...until today) it is indeed and all.  

The house is surrounded by color.  This weekend was gorgeous.  I'm surprised I've managed to keep the car on the road while admiring the fabulous scenery everywhere.  While I was taking this photo I was struck by how the trees dwarf the house.  Scary thought in light of recent weather patterns.  Also scary is how many leaves are still up there and the yard and driveway are already covered.

The Sailor Son and grands came for the weekend, so I put them to work.  :-)  This was Sunday and that nice clean driveway was covered again on Monday.  Sigh.  C'est la vie.

Yes indeed.  He is wearing Batman headphones.

The boys had the greatest time, and in between guitar riffs on the rake they actually managed to move quite a few leaves.

The geese are back from several months vacation.

It wasn't all work this weekend.  Among other things, we went to the park and visited the dragon/sea serpent...

ran, climbed, dug....

and swung.


We also shared Mimi's camera.  A three-year-old is happy to take pictures of his silly Mimi.

A five-year-old is much more interested in taking pictures of his new Ninja Turtle shirt.  lol

There was also much hilarity when Mimi knocked over the open box of Cheerios.  All in all, a fabulous weekend.

This week I received my prize!  I won this fabulous bundle of "Don't Be Crabby" fat quarters from Laurie Wisbrun, courtesy of Ayumi, The Pink Penguin.  How cool is that?  Thank you again ladies!!!  Ooooooo.... What to make, what to make?  I think I'll wait for some summer inspiration.

Speaking of cute and fun, we received some great photos of Magenta at four months-old.  Look at that ginger hair!

I'm told brother is totally in love with his baby sister.  :-)

In The Sandbox I have six memory quilts in the works.  I have to get back to them tomorrow but in the meantime I've spent a few hours in the Sandbox Annex.  Yay!

Yesterday I made a start on Soledad's head.  Here she's still looking more like the man in the moon than a mermaid.  (Cue the hilarity.)  lol

I left her like this last night.  Interesting.  I think.

After some critique by Linda, a whole lot of tweaking, and two sets of ears (they're still pretty awful....grrrr) I've put her aside to dry.

I'm also supposed to be choosing fabrics for her and I've come up with two color palettes.  I love my purples and blues but I think I'm leaning towards the goldfish/koi/Nemo colors. (Ooooo....maybe I need to add some black.)  For now.   ;-)

It's been great fun.  I really needed to get away from the sewing machines and have some fun with other media.  Yeah!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trick or Treat?

Ok.  Now I've said that....on to other things.  I've had my nose to the grindstone in The Sandbox.  Six quilt tops done in two weeks.  The first one is a scrappy log cabin with family photos in the centers of the blocks.  Ordered by a brother for his sister for Christmas.  How nice is that!

This is one side of a two sided quilt.  Somehow I missed taking a photo of the other side.  It's just as bright and cheerful.

Another two-sided quilt in fun colors.

And a larger one for the same client.  These five were a challenge as the t-shirts had been pre-cut by the client and I had to do a lot of fixing and fudging and adding of extra fabric to make all the blocks a uniform size. I think the end results are just fine.

Here in central North Carolina we watched as Frankenstorm Sandy swirled up the coast east of us damaging the shoreline and then the back side of the storm come around and dump piles of snow in the mountains to the west of us.  Having so many friends and family back in New Jersey we are very very aware of how lucky we are.  All are safe, some had very close calls, and all are waiting patiently and impatiently for life to get back to normal.  Some will never have the same kind of normal they had before and we can only hope good things will come their way soon.

Though we were safe from the storm, it was dismal and dark with a stiff breeze here for a few days.  One of those days we spotted something going on in our corner of the pond.

We crept down the driveway and yep.  It was the koi!  I'm not sure why they were congregating in this spot but it was great to see them and know they've survived.

Evil Step-Daughter sent us some delightful photos of Rocky with a new hat she made for him to wear to preschool.  She also helped him make a pillow.  He drew on and painted the fabric and then stuffed  it.  Gotta start 'em young!  :-)

Our nod to Halloween was pumpkins in the upstairs windows and some hastily strung lights on the day.  We enjoyed the trick or treaters but now have a bag of leftover candy we will of course feel obliged to finish.  :-p

Last week The Tramp and I sat down and had a serious discussion about how we use the space we have in this house.  We realize we spend most of our time in the kitchen, master bedroom and the bonus room, but we actually own much more than that.  We took a floor plan of the house and wrote all over it, and got a better handle on how we use our rooms and what wishes we have that aren't currently being met.  What an eye-opener.  The list of projects is long but it's nice to have some goals.

Some things on the list are pretty straightforward.  The first thing to go on the chopping block were these (rather fabulous actually) twin beds and a couple of vintage sewing machine cabinets.  The selling of the beds and removing the small dresser left us with a wonderful empty room!

But.  We do need a space for the grands to sleep.  So last weekend we bought some bunk beds on Craigslist.  Since the previous owners have cats, the furniture has been sitting in our garage all week.  Today we dragged it all out and I got busy washing it all down while The Tramp ripped the covers off the bunky boards.

He replaced the ripped cardboard with pegboard and we started recovering them.  One done and starting on the second.....

and the staple gun gave up the ghost.  We weren't sad as it never worked well anyway.  But it meant another trip out to the store for a replacement.  And yet another trip to the store to return the replacement.  *sigh*

It was getting dark when we finally finished.  Then we moved into the garage and went over the mattresses with the Little Green Machine.

After one more trip out for missing dowel pegs we've finally got the whole thing upstairs and put together.  Whew!  The mattresses can go up tomorrow after they dry.

We had (well, I had) fun choosing a fun fabric for the underside of the top bunky board.  A cute print featuring Snoopy swiping Linus' blanket.  The tops are blue cotton duck.

To prepare for all this, last weekend we moved furniture (again) around the upstairs to make better use of the underutilized guest rooms.  I also did a whirlwind job of painting the smaller guest room.  We took all the white cabinets of fabric, craft supplies and etc out of the bonus room.  The four that hold fabric are now in the larger guest room with the queen bed.  And all we had to do was remove one sewing machine cabinet and move the bureau to a different wall to make it possible!  So cool!  The room is larger than I realized.  :-)

We've also moved my design wall from behind The Tramp's desk to where the wall of cabinets was.  A much more sensible spot.  It was also a great opportunity to re-stretch the covering on the design wall as it was sagging badly.  The new cabinets in the corner hold the electronics and all of our DVDs (out of sight.  Yay!).  It's still a mess of cables and I'm trying to think up a creative solution.  No rush for that though.  :-)  The room has opened up quite a bit and is much more pleasant.  With a bit more tweaking The Tramp will gain a larger percentage of the room for himself as well.  His current "corner" is way cramped.

The bookcases have been shifted too.  This corner by the sewing machines is a much better spot for sewing books.

In the small guest room, next to the bunk beds, I now have two cabinets full of non-sewing craft supplies and the other bookcase.  I'm looking forward to re-sorting my books and store the appropriate ones in each room.

And the best part (for me) is this.  A dedicated place to mess with paints and clay and beads and what-have-you.  I have all the tools and supplies and never touch them because I can't afford to take the space away from the already hard working surfaces in my sewing area.

And to celebrate, the first thing I'm going to be doing is this online class at A for Artistic.  I can't wait!

As per usual, the dogs are very unsettled by all the activity.  They don't like change.  But there are compensations.  "Rinsing" the dishes before they go into the dishwasher is one.  Curry anyone?