Monday, June 27, 2011

What's on Deck

So I was telling Shay, in response to her query on my previous post about whether I came away from the lake feeling peaceful and zen, that indeed I did.  And in my zen-like state, I eventually noticed that I'd been walking around the park, all peaceful, in a new shirt from which I had not removed the tag.

And after that, we went across town to a thrift store, where I scored some Pyrex.  All peaceful and zen.

A couple weeks ago, I took advantage of a sale on solids at Connecting Threads (still going on).  From left, to right, they are Carrot, Mint, Meadow, Cornflower, Peach, Sprout, Spring Green, Blush, Custard, and Apricot.  Aren't they yummy?

Some of these will be used in the kaleidoscope quilt I'll be making for the quilt-along.  Would you like to see the other fabrics I'm using?  Are you sitting down?

I really do hope it all works out and that it looks less Battle Royale and more Can't We Just All Get Along?  Because I've got such a great name picked out for it, if it turns out.  If not, I may have to call it something else.

Such as, a Colorful Clusterf**k.  Or, you know, "CC" for short.

Have you seen the new Flickr group called How Should I Quilt This?  I'm going to upload my black and white quilt top photo to the group for input.  Feel free to chime in with any suggestions in the comments here too.  Keep in mind I'm still relatively new at the free-motion quilting thing.  I'm not against stretching a bit, but I think something like feathers are still beyond me at this point.

You know what I would like to see in my backyard, other than the population of woodland critters who think my flower bed is their own personal Garden of Eden?  

That would be the guy who's supposed to be working on my deck.  It's been 10 days since he was last seen.  Maybe he fell down a giant rabbit hole?

Oh, and I almost forgot.  There was basting today.  Finally.

Down Time

Saturday dawned sunny and warm, and after a week of wet and dreary weather, I wanted to be anywhere but in the house.  

We drove to a park on the southern shore of Lake Winnebago.  Sometimes you just go where the spirit leads you.

Sometimes it is indeed beside still water.

You don't think about work or the to-do list or even sewing.  

You just take it all in.

Get a fresh perspective.

Try a different outlook.

Check out the bigger picture.

Feel the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair.

Cast a line, see what bites.
Or sit in the weeds, poke around.

Rest those ruffled feathers.

You never know what may come around the corner.

Inspiration is everywhere.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Thing Friday - Berry Season

It's strawberry season here, and despite the gloomy, wet weather of this past week, I've made two trips to the U-Pick strawberry farm.  Except I don't pick, I pick up.  Thank goodness for the "ready-picked" variety, every bit as tasty with none of the mud, sweat, and skeeters.

This is what lunch has looked like this week.  Not shown is what I have eaten along with the big salad—leftover chicken, a fried egg, bratwurst.

But my favorite thing is the berry smoothie I've been whipping up as a midafternoon snack.

Put about a cup of cold water in a quart jar, add half a banana, about 1/4 cup of blueberries, and about 1/2 cup of strawberries.  I freeze the fruit so it's really cold and helps thicken the smoothie.

Add 3 tablespoons of protein powder.  I can't do whey protein, so this is soy.  I know there are some that say soy is bad, while others say soy is good.  It's confusing.  I don't have a problem with soy.

Blend the whole works together with one of those wand blenders.

And enjoy!  Mmm...

Here's another favorite from this week.  The Trucks and Tedeschi Band has a new album out called Revelator, and it is going right in my shopping cart on my next Amazon order.  Derek Trucks won a Grammy last year.  My brother knew him in Florida way back when Derek was still a kid, honing his guitar chops and hanging around The Allman Brothers Band.  He's now married to Susan Tedeschi, a talented musician/guitarist in her own right.  A power duo of blues rock!  I dare you not to bob your head to this one.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Some things have come to a standstill around here this week, like work on the deck, due to wet weather, and much of anything substantial in the sewing department.  One thing I wish would pause for a bit (like for a whole two-day weekend, maybe?) is the workflow.  But since it supports my hobbies and allows me to work in my sweatpants, I dare not complain too much.

I did sew a backing together yesterday for the Sudoku quilt.  Just one long seam, that's it, which I pinned together the way it happened to lay on my cutting table.  I did not try to match anything, but lookey there:

Dumb luck.  There is apparently a diagonal created by the pink and green parasols, which I wasn't even aware of until I pressed the seam.  Hunh.

The family gathered together at Pa's on Father's Day.  Among other things, we grilled goose brats.  What's a goose brat, you ask?  Well, the hunters in the family took all their Canada goose breasts to the butcher and had them ground into bratwurst.  Cajun flavored, even.  And they were not bad at all.  I ate a leftover for lunch today, in fact.  I'd give them about a 7, on a scale of 1 to 10, in both weirdness and taste.

Dad still likes to line us all up, just like when we were kids, and snap pictures.  We grumble a little but oblige.  Here we are, my siblings and I (in the red shirt).

Here we are with Dad.

My brother Russ looks a little bit like Rick Harrison of Pawn Stars.  In fact, when he was in Las Vegas, he had his picture taken outside the pawn shop.

Darrell, on the right, looks a little bit like Dee Snider without the makeup (especially when he doesn't have a beard).  He has also at times reminded me of a young Jimmy Stewart (think in It's a Wonderful Life), but with a lot more hair.


Dee Snider

I don't know if I look like anybody famous.  My hairdresser, many years ago, said Geena Davis, but I don't think so (but I wish). 

How about you?  Do you resemble someone famous?  If an actor were to play you in a movie, who would it be?  

I think Jane Lynch would get the role of me, not so much for facial features as overall build and height.  Just have her quit working out for a few months, change the hair, and send her to Sconnie to eat some brats and get the accent down.  Yeah, that'd work.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Whoop-Whoop Friday - H2H Quilt Done!

I was quick to piece this, slower to finish, but finished it is!

This is my Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge quilt, made with fabric from my swap partner Sharon at Vroomans Quilts and rounded out with some from stash.  The back:

Quilted with a simple meander stipple.  My quilting felt a bit rusty, but I got 'er done.

We are having our deck replaced, and the light was brighter in that part of the yard, so I took some shots there as well.  

The rough tops of the 4x4s  did a pretty good job of holding the quilt in place.

This will be sent off soon to Judi at Green Fairy Quilts, who will be taking all the donated quilts to Romania later this summer.

Click on over to Sarah's to see what kind of progress others are celebrating this week.  Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - Photo/Light

This is my favorite thing this week:

A photo of two vintage milk glass mixing bowls picked up on last week's antique mall excursion.  

It's not Pyrex!  I'm pretty sure they're both Fire King bowls.  The bowl on the right is the hand-painted Fruits pattern by Gay Fad Studios.  I bought this for my sister to add to her collection.  Because I'm an excellent enabler like that.  The one on the left is the Swiss Chalet (or Swiss Alpine) pattern that matches the Stetson Marcrest dinnerware of the same name.

What I like about the photo of the two bowls, other than the pretty subject matter, is the way the light through the window makes them look illuminated from the inside while making a cool shadow on the wood.

I love the light this time of year.  I thought about making that my favorite thing this week, but a title of, "The light of the earth by the sun in the northern hemisphere, specifically the Upper Midwest, near the time of the summer solstice," seemed a bit cumbersome (and geeky). 

Another thing I like about the photo is that it uses the macro setting on my camera, and that function is pretty darn awesome.  I have a modest point-and-shoot digital camera and pretty dicey photo skilz, which leaves some things to be desired when it comes to taking pictures.  But whatever magic happens with the macro setting is, well, magical.  I wish I knew what all the camera acronyms mean so I could tell you more, but it may as well be hieroglyphics.  It says Carl Zeiss on the front of the lens thingie (a technical term), and I remember from the review I read before I bought the camera that that was a very good thing in optics.  Other than that, I have no idea. I'm lucky I know where the macro button is located.  It's a little tulip icon, I know that.

The macro setting works nicely on Pyrex too.

Oh, come on.  You didn't think I'd show you Fire King and not detour down the Pyrex path too, did you?

It's all about balance, you see.

So to recap:  Fire King mixing bowls photo = a favorite.  Macro lens on modest camera = awesome.  Sunlight at solstice = incredible.  Pyrex = always a winner in my book.

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

More from the Store

Thought I'd share a few more things from the antique mall adventure of this weekend. 

I about laughed myself silly over this little book.  In hindsight, I probably should have bought it just for giggles and the graphics.  Things have changed since high-energy Barbie and her sugar daddy here.

I want those white sunglasses, though.  No, seriously.

This, I thought, was a fabulous retro suit pattern.  By the way, does anyone know when the new season of Mad Men is supposed to start? 

Holy H.R. Pufnstuf!  

Psychedelic Susie's been watching too many Saturday morning cartoons.  Or puffin' some stuff, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Can you say creepy?  Sure, she may look innocent now, but come midnight, I bet that rocking chair starts—hey, did her eyes just move?!

Yeah, this guy's up to no good, too.

And whoever wears this might be as well:

The camera didn't quite capture the lovely soft coral shade of this slip.  It was gorgeous...and for the very petite.

And now for a palate cleanser, Pyrex!  

Yes, I bought some (but not from this booth).  More on that later.

Finally, another one from the 1970 hit list.  Enjoy the irony!