Thursday, March 29, 2012

Favorite Things Friday ~ Cars and Drivers

I went car shopping with my daughter M. on Monday.  I don't mind car shopping, actually.  I've negotiated for and bought every car we've ever owned.  Norm doesn't like haggling about cars, but it doesn't bother me in the least.

I also like hanging out with my daughter, so any day we get to do that is a very good day.

She has a great, wry sense of humor.  Take, for example, this exchange.  

We're heading out of town where a new building is being constructed, and we both muse over what it might be:

M:  It looks like a vet clinic. [Daughter is a veterinary technician]

Me:  [On seeing the sign out front]  Oh, it's a funeral home.

M:  Same thing.

Now, see?  That might make some people groan or gasp, but it cracked me up.  Dark humor?  Yes, please. 

The day ended without a car purchase, but a possibility on one of the lots we visited.  And I got to drive a sporty black Saab, which was fun.

But the icing on the cake came when we were in the drive-through at Wendy's at the end of the long day.  We were behind a car with the Coolest. Bumper. Sticker. Ever (if you are a Twilight fan).  I made M. take a photo with her iPhone.  "Augh, you're such a fan girl, Mom!"

And here is Edward Cullen himself (or his stunt driver).  This is the best clip I could find; it's dubbed in Spanish, but the words aren't important.  What I really want to know is how to make that 180 turn at 30 seconds in.  Put your seat belt on.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Sundry 3-25-12

It's been a pretty good week, all things considered.  Spring continues with its early show.  The daffodils, among other things, are in full bloom already, a full month ahead of schedule.  

Dad has set up his lawn furniture.

If you're thinking, What the hillbilly is that? you are not alone, my friend.  That was my reaction exactly.  All except for one word, that is.
"If you've re-purposed your dining room chair for the outdoors by screwing the seat to a might be a redneck."  Jeff Foxworthy would be more eloquent than that, but good lord.
Anyway, Dad seems happy with his creation.  "Glad you got to see me!" as he likes to say.

Iron Work
Come Friday night, I needed some therapy...sewing therapy, that is.  I headed on down to the basement sewing room and got started on blocks for the Iron Work Quilt Along.
I have one more "bar" of the asterisk to finish on these smaller blocks, but the big ones are done.  

I did swap out two of the solids for their deeper colored counterparts.  I'm using what I believe is called Pumpkin instead of Apricot, and another deeper turquoise for Ocean.  The other ones were just a tad too light, it seemed.  I had just barely enough of the orange and turquoise from a previous project to cut these pieces out, but I'm glad it worked out.  I really like how this is going together.

Mad Crazy!
I'm pretty stoked for the season premier of Mad Men tonight.  Will you be watching?  I believe it's a two-hour special.  It's been on hiatus for so long, I can hardly remember where things left off, though I'm sure it'll all come back to me once it starts.

We also watched Sense and Sensibility, the 2008 BBC version, this week and it was excellent!  Dan Stevens plays the part of Edward Ferrars.  He is the one who played Matthew in Downton Abbey.  And the "bad boy" character in Sense and Sensibility is also in the movie, My Week with Marilyn, which we watched last night, as is Jim Carter, the actor who plays Mr. Carson, the butler in Downton Abbey.  But the shining star in My Week with Marilyn is Michelle Williams.  Brilliant!

Something's Fishy
We laugh at this sign on a regular basis.  Today, I managed to snap a picture while we waited for our food.  Would you like fries your peanut butter chocolate banana WALLEYE?

Stormin' Norman
Norm had a followup appointment at the orthopedic surgeon on Thursday.  The fracture has not started healing yet but it has not moved either, and that's a good thing.  So he is to remain in the Stormtrooper-like immobilizer at all times, except when showering, which is what he was doing when I snapped this pic.
He's got the dance down now for getting in and out of the shower.  Face west, feet together, left foot over the tub edge, extend left arm to reach the grab bar, shift weight from crutches to left foot, bend right leg until you say ouch, "point your right toe like a ballerina," I remind him, so it clears the tub edge, aaaaaaand in.  He's getting pretty good at it.  I'd give him a 9 for choreography and style.

Whether You're High or Low...
Now this woman, Janelle Monae, gets a 10! Go on, dance along like nobody's watching!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So What's New with You?

I am 483 things to read behind in Google Reader.  In a moment, I will "Mark All as Read," and it will ask me if I'm sure about that, and I will say to myself "no," but click "yes."  That's how it goes.  I cannot keep up with all the awesomeness.

I am keeping up with attendant care, however.  Norm is doing okay, under the circumstances.  Today he's insistent on wearing his shorts under his immobilizer.  Always having to be different, that one.  I can't understand how he'll be able to yank them down to use the bathroom without unhitching the RoboCop type getup he's in, but he claims it's doable, and that's not my problem, man.  Yet.

So there has been a reordering of priorities and a new routine in the house, which I would describe it in detail, but it's pretty mundane.  Suffice it to say the most fun part is the walkie-talkies.  And maybe that I get to look at him naked more often.  Oops, did I type that?  (Sorry if that burned your eyes, daughter.  And if you're reading this, call your father.)

We are using the walkie-talkies when I am upstairs and he is down, and vice versa. The first night, we had them on Channel 2, which was not the channel to have them on, as there were other people using that channel and unless you are my husband in a hip immobilizer, do not call me at 2:30 a.m.  I get an adrenaline rush and before you know it, the robins are singing and I have dark circles under my eyes.  So Channel 7 it is now.

The sewing has dropped down the list, although I do have all my Iron Work quilt-along fabric prewashed and folded on top of the dryer.  Ready to cut it out soon.  The Rosewood may be swapped with Black for the iron work parts.  I'm still thinking about that.

I am struck by how many things there are to be thankful for.  Sure, plenty of stuff is a PITA (yesterday it was the long hours on the phone with insurance, employment, etc.), but there are a lot of good things to be mindful of.  The fact that his pain level is low, the neighbors have offered to help with yard work, which will start soon because we seem to be having a really early spring (another thing to be thankful for).  So many more come to mind.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and well wishes.  We will continue to take it a day at a time. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Patch of Sun Finished!

A few weeks ago, while my daughter was visiting and we were chatting, she arranged some yellow and white half-square triangles together on the living room floor and came up with a cool design (see post here).  I then sewed them together and dubbed it A Patch of Sun.  
This past week, I practiced my free-motion quilting for this month's challenge by deciding to try some loopy daisies on A Patch of Sun.  I doodled a bit on paper, then went right to the machine.
First I did a couple daisies on a practice piece.  Those had five petals, but for some reason when I started on this, I was making four bigger petals and just stuck with it.  Maybe I had four-leaf clovers on the brain? 

I used a yellow Sulky thread that was already on the machine and a white Isacord thread in the bobbin.
The back is a D9P (disappearing nine-patch), which in this colorway is also known as an EEB (exploding Easter basket). ;)

You like bright?  Ka-boom!  There you go!

So there you have it: 

A finish for the week for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop...

Practice for the FMQ Challenge 2012 this month... (having trouble inserting the HTML code for that; button on sidebar).

And A Stitch in Time 2012 finish for March. In light of recent events, it may be my only March finish, but we'll see.

March Finishes

At any rate, I now have this hanging in my entryway and will enjoy the happy glow of A Patch of Sun for a while!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Well, That Sucked

I was going to have a finish to show you today, but that had to be postponed.  

The phone rang yesterday afternoon.  Norm was calling.  He had fallen at work and was on his way to the local hospital for an x-ray.

He fell smack dab on his right hip, the one that was replaced three years ago.  It didn't feel right.

I was hoping for a bad bruise when I met up with him in the ER. Unfortunately, it was a fracture.

So he got a second ambulance ride to the big hospital where his replacement had originally been done.  Spent the night there.  They were going to do surgery first thing this morning, but then they decided to try him in a hip immobilizer instead.

It is quite the contraption.  He will be pretty immobile for a while, that's for sure.

But we are home tonight, so that is good.  He isn't in that bad of pain as long as he doesn't put weight on it, and he's not supposed to.  We dug out the crutches and walker.  Of course, we live in a two-story house with a closet-sized half bath on the main floor.  But we will manage.  We've done this before.

Prior to the fateful phone call, I enjoyed a lovely walk with my sister on Wednesday along the marsh.  Temps were in the upper 70s—very unusual for March weather in the Badger State, but I'll take it.

I'll be back tomorrow with that finish.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Was That a Hiatus?

I'd been feeling like I hadn't done a thing in the sewing room for quite some time—which is true, but let's focus on the positive. 

After working extra hours Saturday and Sunday, I took this afternoon off to sew (dagnabbit!), instead of just think about sewing.  Although, I will say that in thinking about sewing this past week, I did accomplish some things:  I ordered fabric for the Ironwork quilt-along quilt, and I pondered and doodled how I might quilt the Hubcap Diamond Star Halo project.

My fabric order arrived today.  I think it's an interesting combination.  The rosewood solid turned out to be a little lighter than I expected, but I still think it'll work for Ironwork.  I did order some black as well, though, in case I change my mind.  The print is for the quilt backing.

Oh, and I want to show you something else.  I've been looking around for some more Alexander Henry Heath in black, to no avail.  So I ordered some black and white Crosshatch Sketch from Timeless Treasures, and you know what?  It's pretty darn close!  Here it is, on the left, side by side with some Heath in Metal (grey) on the right.
I say, close enough for rock and roll!

Today, I wanted to practice some free-motion quilting and hopefully (simultaneously) get the mini, A Patch of Sun, quilted.  Check, and check!

First I doodled, but not wanting to waste precious time, I didn't dally on the doodling.  Instead, I went straight to the machine and did some loopy daisies.  

This is just a sneak peak.  I will do a proper post when I've got the mini bound, which I think will be with some of that Heath in Metal.  It's going through the rinse cycle of the washing machine as we speak.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Favorite Things Friday ~ Fab Quilts and a QAL!

I've seen so many beautiful quilty things on other people's blogs lately.  You know how inspiring you all are, right?  Well, you are.  Talented too, my goodness gracious.

Here are two recent favorites, the first of which is Liftoff by Sandi at Piecemeal Quilts.  

"Liftoff" by Sandi of Piecemeal Quilts (with permission)
This quilt just takes my breath away!  I get a feeling of awe and wonder, just like when I'm watching a huge flock of birds rise up to fly in formation.  Some of that awe and wonder is also in regard to the number of HSTs in this quilt, something like 672 of them, all perfectly pieced.  Sandi and her mother worked together on this.  You can read the touching story behind the quilt here.

The second quilt is Gong Show by Lesly at Stitch Literate.  Another stunner!  I love the positive/negative thing happening in this quilt, the use of the brown as the neutral solid, as well as the clever configuration of multiple sized drunkard's path pieces.  Anybody else oohing and aahing?

"Gong Show" by Lesly at Stitch Literate (with permission)
A drunkard's path quilt is on my bucket list, and "Throw Me a Curve" is one of the categories on my 2012 NewFO Challenge list.  I'm just sayin'...  ;)

Also on my NewFO list is a category called "Oddly Inspired," which is where the Hubcap Diamond Star Halo quilt is fitting in, inspired by song lyrics.  But I'm obviously not the only one who thinks "Quilts Are Everywhere."  Sandi (Piecemeal Quilts) was recently inspired by a drawing of iron window coverings from a 1930s building.  She transferred the drawing to EQ and came up with several colorways.  Now she's agreed to do an Ironwork Quilt Along based on that design.  I am excited about that! 

Ironwork* Quilt Along at Piecemeal Quilts
I have been wanting to do something in solids, and this lends itself well to that (though prints would be cute too).  She is offering instructions for two sizes, a bed-sized quilt and a 40-inch quilt.  I'm going to make the smaller version.  

I've ordered my fabrics from Connecting Threads.  Instead of black for the ironwork, I chose Rosewood, which is dark enough to appear almost black (I think), but it's, well, rosewood-y.  Think possibly rusty ironwork?  I dunno, just being a little different in that one detail, seeing as I'm totally copying one of her EQ colorways, otherwise.

Want to quilt along?  Visit Sandi's blog for the details, grab the button, pull together some fabric, and you'll be all set!

Today's fab favorites brought to you by:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Sundry 3-4-12

It has been a few weeks since the last Sunday Sundry post.  I feel kind of bad about that, but there have been other things competing for weekend time.  You know how it is.

Now that Downton Abbey Season 2 has wrapped, are you suffering withdrawals?  You are not alone.  Google "Downton Abbey withdrawals" and you'll get over a million hits.  Entertainment Weekly did a piece on a reading list for fans of the series.  Some of the titles sounded interesting.

As for me, I'm already onto something likewise compelling, the new series "Awake" on NBC, starring Jason Isaacs (otherwise known to Harry Potter movie fans as Lucius Malfoy). 

Is it getting hot in here?  

Hormones aside, this is an fascinating story line (click on the photo to read EW's synopsis, which says it better than I could).  

In case you missed the premier on Thursday, the entire first episode is available to watch online at (that link will take you directly to the video premier episode).  You might also want to check your "On Demand" TV programming.  My local cable company has it available through 3/5/12.  I'm telling you, I was hooked within minutes.

What are you watching, reading, or listening to lately?

And Sew it Goes
There was a little bit of sewing yesterday, as I finished sewing together the wall hanging or table mat sized A Patch of Sun and made a backing for it too. 

I decided to do a disappearing nine patch for the back from some colorful scraps.  

Sort of looks like an Easter basket exploded, doesn't it?
I'm also working on a backing for the Hubcap Diamond Star Halo quilt, using some of the leftover kaleidoscope triangle cuts.

Sweet Nothings
Every day, as part of my job, I listen to people summarize various types of business matters.  As you can imagine, there is a certain amount of jargon involved.  What is amusing to me (or annoying, depending on the day), is the buzzword phraseology that is bandied about, which essentially means nothing.  For instance:
"At the end of the day, I told him we'd drill down and do some due diligence and then circle back and go from there, and then we should be good to go."

If you say so, Chief.  Of course, what is actually meant may be more along the lines of, "We will investigate Situation X, call So-and-So back to discuss the information obtained, and then make a decision."  I'm thinking a little more specificity might be appropriate in corporate America, but what do I know.  In the meantime, I'm creating more Autotext entries.

Stevie Ray Vaughan doesn't need any stinkin' words, yet I understand him completely.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Envelope Please...

With the help of, we have a winner!  And the winner of my Leap Day Giveaway is...

#80 - DeAnna S

Congratulations, DeAnna!!! 

I've sent you an email requesting your mailing address.  Let me know and I'll get these off to you pronto.

It was fun reading all of your comments and visiting many of the blogs in the Leap Day Giveaway!  Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting such a fun blog hop, and thank all of you who entered yesterday.  Welcome new followers!  I look forward to getting to know you a little better!