Friday, February 29, 2008

Finds in the Big, Dark Closet...

My closet was holding massive treasure. A giant black contractors bag has been hauled to my truck. Ya know what they say..... a year ??? Time for it to go. But some things I'll hold onto forever.
The maker of this dress was my Aunt Fern ( my maternal grandmas sister). The dress is 47 years old. I thought I'd wash it to freshen it up, but changed my mind. No sense wrecking it....

Here is a photo of me wearing this dress. I was 2. My mom had just cut my hair for the first time -Chop, Chop- and my front tooth had been knocked out ( prematurely) from a calamity of my brother baby sitting. Believe it or not, I remember this..... us jumping on the couch in horseplay and me getting the brunt. The embroidery on the collar is so sweet and the gathered apron is full. I can't believe that I was ever so tiny. Please click the photos for a larger view.

And a couple of little purses, what can I recycle these into??? I'll never use them as they are, the straps are way to flimsy for my lifestyle.

I am calling Karl tomorrow to see about getting the closet doors hung.( It's about time, 11 mos and a few days !) The punch list finale.

Sharon B's blog feed just came through with the March TIF challenge. Awesome colors... ones I love to work with ...hmmmm... the tiny details of life. ???

Over on Rissa Roots blog post of 2/27/08 , she posted that Dee Stark had passed away. I don't know the particulars nor have I been able to find anything else on the web, but my thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. She was a dedicated crazy quilter of both its craft and history, She also produced a book entitled A Spider Web for Luck... a compilation of history and stitches about CQ. I'm not sure if this book was self published or not but I never got a chance to see it. I'm sure as as an advocate of CQ she would tell us all to stitch our dreams and enjoy our days!

Till the next time.... Jane

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back to Aurora Borealis Block

The Aurora Borealis block is out again... see this post... I put it in a tin (good for porting) along with it's threads and will keep at it till finished this time. In my "cleaning" I found this unfinished postcard depicting the photo. one of my favorite places on earth. Another good thing to finish.

A pretty uneventful day. Although the sun was out, not much snow melted. I think we're loosing more at earth level than off the actual surface however my walking stick is still measuring 3 feet in spots. We're getting longer days now as the sun climbs closer into the northern hemisphere. I am so thankful for that change !!! I believe daylight savings time will be happening in about a month. Early this year, just like Easter.

I had my employment physical today and made a pot of Congressional Bean Soup with some ham. Don't ask me why it's called that. If any one knows the recipe and the reason for the name, please let me know. Which reminds me...I got gasoline while I was in town. Citgo had it for a $3.22 a gallon. I drove 5 miles to the Indian Store (owned by the Keweenaw Ojibway Tribe) and payed $2.97. A whopping 25 cent difference! Hmmm, maybe I just answered my own question about the Congressional Bean name . LOL

Till the next time... Jane

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So much for cleaning out ... just move over alittle

When you're the picture taker in the family it ends up where there's not too many photos of yourself but I got Dan to take a couple today and finally have one put up on the sidebar. Out of the few he took this one seems to show what looks most like me.

I made a bit of a mess today organizing my inspiration boxes. The 2 plastic totes that I use for ideas, inspirations and color pallettes are being added to. One is for crazy quilting, the other for sane quilts. The CQ one has stitch ideas, templates, etc and holds a notebook of what I've collected regarding CQ history. The SQ box has fabric swatches, patterns, lists and notes. I want to fix up my creative journal with some of the things that are in these.

I partially blame my quilting friend Barb for this! Yesterday she gave me a couple of paper sacks full of what she was ridding herself of. Now I don't buy many magazines, Quilting Arts is my only subscription. So you can imagine the fun I've been having perusing, clipping and dreaming.

Yesterday when I went to Houghton/Hancock I was able to stop at a 2 stores. I had never been to the Salvation Army in Hancock and had the time to stop. I got a few Birds and Blooms magazines, 2 books and a great piece of lavender velvet to the tune of $2.00 Of course I had to stop at the Portage House quilt shop in Chassel and found 5 flannel FQ's in a purple toned outdoor theme. ( and I'm supposed to getting organized and pared down, LOL)

My sister sent me home with these books so it looks like I have more than enough reading material to get me through these last couple months of winter.

I've been seeing a fabric designed by Mark Lipinski called Katmandu. It's a printed fabric to be stitched on. Over on JK's blog you can see what shes done with it. Looks like it might be fun!

With any luck I'll have a journal pic to show next time. Till then..... Jane

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Signs in the Sky & Some Fabric Organizing (again)

We just took a ride in the woods and by the camp of a friend, I looked up and saw these contrails in the sun. Looks like the symbols of love with the O & X. Yes it is a love-ly kind of day here, clear and warm.

I put together this shelf and pulled out the majority of my fabric. I need some visual stimuli and thought of no better way than looking at color. I have mostly batiks and the bottom shelf is velvets and soft fabrics.

I saw this quilt over on Caroles blog and would really love to make one similar to it.

I also took the fancy scraps and organized them. The larger pieces of "silkies" in the oblong basket, the muslin and interfacing, the brocades and tulles bagged separate. All fits nicley in the cedar chest.

I 've really been putting off this chore, St Vinnies here I come. This photo doesn't look as bad as it is, but IT IS. The builder needs to install our closet doors and he can't until I address this.Do you see the white bag? Those are scrubs to wash and hang. Now that I've shared it, I have to fix it!

I am trying to get things buttoned up before the job. I went for X rays and lab work Friday, this Monday finger printing, Thursday a Physical. I won't celebrate until I punch the time clock for the first time. This employment process has taken longer than any other job I've ever applied to before.

We had lots of friends stopping by yesterday. Despite the snow on the ground, it was warm and clear. Cabin Fever was banished if only for the weekend. Karl, (left) Charlie & Roxy.

I can't tell you when the last time was that we had seen anything resembling a shadow and we're tired of bundling up like Michelin men !

Dan made meatballs and if you came by, you got some. They were yummy. My husband is a great cook and he enjoys it. Lucky me, huh? I think if you click on the recipe it will get large enough for you to copy it. I highly recommend this Schulers version.

Felon, our dog, and Karls Luke, ( the new baby on the block ) had a blast playing in the snow. There was never a dull moment yesterday as they rookused together.

On animals, this is a photo I took last week of the deer herd that comes to eat daily.. The top count at one time was 19 but on the average we get 10.

We got them a couple bails of clover hay to enhance their corn diet & they love it as you can see.

Although dark, here is a close up of a resident chickadee on the suet hanger. All the animals have kept us entertained this winter.

I'm thinking this has my blogging caught up, so till the next time,


My Trip Downstate

The trip down Saturday was pretty uneventful but it still took me 9 hours of straight driving. I left Wednesday at 5:55 AM to come home and the sunrise looked like this. It was -10 degrees when I took this photo.

I crossed over into the UP at 10 AM. The farther north I got, the more apparent it became that I was in for a rough ride on the final leg of the journey along Lake Superior. The thoughts of home spurred me on and I pulled in at 3:30. Not bad considering.

Here we are gathered around the table at the rehab clinic where my dad is. He is doing much better there than he was at home and it's looking like his neuropathy has progressed to the point where he may require round the clock care. My mom is not able to live alone because of her health so we were discussing what options we have and trying to get everyone on the same page of probabilities. So hard to deal with this from so far away.

Of course I had to have a run into my favorite thread store in Howell. I garnered some new fibers and a couple hanks of beads. I also got 2 different needle threaders by Clover to help my weary eyes & my sis gave me the Caladium fabric scrap left over from what shes working on.

I am itching to start a new project or 2.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

February TIF Finished.... ZZZZZZZZZZZ.....

This is the original block I made for Februarys TIF project. I didn't blog the process or any of the thoughts I had while creating this. It was a crazy month! This block was something that totally morphed into its own self and TOLD me what to do with it. I stuck with the color scheme and kept asking myself what I was old enough to remember..... over and over it was the same thing.... I remembered a good nights sleep! Before menopause, before the hotflashes, before the restless dreams, before the insomnia. I really long for a goodnights sleep.

Beginning block... I didn't like it.

I took the rotary cutter to it.... shake it up alittle, get some frustrations out

Piece it back together......... Now what ?????

Hmmmmm...... I love a good snore

The outcome was a little stuffed pillow...... I couched fibers on most every seam, did some doodle stitching and made a beaded and tassled dangle. Alittle wonky, but then again , so am I. Especally this month when I ran out of my Estrogen prescription.
For now.....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Headed to Detroit in the Morning...

Yahoo Images
Moving up here came with the price of leaving my family. My folks, not being in the best of health, leave me feeling guilty that I can't be there for them and my sister, shouldering the main responsibilty ... this all weighs daily on my mind. I couldn't begin to write about the "dynamics" of my family... that's a book started long ago. But I can condense it by reiterating that our lives have been full of choices and not always have those choices sat well with others. No one can live anothers life... but I've lived mine, and not always with the flow. Its boiling down to the facts of "It is what it is" and I see that I am entering one of those inevitable times of my adult life.. the care and planning of my elder parents. I won't get into here but this is the crux of my personal life.

I'll be headed out in the wee hours on what I'm sure will be an emotional visit and hopefully some things can get worked out in the short time I'm there. (I got my job this week and had to call and tell them of this change in plan. What a way to start.)

The round trip is 1000 miles and the weather can be extremely remarkable here in the Great Lakes state. You can start off in good weather and find a blizzard a few miles down the road. It's 250 miles ( the halfway point ) to the Mackinac Bridge. I don't do this bridge well and have had panic attacks and fear tears crossing it, my butt seems to suck into itself until I'm safely across the 5 mile span. I tend to do better when I am driving vs. being a passenger. Something about control, I'm sure.
Click this link for the Live Cam . The view can change drastically in moments. The total trip time "home" ranges 8-10 hours one way depending on conditions & I haven't been to the metropolis since September so I really don't relish the culture or traffic. Off to pack....

Hopefully (and with Godspeed) I'll see you next week......

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yahoo Images Photo
I am not a literary critique by no means but I LOVE to read and enjoy a great story. I spend my quiet/down time before bed reading & when I don't have a good book on the nightstand, it's a hard time to fall asleep... so with that I must share my latest read, Four Souls by Louise Erdrich . Aside from Fleur ( the main charactor), some chapters told about the relationship between Margaret and Nanapush... I laughed for them (and cried too). Margarets story about the making of her medicine dress really got to me, made my heart know what "Margaret" was feeling about her stitching mission.

On the copyright page it said I could quoate in a review mode so here goes...

From page 176 of "Four Souls" by Louise Erdrich......

"To sew is to pray. Men don't understand this. They see the whole but they don't see the stitches. They don't see the speech of the creator in the work of the needle. We mend. We women turn things inside out and set things right. We salvage what we can of human garments and piece the rest into blankets. Sometimes our stitches stutter and slow. Only a womans eye can tell. Other times, the tension in the stitches might be too tight because of tears, but only we know what emotion went into the making. Only a women can hear the prayer.

So the medicine dress wanted me to make it. A privilege I might have had no use for twenty years ago. Or forty. But now that I have lived upon this earth and seen what I have seen, I was ready. And so I began where all things begin-with the death of something else."

And the making of the medicine dress begins .... If you want a good story, give Four Souls a try... Fleur is a determined charactor as well.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Geronimo Round Robin .....

I received a box Wednesday from the Bronze Group RR that I participated in with the CQN Group on Yahoo. Felt just like Christmas when I opened it!! I am knocked out by all the work that was done on this swap and I am thrilled to have all these gorgeous blocks as my own. I chose Geronimo as a theme and as you can tell by the photos below, everyone got real creative with their concept regarding him. These are not your average swap blocks as they all are 17" square!

This one was made by Carole ( aka Wippy) from Vail AZ

This one was done by Carroll S in Flagstaff AZ

Julie C in Big Springs TX made this one

Rebecca B's block came from Fort Hood TX

This block was made by Sharon R. She lives in Passadena TX

And this is my block that started it off

If it wasn't enough already, all these goodies were inside... charms, beads, threads, feathers, lots in glorious turquoise. Thanks so much everyone !!!

I wasn't able to post my finished January Take It Further Block here till now. I bought a frame at St Vincents and painted it black. I sashed the block in black to make it fit. I didn't get to do all the stitching that I wanted to but it ended up finished enough. I haven't had time to work much on Feb's TIF but hope to tomorrow.

After a grueling week working the clinical of my class, I finished up yesterday and received my certificate. We were given a corsage and treated to lunch by the nursing facility. I have yet to take the state exam but at least this part is done. I am dead tired and feeling ravenously hungry today!!!! Time for a good catchup.

Here's my little Valentine Girl, Tasha. I need to spend some time with her too.

Friday, February 8, 2008

An Old Favorite Place

Back on line and testing out the system.... more to follow.....
Happy Friday!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Into February ... TIF and "Mo" Coming Home

I got a photo loaded of the block I made for the February TIF Challenge. I picked some threads and embellishments with the color theme but have no clue what to do with the theme question. Again, I'll have to see what I use out of what I pulled from stash and combine it with my thoughts of what I am old enough to remember. I am taking the lead from a few others who are destashing and am using what I have on hand. No purchase neccessary LOL. I even came across a pack of Angelina fiber of what I think is the right color for this. I've not used Angelina before.

As far as January goes, my finished TIF piece can be found by clicking here. This will take you to the "Take It Further Blog" that Debra Spincic set up. I am having a monster time with photo uploading once again but at least I got the photo put up over there.

I am waiting for the "Geronimo" blocks to come home this week. The swap was done through CQN and Carole over at Wippys Place posted Thursday that they are on there way. I can't wait to put them together as I have the perfect place to display them.

The computer will be going in for service. They diagnosed some type of spyware that is playing havoc with everything. Again my apologies for this but I have a list set aside of those of you I need to catch up with and will ASAP.

So heres to another busy week, I'll be doing my clinical which is everyday from 7-3. Hopefully I'll know by weeks end if I get a job out of this.

Till the next time...