Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Catch-up

I've had a very busy schedule this past week. I worked 6 days in a row, 12+ hr shifts each day, hence no time for blogging. Michelle left the day before I had to go back to work, here she is with her finale quilt, for the "Future Rock Star" baby. She did another out of pinks & lavender that I realize now I never got a picture of.
Here she is modeling her first quilt. I think it turned out a lot better than my first.
I learned a new lesson this past week. When the temperature is -10 degrees F, don't try to put on the plastic stemmed ear muffs that have been out in the car all night.....
I managed to get to Quilt Guild on Thursday. The first time in a couple of months. Here is Mary Lee holding up her latest creation, Tessellating Cats. I thought they were cute. Sorry about the darn chair in front.
I stopped at the Municipal Garden on C St on the way home to take a picture. The bitter cold creates ice fogs, & some beautiful scenery.
Last evening we had our friends John & Mindy & their 2 girls over for dinner. We also had Lillyelen, my orthopedic surgeon Pete's girlfriend. Pete had the flu, so stayed home with his misery while the rest of us had a good time. We had the British Crackers before dinner, & all wore the silly paper crowns, & played with the little prizes.
There was pear salad; curried halibut with garlic spinach on coconut rice; & Grandma's Grape-nut pudding for dessert, along with rich dark beers, & a hot cherry flavored Belgian beer that even I like. (I'm not a drinker by any stretch of the imagination). Below here's Mindy just being funny.
These are 2 plain pencil boxes, that I altered to make them special for the girls, Hope & Christie. They both really loved them. They had a little pen, calendar & sketchpad/note pad inside.
Here is what my DH is giving me for Christmas. This is the floor model at out local Lowe's store. The middle doors on top will be flipped over so that the handles & lattice are on the bottom on mine. These looked upside down to me. My cupboards are sitting in the guestroom unassembled right now, but John said he would come over tomorrow & help Warren put it together. We have to wait for the counter top though, since (in the tradition of Murphy's Law), they sent a 12 foot top for a 4 1/2 foot counter.
It always amazes me when we reach this time of year, to know we are already heading back into long days. The 21st was the shortest day for us (some 5 hours & odd minutes), but in a few weeks we'll have noticeably longer days.
Well I have one last item to pick up for Christmas, & 1 jug of Warren's special eggnog to deliver, then the only thing I have to do is finish my Christmas cards (I know, I'm way late this year), & tomorrow the only errand I have is my friend Mary's dressing change. She had a ruptured appendix a couple of weeks ago. 2 surgeries later, 3 of us Calendar Girls are taking turns changing the dressing for her. Isn't it funny that out of a group of 12 quilters, 3 are nurses? I wonder what the normal ratio is.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I've had a busy week, which I suppose is the norm for this time of year. Every day at work we're flying low ,fast & hard, as the cases seem to just keep coming. It's because of all those people who have met their deductibles, decide to get their elective surgeries done before they have to pay the deductible again. That means the OR is busy until New Years.
The pictures above & 2 below are the samples I just packed up & shipped to Michigan, for Threadpainting & Reverse-A-Purse classes I'll be teaching there next September. I'm not sure if the classes are going to be held in Muskegon or GrandHaven, but it'll be somewhere in the area.

Last weekend I emptied my refrigerator, putting everything in coolers out on the deck. Twice the guys from Lowes attempted to bring the new fridge up the hill on our road to deliver, & twice they didn't make it. So I put everything back in the old fridge. They called again yesterday & said they were trying again. I said fine, but I'm not emptying the fridge until the get here, so of course they made it this time. I was also in the middle of making turkey noodle soup & 3 loaves of bread.

They brought it in & plugged it in. It works fine, but they don't install the door panels, so right now it's a plain white refrigerator. They didn't open the panels for the front, so when we opened them we discovered that the 2 top doors are what we wanted, but the bottom drawer panel is wrong. It seems I have bad appliance Karma. Remember the dishwasher fiasco?
At least it's in & working nicely, & when I get the panels installed I show a picture.
On Thursday my DD Michelle flew in from Seattle. Here she is on the right, with my youngest son Corey in the center, & his girl Tasha on the left. I haven't seen all 3 of my kids together since about 1991, & this is the first time Corey & Michelle have seen each other in about 9 years.
Michelle has spent a little time visiting her girlfriend Debbie, who has been doing battle with breast cancer, but yesterday & this morning she has been working on her FIRST QUILT! She calling it a Punk Rock Baby Quilt. The background fabric is a micro fiber fabric in a dark chocolate brown, that I bought to make purses with, but even with it front & back I still have plenty. I showed her how to fuse web on to the bright fabrics, she drew her funny skull designs, & cut them all out then fused them on,
& we pin basted it all together, now she's quilting the whole thing at once. It's quite cute.
I'll get a shot when she's all done.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Holidays are coming

Sunrises this time of year tend to be more intense & spectacular. Yesterday morning this is what it looked like from my kitchen window at 910 a.m.
I put some decorations on the Bear tree , including the tree topper that John Jolman (my friend Kathy's husband) made for us.
This is the other tree. We have bigger ones, but I didn't feel like putting a bigger one up. In fact I gave one of my larger trees & some of my decorations to my youngest son Corey, this week. I'm to the point I want to pare down all this "Stuff" we've collected.
Speaking of collections, I have the mice on top of the bookcase.
My parents photo stands next to the tree.
The Sugar Town set that Warren gave me, just fits in & on the new TV cabinet.
I love having Warren's art work on the walls for the holidays.

Tired Santa is my favorite.

Today I worked on some place-mats, as a favor for my friend Joan, one of the elderly ladies who volunteers at the hospital. She has macular degeneration & can hardly see anymore, yet she still comes & works at the hospital for no pay, & very little glory. She had bought some fabric & wanted to make place-mats for her son & his family when her eyesight suddenly went bad, so I put them together for her. Nothing fancy, not even worth a picture, but it did get me into the studio today. It seems like all I've done lately is decorate for the holidays, so this felt like a treat to sew even a little bit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Getting Ready For the Season

I've been in a holiday mood this week. I worked all last weekend, & then just Tuesday, & had the rest of the week off. Sunday Judy & I had time to kill between cases, so I cut snowflakes & she made a paper chain, & we decorated the inside windows to the private recovery room.

Tuesday I snapped a picture of the view I get every day at lunch. I sit on the window ledge in the hallway just to see some daylight, as there are no windows to outside in our Recovery Room.
The Break-room is an inside room too, & it's always noisy with TV blaring, & people complaining about work, so I opt for the more peaceful window to outside.
Thursday we went to Mindy & John for our traditional Thanksgiving. It was quite a crowd, & the food was excellent as usual.
Here's a toast from Mindy.
Around the house I've been getting ready for Christmas. The Bears are back at the top of the stairs to great us when we come upstairs.
Yesterday I worked on a lampshade. This one used to have a shirred cream colored fabric on it, that had gotten splattered & dirty. I ripped off the old fabric, & used Textile Medium to decoupage tissue paper on to the old shade.
I like how it turned out.
This morning we woke up to some fresh snow. We had a good base of snow that all melted on Wednesday, but today we got some more. It's been a much warmer winter for us so far this season.
I spent some time polishing up the copper pans & cookie cutters this morning. I like to make them shine for the holidays.
I also hung up the winter blues quilts in the dining area. The Star quilt was made by my friend Kathy Harte. I made the snowflakes.
The little ceramic tree made by a sister-in-law is in the kitchen, along with my Gingerbread Ceramic Santa made by my big sister Vicki. My friend Trace made the Wise-woman saying.
Snowmen by my pal Kathy Jolman are above the door.
The windows are loaded with fused glass by Mindy.
Outside the front window Warren hung up the bird feeders. We're hoping the bears are fast asleep now.
Now I'm enjoying a cup of my favorite Tea in my new Snowman mug that my DH just bought for me.
I love this time of year. My daughter Michelle will be coming for a few days next month. I'm looking forward to seeing her. I want to have all my decorating done before she gets here. Guess I better get going! Happy Holiday Season!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thank you all, so much for your kind condolences. I'm touched by all your words. Aunt Ethel gave us one last gift, this past Monday. We went to the funeral home, to make the arrangements to take her to Florida, & when we went through the paper work that she had filled out over 10 years ago, we realized she had requested that there be no funeral, & no viewing. She wanted an immediate burial. We were able to make her arrangements to fly her back to Florida, & we didn't have to go. We could hardly believe it, but it was what she wanted, so she flew out Tuesday night, on her favorite Delta flight, that stopped in Salt Lake City, then on to Tampa. When the funeral director told us what flight he had booked I couldn't help but laugh. That was the flight she always tried to get whenever she used to come visit us. Warren wrote her obit, & we sent memorial flowers to her church in St. Pete for this next Sunday. Someday I'll make a quilt in her memory.
Today we got a surprise visit from one of my oldest friends, Loisann. We were in Kindergarten & First Grade together. After that we were intentionally separated by the teachers, until 7th grade. We had had way too much fun together, & didn't always get our work done because of it. From 7th grade on we were locker partners, & best friends.
About 10 years after graduating high school, Loisann called me to say they were being moved to Alaska. Her husband was military. They ended up buying the house next door to us. When he retired from the Air force the went back to the midwest, just outside of Chicago. She gave me this little plaque today, & it seemed so appropriate...
Here she is trying out my purse. It went so well with her sweater.
Randy, her husband had heart surgery since we last saw him. They both looked good. On the right is Becky, she is a friend of theirs, & former owner of a quilt shop in Eagle River.
This evening I went to another quilter's house, Pat Simms.
She was showing us a quilt she's working on. Pat always works very improvisationally. I love her work.
Here she was looking at some shirts that had been dyed & discharged & batiked by Linda Weatherwax. I found it ironic that someone with wax in her name does batik work.
These shirts were all purchased at a 2nd-hand shop, & then reworked. They were really beautiful pieces, 100% silk or good cottons. The 2 long banners were formerly king-sized cotton sateen pillow cases that she took apart, then batiked.

This last was a lovely silk scarf, from new silk.
Ruth Simpson was wearing green, & it looked lovely with her outfit.
Tomorrow I hope to spend some time cleaning up my studio, & packaging Christmas gifts for mailing.