Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday with the Quilty Girls...


I looked out the window at 3:00am and there was a faint dusting of snow just along the road...and none on the car or the mailbox. It was windy, and there was so little snow I figured what was there had probably blown there from Ashe County. LOL

I got up at 8:30 and saw this.

No Wednesday at the Quilt Shop for me. The snowplow hasn't passed...the wind is still blowing to beat the band and it looks like a fine day to stay inside.

I haven't been sewing. I'm in a mid-winter slump despite my full-spectrum lightbulbs and I know that this too shall pass.

Thank God for Netflix!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend at the Movies.....

Mira Nair, director, known for "Vanity Fair" and "Monsoon Wedding" presents this study of a couple who emigrate from Northern India. Their relationship with this new country, with each other, and with their american-born children explore the questions that come up in those relationships. I enjoyed this film immensely, and really enjoyed the special features which were rich with excerpts from seminars that the director presented in film school about the making of this film. I learned a lot about film-making; things I had not ever considered before, and appreciate how generous she was in sharing that insider information. I had seen Vanity Fair before, and will put Monsoon Wedding on my Netflix Que.

The Night Listener creeped me out. This is not the first drama that Robin Williams has been in that has done so. But I think it will be the last. I was totally unsettled by it, and halfway through found myself thinking, "why am I wasting my time on this?".

But, I persisted. Wish I could say that I found some redeeming value in it, but I think I was just too lazy to get up off the couch and turn it off before it finished. Is it that I fear I will have judged it too hastily, or that it will at the last moment save itself? I dunno.

I don't know where I heard about this one, but I put it on my Netflix Que and was happy when I saw that it was on it's way. A Chinese film, that was thoroughly enjoyable despite the sad circumstances of the woman in the title ~ it stretched credibility a little. How could a man who had become lovers with a woman 3 different times over the course of their lives not remember her each time he meets her? Despite that leap of credibility I still enjoyed it. I like Chinese films and have come to know certain directors and can count on their films to not disappoint. This director, though, was new to me.

Okay, I wasn't expecting a heavy film but was prepared to be happy just to be in the company of this ensemble. It did have some lessons....not delivered in a heavy-handed way, just presented for consideration. I liked it. C'mon, it had Morgan Freeman in it! Need I say more?

I don't remember the first Elizabeth movie with Cate Blanchett, so I will have to order it. I will remember this one, though. I enjoyed it so much and the special features were every bit as entertaining because they were lush with how the sets, costumes, and art direction were major players in this film. It was lush and made me curious to know more about the Elizabethan that's saying something. I loved it.

As you can guess, I got very little accomplished this weekend. But I had a great time and the weather ~ cold, wet, and foggy lent themselves to spending the weekend entertained thusly. No guilt here. (well except for The Night Listener, that is...) LOL

Tomorrow I'm off to Greensboro for a visit to the periodontist. Will be gone most of the day.

See ya layta!

Friday, February 15, 2008

What's Happening?

Before I get into where I'm at in the process with the series of Mexican frames quilts, Recuerdos I, II, and III ~ I will make a confession.

I hate to throw away the selvages I trim off of yardage.

I know they must be good for something and I have found some ways to use them, but trust me when I say that I have more than I will ever use. Still, I tie them to the left end of the shelf high on the wall in my studio and like how they cheerfully await whatever mission I assign to them. When the heat comes on, the forced air from the heat register causes them to shimmy and dance and it seems that they are reminding me that they are at my service. LOL

Recuerdos 1, the first of the Mexican frames quilts is back
from the long-arm quilter and I couldn't be happier with the results.

She did a really fine job of it. I am just about ready to sew the binding onto the front and get busy finishing it.

(That's the binding for 3 quilts hanging off the right end of the shelf....waiting for the tops to be quilted)

I like to prepare the binding at the same time as I sew on the borders. That way when I have it layered, quilted and nearly done...I can immediately get the binding sewn on and get it finished. I have a lot of quilts ready to go in my head, but have few actual UFO's and I think the reason is that I keep the momentum going til I cross the finish line.

Parts for Recuerdos III are on the design wall. The border fabric has been chosen, but the top has a ways to go until it is ready.

The top for Recuerdos II is finished. When III is finished, I will send them both to the long-armer.

I couldn't find exactly what I wanted to use for backing for II and III, so I found some 300 thread count cotton flat sheets that I thought would work fine. I have to trim off the finished edges and hems, and they will be good to go. They are a good quality cotton, with a slight sheen ~ one in a nice gold color and the other in an olive green. Both will work with the fabrics in the quilt top.

Each of the sheets cost $10 and that is much cheaper than I would have had to pay for yardage. I've heard some stories that sheets are hard on the machine needle, so I will be curious to see how it works.

Mas tarde!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Little footnote...

One of my quilty girlfriendz dropped me a note yesterday to say that "a clean house is a sign of a sick mind".

Bless her heart, she was hoping to get that note to me before I started cleaning house...LOL, but alas I was already engaged.

There is something satisfying about looking around and seeing a clean house. The smell of furniture polish, and the absence of dust is an amazing antidote for whatever ails you. After I finished cleaning, I took a shower, put on some clean clothes and a dab of my good perfume and sat in the living room and just enjoyed the view. My house felt like home again, and I felt better. Sick mind or not.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Things You Notice

It's funny, that when you are immobile you notice stuff. Dust bunnies, layers of dust on the furniture, corners of the floor taken over by crumbs and whatever, and the general shabbiness of a house that is in serious need of cleaning. That stuff is generally invisible when I'm busy doing other stuff, but this past week I've been sort of held captive by the couch.

Ugh....I can in most instances ignore the need to break out the vacuum and mop, but I'm unable to ignore this. I feel a little better today and any other time that would signal that it's time to get back in the studio and working on those 2 quilts that are still in parts. But, not today.

I'm going to put on my shirtwaist dress and pearls just like Beaver Cleaver's mom, and clean house. I don't think I'll get it all done today, but I'm going to make a dent in it.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sniff, Snort, Blow, Sneeze, Cough....and repeat

However, even waking up with a cold beats the alternative...........

Later, gator!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Comfort.....and a crazy little song

When you have a cold or need comfort....this is the stuff~!!!

I'm so glad that I keep it on hand, because I think this is what I'll be living on for the next few days.

That blue box in front is Tabcin ~ Contra La Gripa. It's a cold medicine from Mexico that is much like Alka Selzer for colds...plop, plop, fizz, fizz.

I just had a bowl of creme of wheat with Splenda Brown Sugar and it was yumalicious!

night night.

ps. click HERE for the crazy little song that will crack you up...


Yesterday's trip to Asheville was wonderful!
72 degrees, lunch al fresco, neat bookstore, folk art gallery, beautiful small reminded me a little of Berkeley. Lots of diversity, art, and interesting architecture. I'll be going down there once a month for a while.

Today my cold is back and in full force!
I thought it was done and so I quit the Zicam on Monday. **ah-choo, sniffle, blow, ah-choo**

I went into The Quilt Shop for my weekly day with the quilty girlz...but didn't stay long and came home to crawl into my pajamas and veg-out on the couch with a box of kleenex.

3 red Netflix envelopes in the mail....wa-hooooooo!!!
Across the Universe
The Jane Austen Book Club
The Orchestra of Piazza Vittorio

**ah-choo, sniff,**

Hope you're feeling well and that I will be soon.

Later, 'gator!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday, Monday....

Sunday, Sunday...I was sewing. I got up early, caught the 10am meeting over in Blowing Rock and then after making a quick stop for Sunday Burgers to share with Maya, beat a path for home.

Got back into my jammies and spent the whole day in my studio!
Such luxury to have the time, the desire, and the ability to do what I enjoy ~~
I know I'm blessed!

Got up today and it's crappy, drizzly, rainy, chilly, gray and did I mention crappy? Uh huh...that's it.

Back into the studio and for every seam I sewed, I think I ripped out another. Was not in the zone today, but did get this top finished and I love it.

My high school art teacher would have complained loudly that it is too "busy". Yep, it is busy.

But it exactly captures what I love about Mexico. No matter how much we (outsiders/americans) try to pigeon-hole another culture (in this case, Mexico) and make it fit neatly in some box ~ it is just plain loud and busy and colorful and joyous, and vibrant and alive and did I say colorful? Uh huh...that's it!

So now I have 2 is in the mail to the long arm quilter and this one will go next. I plan to get the 3rd one done to send along with it. Then it's on to a quilt for my niece and one for my nephew before I tackle the king size quilt for "slappy the bait shop guy".

I'm running to Asheville tomorrow and will be gone for the day. Talk to you layta.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Question: Do you know how to make God giggle?

Answer: Make plans.

I had a plan for today. I was even going to do a good deed, so I dunno if that counts, or what...but God had other plans for me today I guess.

I even went to bed early so that I'd wake up at a decent hour (and just what is decent anyway?).
Anyhow I was going to drive a friend here down to Asheville to visit her doctor. It's a 2 hour drive and while I've passed Asheville on my way to other places, I've never stopped and was looking forward to it. I'm still fighting the valiant battle against letting this cold get a foothold, and a little road trip just seemed like a good thing. My friend was looking forward to a visit to a bookstore and I was going to Hancock's for some sewing notions I can't find here in Boone. She wasn't up to doing all the driving so we made a plan.

I guess at some point during the night it rained, and immediately after that the temperature dropped quickly. My friend called me early to tell me that our trip was off and I went out on the porch to see for myself.

This is how the car had about three-quarters of an inch of ice covering everything. It was a Subaru Ice Cube and stayed like that until about 2pm when stuff started to thaw out enough for it to start dripping.

This is down the road to the left of me and though this photo doesn't show it, the sun was out and everything was just glittery and very magical.

It's probably the first ice storm I've seen in 30 years or so, since the last time I was in Illinois visiting my mom during winter. She is gone now, but I thought of her this morning. The snow plow passed by to lay down some de-icer on the road and it reminded me of how she used to fill a thermos of coffee and brandy and take it out to the snow plow that came down her country road in front of the farm. Now she was not on a much traveled road, so she was kind of low on the totem pole when it came to getting the road cleared, but amazingly once word got out that she would have some special hot coffee ready for the snow plow drivers.....she didn't often get snowed in for long. Gotta love a woman who thinks like that! So I made a platter of lemon-poppyseed muffins and when the plow came back this afternoon....I was ready for them. No brandy, but coffee and muffins might cause them to remember me.

This is how it looked down the road to the right of me.
All of the trees on the hillside across the road from me are heavy laden with ice and some of them have bent nearly in half. As the day has gone on, I hear the snap, crackle, and pop of limbs breaking off and the sound of icicles falling to the pavement. I was a little nervous walking down the steps from the was no stretch to imagine an icicle breaking off and knocking me in the head.

As it was I tried to dodge all the drips as they melted and still got damp and chilly.

Since the weatherman contributed to my delinquency today...hehehe...I was able to spend part of the day sewing. I'm working on another Mexican quilt and I put together the center block....another Virgen de Guadalupe framed by fabric celebrating the variety of Talavera Tiles that you find all over Mexico. In Puerto Vallarta where I shopped weekly for household stuff, they have a tile factory in old town. I got most of my tiles there when I was building my house in Punta de Mita, and it was really fascinating to go upstairs and watch them paint the designs freehand on the templates or streamlined automation...just artisans with their brushes and pots of glazes. In addition to tiles, they made sink basins, towel bars, soap holders, and all manner of dinnerware and other ceramic clay items. All the images in these 3 Mexican Quilts I'm working on, are memories of my time in Mexico and so I find myself thinking about it a lot lately. Be right back........

The UPS guy just was here....brave guy out in this weather. I love it when the big brown truck stops here. Maya loves it too, because she loves the UPS guy and he always has a minute to scratch her behind the ears and tell her how pretty she if I could just get him to do that to me! LOL

Sylvia's quilt is back from the Long Arm Quilter over in Tennessee! I love it and Kathy did a great job on it. Now I just need to square it up, trim it, machine stitch the binding on and then hand stitch it. I'm so excited to get it back and see how it turned out.

Meanwhile I'm busy getting the next ones ready. I have one ready to send off now, so will take it into town and send it tomorrow if the weather permits.

See you next time.