Monday, June 23, 2008

Cyber Stitching, Fried Modem and The Kitten

Back on Wednesday, we had a wicked thunderstorm here. And our internet connection went down. DH and I didn't think very much of it because it seems like our lousy At&T DSL goes out every time there is heavy rain. Well, on Thursday, it still wasn't working and we realized that our DSL modem wasn't working at all. Apparently the lightning fried the modem. We spent a good part of the day going from one store to another looking for a new modem, and finally found one. Of course, the new modem wasn't compatible with the router we have, so we needed a new router. After lots of hours of working on it, it seemed that all was well. HOWEVER, somehow the new modem will only work for ONE wireless device at a time. That definitely does NOT work for us. Normally we have my computer, DD's computer, DH's multiple computers for work, TIVO, Wii and the XBox on the wireless network. At this point, we are taking turns until after DH's big thing at work is finihed this week, then we will be back to troubleshooting this mess.

So since I couldn't get online, I had more time to stitch this weekend! I finished the top for the little wallhanging that was in the Cyberstitching 'kit' that came from Mrs. Martin's Quilt Shop
I still need to stitch a bit inside the white fabric, and then quilt it, add buttons and binding. It is so cute! Those little stitcheries are about 2 1/2" finished.

I also did the stitcheries for the bookmark (that house is 1 1/2" X 3" before it gets appliqued onto the bookmark) and the bigger block is for the tote bag in the book... I stitched it rather than appliqueing it.

I must admit that I am feeling like a bad kitty Mommy. After our cat Groo died back in February, DH was desperate to get a new kitty. I wasn't so keen on that, I wanted to wait. Eventually I did give in, and we got a cat from the Humane Society. We spent three months trying very hard to get this kitty integrated into our family, but it just wasn't working out. Jake kept attacking our other cat (16 years old and in failing health) to the point that the other cat was completely terrorized. Jake also bit my DH (who had to go to the ER and get antibiotics because he had a bad reaction from the bite) and was constantly scratching at the kids and myself. Finally last week, we gave into what we had realized for a long time: Jake had to go back to the Humane Society. So I took him back. And I feel terrible about it.

Then DH came home and told me that the farm down the street has a free kittens sign up. Well, we know from experience that a kitten is probably a better choice for introducing a new kitty into the family. So now I've been suckered into a kitten. Sigh. So far, this is going much better than introducing a two year old cat. Donyell (our old man cat) isn't thrilled, but he isn't terrified, either. I think it is a female, but I am not positive. She is about 8 weeks old and very cute. So far, she doesn't have a name. Some of the ideas that have been floated are Jelly (one of the other cats is named Peanut Butter), Ginger, Lucy, Cupcake, Kitty. Nothing is sticking yet...we'll have to wait and see what her name ends up being.

Now I am off to do some grocery shopping and getting prepared for Girl Scout Camp. Thing One starts day camp next week, and needs a new bathing suit, backpack and such. I also have to get snacks for lunches, fill out the medical form and emergency information, etc.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Stash Challenge

Oh, boy, here is something I need to do: Challenge myself to use my stash this summer and complete at least one project completely from my stash before the end of the summer.

One thing I know for sure, I have a bunch of panels intended to be made into donation quilts. Hmm...that might be a simple no-brainer way to start. If I can motivate myself! ;-)

If you want to play along, check out Eileen's blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Checking in

So here is my report of what I did over the weekend. As you may remember, I stated that my goals for the weekend were:
1.Nag DH until he mows the yard
2.Work on my pincushion for a swap that needs to be mailed by July 7th
3.Quilt the Pineapple Blossom Quilt
4.Finish the June Stitcheries for Lynette's Noah's Ark BOM and Bea's BOM.
5.Take DH out for breakfast on Father's Day

Here is how I fared:
1. I nagged and nagged. But DH didn't mow. Lucky for him, it rained enough on and off all weekend that it just wasn't possible. It is now June 17th, and the lawn has not been mowed since September. Sigh. Good thing you can't see it much from the street. And don't anyone get the idea that *I* should do it. That's just not going to happen. Lawn mowing is the ONE job that I do not do.

2, I didn't work on the pincushion, but I did decide what to do, and I made a sample for myself to try out the new pattern I had. I'm adding embroidery to the one I am sending, so I'll do the embroidery this weekend.

3. I never even touched the Pineapple Blossom Quilt. I was just too lazy. The big problem with this quilt is that I don't have a deadline, so I'm just not that motivated.

4. I did manage to finish the block of the month stitcheries for both projects.

5. I took DH out to breakfast on Saturday, rather than on Sunday. On Sunday, the kids presented him with a wagon full of cards of the same sort that I got on Mother's Day. Then DH and Thing One and Thing Two spent the rest of the weekend playing video games together.

Beyond that, I did manage to do a little bit of other work.

I made two pairs of blocks to send to Carol which she is using for Sunshine Quilts and to send to Clare for the Leukemia Quilts. I'll probably make a few more later on.

A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out an old stitchery project that I had traced and ready to go but had never started stitching on. I saw a picture of this finished quilt on someones blog (sorry, can't remember where!) and remembered that I had that pattern, designed by one of my fellow guild members, so I thought I'd start working on it. So far I have two of the 12 blocks completed. I started by doing the teddy bears on all 12 blocks, then all the trees, then all the fences, then the grass. Now I'm just going thru and finishing the rest of the parts of each block. Two blocks are complete at this point:

I'm sorry that these pictures are so bad...somehow the light is weird outside today, too shady or something, I guess.

This weekend I'm geared up for the big Cyberstitching Day. I know that Paula Juliann and a lot of the Australian ladies will be stitching along, as well. Check in and see what everyone is doing! I don't know how much I'll be able to participate on Saturday because of the family, and given the time difference between the East Coast and Australia, I've decided that starting tomorrow will be a whole Cyberstitching weekend!! I'm going to trace off several of the projects and work on whatever strikes my fancy at any given moment. The projects are all so cute, I want to do them all! I was thrilled to see that my copy of Anni Downs' book is one of the autographed ones, and I can tell you all that the kits and the whole package is fabulous, and arrived very quickly. So don't hesitate to participate the next time (in November) if you missed out this time!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Two quick things

Just two quick things before I disappear for the weekend with the family:

1. Lynette Anderson is having a giveaway of a pattern for a lovely trio of her redwork designs. Just leave a comment and she'll put you in the draw. But then you have to cross your fingers that I win!!

2. Tonya has been talking with some people at the American Quilters Society (about her book, perhaps?) and the subject of republishing Gwen Marstons Liberated Quiltmaking Book was discussed. According to Tonya, the editors at AQS said "Here’s what would help: AQS would like to know how many people would commit to pre-ordering an exact reprint priced at $36 or so. If you would capture this information among Gwen’s fans, say in the next couple of weeks or however long it takes you to ask around, and pass it along to me, we’ll take a look at the idea."
So if you would be willing to buy a copy of a reprint, PLEASE email Tonya or leave a comment on her blog!

My plans for the weekend:
Nag DH until he mows the yard
Work on my pincushion for a swap that needs to be mailed by July 7th
Quilt the Pineapple Blossom Quilt
Finish the June Stitcheries for Lynette's Noah's Ark BOM and Bea's BOM.
Take DH out for breakfast on Father's Day

Oh, and this is post #191. Keep watching for #200....there just might be another giveaway!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mary and her little quilt

This is one of the Bitty Babies that lives in my house. Her name is Mary, and she is proud to show off the quilt that I made for her. Now her twin Chris is waiting for his quilt to be finished, as is their 'big' sister Little Fella. They have the tops, but they are still not quilted. At least I know that these children won't grow up before I finish their quils! LOL>

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Speaking of Pay It Forward

Speaking of Pay It Forward Exchanges (see my previous post if you'd like to play!), I just recently sent gifts to Anita,
Vickie, and Tracey. Of course I couldn't share what I was doing because the gifts were a secret, but they have all posted about receiving them, so now it is safe to post pictures.
I made small table mats for each of them, just a nice thing to put a candle on in the middle of the table. If anyone likes this project, the pattern is available free on Marcie's website.

Pay It Forward, second Round

Is anyone interested in doing a Pay It Forward????
Since I just finished one up, I'm ready to do another one. I happened to see an open spot in this on Elsie's Blog. I just need three people to comment on this post who are willing to play along.

It’s based on the concept of the movie Pay it Forward, where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness will continue to pass it on.
Here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift (quilted or something else) to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. Hopefully, I will get your gift out to you within the next 2 to 3 months. I will email each person for their mailing address and send the handmade gift when completed.

What YOU have to do in return, then, is Pay it Forward by making the same promise on your blog to 3 different people. Unfortunately, this is only possible for those of who have a blog.

So, who wants to Pay it Forward? Leave me a message.

Some things I've been doing

Lately, I've been flitting around from one project to another, not really accomplishing all that much of anything, but working on little bits and pieces. I'm trying to get some of the mess in this house cleared out, spend some time doing some homeschooling, stay cool in this heat and work on the logistics of planning the busy stuff for the summer (dance camp, dance classes, Girl Scout Camp, vacations, quilt shows, graduation parties, weddings we need to attend, etc).

The weather has been unbelievably hot here in New England for the last 4 or 5 days. I have been suffering because of the lack of a/c here in my house (Dead central air, very high estimate to replace it, lack of funds in the bank acount to do the replacement). However I have been feeling more sorry for the children in school in this area. Our local school district classes don't end until the 24th, and of course, virtually none of the schools have air conditioning. Yesterday on the radio, I heard them say that only 19% of schools in CT have a/c. As a result, on Monday and Tuesday, over half of the school districts in the state had an early dismissal to get the kids out of the hot buildings...yesterday it was 98 degrees here.

Yesterday, I took Thing One and Thing Two to Mystic Aquarium. We have a membership there, and go about 7 or 8 times each year. You would think that going so often would get boring, but the Things love it just as much every time we go there. It seems like they notice something new each time. Since it is only a few miles from DH's office, we will usually drive down there together, I drop him at work and then the kids and I hit the aquarium or some of the other attractions in that area until it is time to pick DH up.

The big attraction yesterday was the recently opened Birds of the Outback exhibit. They have a screened in area filled with lots of parakeets, cockatiels and Eastern Rosettas, LOTS of birds. You get a popsicle stick with some birdseed glued on the end and you can feed the birds. Of course, they land on you to eat, so it is kind of surprising. Thing Two tends to be very timid, so I thought he would not like this very much, but he loved it.

This past Saturday, we attended the Strolling of the Heifers in Brattleboro, VT. The whole idea of the weekend is to promote local agriculture. This year, the theme was "Living Green" and there were a ton of activities to promote local farms, encourage recycling, promote the idea of eating locally grown, organic products, etc. But the biggest attraction is the parade on Saturday. They close the main road and have a big parade featuring COWS wearing floral necklaces!

We sat across from the reviewing stand and there was an Emcee dressed as Joan Rivers and there was even a red carpet on the road. During the parade, "Joan Rivers" had the cows walking on the red carpet where she interviewed them, asking questions such as "Who are you wearing, Donna Cow-Ran?" etc. LOL. I think I heard every bad cow joke and farm pun out there during the parade. The parade also featured local childrens organizations, high school bands, antique tractors, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and this creation, made of grocery bags to promote using cloth bags instead of plastic

And even at an event like this, a quilter never fails to notice quilts wherever they happen to be... I saw this little boy on the shuttle bus with his quilt, and then I saw him again in the parade with it in his wagon. I won't tell you that I almost fell out my seat on the shuttle bus trying to get a good look at his quilt!! LOL. I was trying to check out the fabrics because they looked like a mix of brand new (the space print on the border) and some 30s looking fabrics and some that looked like 60s or 70s prints.

7 Things about me.

Sorry for the absence! I am now back at home (for a while, anyway) and can upload all the tons of pictures I've taken over the last couple of weeks!

First off, Carol tagged me to do the Seven Things About Me Meme...I've done it before, but I'm happy to do it again, I just need seven new things. So here goes:

1.) DH is a tv/movie junkie, and he continually tries to suck me into watching new things. Lately, thanks to Netflix and Tivo, he has been succeeding. The most recent things we have watched: Hells Kitchen, season 1, Hells Kitchen Season 3, Dr. Who Series 1, Rosemary and Thyme Series 3, National Treasure 2 and currently, Dr. Who Series 2.

2. I am a huge coffee addict. I must have my Dunkin Donuts every day. Extra Large, with Cream and two Splendas.

3. I have a fallen arch on my left foot. Most shoes make my foot and leg ache. But a couple of years ago, I finally found a comfortable pair of shoes. So now, Crocs are the only shoes I ever wear. If I need to go somewhere where they are really inappropriate, I wear them until I get there, then I put 'regular' shoes on at the last minute.

4. We have 4 cats: Donyell, a male black tiger, age 16. Buddy, a male maine coon, age 10. Peanut Butter, a 6 year old orange long hair female. And our newwest addition, Jake, a 2 year old male brownish and white cat. Three of them came from the Humane Society.

5. My first car was a 1979 Ford Fairmont Futura. DH gave it to me when we graduated college because it was his first car, and his parents bought a one for him at college graduation. Since I never had a car, I really needed one and it was an affordable (Yes, I could afford free!) option, it was wonderful. A few years later, my brother got his drivers license and had not car, so I passed my car along to him when I got a new one. It looked like this, but was metallic blue.

6. When I was growing up, my grandparents lived next door to us. My grandfather had this idea that he was a farmer and he always had a great garden. At one point, he decided that he needed a cow for in his 'barn', so he went to the local dairy guy an bought himself a calf. She was brown and white, an we named her Fudge-a-nilla. She lived happily in our yard/barn area until the day she blew up. Apparently she had an ailment not uncommn to cows where the stomachs get twisted and cause extreme bloating and eventually death.
7. I am sweltering here in my house because the central air unit has decided to die. We've had the repairman here, and it is not fixable. I dug out the paperwork on the a/c that was given to me when we bought our house, and the unit we have was installed in July 1975!! No wonder it finally gave up! I guess I'm going to be sweltering all summer long, because the estimate for a new one was almost $4000. and DH doesn't want to repair it this year. Isn't that lovely?

I'm not going to tag anyone else to do this, because it has been going around so many times, but if you read this and want to participate, consider yourself tagged!