Sunday, December 30, 2007

Stashbusting and finishing UFO's

Can't get photos on tonight - but will post anyway.

I finally got hungry enough to buy the makings for spaghetti on Saturday, and had a feast Saturday and Sunday evening [and have enough in the freezer to last several weeks].

On to my New Years Resolution [other than gaining 10 pounds and reading trashy novels! although. . . ]. I'm going to copy another Stashbuster who is going to keep 3 bobbins wound at all times. I'll wind all my empty bobbins tonight [for my Husky machine] and tomorrow [for my Bernina] and that should last a few minutes.

I will join the Stashbuster "No-buy" Program for 2008. It actually started November 1st, but runs through October 31, 2008. The "buy-in" is 12 5" charm squares and a charm square for each yard purchased during the year. There are lots of "allowable" purchases, so I'll see if I can get through a few months without any purchases.

Stashuster is also having a NYE [New Years Eve] challenge making a Sudoku quilt. I've got my fq's cut up and labeled, and my sashing and cornerstones all cut up. I'll go to Sandy's on the 31st and 'sew my heart out'. You can see a photo of my fabric at I'm #18 in the 4.0 NewYear Eve Sudoku project album. [Since I can' get photos here, you need to go there to find the colors.]

I'm also joining UFO challenge 2008. You have to finish 1 UFO per quarter [should be doable], and if you get to the top of the list [a random list of names] you have to finish one that week. I'll save my quillow for that week - it just needs to have the opening sewed closed. Their 'buy in' is 2 fat quarters and 50 cents. There is a quarterly drawing for those who have finished projects, and a quarterly penalty if you don't finish a UFO that quarter.

Chico and I have been to 6 weeks of dog training, and he's doing sooooo much better than his owner. He can sit for 1 minute without moving his butt - he can sit while I drop treats and keep his butt on the ground until I feed him a treat from my hand. The only problem with that one is when the treat drops on my shoe and falls right between his paws - than all bets are off. I'm really proud of him.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas morning

Well - I went prepared to spend Christmas eve and Christmas morning in Temecula - except I took extra batteries and left the camera at home!


We had a great eve dinner [rib roast - I even got to bring some home for me!]

And had a great breakfast and fun morning opening presents.

I left early [about 11:00] to come home to take a nap, take the dogs for a walk and to have another large dinner at Sandy's [rib roast - different seasonings].

Great time at both!

And I'll get the camera there next time.

Hope the year stays healthy - and more money comes in than goes out.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas at Westminster Gardens

You're getting all the Holiday stuff in one fell swoop
A small group of us decorated Packard Hall [our meeting hall, and, until the 19th, our dining room]. My contribution was to climb the ladder [with 2 others] and hang decorations from the ceiling tiles.

I also helped Lily set up the above scene in the Hall [actually, she designed and I did what she said].

There was a fantastic Christmas dinner with an even more fantastic bell choir - along with a tree lighting. There are 2 large trees and one tiny one [all living on our grounds].
I even bought a sweater and white shirt to wear to the dinner [of course, you are missing the ribbon tassels I hung on my tennis shoes].
And! I want you to know I actually decorated [well, my version, anyway]. I hung our guild centerpiece on the front screen door. The woman who made it was told by her husband that she should absolutely NOT bring it home. Of course, that means I have to find a place to put it until next year.

I hung decorations and my Christmas cards on my StashBox quilt that is hanging in the kitchen. I also draped the string table runner [in Christmas fabrics, of course] over one side of it.

There was caroling last night, and our row of homes was visited by the group [not all were]. Chico and Little Bit actually behaved while the singing was going on [although Chico would give a small bark about every 2 minutes].

The boys are official - this is a notice to emergency personnel that 2 dogs live here! I actually have it haning in my kitchen window right now, since the wreath is hanging on the front door.

Monday, October 8, 2007

No photos today, but a desperate plea for a home for a Jack Russell terrier.

The nurse at Westminster has a grandson who was bitten by his pet dog [he and the dog both had the same ball in their mouths and were tugging at it].

Dad wants to euthanize the dog, but he would probably be just fine with older kids.

"Jack" is a little older than 3 years and has papers and is a male.

I checked out rescue groups and it looks like they don't take the animals to foster, but just post photos and info on their web sites. The nurse currently has taken possession of the dog, but can't keep him.

If you know of anyone with older kids who wants a dog, let me know.

Thanks from both of us

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Monday sewing

Well, we went through the tubs and found fabric. We even had Sophia helping make choices [we figured out that if she sat on it, it must be good].

Here is one of the choices for fabric [without Sophia! - we got smart and put the fabrics up on the table].

and, here we are, hard at work.

The directions were incredibly easy! We each got a top done and picked out more fabric for our 2nd one. Both got the center of the 2nd top done, and Sandy finished hers after I left Monday night [mine's still in my carrier].

The top one is Sandy's, and the bottom one is mine

These are the centers of our 2nd toppers.

Mine is on the left and Sandy's is below.

We have grandiose [sp?] delusions of making one for each season [or even for each month???]

Sunday, September 2, 2007

New Project?

These blocks are for our guilds Block of the Month for the September exchange.
The directions were incredibly awful, but these come out to a 12-1/2" unfinished block [which is what the chairperson wants].
Hated the directions, but loved the block [and these are 'real' triangles, you know, the kind that draws a line diagonally and sews 1/4" from the line on each side to make 2 blocks].
Loved the block so much that I went out and bought some tan/yellow background and I already have a lot of autumn fabrics, so will make a quilt top.
It is so hot here that I am trying to convince the dogs that we really don't need to go any further than the grass right off the front porch. They weren't happy, but they came in really well.
Two of the ladies at lunch were saying that they don't like air conditioning [???] but use their fans when possible. That's not my choice, but I'm trying hard not to let it get to cold for Chico.
I went back to the storage unit to try to find more fabrics for Sandy's and my Halloween project for tomorrow. I have several bolts in the car and found a small tub full of lime green [possible to use for our stars]. I'm excited to see what we come up with tomorrow.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hula Night

The "Gardens" had a Luau on Wednesday night [that's typically Chef's Surprise in the dining room] and I invited Sandy and her daughter Debra to attend with me.

Food was great and the gals had a chance to see me in my new element. Next 'soiree' I plan to invite a whole tables worth of folks.

Am I glad that no photos were taken [by folks I know, that is] because I 'volunteered' with a group of other residents [who also don't know how to say no] to learn the hula [bend your knees and move your hips]. We were up on stage with the paid entertainment.

When I went to lunch the next day, I had several folks come by and comment on my 'dancing' ability. I figured I might as well make a fool of myself early in my residencey, figuring that I can't get any worse [please, no testimonials from my 'friends'].

About quilts - if you check out Mehitabel's Musings you can see the charity quilts with binding. I found bindings in our binding box that Marie carries around. Ethel [another Tuesday night regular] gave me a quilt top and back and binding she had finished from a JoAnn's block of the month from many years ago. We'll add that one to our collection and see if we can't get it quilted for the end of the year.

On Friday, Esther [one of our residents] had a tea which included me and 2 other ladies. She likes to get to know the new residents, and she loves to have small get-togethers [not formal - I wore a real blouse and felt quite comfortable with the group]. It's nice to meet that way, since I usually meet people on our walks [the dogs and mine, that is] and by the time I get home I can't remember names.

Sandy and I are going to make a small 'table topper' this Monday that is in the latest Fons and Porter magazine. She e-mailed me and asked me to bring over some Halloween fabric for the project. I found 2 tubs easily in the storage unit [frightening] and may take some of the larger pieces to cut into fat quarters and sell on e-bay [after all, if we're going to be long arm quilting, I'm going to need money for that project]. We'll have photos of those some time next week, I hope.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long Arm Quilting

Lisa, Carol, Sandy and I went to Fabric Patch to see if we remembered anything about the class we took just a short time ago.

Between the 4 of us we figured out how to get the bundle on the machine, but then ran into lots of problems with tension.

One of the women who know the machine was called and came in to fix all the problems. She loosened the tension [who knew that got changed] and showed us how to baste the top of the quilt to the canvas by machine instead of one stitch at a time by turning the wheel by hand.

I tried to show the quilting here. This was our first quilt and we used the pantograph [sp?] we used in class [didn't want to many variables on our first try alone].

We took turns with rows, and once all the problems were fixed we managed to get that done in no time [well, maybe a little longer than that].

This was the second [and last quilt] of the day. We managed to get it on, handle breaking threads, and get it quilted in a much faster time than the first one.
Both of these are charity quilts, and I'll try to get the bindings on them before our next meeting [Charlene, the head of the charity quilt project, wants 100 finished quilts or fleece tops by the December meeting - quite a number for our guild].

This is the close up of the quilting on this quilt [same pantograph].
I'm not sure I want to do my Montet's garden this way. i may go ahead and have it quilted by check rather than do it myself.
Sandy's already talking about taking her mystery quilt with her on our next appointment with the giant machine to get it done for one of her friends she works with.
It took us 4 hours and 45 minutes [we didn't have to count the down time] to get the 2 quilted. It really is faster than doing it on the Bernina [or Brother] since you don't have to throw it over your shoulder or stuff it thru the neck. Had everything gone well in the beginning, we probably would have had 3 done on Saturday.

House filled with furniture [and dogs]

Finally, I can put photos on the blog.
I've put this Stashbox quilt in the kitchen for the time being [it does have food fabric in it, so I figure that was ok]. I still need to quilt the mystery quilt to hang here, but will try to put the sleeve on that one by machine - not by hand.

Here is my corner of the kitchen [dark photo] with the toaster oven [very handy for small things like pizza and salmon] and my canisters [is it fair to say I have sugar in one and dog treats in 2 of them right now?]

Now, to the bedroom. I've put the Singer cabinet in here as my t.v. stand [no machine inside, that left years ago]. The dogs are also checking out the new bed [can you see the ramp on the far side for them to climb up?]

My bathroom looks so great! It is a mint green with great accessories - along with my lime green towels and bath mat.

Such a great place to live. People are friendly [I have even met the parents of the other chihuahua that lives here] and very helpful. [When does the trash get picked up?] I'm anxious to see what happens when they start all their groups again in September [they close down for the summer vacations].
I still think this is the best move I've ever made.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I can't load photos today - blogspot isn't giving me that option.

I've been here a month [as of the 17th] and am so glad to be here. When I can, you'll see photos of the inside of the house with all my new stuff.

Little Bit and Chico have settled in fantastically. We walk a lot [more than I want - so I went and got a pedometer to see how far we are walking during the day] and they sleep a lot. They're also getting used to having company.

Hey! the place is clean enough for drop-in's now. I even have a cleaning lady every 2 weeks [of course that means I pick up my projects the day before she shows up].

I even went to a concert here put on by one of the residents. It was fun and I even recognized some of the music [he's about 20 years older than me and I'm TURNING 65 IN SEPTEMBER].

This move was the best thing I've done in many years.

I'll try again with photos next time, just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and kicking.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's Sunday evening and moving day is on Tuesday morning [at the unbelievable hour of 8 a.m.!!]

I started a metal bookcase in the bedroom and am planning on putting small containers on the bottom shelf [works in progress - or just fun fabrics that I can look at as spots of color in the room as I go to sleep], then magazines in nice magazine holders on the next shelf up - and then my books on tape on the top of the shelf. It will be just above window height.

I was there 3 times today and the sun doesn't hit directly into the room either front or back - so I won't worry about items being sun-damaged over the years.

There will be photos and commentary after the Tuesday move [that night I'm going to Marie's sewing class so won't have anything until Wednesday]

Monday, July 9, 2007

Wednesday 7/11/07 Keys at last!

I picked up my keys to the front door, my gate opener, and my panic pager today [along with my name tag to be worn on Wednesdays]. It was so quiet at the campus - nobody washing their car with the radio blaring - no kids selling drugs in front of the house [yes, that happened the other night at home].

I can hardly wait until Tuesday when I will be officially moved into the grounds.

This is the view out of my front door [through the kitchen window]. I'm not close enough to see the folks inside their unit across the way, but am close to the birdfeeders hanging in the trees - so lots of flutter and lots of natures music.

Back window views [facing south]. My entire back wall is window [from about 3 feet or so above the floor]. There is no walkway back here so no one should be walking by my bedroom at night.
There is an avocado tree just to the right of my back door, and I am allowed to pick the fruit from it [residents can do that, but not staff].

There is a group of residents who pick the variety of fruit trees and set the fruit aside somewhere for the use of the residents [I need to ask where that is].

Here is the kitchen that I have been waxing poetic about. A little less storage space than at home, but the corner cabinet has an odd door and a revolving rack for items there [both upper and lower corner cabinets.]

There's even a whatnot shelf built into the wall [with a glass door]. I need to find some stands to put my "catly" items on, so they can be layered on the larger shelves. Along with cats, I have a reindeer made and painted by a coworkers wife from DWP and an angel purchased from a craft fair somewhere.

There is a very tiny hallway outside the bathroom with a long hanging closet. I'll get some hanging sweater containers to put fabric in [fabric? me?]. There will also be another storage cabinet being built to replace the vanity [not nearly enough makeup to put in it's own unit] on the opposite wall of this sliding door cabinet.

And the bathroom. If I were really agile, I could sit on the toilet and wash my feet in the lavatory. There is also a shower to the right of the toilet.

Nothing in the bedroom yet, so no photos.

I will be moving fabric in for the next few days, and will be moving in officially on Tuesday, the 17th. Parking is not far away, and the dining room is a short walk [so between walking the dogs and going to eat, I should tighten up some of my muscles, right?]

I get 20 meals for the month. After looking at the menu, I may not be cooking this month any more at all. It's going to be tough to get to all 20, but I can't carry them over to the next month.

Moving day!

No photos today, just an update.

I went to Westminster Gardens to sign a batch of papers.

The marketing director and I did a final walk-through the unit and checked everything out. Utilities are all on [oops! we didn't check the water] and the place looks great.

I get my key tomorrow [Wednesday] and will start moving odds & ends into the unit.

Photos tomorrow
Kitten Pics

Blackie has a bed next to my recliner so she can sleep there when I'm home. Otherwise, I lock her in the bathroom with water and litterbox so she can be safe while I'm gone.

She's gotten really good at climbing! She had discovered the ramp for the dog to get up onto my bed, but this morning she leaped up to the side of the bed and pulled herself up. I don't think she can get down the same way [there's a loud "thump" when she lands], but it doesn't seem to bother her.

On Tuesday I sign my final papers to get into Westminster Gardens. I pick up the key on Wednesday and will start moving things in at that time. The movers come on the 17th to pick up the big furniture and I will be officially moving in on that date.

Scary and fun!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mystery Weekend in Big Bear, Calif.

This will be about Big Bear, but first you get kitten photos. She's almost 6 weeks old and she and Little Bit [youngest chihuahua] have developed a "tag" type game they play [until he scares her and she runs under my feet or the furniture].

Here is our room [Sandy and I bunked together]. Very spacious [although the refrigerator door didn't close] and clean. The T.V. worked well, also. We stayed at Northwoods Resort and Convention Center in Big Bear.

And here's the photo of my first block. So far there are 12 different food/bug fabrics plus the green "sashing" around the 4 center blocks. All the fabrics are supposed to be different, although not all of mine worked out that way.

And, of course, there's chocolate to get us through the hours of cutting, matching, sewing, and ironing. The main room was upstairs [2nd floor] at the convention center of the hotel, and the ironing room was a bedroom on the first floor of the "rooms" of the hotel. Quite a hike at 10 p.m. [although it did get the blood circulating].

And here's my quilt with the first border on it [not in the pattern, but needed]. I did get the top larger border on, but it didn't show here.

I finished the borders at "Sit & Sew" on Tuesday night at A Quilter's Dream, where we are not holding our quilting classes.

And here is the group that stayed late enough Sunday morning to get a group photo. We had show and tell and saw everything from quilt tops with all borders on to just a few blocks placed strategically on the chest.

There was way to much food [breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday were part of the package], but lots of fun. I did discover that Starbucks has a Double Chocolate Chip Frappucino [sp?] that should NOT be taken at 10 p.m. It was tough getting to sleep that night even though my body said "enough!'.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Here is a brand new water heater [what fun!]. It's been leaking for several days, but I thought it was the washing machine and turned off the water to the machine for a couple days to check. Water kept building up on the floor [sigh] so finally called a company that came out within an hour to do the work.

The wooden floor is a piece of plywood that the workers put down because the folks who put down the floor didn't bother to put Pergo UNDER the water heater, and the new one had to go back about 2 feet so it could be strapped to the wall.

Here is all the new piping that they installed because the old piping wouldn't allow the water heater to stand against the wall.

They did a great job - but it must have been gold plated somewhere for the price I was charged. I will say the guys that did the job were top notch, very professional, and very polite and neat.

I really hoped I could move in July without spending more money on the house.