Monday, July 26, 2010

Guess Who's Been Oil Painting?

mine with inspiration

We all have! And we had a great time. I did the sailboat. My niece and daughter did the trees. Then I did another one with trees, because everyone else had a tree in theirs.

daughter and niece

My brother and our guest painted a woman. Theirs was much more challenging, and she doesn't want to finish it, but hopefully she learned something and enjoyed doing the parts that she did do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quilters Galore

My plot to turn everyone around me into a quilter is working!  Here's a charm quilt that my niece made for me.  She didn't know what to call it at first, but the name fits perfectly. It is quite charming.

Remember the last quilt I started? With our first student, I tried to keep her constantly busy, but that wore me out, and probably wore her out as well.  With our second student, I learned that it is probably best to leave the evenings free and flexible.  The day before yesterday, we were watching television, and she was looking bored, so I brought out my treasure map quilt.  I got the idea from the Whip Up book.  I asked her if she wanted to add something to the quilt, and she said yes.  She made the skull.  My daughter didn't want anything to do with it.  I asked IU if she wanted to make anything else, making sure she understood she didn't have to.  She decided to make something even more elaborate and intricate.  Isn't it fantastic?

Monday, July 19, 2010


What else am I supposed to do with fireworks pictures?

My daughter returned to the States on Sunday. On her blog, she said she was looking forward to coming home so she can sleep in. So she did, and she was jet lagged. It was a quick welcome, because on Thursday we picked up our Japanese guest. She said she was shy in her introduction letter, which made me nervous, but she isn't overly shy, and is a pleasure to have around. She is an artist, so I am having fun showing her all the hand made stuff around the house. She speaks English very well, because she prepares what she wants to tell us first with her electronic translator, and then she tells us.

We followed the same routine on Thursday evening that we have done with all of our Japanese guests - after picking her up from the airport, we take her out to eat and then grocery shopping. She is really surprised at our sliding doors - in Japan, you have stand and wait for them to open, probably a way to conserve energy. We went to Panda Express this time. Friday, she went to school, and we stayed home so she could unpack and relax. We played card games. The girls played speed, and then I joined them in a game she suggested, Memory.

On Saturday, we went shopping. And saw Standing Ovation.  She sings in the chorus at school.  It was a bad movie, but there were lots of songs, so she could stay entertained even if she couldn't understand the plot.   On Sunday, we had our summer birthdays celebration / family gathering, and I needed to buy gifts. It was wonderful. She may have gotten bored when everyone was chatting away, but she and my nieces were drawing with my new coloring pencils, and she is really good. I think she enjoyed that.  We had a thunderstorm which added to the excitement.

Today it's back to school and back to work.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fabric Purchase - lots of pictures

I had a personal shopper go abroad with my money to buy fabric.  It was an expensive shopping trip for me, since I paid her 100% of the purchase price for her time and effort.  I'm hoping the extra will come back to me when I am old and needy. The light blue fabric is a gift from Tanya.  Thanks Tanya!   See that dark cloud fabric beside it on the top?  This is what it looks like.

She kept handing me bag after bag of fabric. Everything was wrapped so nicely. I hated to mess up the wrapping, but I wanted to fondle the fabric. There are so many wonderful designs and textures.

I asked for some blue and brown fabric - things that would go together on a quilt. Nice.

My favorite is this gradation of fabrics and the magazine.  Swoon!  That magazine has a lot of beautiful projects and patterns in it.  She probably bought it because of this picture.

I know how they can fit so many patterns in one magazine. They conserve pattern space by using the same space for more than one pattern! and to think I am offended when they print patterns on both sides of the paper!

There are so many beautiful, diverse fabrics. I will probably be making other things, like bags and table cloths out of some of them. If you can think of a good quilt pattern to use for these fabrics, please let me know.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Vacation

My baby is home!  for a short summer vacation.  And she brought half a suitcase full of fabric for me.   I'll show you in another post. I'm headed off to work.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Gratuitous fireworks shot

Do you read your horoscope?  I don't follow it regularly, but if I manage to get one placed in front of me, then I will read mine.  We have some people in the office who are from another office in another state, and since they get a newspaper everyday from the hotel, they bring it into the office.  One day last week, one happened to be on the table and I decided to sit by the newspaper to have lunch.  It was very appropriate.

It said something to the effect that I was very busy, but if I made a list, and just did the things on it, I would manage to get through it all.  Now I know this horoscope would be appropriate for 99% of the people in the world, but it was directed at me, and it did provide me with some comfort.  And I am keeping that comfort that I will be able to manage it all. Even though it was one day last week's horoscope.

I have been asked to do extra work, at work, and it is my rule that I never turn down legitimate paying enjoyable work.   It is hard to do this extra work, since I was expecting work to slow down, and make a smooth transition between working and not working. But instead I am working overtime.  Hopefully this means that when I am not working, I will be able to keep up the momentum, and get some real spring cleaning done. The house has been calling loudly, and the list of things I want to do at home keeps getting longer.  And the deadlines are creeping up.  People are going to be coming to my house soon from Japan.

I needed to do something to relieve the stress of things I need to do that aren't getting done, so I started another quilt.  LOL.  It was supposed to be a small, quick-finish quilt, but you know me.  It always takes longer and becomes more complicated as I think about it.  I do need to keep working on it though, so it doesn't feel like another thing on the list of things to do.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Me and about 500,000 of my closest friends and family went to see the fireworks yesterday. Sorry you didn't get an invite. It was hard to pick and choose who to invite and who to leave out.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day - the temperature was cool, the breeze was comfortable, we found great parking and a wonderful spot to view the fireworks. We ate a wonderful dinner at the North Market. Then made our way to the park. The people watching was wonderful too. We were lying down to watch them. I used my new camera for the pictures, and they turned out so much better than any fireworks pictures I have tried to take before. Some photo taking tips said to leave a frame of reference in the photo, so sometimes I used the Laveque tower, and sometimes I used the heads of the people in front of me. The heads make it look like I don't have a good view of the fireworks, but I did. They weren't in my way, I put them there on purpose! The fireworks looked like they were aiming right at us. And they were! Our blankets was covered with them, and a few did manage to stay into our eyes and mouths. Even the trip home was easy.