Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Hey You

Saturday was Hey You's birthday. Last week we went to Lowes and I got him this. Kinda like a sewing machine for men wouldn't you say? He's already been putting it to good use replacing the trim around the outside of the windows.

Yesterday I took him out to dinner at our favorite fish place in Moss Landing. It's right on the water in the harbor and there's always plenty of wildlife to see. I thought the camera wasn't working so I didn't bother taking pictures of the cute sea otters but here's some photos I did take.
Blue Heron

Sea Lions on the dock.
It's amazing how many of them can squeeze on there.


Organizing the Stash, cont.

Last weekend I sorted, pressed, and folded the red and green drawers. Today I worked on the blue drawer for an hour and a half.


Folded and sorted by value

All done.

There's certainly a lot more room in the drawers when everything is folded neatly. I may even be able to put some of the "overflow" into the proper drawer when I'm done. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Iron

Last week while I was preparing for Sew Day with Deb and Mar, my old iron started slowing losing it's heat, until finally it was only luke warm. I found another iron in the garage, dusted it off and used it when the girls were here.

<==== Old Black & Decker Classic (RIP)

On Sunday, Hey You and I went to Lowes in Gilroy and, among other things, I looked for a new iron. I was going to get the same thing I had before, Black & Decker Classic. Then I saw this one, a Shark. Normally I would have overlooked this iron but in August when we all gathered at Pam's, she had a Shark and I liked it. My ironing station is back in business.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On the Frame

This is my APQS Millennium longarm quilting machine. Isn't she beautiful?

Right now I have an Ebay "rescue" top on the machine. It's not the greatest of tops but it's good for practice. At some point the top was washed which caused some of the seams to fray and the edges have been cut off. I presume because they frayed really badly. I still think it's pretty and worth quilting. That's the "rescue" part.

I'm putting Victorian feathers in the melons and centers of the rings. It's a technique I learned in a class with Karen McTavish. I'm doing continuous curves on all the little pieces in the rings and Terry Twists in the 4 patches where the rings over lap. All the rings are now quilted and I have the first row of melons/centers done.

Terry Twists on a Quilt Pink top I quilted last year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Organizing the Stash

Before Mar and Deb came up on Saturday for Sew Day, I decided I had to straighten up my stash (at least the red and green) because it was, you know, messy. And I couldn't let them see it that way. I didn't get a before picture but the next two photos are pretty representative.

I got up early and started pressing and folding and pressing and folding. And here are the results. Two drawers down 10+ to go.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Water Woes

This big ugly green thing is our 5000 gallon water tank. Just behind it is what I call the pump house. It covers the well and the pressure tank. The way this works is, the water is pumped from the well into the large holding tank. From there another pump fills the pressure tank which in turn feeds water to the house.

A few weeks ago, Hey You came home to no water. Of course there were a number of things to check. It wasn't the pressure tank or the pump that fills it. When he check the big ugly green tank, he found that it was almost empty. That meant the well pump was out or the well had run dry. I guess the good news is, it was the pump, but we had to wait until the next day to get it replaced and Hey You had to pull the roof off the pump house to provide access to the well.

I was not too happy with the prospect of having no water to flush toilets but there was a little light in the gloom. The big ugly green tank has two output valves, the Upper valve and the Lower valve. Normally we pull water from the Upper valve, so there was still 3 feet or so of water in the tank. Hey You switched us over to the Lower valve and we were back in business, so to speak.

It took the well guys 11 hours the next day to pull 500+ feet of pipe out of the well, replace the pump and put all that pipe back. Sounds easy but apparently there's wiring and stuff that makes it more difficult.

About 9:00pm we were pumping water from the well again. Yeah!!! Unfortunately it was cloudy, yucky water. It took almost 3 weeks for the water to clear up. In fact, I just noticed it the other day. But that's never the end of the story when you live in the country.

Saturday Hey You started working on repairing/replacing the roof he had been force to destroy. While wandering around the pump house and the tank, he noticed a problem.

This isn't good.

The problem with living in the country is there isn't a utility company that just "takes care" of this kind of stuff. Sometimes I wonder why we live out here. Then I look out my front window and. . .

This is why I live in the country.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why "Hey You"

My husband and I don't go for all those cutsie (as I wrinkle my nose) pet names couples have for one another. Darling, Sweety, Honey, Babe, Snookums, blah, blah, blah. So, we just call each other Hey You. It's not sickly sweet and you don't have to worry about using the wrong name.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The price of gas

Last Friday after work I just wanted be home. The thought had crossed my mind that I should fill up the tank with gas before the prices went up due to Ike. But, I just wanted to be home, so I didn't do it. Yesterday, Hey You called before I left the house and said they were working on the road near my exit and I should take an alternate route, one that bypasses my favorite gas station. So I didn't get gas yesterday either. This morning figured I had to do it, even if it meant kicking myself for not filling up on Friday. The price per gallon went DOWN from last week, by 4 cents!

Check out your keyboard. Do you have a cent sign anywhere? You know, that little c with a line through it? I can't find one on my keyboard. Alas, I suppose it's just not important anymore.

Oh, that reminds me. Did you watch the 60 Minute interview with Supreme Court Justice Scalia? Lesley Stahl dug up his PERMANENT RECORD from grade school!

Monday, September 15, 2008

How I became a quilter - Part II

The AAQ message board was unlike any message board I had ever seen. The technical boards I had been to were . . . slow. Someone would post a question and maybe in a month or two they would get a reply. Most questions went unanswered. I guess they were frequented more by people with problems than by people with solutions.

Alex's board, on the other hand, was busy. The first page contained posts from that day, maybe the day before, but no older than that. The posts weren't all questions and they weren't all about quilting either. And they all had replies, most of them had multiple replies. They were conversations, conversations about quilting, conversations about children & family, conversations about pets, conversations about vacations, conversations about life.

I began reading these conversations every day and I quickly got to know these people. After a couple of weeks I realized that they didn't even know I existed. So I gathered up the courage to join in the conversation and introduced myself. It was great to have a group of new friends with quilting in common and over time we discovered we had more things in common.

One day there was a post announcing that there was an opening for the first ever Alex Anderson Quilt Retreat being held in Livermore, CA. Livermore is only an hour and a half away, I could drive. I quickly emailed Suji and I was in! I was going to meet some of my new found friends in real life!

It was August 2001. Little did I know that soon, all our lives would be changed in an instant. . . .

Bath Day

I gave the puppies a bath yesterday. They're not too crazy about water, but at least they no longer throw a fit. Instead, they try to make me feel guilty and it sort of works. I tried to give Charlie a treat but he would have nothing to do with it.

Once they're all dried off I think they are happy to be fresh and clean. They run and run and run. They seem to be having a good time.

No puppies were harmed during this bath.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I've been quilting away with my new favorite tool, the Baptist Fan template from Quilt-EZ. I've used it on three quilts over the past week or so.

This is Mar's quilt.

A close up.

Here's Deb's quilt.

A close up.

And this one is an EBay rescue.

And a close up.

Note to self: Load photos from the bottom up!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Puppy Quilt

I found a new stitch path for the baptist fan template and wanted to practice it. So, I loaded some muslin on the long-arm and made this little quilt for the puppies. They love it!

Mr. Eko is on the left and Charlie is on the right.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How I became a Quilter - Part I

I became a quilter somewhere around the end of 2000 or beginning of 2001. It was this quilt on Simply Quilts that inspired me. Oh I had made a handful of quilts before but this quilt was different. This quilt changed my life.

I used to watch Alex Anderson on Simply Quilts every morning at 5:30am, before I got up and started my day. Every day I would say to myself, "That looks fun (or pretty, easy, whatever)." But none of them really made me want to pull out the old sewing machine and make a trip to the fabric store. Until I saw this quilt.

Of course I didn't write down all the instructions so I had to look it up on the internet. I found the episode on HGTV and printed the directions. Then I spotted a link to Host Bio, which lead me to Alex's own website. It was amazing. (I was a web surfing noob too). Back then Alex's site included a message board. It wasn't until a few weeks later that I actually bothered to check it out. My experience with message boards was that they were pretty boring.

Boy was I wrong. . . . . .

Peter Frampton

I was listening to my iPod in the car on the way to work this morning. I have two things to say, my car stereo is good and man, could Peter Frampton play!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bling, Permanent Records and Other Random Thoughts

So my friend Mar has been after me to start blogging. I've never felt I had enough to say, at least that someone else might be interested in. My life is not terribly exciting and right now and quite honestly I like it that way.

I'm watching tennis, U.S. Open Women's final. Did you see the tennis bracelet on Serena?!?! I don't wear that much bling when I get dressed up. I certainly wouldn't wear something like that to sweat in. Who am I kidding, I don't sweat.

Ok, back to blogging. My friend Deb just started a blog. She's going to chronicle her quilting journey. It's a great idea, but now it's already taken, damn. Can I say damn in a blog? Are there blog monitors? Will I be banned after my first post? Will it go on my permanent record?

Speaking of permanent records, have you ever seen yours? I haven't. I think it's really more of a temporary record that teachers use to scare little kids into being good. There were plenty of colleges willing to take my parents money in exchange for my education. None of my employers have ever asked for a copy of my permanent record. I don't think it's had any baring on my ability to borrow money. My husband didn't ask to see it before he married me. I bet if I asked my old school district for a copy of it they would laugh in my face.

I'm pretty pleased with myself right now. I figured out how to make "Mar" and "Deb" take you to their blogs when you click them. It's pretty much worn me out.

So far my first post has been random thoughts mixed in with a couple of deliberate thoughts. Maybe that's what this will become. Instead of trying to entertain readers, I'll just throw my thoughts out here.

Oh, and I'll put some pictures up now and then too. In fact, I spent a hour or so looking for photos that say something about me.

God I've got to lose some weight. I looked so much better 6 or 7 years ago. I'll start tomorrow, Hey You just made some popcorn.

This is our morning hang out on Kauai. The lanai at Java Kai in Hanalei about 20 pounds ago. Notice how I hide my hips under the table. It's a theme in most pictures of me, a well placed rock, plant, table or even another person if necessary. Of course it's getting harder since I have more to hide now.

I suppose I should save something for the next post(s). I would hate for this to be my first and last post because I said all I have to say. LOL