Thursday, October 30, 2008

All in a day with Hans

See the pretty water?
Well it was cold and murky and in an attempt to ride on the smooth part of the path I nearly fell into this river.
Luckily I didn't, but it reminded me of how when I was little and we visited friends of ours who lived on a farm, I always managed to fall into a fresh pile of cow manure.
These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago when Hans and I went bike riding in The Big City. I'm amazed at the amount of bike paths there are to ride on and we take advantage as often as we can.

From way across the river, I took this picture of the pretty pink fountain by using the close up option on my camera

Then, later on when we arrived at the fountain I took this picture of Hans. Notice, he has a ball cap on underneath his helmet because of the sun.
He's so smart!

The End.
Get it?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Man Winter made an unwelcome visit.

This is what I woke up to yesterday. Pretty fall foliage and snow on the ground.

Actually this is nothing. I bet we've had at least four more inches of accumulation tonight.

I'm just not ready for it. Period.

I finally finished Baby Girl's curtains which I will try to install this weekend and the above picture is my next project. I was digging through my stash and found a couple of pieces of left over quilt fabric that I'd used for Hans' brother's birthday present. I'm hoping that by utilizing this border fabric that I'll be able to come up with a pretty Belle Bag.

We'll see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A little sewing, a little sailing, and a lot of gloating!

The gloating first. Check out the score. It looks like 'L' won.

I beat Hans at the two games of Scrabble that we played this weekend!!! I hate to admit it but I have a tremendous competitive streak and beating Hans at board games is highly satisfying!!

Sorry Hans.

We had a beautiful sail on Friday, spent the night anchored in a peaceful little cove, and played Scrabble (guess who won?!). Saturday arrived with weather reports of gusting winds and storms but it was hard to believe as it was such a pretty morning. Then the wind kicked up and we decided to 'try to beat the storm home.'

Famous last words.

With the main sail up part way we set off and no sooner were we out of the bay than winds gusting up to 30 knots were tossing us all over the place. I came up from down below to find Hans frantically turning the wheel as I swear we almost sideswiped an island. At that point Hans shouted over the winds that we were in two and a half feet of water and luckily our boat only draws about two feet or we'd have been in big trouble.

After many attempts, Hans (hindered rather than helped by me) managed to get the main down and we made the decision to go back to our little cove.

Once there, it took three attempts to get the anchor to hold but it finally did and we decided to stay put for the night.

Mother Nature had different ideas.

The weather channel advised that the winds were going to shift in the evening and in a direction that would basically swing our boat around and into the stone wall on shore.


Up came the anchor and we motored up the river to another cove with better coverage and dropped anchor yet again. Of course it was in the middle of a rainy, windy storm.

But the anchor held the first time and the twenty knot winds driving into us helped to set it. Once we felt secure we had spaghetti and played another game of Scrabble (guess who won?!).

Thankfully things calmed down and we had a peaceful night. Sunday was actually hot and sunny and we had nice trip back to our slip.

Ahoy maties!!! Check out this fun boat. You see all kinds of things when you sail.

I hadn't even started packing for our trip on Thursday, when I remembered that a friend had asked me to sew her a nurses cap that she needed for a Halloween party. Something kept nagging in the back of my mind and sure enough I found out she needed it for the weekend I'd be gone and not the following week! I hadn't even started it!! So at 11:00 that night I had to get to work. Luckily it wasn't too hard but my iron spit up all kinds of yellow gunk all over it and I think I misinterpreted the folding of the back but I got it done!

It still makes me cringe to think that I would have gone away for the weekend thinking that I still had a week to get this little hat done.

Wasn't my one and only New Year's Resolution to try not to procrastinate?

Friday, October 24, 2008

A shameful time!

I'm feeling awful. Amy from Shirts and Skirts Galore nominated me for the same award that Angelia did and I forgot to mention it. I was already behind in thanking everyone and in my hurry she was left out! Sounds like grade school mean girls doesn't it!
Hans and I took Friday as a vacation day and came down to to the boat for our last weekend sail. We'll be coming back down in November but that will be to close her up for the winter so there won't be any sailing.
This has been a bit of a crazy month. I've had some health issues that are, to say the least, very frustrating to me. Put is this way; it's female related and if Dracula were to show up at my house, he would go away a very frustrated vampire as I have nothing left for him!

I've been training a new girl at work and I'm not used to having someone sit with me ALL DAY!! Thank God she's a really nice person.

And then we finally got a charter for our boat. I think Angelia's husband (The Bald Man from Bald Man Blurbs) would agree with me that this has been a very dry year for boating. Well, someone decided that our boat would be just peachy for a long weekend sail, so the company that handles our boat for charters notified Hans and then the fun began.

What a brouhaha! (I love that word)

Hans had to kick in the special insurance needed for such excursions.

The insurance cost was more than he made on the charter.

I kid you not.
This is because he has to keep the coverage for 6 months and because of the weather there is no way anyone is going to charter again this year.

Then there was the issue of the cleanliness of the boat and what happens when there is a total lack of communication.

I was under the impression that the charter company 'detailed' the boat before charters because when I told the charter manager that I was going to sweep and clean the interior he said not to worry because that was their job.


The first email to Hans (on the day the renters were moving aboard) mentioned that they were so very disappointed in us as there were no fire extinguishers or air horns aboard, and shame on us! BTW, he added, the boat was dusty.

Now, even I, probably the most unobservant person in the world, know where the fire extinguishers and air horns are as they are impossible to miss.

I let Hans know how I felt about this and he wisely did not pass my feelings on to the charter manager.

Then the 2nd email arrived and Hans wouldn't even let me see it.

It would appear that we are pigs. Filthy pigs. The charter company was under the impression that we had thoroughly cleaned the boat and they were very upset with us. I think there may even have been mention that my mother wears army boots.
I saw red! I told Hans that since I was under the impression that they were going to clean the boat I almost hadn't cleaned the toothpaste spatters from the mirrors and sinks in the head when we were on the boat last month.

Imagine what their reaction to that would have been!

More heated emails ensued and Hans told him that if they felt the need to charge so much then by God we'd better be coming down to a spic and span boat this weekend.

Well, it does look nice but don't think we haven't had fun trying to find things they missed.

The loudest geese I've ever heard flew in to where we are anchored.

They landed long enough to have a huge gab fest and then took off again. Probably some man wouldn't stop to ask directions and the 'ladies' were expressing their opinions.

This house is on the bay where we are anchored. A charming little cottage, isn't it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some catching up

I've been horribly lax in my duties as a blogger.

In the past few months I received awards from Angelia at Sew Much to Sew, and Joan from Whatever I Think.
I finally got around to getting them on my sidebar (Thanks Angelia!) and I'd like to finally thank these ladies for being so nice.

I know I'm supposed to pass them on but it appears that everyone I read has already received them!

And Judy from Maccabags tagged me too. I'm supposed share 7 facts about myself.

I can't stand cigarette smoke, it gags me and it was one of the things I hated about bartending. I couldn't get away from it. So I still find it hard to believe that when I was 9 years old, my girlfriend from across the street and I spent an entire summer hiding in the woods and smoking. We were forced to kick the habit though when 'Susie's' mother found a pack of cigarettes hidden in her closet. I got grounded. Susie didn't.

I love the smell of barns.

I'm a huge fan of the Andy Griffith Show. I've been to the Mayberry Days Festival in Mt. Airy. NC three times. It's held during the last weekend in September and thousands of fans pour into town for all of the festivities. The first year I went, I was by myself, and it was the best 'alone' trip I've ever made because just like Mayberry is known as a 'friendly' town I know for a fact that Mt. Airy is! BTW, if you ever want to go visit Mt. Airy during Mayberry Days you'll need to make hotel reservations by March. I kid you not!

If you share my maiden name then you are related to me. Two brothers and a sister (I'm descended from one of the brothers) arrived in this little swamp town from Germany back in the mid 1800's, settled down, started begetting immediately, and opened a bar. The sister supplemented her meager income as a teacher by charging men for her favors, and gave birth to twins thus becoming the area's first single mother. She gave her children very strange names that I don't want to print here as the whole crew has become documented in my state's history. No I won't tell you my maiden name.

I have absolutely no sense of direction. I can't retrace my steps. Ever. Don't tell me it's on the east side of the building or they live on the west side of the city. I won't be able to figure it out. I could probably get lost in my own house.

I love animals (like you couldn't figure that out) and I've had over the years, dogs, cats, hampsters, birds, a racoon, a skunk, lizards, turtles, and a big Teddy Bear named Hans!

I always have the TV on even if I'm not watching. I seem to need background noise and I can't sew if there's nothing good on!

Once again it would seem that everyone I know has already been tagged for this so if anyone reading would like to impart 7 facts about themselves please do!! I would love to read them.

This is what I saw on my drive home tonight. It was much brighter and more intense in person.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A couple of purses and a beast.

I'm in the Big City for the weekend so I won't be getting any sewing done but I was going through some old pictures and found these.

This was the first purse I made from Nicole Mallalieu's pattern collection. It's the Belle Bag and I bought some home dec fabric that was on sale for about $2.00 a yard. I was very happy with the results and I've ended up making many more. I didn't use any batting to give it body so it's a little 'limp', but my next one will definitely have more body.

This was my second attempt and once again I didn't add batting. I still like it but can't help but think that it would look a lot better with some firmness to it.

Here's what happens when you buy cheap handles at JoAnn's. I was walking along and all of a sudden the pin that holds the ring to the handle just fell out. I can probably rig something up but I haven't felt like it yet.

News Flash!

Well, it finally happened.

The Beast loves to go out on my back deck and she lets me know this (in a very imperialistic manner) each and every day.

I've had a few close calls however, like going back to work and forgetting that I've let her out which results in my jumping up from my desk and rushing home to let her back in (I live across the street from where I work).

You see, The Beast is an indoor cat. She's been declawed and shouldn't be out at all but I've barricaded the deck so that she can't escape. This is a big joke though because she escapes nearly each time but luckily she doesn't go far, usually she just goes around to the front of the house and asks to be let in the front door.

Well, she demanded to be let out at lunchtime on Thursday because it was such a beautiful day, and of course I relented. Later on I went straight to work at the inn from my daytime job and didn't get home until later that night.

Friday morning I was getting ready for work and the TV (which I have on full blast so I can hear it it the bathroom) went silent with some sort of network problem. So while the TV was off I kept hearing a really strange and irritating rusty sound that I finally narrowed down to as coming from the direction of my deck.

I opened the door and nearly choked when a very frosty Beast rolled into the kitchen.

I'd left that poor thing out all day and night long!

She couldn't get to her food dish fast enough.

I still wonder how long she would have been stuck out there if the TV hadn't gone out.

Needless to say I think her deck days are over for awhile.

The Beast's current opinion of me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A day at the zoo

When you can't go hand in hand I guess trunk and tail is the next best thing.

Hans and I went to the zoo this past weekend and we had a great time. Dare I mention that I took over 200 pictures? Don't worry, I deleted tons of them and I'm only posting a few here!

We were just beginning to think that we weren't going to see the new baby elephant when all of a sudden out it came!

An employee led three adult elephants and the baby out in the open area and I actually jumped up and down, I was so excited.

What a performance! (the baby elephant, not me)

He galloped around like a puppy and at one point fell flat on his face. He pestered the adults until one of them, tiring of his antics, shoved him with a big foot and sent him staggering. He mimicked them by picking up straw in his trunk and eating it and when he followed them to the water he got so excited he energetically started slapping at the water with his trunk and had the whole crowd that was watching him laughing.

But just like a typical baby, when he got tired, he found mom, and started nursing. Mom stood it for so long and then walked away.

We spent at least an hour watching these big guys and enjoyed every second.

The above picture is a good example of why office parties should be discouraged.

My pretty little Chlorox thinks she looks like this lady.

And she does.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just more stuff

This bundle of fabric is a future mini duffel bag.

It's prequilted fabric with instructions. I wanted the big duffel bag but at about $40.00 I found it to be just a bit too pricey for me right now.

This will allow me to make a smaller bag that will be perfect for a funky purse, a huge makeup bag or even a lunch bag.

Then I can hopefully enlarge it enough to make it into a full size duffel bag.

The reason the bigger bag was more expensive was because they were using prequilted fabric at about $20.00/yd and it needs almost 2 yards.

I personally don't need to use quilted fabric, you can use home dec, or even quilt weight. Just make sure you interface and stabilize it properly

I took this picture off the back of my deck last night. I realize the leaves are changing so fast that if I didn't get a picture now, the next time I look out, the trees will be bare!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An addition to my previous post

Here's an applique of some 'Men at Work'.

Too cute.

Hmmm, I wonder who the recipient of this quilt is.

A fun, fall, quilt top.
I absolutely love fall, pumpkins, Halloween, and anything that goes with autumn.

We had such a beautiful weekend here in the Big City. It turns out that Hans has never been to the zoo in all the years he's lived here and I thought we should go.
Talk about good timing, it turns out today was a free day at the zoo.
None the less, I was unprepared for the crowd that took advantage of the offer. I think they should have charged $1.00 per person, which would have been affordable, and they would have made a lot of money, probably more than they do when charging the usual fee of $70.00 per family.
We had fun though and I took so many pictures (baby elephant!!!! and yes, I'll be posting them!!) that right at the end of the day (when I tried to take a picture of the young man in front of me with his pants literally down around his thighs!) my camera said 'battery is exhausted' and died on me.

I know just how it felt.

All kinds of good stuff

Last week a group called the Cotton Pickers were at the inn (where I'm a waitress), and for about 4 or so days, sewed their little cotten pick'n hearts out!!

They took over the 'Ballroom' which is a huge room normally used for receptions and banquets, set up their machines and tables and went to work.

And believe me, they work!

I stopped in on them after my shift and when I left at around 10 PM, many were still sewing away.

Recognize the theme on the first quilt? It's the same fabric that I used on the bag I made for my sister.

I'm just amazed at how the patterns and colors go together to form such beautiful quilts.

Isn't this fabulous. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope.

I love the rich colors of this bag. The sides have ties that allow it to be cinched in or released for more fullness. I believe that fusible batting was used for firmness. The workmanship was exceptional.

This is a close up of a small section of the following quilt top.

See the wine bottle motif?

I only wish my pictures were better. This quilt top was unbelievable! There are tons and tons of the tiniest squares all sewn together in such a way that the colors flow like a river throughout the whole thing. The lady who was making it was showing me how some of the fabric was directional and she had to make sure all those tiny squares went in the same direction.

Again, I need to figure out my camera settings because my pictures don't begin to do justice to these works of art.

Here are four squares, made up of smaller squares. We placed them down to see what they'd look like once they would be stitched together. I believe this quilt top was finished during the visit to the Inn.


This is a work in progress. I can't remember the name of the book that this came from, but what a lot of work to put this altogether in such a neat way.

A very pretty little makeup bag.

This duffel bag went over Big Time with everyone. I know I would love to make one of these too and the lady who made it said it was very easy.

I"m pretty sure the quilt shop that I frequent has a good sized duffel bag pattern and I'm going to check it out next week. If they have one then I'm going to snag it up before they quit carrying it.

A variety of groups of women come to the Inn throughout the year with their sewing projects (I mentioned one of them here). They work long, long hours and accomplish so much. I'm so impressed by them and some even have quilt shops of their own. I had so many questions and they were all very gracious and took time to visit with me, and let me take pictures of their works in progress. I can't believe how many different techniques these ladies were using.
I really want to be able to do this myself someday. Men go away for golf or ski weekends, and I think women should get away too..
The world would be a better and happier place, I'm sure!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Let's hear it for privacy!!!

Here are the windows in the living room where Baby Girl lives with her room mates. Not a lot of privacy as you can see.
I stopped by on my way home from The Inn tonight.

I found it to be quite interesting when I arrived at Baby Girl's house that, a very cute young man was right behind me carrying a case of Coors Light (yuk!), and swept into the house with me. I'm not sure the girls knew what to do when I announced, "Hey, look what followed me in! A case of beer!"
He, his girlfriend, and the beer left shortly thereafter.

Check out the existing hideous panel on the main window.

Can you see on their TV... they like 'The Office'. I myself have never seen it although from what I hear... it's a lot of fun. Then Saturday Night Live had it's Thursday Night Special which of course made fun of the 'debate.'
From now on I'm saving my time and watching SNL instead of the real thing.
Scary funny.

Here is the beginning of my endeavor to cover those windows. The skinny windows still need the lower panels to be made but that will have to wait until next week.

Last night while I was sewing, I turned my back for just a second (I kid you not!) and this is what happened.

I hope none of those girls suffer from cat allergies!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A busy week.

What a busy week! Last week I worked three nights at the inn, in addition to my full time job, so I got very little sewing done.

But over the weekend I did get some time in on the curtains I'm making for Baby Girl and I truly hope to get them done this week. Ironing, measuring, and cutting 26 yards of fabric take longer than the actual sewing.

We had such a beautiful fall weekend too, so Hans and I went for a walk along one of our nature trails on Saturday, and then on Sunday we visited a local area that (very strangely) brings tourists from far and wide.

Also visiting, is the little tourist above (the one with the harness). This little kitty spotted Hans and that was it. She wrapped herself all around him (the hussy) and the owner had to drag her away.

Here are a bunch of geese.

Now what do you suppose they're doing?



They're walking on the back's of these lovelies!

Aren't they pretty?

Wouldn't you love to fall in the water with these guys?

This tourist area brings in thousands of visitors each year.

I kid you not!

It's known as "Where the ducks walk on the fish." You can bring all your old bread, and in case you don't have any, there are places around that sell old baked goods. This way everyone can have the fun of watching the water churn, as all of these carp, writhe and undulate in the water as they fight to suck up big chunks of white, wheat, rye, and even doughnuts!

Yes doughnuts!

You wouldn't believe the big stink (from our bureaucrats, not the fish) that's been brewing in my town.

Someone has decided that all of this bread and doughnut flinging will cease and desist as of January 1st 2009!


Well, as one newspaper article stated, "Bread is one thing, but we've witnessed people throwing muffins, bagels, and doughnuts to the carp."

Say it isn't so! (Don't they know what carp normally exist on? They're bottom feeders for God's sake!).

But there's an ingenious plan afoot.

This same article states that special 'fish pellets' will be available for a 'small' fee.

Oh, really.

You've got to wonder who's friend is selling these fabulous fish pellets, don't you?

This resulted in an outrage that made the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco pale in comparison.

So the idiots who came up with this new ingenious plan have backed off of it for now and will give 'serious consideration' to the concerns of our citizens.

It was either that or look over their shoulders for the rest of their lives!

Don't mess with a bunch of red necks!!

And Hans and I also went to a Canterbury Feast Saturday night. This is a dinner with a medieval theme and everyone's required to eat everything from soup, to salad, to a whole stuffed chicken per person, with their bare hands. No utensils are allowed.

We had a great time but when we got home we found that my cats had also had their own Feast.

The question burning in my brain at the moment is:

Where the hell is the rest of it?!