Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Technology abandoned me

WELL, the last two weeks have brought some challenges to my free time activities.  I took my sewing machine in for a 'ONE DAY' cleaning and then was told that it needed a new computer board.  I sadly told them to go ahead and order the part which was suppose to be there in a couple of days.  However the repair person (I think she was new to the job because the old repairman wasn't there) didn't get it done AND didn't get it done and  kept putting me off with little things until I finally went in this past Monday and they said that someone would work on it that day if they had time.  I told them that I would be back that afternoon and I wanted to take it home then,.  SO, they complied and got to work on it.  I was very happy to pick it up after it had been gone for over a week.  I am thankful that it is back at home 

To make things even more difficult here at our house, the computer was in the shop for a couple of days too.  It had been slowing down more and more and we decided to get it checked over.  It is old for a computer, about 6 years old, but we are in limbo about what to do in the way of a new home computer. We wanted to put off buying a new one while we were researching what to buy.  I am thankful that this old one is back in working order.  

 While my machines were being repaired I needed to find new ways to entertain myself.  I had lunch with a friend and we went to our local museum.  The quilt landscape artist that won Art Prize in Grand Rapids had an exhibit and we spent some time enjoying this art.  The picture above is one of three panels  depicting the Pictured Rocks in the U.P.  It is a beautiful piece.  I have taken a couple of classes from this artist and she is very inspirational for the quilting world.  It was a great way to spend the day if you can;t quilt yourself and lunch with a friend is always nice.

Bud has been very busy with his outside chores before winter arrives.  The trim on the house is all painted and he started working on the front deck.  Today he is doing the last step, staining/preserving the deck boards.  It looks great.  He has been taking half days off this month to complete his projects. He has been very busy, maybe he will be like this in retirement?????  It makes me look a little lazy but I have had more practice at this retirement thing and he continues to work as much as possible at the office.

I wish that I knew how to rotate a picture once it is on the blog but I don't know the secret so tip your head to the left to view this unusual piece. (or maybe not if you like it hanging this way) It has a funny story.
A couple of years ago I went for an overnight quilting retreat with my great friend Mary Anne.  We were told to bring along several different types of fabric and I really can't remember what all of them were except I know that one was suppose to be black and white and one was suppose to be something we considered 'ugly'.  When we arrived we were to make these blocks with the fabric using a fusible to put them on the background.  I think the directions were to use every one of the fabrics in each block and there were some other directions too but I can't remember.  ANYWAY, I bought these blocks home and I was to 'stitch' around each of these pieces that I fused  on the background.  I am not fond of that process so it went into a box to be finished later or thrown away. Just before my machine abandoned me I found these blocks and decided I should do something with them  When I got my machine back I went right to work and did all that tedious stitching and put the blocks together.  It is now hanging in my sewing room.  One more UFO (unfinished object) completed)
The class was suppose to be followed up with a 'therapy' session with the person running the class.  I can only imagine that she would have us talk about our fabric selections and why we put them is this order and arrangement.  I didn't go to the session.

So, there you have it our accomplishments and challenges.  Aren't we lucky that we have such small challenges?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Too much for one post

Sorry, I really haven't been keeping up with my blog.  My computer has been slow and temperamental.  My sewing machine is in the shop waiting for a new computer part and I seem to be equally sluggish.
I will try to update you on my life but it may be a long post.
 For Charlotte's last weekend in T.C. before heading off to college, she requested an afternoon of sailing.  It was nice to be able to take her out on a nice Saturday afternoon.  Ringo wanted to come along too.  He is such a sailing lover.
 Of course the captain took us right past Red 8, a popular mark on our way out the bay.
 Charlotte and her friend David were enjoying their weekend together.  David has already started school at Western but came home for Charlotte's last weekend home.  This was his first time out on the boat this summer because he was always working when we went out.
 The sky was blue and the winds were favorable.
 Saturday was also Sue's birthday so we went over to their house for dinner.  Walt fixed a wonder steak and salmon dinner and the family and friends brought along the 'sides'.  Sue has some great friends and we enjoyed coming along as family.
 The birthday cake was cut up before we put the candles on it.  Maybe that was on purpose because they didn't seem to have any candles.  We sang anyway.
 Tuesday (Sept 9) I drove down to Coleman to spend the night with Leo.  He met me in Clare for dinner and we were up fairly early for two people that don't work, and headed to Midland to buy him some new clothes for Josh's upcoming wedding.  He found a nice pair of black pants.
 I joked abut him buying this shirt as it is a lavender check but he wouldn't go for it.

 Instead he got two new shirts, one white and one kind of a gray.  I think he is ready for the wedding.
 We did go to lunch afterward.  I love Panara Bread and they have on in Midland.
 Leo has been working on the landscaping around his house.  It has been a bit of a challenge since they really didn't put the house on the crawl space correctly.  We are still fighting with the company about that issue.
 However, it is looking pretty good anyway. He has been doing a lot of work with his back hoe and digging trenches to help drain the water around his house.  You can see that he has a Kohl's bag there with his clothes.
 One other thing I decided to do is follow the advice of Penny and rearrange his living room.  I moved the sofa and loveseat around. He will try it this way.  I think it looks good and probably better.  I have a rug to take down that I forgot so next time.
 Before I left Coleman I decided to visit Aunt Mary.  She lives right up the road from the farmhouse and is now a widow so I thought it would be a good idea to stop and see her.  She is looking as good as usual, still getting out to do her own grocery shopping.

I didn't mention the other stop we made in Midland.  Denise told me that there was a nice quilt shop in Midland that I hadn't visited.  Leo so kindly went along and watched me pick out some fabrics to add to my stash.  They are all batiks which I love.  I am sure that I will find some way to work them in to some future project. Anyway, they are pretty,.  
Leo and I joked about helping each other spend their money.  I won because Leo spent a little more than me by about $10.  

So there you have it, my too long post.  I will try to post more often but maybe if I received more encouragement by the way of comments, I would try to post more often.  Just saying......

Monday, September 1, 2014

A quiet Labor Day Weekend

We didn't do much this weekend.  For me, a weekend is just like any other day but that is what retirement life is all about.  
 Bud continued to work on painting the trim on the house.  We did have some rainy weather but he has managed to find some time to paint.  It is quite a big project.  Bill wasn't available to help paint this weekend and I am a very messy painter so it isn't a good job for me.
 I have been working on a quilt for Sara and Leo.  She picked out the pattern when I was out visiting this past spring.  It is a very colorful quilt.  I LOVE it a lot.  I love how it turned out.  I used all batik fabric to make this quilt.  I love batik fabrics so I used this as an opportunity to indulge myself and buy some more colors.

This pattern was a little different from anything I have made before.  This pattern requires two rectangles of a similar color in the middle and then the outer rectangles must 'blend' around the center.  Each block is just a 6" square so it did require having a lot of different fabrics.  I haven't ever done this 'blending' thing and it was a bit of a challenge at the beginning. If any two blocks are alike, it is just by chance not design. I think it required about 240 blocks to make this quilt.  I had a lot of fun making it and became much more relaxed about the blending process as I worked.
When I finished I had quite a few rectangles left over so I decided to make this back.  I just stacked the rectangles totally at random, so different from the front.  I decided to put a nice gray between the stripes.  I like how it turned out too.  In fact, I'm not sure which side I like best. It will be interesting to see what my quilter does with the quilting.  The pattern is so colorful that I don't think the quilting will hardly show up.

SO, that is what we are doing here in the Northland.  Maybe your week and weekend were more exciting.