Thursday, August 31, 2006

Morning Glory

Is there anything prettier? I love the blue flowers that open in the sunshine. And finally we have sunshine. It was cold and rainy for about a week and it's August. So bummed. But this morning the sun was out and it was 78 degrees and I drove with the top down on my car and the radio worked. A GOOD day. A SUMMER day!

When I get home from work I see that my husband has been in the garden. There's usually a big pail full of beans, another one of cherry tomatoes and some more zucchini. There are people telling me they haven't gotten any veggies out of their gardens. I must have magic dirt. G keeps bringing in un-ripe tomatoes. I like them to be very, very red before I pick them. (and eat them in tomato sandwiches) He picks them pink. So my center island is a tomato ripening "spot". They eventually get red but they don't have that "red" taste.

Bobby Flay made oven roasted green beans on his show. Got to try it. We had cherry tomato pasta again today and fresh tomato soup yesterday. I am getting SO GOOD at this cooking stuff. I even made stuffed baked tomatoes and they were excellent. I may even make zucchini "crab" cakes. They had a recipe on the net for this. Swear it's just like crab. I'll try anything once--the worst? Just throw it away.

Nineteen days till my birthday! I'm so excited.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just Enough. Not Too Much

As soon as I can get Slambo over here to change the marigold picture in my sidebar--this is what you'll see if I make comments. This is what I look like while I'm blogging-- reading or writing. It took for ever to get one sort of okay picture. Too funny.

I wish I could take charming pictures like "posey gets cozy" and "little birds" but I guess not. Most of the time the house is too bright for a good picture and then it's too dark. I feel like Goldilocks.

My car is back home. The radio doesn't work. The door locks do. The red "radio card" is still missing. BMW/Westbrook is still not helping. They can't be bothered to look the number up in their files. I sincerely hate BMW/Westbrook. At times I would love to trade my roadster in for a 3 or 5 series sedan but that would mean having to take it to BMW/Westbrook for warranty service and I just won't do that. Bruce of Atlantic Motorcar is a trillion times nicer. If only he had the radio code in his files. Oh, and it didn't cost a fortune to fix my car. It was just enough.

A long, long time ago, I had my palm read. Just after the reader had read my husband's palm. She, the palm reader, was very perplexed as both our palms said approximately the same thing. We would always have enough. No more. No less.

During the Great Ice Storm about 9 years ago, we were without power for 6 days. No heat, no light, no hot water, no nothing. On the night of the 6th day, I walked up to the end of our street and looked at the pole where the switch that brings, light, heat, and water to take a shower and wash your hair, was blown. Houses on the next street had golden light shining from their windows. Not our street. Well, I looked at that switch and I said "I've had enough". Next day the power truck came to our corner and flipped the switch. And there was hot water.

So whenever things are going good or not so good--I wonder. Do I have enough? Have I had enough? Can I take more? Last week I had had enough by Friday afternoon and I just wanted my little car back. I had had enough of asking friends for rides to work.

As for the zucchini in the garden. I have definitely had "enough". And I would like people to stop trying to give me theirs.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Project Runway *Plus* Size

This was a difficult episode to watch. As a *plus* size person on the outside and a person like everyone else on the inside, I felt for all the larger women chosen last. That was very cruel. And the clothes made, yes, one day is not enough time to make a perfect outfit, but a nice fitting and even stylish outfit? Was it too much to ask? Why is Uli the only one who will try a print? I am tired and angry and very sad to see women in plus sizes placed in tent like sacks. Or draped with tunics, scarves or swags of fabric. Were any of the *plus* women smiling???

I was sorry that Robert went home for making exactly what the client wanted. She would have worn the outfit quite often. I can't say that about the other things. Laura keeps making the same things over and over--made very well, but just as boring. Cruise wear is usually flamboyant--- not what you would wear at home. Didn't Laura make the same outfit for her Katherine Hepburn Icon?

Jeffery could have made something young and fresh --lose the collar-- with asymetrical lines for Angela's mom-- he hadn't sewn anything yet-but instead he responded to her comments with his own ENORMOUS insecurities and acted terribly. His own mother should have kicked his ass into the room where Angela's mom was crying and made him apologize (she didn't and that's where he learned it). It's on television. Everyone out there has a mom-- even rock stars. Do they really want to do business with this guy? I don't give a rat's ass whether he was a crack addict or belongs to AA. No sympathy from me.

Now, I'm in a really crappy mood anyway. My car was "fooled" with in the parking lot at work on Monday and the security alarm went off and the battery shut down and the car went into security mode and shut itself down so it couldn't be driven. We had to have it towed twice. And the mechanics have been working on it since Tuesday morning. It's now Thursday, late afternoon. I am so damned pissed. This is going to cost a fortune. They can't get the radio to work. There maybe a problem with the door locks also. And of course, it needed a brand new battery. The kind that goes inside the car, not in the engine. The kind that costs a lot and isn't sold at Wal*Mart. I wish Jeffery was here in my house right now. I'd like to kick his ass around--make me feel better.

Monday, August 21, 2006

No Picture Monday

I finished the binding on Plantetary Motion 2 and now that it's done--I can stop thinking about it, having it on the design wall, or working on it any more. No pictures either. It stinks.

I have two more things that are progressing *oh, so slowly* to the You Stink pile. I don't think it's the *now* me that's making them stink--I think they were just bad ideas from the start that I have been wasting time trying to SAVE. That's me. The EMT of bad quilts.

I am sad and anxious. G is driving 38 miles one way (5 days a week) to a very physically tiring job. I am constantly worried that he will be in a car accident. Crazy. But I can't stop doing it. If you remember, we almost died in a car accident that for some reason didn't happen at the last second when we were on vacation. Now every time we or just G, gets in the car and goes any distance--well, I'm getting in touch with the grim reaper. I may need therapy.

I bought a whole bag of ProChem stuff in New Hampshire at the World Quilt show. Stuff used to thicken bleach, potato resist, Chlor Stop, soy wax and probably something else I have forgotten. I keep reading and seeing stuff made with these things--so I got some. Now I'll have to find out how to use them as the products have little or no instructions. I still haven't made an order for Lutrador. Need to try painting that also.

I did heat set some painted fabric and then I washed it. No runoff. Woo Hoo! Last time I washed it too soon and all the paint filler came out and dulled everything down. So unhappy. But it's nice to know that any future owner of this stuff can wash it.

I saw a fused quilt in the World Show in NH. Fused hand dyed fabric. And the little squares were all loose and fluttering in the AC breeze. No stitching to hold them down. The quilting went all around them but not over the little squares. I have a feeling that by the time the quilt gets back home, some of the squares will be gone. Bad WU?

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Really Long Date

I thought this double expresso and the ride home from New Hampshire to Maine was going to be the end of the "really long date" but I was completely wrong. My husband then took me "shopping" at the Kittery outlets. This guy knows how to make a date memorable.

The World Quilt and Textile Show was disappointing. Last year it was fantastic. This year there were some very interesting pieces and nice, new vendors but--well, maybe it was me. I remember last year, standing and studying pieces--learning. Didn't happen this time. I did have some lovely chats with two or three vendors though and got a lovely early birthday gift ( I bought it) from Betsy of Quiltessentials. A handmade tote--but really it's a basket.

Maybe there were too many traditional quilts. I always look forward to seeing the wild and wacky world of the art quilt at these World Quilt shows. The only photo I have to show--because I can't give you the maker's names on the others--is by my favorite quilter, Pamela Allen from Canada.

This is a detail. The quilt is about having "hot flashes" and the quilting depicts little fire engines racing to the fire, which is the lady in the piece. The fire dog is lovely.

Now, as I stood and enjoyed this quilt, three women walked up behind me and expressed their distaste for this quilt. If you don't like it, dears, move on--move away-- let me enjoy it without your running commentary. I think they were trying to let me know that my opinion was somehow "wrong". I was tempted to follow them to the next traditional quilt they all admired and poo poo it. But I appreciate all the time and work that goes into traditional quilting. And I apologize for the blurry picture. There was a large spotlight just above and to the right of this quilt and it did terrible things to my digital camera. This was the best G and I could do.

As to the shopping, I got little glass bowls with lids at Crate & Barrel along with 8 yards of Marimekko fabric (regular price $32 a yard) for $4 a yard ( generous yards!). And I went to the Old Navy outlet--I really do not like Old Navy. It's such a sloppy, warehouse place and I don't like the merchandise. Why did I go???? Well, a patron at the library had on a wonderful white V-neck tee (and everyone who know me, knows there are two things I love. White linen shirts and white v-neck tees) and I asked where she got it. Old Navy. Ick. But I went, I tried on, I purchased. White V- neck perfection. I also thought the 6 foot 3- 350 pound black bouncer dude over by the dressing rooms was a thoughtful choice. Mainers will understand.

I did not have Deborah's recommended Chocolate Sogno at Carrabbas. I just could not eat a warm fudge brownie topped with chocolate mousse and fudge sauce. I just could not. Next time, I'll skip the dinner and go right to the dessert. The mussels were divine.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Not my own personally created word--but it is what I like to do, best of all. Make things from trash. Now to me, trash is anything I would throw away, you would throw away or something that another person gives to me, so they don't have to throw it away. This slightly blurry picture is of a piece I made out of stuff a friend gave me. She's moving and didn't want to take these scraps with her. I have enough to make another companion piece.

Three trash- formations. All quilted and ready for binding. Or I might try that "facing" thing that Tommy the Material Girl described on her blog. The black and cream was quilted without a backing fabric and will get an "escape hatch" ending. The batting is fusible so it wil be okay to do it this way.

Painted fabric. I won't show you the shirt and tee shirt that got painted along with this piece when I leaned over to paint a stripe. This isn't all that exciting but I needed a striped co-ordinating fabric to border a wacky log cabin. My daughter likes the color and it is her birthday on Wednesday so I thought it would be nice to finish it for her. Maybe to hang on her bedroom wall. I'm going to applique something very important to her in the center. She reads this --so no more info. Can I get it done by Wednesday? I work best against a deadline.

I'm going to give away my last pile of zucchini. I don't want to make any more pickles. And now we are starting to get a pile (small) of tomatoes. Pretty ones. Not all that tasty but fresh, warm from the sun tomatoes. Need BACON!

I roasted one of the butternut squash from the garden. Pale gold and not much taste. I adored the ones from last year. Deep saturated russet orange and so sweet. I ate them as soon as they came out of the oven. Yum. G says there are small orange ones out there--just babies. I'll have to wait. Got to get back to the cutting board and cut border strips for that quilt and do the "special" thing and then fuse batting to it and a back and quilt it tomorrow. So much work, so little time.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Time & Patience

I'm having "one of those" days. No direction, too much sugar. I got a lot done yesterday--not what I had planned to get done--- but a lot of other stuff. I made a real dinner. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad and steamed broccoli. I got the expected "arrival home time" for my husband wrong, so I made his plate and flew out the door to a meeting. Hello/Goodbye.

I am supposed to be 1. machine quilting or 2. reading RFQ's for my committee. We got seven. Lots of reading to be done by Sunday. Instead, I am sort of wandering around, looking out the windows, watering plants, making a coffee cake for dessert tonight and looking for new blogs to read. I even paid some bills and called my cable provider to complain that Bravo is missing. I was sort of hoping to speak to someone in India, like last time I called, but got Nicole ( she told me her name at least four times) and she said Bravo was experiencing network problems.

We are "housetraining" our new TiVo. It still thinks we like "Walker, Texas Ranger" and everything now playing on the country music channel. My husband gave everything "3" thumbs down last night. Teach that TiVo a lesson! The day before we got Sex In The City and lots of stuff off the MTV channel. We're almost 60 years old! My son says it takes time and patience to train the TiVo to only select/record things you really like.

Think I'll have a sandwich and go down to the quilt room and fool around getting the walking foot on the old Bernina--- always need time and patience for that--- then maybe thread the machine. I may even sew. I am certainly NOT reading the RFQ's today. Could check on the Bravo situation on the televison again. Here I go.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tuesday, TiVo & Tomato

I saw this image in a magazine while waiting to get my nails done. Don't we all have moments when the sewing machine is a "crime scene"? I'm going to frame this and hang it on the wall near my machine---to keep things in perspective and add a laugh to the tears.

It's tomato time! I've been picking my favorite cherry tomato- Sun Gold- but on Sunday my husband brought in this beauty. We ate all the other examples already. Now that the woodchuck who was calling our garden his personal grocery has gone to "woodchuck heaven", our produce is thriving. Almost time for green beans. Other gardeners are having trouble with tomato wilt because of all the rain and humidity but my garden is only in it's second year. Still beginner's luck here.

We finally got TiVo. There was a special $150 rebate. My son says that's because a new edition, number 3, is coming out and TiVo wants to sell all the old models. Well, old is good enough for us. So far----- we can turn it on and off. We did manage to use the "pause" feature to stop the program we were watching while we made coffee and pie for snack, and then start the program where we left off and that was fascinating. Now when people call during our favorite shows, we can "pause" and not miss anything. We can also go back if we didn't hear some of the dialog. We selected about five things for TiVo to record. And TiVo is already picking "other" stuff and recording that also. We are deleting everything TiVo selects hoping to "teach" it to not do that.

I got new tires on my car. Last year I replaced two tires and had planned to get the other two this summer. Discontinued. Michelin didn't have anything with compatible tread. So I was faced with buying four new tires and having two used tires with only 1000 miles on them. Michelin and my husband worked out a great compromise. Thank You! Now I have new tires, all the same, and I didn't spend more than the cost of two tires. I also got "all season" instead of "performance". The ride is a bit bumpy. The performance tires were soft and good on turns. But these new tires may actually be drivable in a little, tiny bit of snow. Wouldn't that be interesting? A four season car. Even rain could sometimes be a driving (sliding) adventure with the wide performance tires. Steer straight. Go sideways. Yikes!!!

Work today and tomorrow and then sewing machine day on Thursday. Quilting the two pieces needing quilting and some top stitching on number three. Gotta get some product done in 2006. I also have no fresh ideas for anything after that. Maybe another vase of flowers. I'm all out of "original".

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Order, Service, Management

We received this advertisement in the mail this week. Laundry service, cleaning, outdoor maintainance--- lightbulb changing?--- and transportation to medical and other appointments and places. Shangrila? Nope. A retirement village. I'm starting to think this is a super fantastic idea for artistic types. No worries. Meals, clean undies and sheets, vacuumed floors, trash taken out, medication delivered. Sign me up!

Yesterday I went on an artistic adventure. Open studio and farm day (weekend) organized by Fiber Arts. My friend and I started out at 10 am and visited a well known fiber artist and were given five star treatment. Absolutely gorgeous studio, art quilts (one is being entered into Quilt National) and gardens. We learned about discharging with bleach, a seaweed additive that is not effected by bleach, lye shibori, and just had the best time. Our next visit was to a published and well known quilter down the road. She was teaching in Boston this weekend so the tour director duties went to her 8 year old son. "This is where we cut and glue the design fabrics: this is where we sew: and this is where we embellish". He has spent so much time in the studio with his mom--- it really is "we". And I had to admire his carefully made magnets and his artistic rocks. He went to art camp and made the rocks. Heated them in a toaster oven and then rubbed crayons over. The crayon wax melted and art was made.

Then on down the road to the next town and a lovely, new post and beam studio owned by an artist working in oil on linen and dyes on silk. I was enchanted by the paintings. And the artist. We had both led the corporate life of multiple moves including foreign lands. She begins each day with her journal, a few drawings (4") and a walk. Not in any specific order. We talked about how the writing, drawing and meditation of the walk prepares the "artist" within to work. There were lovely hand painted and sewn pillows and scarves for sale. I made a few sketches of a woven oil painting.

Next an in town studio of a friend of mine. She is a painter just beginning to work in fabric and it was wonderful to see her work space. She told us that this spring the roof of her studio had caved in and she had had to rescue all her work and supplies and carry them into the main house. She had just-- within a day-- finished painting the new roof (inside) and walls. We had had a wonderful time with her. And saw more discharged black fabric.

Our final stop was at Fiber Arts. Christine Macchi was the creator of this farm and studio day and made the wonderful maps etc. Delightful. Upstairs was an artist who works on paper and canvas. I spent a fascinating 30 minutes up in her studio where she shared her art with me. Especially the papered/painted boxes I had seen in a local restaurant. I mentioned to the artist that I had spent more time looking at and admiring her boxes than I had spent on my dinner.

If you are wondering about the lack of names and photos--well, it seemed impolite to ask to take pictures and blog them and well, it also seems impolite to mention a few and not all the very talented artists in the area and on the map.

I have emerged from my art adventure renewed and refreshed. Now that I have given up on politics (or politics has given up on me), I can devote myself to ART. First journal pages in the morning, then a walk and then a few drawings or small fabric collages. Operatic music (and Rolling Stones) on the CD player and watermelon chunks to sustain me. See you later! Oh, and I must get slides of my quilt work. Christine says I must have slides. Pronto!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Really.....I am working!

My giant bag of fabric from a friend's garage give-away is sitting on my sewing chair. So much good stuff. What will it become? B's fabric choices are so different from mine. Batiks mostly and I have about have a box myself. So we'll see.

The Marigold is backed, batted and basted. I added some blue polka doted fabric around the edges---you can see the ripples in the unattached fabric. One side covered to the petals, the other not. the color is off so don't be too taken with that. It can all be easily removed if I don't like it after a while. The piece was too small for any show--but do I really want it in a show???

My latest "trash formation" out of the wastebasket. Some of the new batik made it onto the top--it was "just right" for the crossed stripes on top. Love when that happens. I also really love making stuff out of the wastebasket. Whole pieces of fabric are just too much "decision" for me. I like digging around in a pile of chopped up fabric looking for something that might "work" rather than starting with some matchy collection of yardage and making a great big mess out of it. I always hate what I make when I have it all planned out. I am such a failure at that. That's kind of where the Marigold is going right now---- too much matchy-ness and not enough "whimsey". I've been told that is what people love about my work--the whimsey.

I try to be a happy, delightful, charming person--somewhat eccentric but in a nice way. I guess when that comes out in the "work" it's a good thing. Need more of that in my life.

Bought 6 pint jars of Fig Preserves (TJMaxx) for my husband. He really loves the fig preserves my friend Kay's mom makes. But the homemade stuff is gone and this is almost as good. Comes from Arkansas. I told Kay about this on the phone last night and now she is going to find some fig trees for her Mom to plant---so we'll have Future Figs.

Yesterday, I had a "meeting" regarding my running for Town Office. Seems someone else wants to run and they can't say no to her. And the incumbent could win a three-way race quite easily. In others words, they "threw me under the bus". My short and very interesting political career is now officially ovah! It hurts to get thrown under the bus.