Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue Show

It has been a long time since I posted anything crafty or quilty related. I just have not found the time or the energy to do any of these things of late. However, I did take the time to go to a Quilt Show on July 27th. This quilt show was presented by the New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild and held at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center in New Braunfels, Texas.

I arrived at the show a tad early and it was a little nuts. They were not selling tickets until the opening of the show. A crowd had gathered and I was not expecting this for a smaller quilt show. They need to handle crowd control better in the future. But, other than this small problem, it was a very nice show to attend with a decent amount of vendors.

I first wandered among the quilts on display. I saw other quilters taking pictures; but, I still did not feel comfortable taking pictures knowing the history concerning taking pictures of quilts especially at the Houston International Quilt festival. I found a worker and asked if we can take photographs of the quilts and she said yes. I still respected the fabrics and did not use a flash. It was tough to photograph quilts in manual mode in a dimmed environment without a tripod. However, I think I did okay.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite quilts that I took at the show:

In Honor of Those Who Serve
Pieced and Quilted by: Peggy Meathernia, Artisan

This was the first quilt I came upon that I absolutely loved. This picture does not do the quilt any justice. I discovered later that I made several critical errors with the camera itself and I am surprised this picture came out okay. The quilt itself was flat out gorgeous.

Pieced by: Sherry Lambrecht, Open
Quilted By: Kelleigh Sommer

This was a gorgeous quilt that reminded me of Dan's mother, who loves lighthouses. It actually is from either a kit or a block-of-the-Month program. This goes to show you that, in spite of my bad experiences with them, these can and do turn out wonderfully.

Sadly, I did not get the name of both the quilt and the quilter. In looking through the show guide, I do believe this is Feathered Friends which is pieced and quilted by Fawn Kunnemann, Master. Please, please, if anyone can confirm or deny this for me, I would appreciate it very much!

Anyway, you should know why I loved this quilt. No further words needed. Ha!

Tattoo Virgin
Pieced and Quilted by: Sherry Duringer, Artisan

This made me laugh out loud! It not only was wonderfully done, it was humorous. If you cannot read what the girl is saying, it said "Oh!.. I KNOW I'll REGRET this in the morning". By the way, it received a red ribbon, which meant it placed second in its category.

Spirit's Flight to the Stars
Pieced by: Jeanie Fincher
Quilted by: Sherry White

This was absolutely gorgeous. And, it reminded me of my Dad, who was deeply patriotic and loved birds of all kinds. It had a blue ribbon, which meant it placed first in its category.

I really enjoyed myself at this quilt show. There is another quilt show being held in Fredericksburg, Texas in August/September. I would love to go to that one too and I am planning to go on Friday, August 31st. Now that I got a little experience with picture taking and if this show allows it, I hope to take better pictures. We shall see.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Macro Monday {Sunflower}

Popping on for another Macro Monday.
I heart Macro.
Your Sunday Best.

Good Morning, good morning to you.
We're all in our places
With sunshiny faces,
and this is the way
to start a new day!
Bah humbug. I am so tired and sore from the weekend's work that I just want to go back to bed. Ha! Honestly, I am in a mental fog. I almost did not do this post. But, in looking through pictures (from newest to oldest), I ran across this one and decided to just blog. Are you glad I did?

This is one of the many varieties of sunflowers growing at our "Ranch House". I always thought they had happy faces. Anyway, we are going to have to take our lawn mower and weed eater to the house next weekend because the grass and weeds are getting overgrown. Both Dan and I do not wish for them to be overgrown near or in front of the house. But, we do not mind for the rest of the land. At least, I do not mind! After all, I have always loved the wildflowers that grow throughout spring, summer and fall.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Link Roundup

  • DIY project: Erik’s Recycled Wine Bottle Torch Recycling/Upcycling, Looks cool!

  • Work Table Tutorial DIY
    Folds into wall and also storage.

  • Thread Min Samplers: Part Two Embroidery; this time focus on color (gradient)

  • Windproof Blanket Easy to do; Picnic Blanket

  • Button Flowers Fabric Crafts; A little Sewing

  • Custom Fabric Buttons
    This ties in with the Button Flowers link above. I like this because you can upcycle/recycle existing buttons – no need for a fancy schmancy button maker machine or gadgetery.

  • How to Label a Quilt: 7 ideas from popular authors

  • Tutorial: Knotty Christmas Tree Ornaments Sewing; Embroidery

  • Is My (Your) Life Blog Worthy? A good short read with six bullet points
    If a readers doesn't like what you write then you don't need them to read your blog. Don't blog just to get readers and build up your stats. Blog because it makes you happy, be your real, authentic self...this will garner you readers for life and they will love you for it.
    Yes, there are beautiful blogs out there, talking about beautiful lives and beautiful people. They are just a drop in the bucket of what is really out there in the world. Blogging is not life. Life is not blogging. Remember to look at it for what it is...aTool. A means to an end. A document of your journey. And your journey is truly beautiful. So, yes, your life is worthy.
  • Underneath all our Layers Christian; Inspirational
    We aren’t meant to put on a coat of wax to shine for the world. God can handle our grit. Our mess. He knows how to deal with it in a way that brings healing and even reveals beauty.
  • Almost Amish: 10 Principles for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable LifeChristian; Inspirational
    The Amish are by no means a perfect people, and there are dark sides to their history. Their example, however, does have much to teach us. How can we incorporate the best of Amish principles into our modern lives? To answer this, I did some reading. And some visiting. And some listening. I in no way pretend to be an expert on the Amish, but the more I read and visited and listened, the more I found to admire. The Amish are islands of sanity in a whirlpool of change.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts

Let’s see, what happened since my last Thursday’s Post. I did not post one last Thursday because there was not much to say.

By the way, my husband, Dan, posted about the demo with pictures two weeks ago. I believe I neglected to tell y’all. Here is the post. You will find a picture of me hard at work with a jackhammer removing thinset.

On the weekend of July 14th and 15th:
  • We met my niece and her friend at EZ Restaurant located at the Alamo Quarry Market. I really enjoyed the visit with them both. The restaurant is wonderful with absolutely delicious food. We plan to go there every time we go to the Quarry.

  • Since we were at the Alamo Quarry Market, we did a little shopping at Amy’s Hallmark which was perfect timing because it was the first day of the Keepsake Ornament premiere. We collect the Lionel Train Series. And yes, I do believe we have all the trains pictured at the link.

  • We also shopped at Whole Food Market – my favorite place to shop for a few grocery staples. I discovered the 365 brand of cookies that tastes just like Oreos! I think Dan was in heaven because he had not had any for eons. It’s his favorite cookie. Note: I do not buy Oreos due to the HFCS (also known as “corn sugar”) content. I do not need the temptation of Oreos lying around. But these 365 cookies, they are an acceptable compromise!

  • We only had Sunday (July 15th) to work on the house. I vacuumed up most of the dust and bits of tile from the den and hallway while Dan ripped up the carpet and baseboard in the Master Bedroom. We then filled up the few gouges made from our lack of experience with the jackhammer.

Filled Gouges Drying

{Do you see eyes and hands or mittens? I did. Yes, I know. I am weird.}

{P.S. This is actually in a bedroom where we discovered gouges underneath the carpet.}

For the life of me, I cannot remember what events occurred during the week after the weekend of July 14th. I do know that I struggled with depression. When I get into this sad state of affairs, I often neglect things and cannot remember events unless I write them down. I have not been writing down stuff like I should in eons. I really should start doing this again.

Anyway, on the weekend of July 22nd and 23rd:
  • I finished vacuuming up the dust Saturday morning in the bedrooms. I did not want to be tracking all that stuff onto the flooring underlayment and the flooring themselves. Dan helped me with the kitchen after he was done doing whatever he was doing. The dust (from destroying tile and thinset and pulling up carpet) is evil and insidious getting in every nook and cranny.

  • We laid down the flooring underlayment in the den. It was slow going; but, we got most of it done. By the way, we have pictures of the process; but, they really belong to Dan. You will have to keep an eye on Dan’s blog for those pictures.

  • We started putting down the flooring. Let me tell you, the beginning is always the slowest part of this job. Once the flooring was established, the process went quicker.

Here I am taking a break
  • A word of advice: If you do flooring yourself and want the process to go real fast, pick out flooring that has the same length. The flooring we chose has varying lengths; so, the process of laying them down goes a little more slowly due to a variety of factors including avoiding joints of the floor boards from lining up.

  • Dan did not have the proper tools to fussy cut the floor boards with, which kind of sort of slowed us down. Shhhh, do not tell him I said this. Ha! Actually, he reads this blog. So, he is going to find out and will probably give me a light whack. I think it will be worth it because it is the truth. Ha!

Dan the man working out what to cut where
  • When we finished up on Sunday night, we were just under halfway done in the den. We have so much more to do! It is going to take longer than we estimated to get the flooring done. But, that is okay, we are most likely still saving money by doing it ourselves instead of having someone do it for us. Dan figured out that it would cost a minimum of $3,000.00 to get it all put down. Yikes! And then, you also have the pride factor of doing it all yourselves.

  • Dan ended up with sore knees. He actually bought some knee pads Saturday evening. I already had some knee pads for doing basting (quilting) work on the floor which is hard on your knees. They do really save your knees and are wonderful items to have on hand.

  • I did end up with sores on the back of my knees from the straps of the knee pads. They hurt really bad and I could not see them very well. Dan said they looked like sunburned or chaffed skin. I woke up Sunday night with a stinging type of pain. On Monday evening, I had Dan take a picture of the one on my right knee (which was the worst one) simply because I was dying to see what they were really looked like.
  • I was surprised to see that they were not as bad as they felt. This made me feel better about the sores. In the meantime, I have been racking my brain trying to come up with some kind of "knee sock" to protect our skin from the straps as I really do not want to wear jeans. No solution yet!

  • We had an A/C guy come out Tuesday morning (July 24th). Sometime Sunday, the A/C shut off and it got really hot! I commented to Dan that I was getting very hot. I did not understand it and was feeling sick from the heat. Dan discovered it was 84 degrees! Yikes! And, the A/C was not running. For a while, we could not figure it out. Dan called an A/C company and left a message. And then, I noticed something flashing on the thermostat. It turned out the batteries were dead. We replaced the batteries and the A/C kicked on approximately 5 or 10 minutes later. We talked and decided to have the A/C company come out anyway and do an inspection along with a consultation on the garage (because we are going to convert it into a studio in the future). Anyway, while Dan talked with the A/C man, I had fun puzzling out more flooring to put down.

  • I have been doing boring stuff this week like washing clothes, sheets, dishes and whatnot. I am actually looking forward to Saturday!

  • Piece,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

Spider Spider on its web
I think I’ll name you Jeb

Why do you insist on living
giving me some misgiving

But, tiny ants on the floor
makes me appreciate you more

So, to you, life I will grant
for killing each little ant

~ a silly rhyming ditty I wrote ~

I had Dan take this picture for me because I was very nervous and could not keep my camera steady. After all, I received a diagnosis of "a possible spider bite" several years ago and received antibiotics simply because an infection was starting. Anyway, it is a tiny little thing. The body itself is about 1/4 inch.

Want to hear a funny joke? Please, if you have tiny kids viewing this post, review the joke first as you may (or may not) deem it inappropriate for them to read. I would rate it PG-13 just for the innuendo. But then, I tend to err on the side of caution.

Scroll down for the question:

Why is a passionate kiss like a spider?

{Scroll down to see the answer.}

Both can lead to the undoing of the fly.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tired and Taking a Break

No, I am not. I am extremely tired and sore from putting down some flooring at the new house. And, I have been struggling with a few issues which drags me down causing me to neglect this blog.

So, I think I will take a very short break. I will be back as soon as I can catch up on life! In the meantime, y'all take care of yourself, you hear?!?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Link Roundup

  • Simple Basket Liners Sewing (simple)
    Recycling/Repurposing Baby Diaper Boxes

  • Thread Mini Samplers: Part One Embroidery; Tutorial
    A nice small complete project with this tutorial

  • Garden Plant Makers Crafting;
    Uses outdoor acrylic paints and found rocks/stones. I don’t know how well Sharpies will stand up to the test of time (weather); so, I’d probably use outdoor paint for all of the “crafting”.

  • Craft Paint Wall Organizer Tutorial; (to hold those acrylic paint bottles)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordy Wednesday {Chessie & Gracie}

Gracie   and   Chessie

I was shocked upon discovering these two sharing the love seat. I immediately took a picture with my phone and sent it to Dan. I also grabbed my camera to take this picture.

About an hour later, I discovered them doing this:

Chessie   and   Gracie

This viewpoint is odd; but, it is looking down from behind the love seat. They were together like this for several hours. I am always amazed at the size difference between the two. And yes, Gracie is a full grown cat and is approximately four years old. And no, she is not fat. I'm constantly checking her out and for some odd reason, she just looks fat. She is just fluffy. She does have three layers of fur.

As for Chessie, she is a 15 year old Gentle Giant. In fact, she turned 15 years old on the day I snapped this picture which was June 26th. And, like Gracie, she looks fat; but, she is not. She is actually is on the skinny side for a Maine Coon.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Macro Monday {Moth}

Popping on for another Macro Monday.
I heart Macro.
Your Sunday Best.

I saw this as I walked inside and closed the front door. And then, it registered in my brain and I said to self, "Self, what was that thing?". Ha! I had to go back outside for a closer look. I was surprised to see it was a tiny pretty moth situated between two bricks (on the mortar). Note: the space between the bricks is only 1/2 inch wide.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Link Roundup

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts

Let's see, what happened since my last Thursday's Thoughts post?
  • We cleared and moved the broken tile from the house to the garage. While Dan took off with the wheelbarrow (to empty it), I would fill up two Home Depot's 5-Gallon buckets. We had a good system going and it was cleared out in no time at all.

  • Speaking of moving tile, I learned how to do something new today that I did not think was possible with my photo editor. What do you think?

Will I have fun doing animated gifs in the future? Ha!
  • We rented a bigger jackhammer to remove the thinset and boy howdy, that thing is powerful! I tried using it once only to have both elbows hurting. And, the floor got gouged several times (by both of us). So, we discussed it for a bit and decided to exchange the jackhammer for a smaller one simply because we did not like the idea of the floor being gouged. This ended up being a very wise decision.

  • After a slow start, we managed to finish removing all the thinset from the floor by Sunday evening. This included clearing and dumping it all in the garage. We were very exhausted and happy it was done.

  • I came down very sick Monday afternoon. I think it was a combination of sheer exhaustion and a migraine that brought me down. I must be getting too old to do this renovation stuff. Ha! Dan wasn't feeling too great himself. He must have had sympathy pains. Ha!

  • I had a nice setup in the den on Tuesday -- a "sick bed". All I did was lay around with Gracie beside me all day watching TV and being on the computer. I did crash and snoozed for about 30 minutes in the afternoon which is so unlike me.

  • I felt much better Wednesday. I had to redo some laundry I started Monday. I also caught up on some other household chores.

  • I have been slowly packing for the move. Speaking of which, Gracie is loving having the boxes back in the house. I discovered her on top of boxes in the hallway. They are stacked three boxes high (approximately 35 inches). I witnessed her getting on top of one Wednesday morning and she gracefully jumped from the floor to the top of box. She is a brave little girl because she had no idea if it was empty, half full or full. She could have had a disaster if it was empty or half full.
  • My "youngest" brother turned 50 yesterday. Happy Birthday Brudder!

  • This makes me feel extremely old. I'm only two years and three months younger than him. I think I just gave away my age. Yes, I am getting old.

  • Piece,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: The Boy

I have been exhausted from the work at the house last weekend and then I got sick. I think it's literally exhaustion combined with a weird migraine that made me very sick for several long hours. I finally blacked out sometime early last night. Anyway, as a result, I don't have much in the way for today. But, I do have this:

The Boy

I've been calling this stray/feral cat 'The Boy'. He has come to be very trusting of me because he knows I will not harm or threaten him. Well, when the temps got into the 100s several weeks ago, he camped out on our front stoop during the day because the concrete is cool and never gets any sun. I guess he knew that he was safe there for the duration.

Some time during this hot weather spell, he got badly injured. His left eye was completely closed and he had a very bad sore from eye down the nose. He also got some bad scratches on his neck and a bloody inner ear. I was so worried and concerned for him that I knew he wouldn't be able to hunt or forage on his own. So, after a full day of not leaving the stoop, I broke my cardinal rule and gave him some of Chessie's old cat food. He didn't have a whole lot of enthusiasm in the beginning -- acted like it took a lot for him to just get the energy to eat. I was so worried for him. I was afraid that I was going to end up calling a shelter to come and get him if he was blinded in that one eye.

He stayed on the front stoop for three solid days and started to recover. He became his usual happy self and I was glad to see that his left eye was okay. In other words, he could see. I don't think I am the only one caring for this boy in the neighborhood; but, why did he choose to stay on our front stoop I'll never know.

He is now romping around the neighborhood and I rarely see him these days. It does my heart good to know that he recovered rather nicely. He does visit us from time to time much to our annoyance because The Boy can be very demanding. He does act like a typical house cat wanting attention. By the way, we don't touch him or offer attention in any way other than our voices.

In all honestly, I think he's more a stray than feral because he is not skittish nor does he dart and run away like feral cats. I believe he once belonged to someone; but, because they didn't get him neutered, he got out and started roaming like all unneutered males cats are wont to do. It frustrates me that the mentality of the people here do not want to neuter their pets (both dogs and cats) AND let them roam. It was shocking to me when I first moved here; but, I'm getting used to it in spite of the fact I don't like the mentality. And, when I go for walks, I always carry a BIG stick. Ha!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Macro Monday {Weird Insect}

Popping on for another Macro Monday.
I heart Macro.
Your Sunday Best.

While we were unloading the flooring from the truck into the house, Dan suddenly slowed and I fussed at him because the flooring is heavy! He continued on and we dumped the box in the house. He then told me that he saw a weird looking bumblebee. I asked where? And, he showed me. It certainly was weird! And, of course, I grabbed my camera and macro lens. This is the best picture out of all the ones I took.

I am not usually nervous about bugs and insects because I know most are harmless. However, this one made me nervous because I did not know what kind of insect it is. I did not want to get stung, bitten or whatever. We are not sure where the nearest emergency clinic or ER is other than the hospital in a nearby town approximately 20 minutes away. Lord have mercy upon us.

I did some research and tried to identify this creature; but, I had little success. It might be an old Bumblebee that is dying. However, the Bumblebees I am familiar with do not have a yellowish hairy head. Another possibility is a Carpenter bee. But, but, but... Carpenter bees do not have hair on their upper abdomen and this one does. Could it be a honey bee? I don't think so. It was too big (too wide) not to mention that its behavior was not normal for a honey bee.

I accidentally ran across some information about a Robber Fly that mimics Bumblebees. This is a very real possibility considering its behavior. Take a look at the next two subpar pictures:

See the itty bitty insects? A Robber Fly will eat other insects including Bumblebees. Yuck. The behavior of this insect at the time I snapped pictures indicates to me that it might be a Robber Fly. However, all the images I see of a Robber Fly mimicking a Bumblebee does not look like the ones I snapped.

I give up! Let's just say it is an interesting weird insect. Ha!

Edited on 8/29/12 to add: Thanks to the Texas Bumblebees on facebook, I found out exactly what this weird insect is. It's a Solitary Bee!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Link Roundup


I forgot to do the Link Roundup last Saturday. Can we say OOPS? I was so busy and focused on getting ready to go back to the house for the weekend that I totally forgot. I did not forget this time around. Are you not proud of me? Ha! So, without further ado, here is the links I have gather the past two weeks.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts

Source (free downloadable printable poster)
{The best laid schemes of mice and men
Often go awry}
Not much happened since my last Thursday's post. We had our plans and in spite of the fact I was not feeling quite myself, we were raring to go. We picked up the jackhammer first thing Saturday morning. And then, we picked up the flooring. This is when we encountered our first problem. The store did not have all the flooring. They made an error and did not subtract flooring they used in their showroom. Can we say OOPS?

As a consolation, they gave us the almost full box of flooring they had opened free. They told us another shipment was coming in the following week and we can pick up the last box when it arrives at the store. It did not really matter at this time as we were not planning to put down the flooring right away. We just wanted to get it acclimated in the house.

Dan and another man (the employee) loaded the truck.
Boy, was it loaded! However, the truck handled the load very well.

We arrived at the house and had our lunch. We then did a few things such as scrape the glue from the carpet we pulled up in a bedroom, cleared the tile from the hallways (and closets) and pull up some baseboards. By this time, we were frustrated because the dumpster Dan had ordered has not yet arrived.

Dan decided to tackle the thinset only to discover that the jackhammer we rented was jacked! Needless to say, we were not pleased; and by this time, it was too late to return it to the store as they were closed.

We decided to unload the flooring from the truck (which was fun), pull up all the baseboards from the hallway, closets and the living room. During the work of pulling up baseboards, my weird sense of not feeling myself turned into a migraine. Every time I tried to do some work, I got light-headed and sick. I was upset with myself and frustrated because I was essentially useless.

By the time 5:30pm rolled around, the dumpster still has not arrived. Dan had called the company a couple hours earlier and left a message that essentially stated that "if the dumpster is not on its way, cancel the order and we will find another company that is more reliable".

Since we could not do much more in the house, we decided to call it a day, pack and head on home. At this point, we were very disappointed and frustrated.

We talked about the dumpster issue. There is another company; but, it is more expensive. We decided to just hold off getting a dumpster until we are ready to tackle the garage conversion. By doing this, we will only need to get a dumpster one time and we will save money in the process. I also think that it will force us to do the garage conversion after we move in. You know how projects can be delayed once moved in? Well, I do not want this to happen.

So, instead of a dumpster, all the broken tile, the pulled up carpets and other trash will be going into the garage. We will need to put up a temporary wall to keep the cats safe and out of the "garbage" when we move in. (Their litter boxes will be located in the garage.) Once we made these plans and set them in stone, we felt loads better in spite of knowing we will not meet our personal deadline of July 31st to be moved in.

By the way, we returned that jacked up jackhammer first thing Sunday morning and demanded a refund. The store clerk was extremely reluctant to do this; but, he eventually gave us the refund. I told them to be prepared for us to thoroughly check out the next jackhammer we rent. This was a lesson learned for us both. Do not always trust that the tools will be in working condition. Gah!

We also shopped at nearby Lowe's for paint chips (to paint the front door) and baseboards. Yes, we are going to replace the baseboards as we do not like the existing ones in the house. We decided to get plain whiteboards and go from there because it was cheapest.

Dan picked up the missing flooring last Tuesday night. I think we are more or less ready to do more work at the house. I'm hoping this weekend will be a lot more successful than the last!

In the meantime, I/we have been packing. I have come up with a nice system since we are reusing the boxes from a previous move. If I had left it alone, it would have been a chaotic mess. I will need to see if I can blog about the 'tip' soon. There has not been much time for much of anything else in my life. Ha!

We did not do much of anything for the 4th of July, which is a holiday here in the states. We did some packing in the morning. And then, because both of us was wanting to do something else, we decided to go out roaming. We ended up at to Sears to look at a particular riding lawn mower. We also browsed the appliances and then roamed the mall. On the way out, I said "goodbye dreams" to the appliances making Dan chuckle. We also went to Baskin Robbins and had some ice cream, which is a rare treat for us both.
TNT pop-its

Dan remembered late last night that I had bought some Pop-Its. So, I had fun throwing them to the ground in the backyard. There were times I made Dan laugh which made me laugh. We teased Gracie by throwing several near the glass door. She would jump a little every single time and then just stare at the place where it made the noise. I think she was more attracted to the flash of light. I am not sure what goes on inside that tiny little head of hers; but, she certainly is a strange unusual cat.

Until next Thursday, Piece,