Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a precious week....

My parents were just here visiting from Wisconsin for a week but unfortunately my Dad arrived with a nasty cold and cough. It slowed him down a little but didn't dampen his spirits and the four of us had a wonderful, quiet, lazy week together. We reminisced, laughed, cried, ate, took naps, fed the squirrels, and went for walks.  My mom and I had a shopping day together and my DH made his out of this world BBQ ribs one night ..... they were thoroughly enjoyed by all. We also made a trip or two to the Apple store for some software updates. We all went out to a nice restaurant their last night here and as always, the week went by way to quickly. I miss them so much already. It's hard being so far apart, but I am truly blessed to have such wonderful parents that are lots of fun to be with besides.

My dad is a photographer- in fact he shoots most of my product images and this time around we shot my first video. It was a hoot to say the least and then I had to become and I.T. geek and figure out how to splice together 4 segments, cut out the bad parts, add tittles, and then load it into QuickTime to format it and then get it into youtube. I just hope I remember how to do it all again for the next one. LOL
We only did a couple of takes and my dad had a blast doing it. He recounted some of his early adventures as a photographer for the Milwaukee Sentinel when he was just in his early 20's. Great stories, some new ones I hadn't heard before. Like the one where he and my mom were on their way to a wedding reception and he got called to report on a bad fire, they missed the reception.

Here's hoping that you cherish your family moments.......they are the most precious gifts of all.

Monday, March 21, 2011

a new perspective....and a sad note

I think I need a time management expert to move in. With work (yes I work outside the studio too), designing, writing, sleeping, shipping, eating, socializing, and gardening, I must shamefully admit my blogging has suffered.
I had such high hopes that I would be able to keep a steady flow of interesting posts for you. There are days that I just don't grab the camera and find something to share. Perhaps I'm putting up my own roadblocks in thinking that I need something really special to share, and quite frankly, some days I am just too tuckered out. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

However, I am going to redouble my efforts because I do enjoy connecting with you all and even though I touch base on Facebook, I still like the journal quality that a blog offers.  I enjoy visiting other blogs (when I steal some precious me time) to bask in all the creativity out there.
So anyway.... just to keep from getting bored I decided to shoot some video's to share some tools, techniques, and maybe some squirrel play too. We'll see, those squirrels are pretty quick!
So, hopefully in the next week or so you'll have a video to critique. LOL - what am I thinking!
Anyone know a good director or better yet a screenwriter :)

Oh - speaking of squirrels. Sad news to report in squirreltown - our poor little squirrel Spot has passed away. She has been hanging around our yard about 5 years and she had gotten quite old. She had cataracts and was bumping into things. She would come up on the deck each morning and evening for a bite to eat and would sit at our feet so the other squirrels wouldn't chase her. Toward the end she was losing her fur and would sleep out on the tree limbs in full daylight, an easy target for the hawks. Thankfully, no hawks swooped down on her and we assume one morning she just didn't wake up. We miss her visits to our deck, she was such a sweet little squirrel. This is one of the last pictures I got of her a few days before we didn't see her again.
r.i.p. Spot the squirrel

Monday, March 14, 2011

A new sewing machine.....

Goodness, sewing machines seem to be multiplying like rabbits in my house. My dearly loved and much used Viking 990 died on me a few weeks ago (r.i.p.) and the part to fix it is not to be found right now. Rest assured I will keep looking, but in the meantime my dear, sweet generous friends all offered the use of their spare machines to use. First I had Marti's Janome and it was very easy to learn and so I stitched away on that until the other day. My friend Cathi sent me home with her Bernina to try.
my dead machine, and two loaners from my BFF's

Then,  before I got a chance to try it, a used Viking came up for sale here locally. I kind of wanted to stay with a Viking because I have had such good service from mine these many years and it has sewn virtually everything I could throw at it. Poor thing just finally got tired I guess. I also have a lot of extra feet for the Viking.
Anyway..... I brought my new machine home and I hope it is happy here. It's a Viking Designer 1, but it is missing the embroidery unit. I finally had a chance to try it last night and so far so good. As with any new machine there is a bit of a learning curve but it stitches great and has a lot of cool features. I'll let you know how I like the stippling quilt stitch when I get a chance to use it more.
But..... I got it for a good price and I don't think I would use the embroidery unit right now. If I want to I can always purchase that later.
Now I just have to bling it up with my Studio Bling so it feels like mine.
my new Designer 1

I know a lot of people like using the embroidery units, do you have an embroidery machine and how much do you use the embroidery features?????
What do you like most about the sewing machine you have???
What do you like the least????
How old is your most used machine???
I bought my 990 in '84 or '85 - wow - that was a long time ago!
Now I can begin returning the borrowed machines to my BFF's and hope I can return the favor some day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quilt show

Our local guild just held it's annual quilt show this past weekend and as always... it was fabulous.
We have such a creative talented group of quilters in our area and they never disappoint.
I was too busy looking and chatting to take many pix but I did snap a few to share.

I really liked this star quilt. I like the setting and the little detailed block in the center. It is like a quilt in a quilt.

This is a quilt my friend Jessie made using a Piece O' Cake pattern. Jessie hand quilted it and it is gorgeous and well deserving of the blue ribbon!

Jessie also made this incredible string-pieced mini quilt. You can see how tiny the strips are by using the clothespins as size comparison.  She made a large version last year and then made this mini for the auction and my friend Cathi was the winning bidder. Lucky Cathi!

This was another adorable mini quilt....with a blue ribbon

Here's Deb, one of our local vendors... Quilt Lover's Hangout

I really liked this New York Beauty...I've been wanting to make one for a long time....someday......sigh

How cute is this little embroidered basket quilt.....

This is a closeup from a quilt made the our show chair Deb Crine....she makes amazing quilts.

This is a little quilt my friend Mary made after taking a class from Maya Schonenberger. I should have taken a close up to show the detail better. It is really nice.

As usual the show went by quickly. It's a year of preparation and hard work by so many, and then poof- it's over and the preparation for next year begins.....