Friday, June 29, 2012

Teacher Discounts

This great link is for all my friends who are teachers, have teacher relatives, and just know a fantastic teacher!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hurry Up and Read This!

I hope you're reading this before 12:00 MST today so you can enter to win a fabulous Nikon DSLR camera.  Head on over here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What's News?

I'm a big news hound.  My roommate would confirm that.  Here's a great site to keep us all up to speed with what's happening in all the little corners of our world.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Day

My new great-niece Reese came home from the hospital today, almost one week after she was born.  She's a cutie patootie and I can't wait to meet her in person and take some pictures.

My Mom also came home today.  I tried to call her but apparently her phone service is out.  Damn Comcast.  I could visualize her lying on the floor with the phone off the hook and was nearly out the door when my sister Renee called me to explain after I had first called her to see if she'd heard from Mom. Ahhhh.  

In case you need a laugh, and who doesn't on a Monday, my Mom told me yesterday, with the most serious face, that her doctor has instructed her during his visit at the hospital not to take any more Midol due to her ulcer.  I said 'Midol Mom?'  And she insisted that was what he told her.  At age 86 I can tell you it's been DECADES since she last popped one of those!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yo Yo Week

Long time no posts, right?  It's been one of those weeks.  A while ago I said I was working on a wool challenge item for my quilt guild's last meeting.  I entered a wool jacket:

The shot above was taken at the meeting.  I was quite dejected that it did not place.  I thought it was pretty slick.  I used a Marcy Tilton pattern (Vogue #8676) for the jacket and the appliqué designs were taken from Out the Back Door by Whimsicals.  I hand dyed much of the appliqué wool so I was pretty proud of it.  No prize for me.  Goose egg.  Zip.  Nadda. 

I wasn't down for long.  My sewing mojo is back.  When I was going back and forth to Haberman Fabrics for jacket advice, buttons, etc., I kept passing the most adorable little girl's dress hanging on display.  I KNEW I had to make it for the daughter my niece was expecting.  And I did.  I loved the fabric and the floral design running along the selvedge edges.  I used McCall's #5791 and initially didn't plan on making either the panties or the bow, but what the heck!  Couldn't let good fabric go to waste.

I used orange grosgrain ribbon in homage to my niece's husband who is a Tennessee graduate.  And then while I was sitting at work Tuesday I thought 'Carla needs a matching skirt!'  So after work I buzzed into Haberman's again and picked up a yard of fabric and elastic and whipped it up.
Won't they look cute on their walks to the park wearing their matching outfits?!  I mailed them off to Carla on Wednesday and she called me yesterday to thank me.  She was crying and I told her to stop or she'd get me going.  She was so appreciative -- makes me want to sew more for them!

But that's not all.  I decided I needed to make something for my grandson Denver.  Afterall, I hadn't sewn anything for him yet and he's nearly 10 months old!  So back to Haberman's I went and found some great raingear/fleece fabric in the sale bin.  60" wide for $8 per yard!  I used McCall's #4644 for the pattern and it went together super fast.  I gave it to Denver on Friday when I was hanging out with Holly.

 It's a little big for now but should fit fine in the Fall when they go for walks in the woods.  Isn't he precious?
While I was visiting Holly & Denver, my sister Renee called to say she was at the hospital with Mom and needed me to get there.  Mom's duodenal ulcer was acting up again and she needed two pints of blood plus her endoscopy/colonoscopy.  Let me tell you...there's absolutely nothing like sitting with your Mom for hours while she does the prep for the scope.  Nothing.  I'm off to visit her again this afternoon.  Hopefully she'll be released tomorrow and we can go back to our regularly scheduled chaos.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day, just in case you've been deaf to the ads on the radio, TV, internet, newsprint.  I doubt you could miss it unless you live under a rock, without Internet, phone, and cable TV access.  Or you've stayed inside your little hut and avoided contact with the outside world.

My Dad died just short of 3 years ago.  It might as well be yesterday because I still miss him more than you could ever know.  Every time I watch a Detroit Red Wings or Tigers game I think of him and the conversations we would have about the players, their record, and their chances for the playoffs.  I think of him when I travel and am contemplating where to eat, as he loved to travel the world.

What I wouldn't give to have one more lucid conversation with him.  I'm grateful that I was with him when he took his last breath but I'd gladly trade that moment for the chance to talk to him again.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How Did I...

...ever get to be my age and not use a Dritz Seam Roll?  My wool challenge project called for pressing seams open and bingo, this was exactly what I needed but had never owned before:
The cute plaid side is for wool fabric and the cotton side is for pretty much everything else.

I also picked up a new pair of embroidery scissors from Kai that have larger openings for your thumb and finger.  I figure I'll be more comfortable with the extra room and maybe my fingers won't hurt so much.

Tomorrow is the big reveal for my wool challenge so expect to see more pictures then!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Good Times

Last month my roommate and I went out to visit Holly and her family.  It was a combination birthday/Memorial Day outing.  I hadn't seen my grandson Denver since Mother's Day and boy, had he grown and changed!  He's crawling all over and sitting up so steady and oh, so curious about everything.  I bought Holly a wheelbarrow to help her with her gardening and hauling Denver around.

 I think he loved it!

Mike had to build a gate to keep Denver from tumbling down their very wide stairway.  I think he did a terrific job:

Kevin enjoyed visiting with his nephew:

For dessert I took a chocolate mousse cake which Mike fed on his finger to Denver:

He definitely enjoyed his taste of the cake.  I got to feed him some peaches and plums but I'm not sure that could compete with cake!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


It's going to be a steamy, hot weekend around here so I decided to head out early and get my chores done.  First stop was Café Muse in Royal Oak -- one of my faves.  You can't go wrong with their delicious menu.  Surprisingly not packed either at 9:30 but still the 2 seater tables were full inside so I sat outside.  Remember, I said it was going to be hot this weekend!  I went through 2 1/2 glasses of ice water!  But it was all worth it for this delicious fried egg and Irish potato hash special:
Everything about it was unbelievably tasty -- definitely adding it to my favorites list.  Next up was the Clay, Glass, and Metal show, also on Washington Avenue this weekend.  Although it's going to be warm, at least they haven't predicted any nasty weather, which so often hits this great show.  There are all kinds of artists there with a wide variety of price points.  There's something for everyone.  I stopped at my friend Marcia Hovland's booth.  She's so whimsical!
I love her new flower pots:

  One of the newer activities is the mosaic tile art project for the Royal Oak Public Library.  
For a small donation you can select a paper cup of broken tile pieces from the various artists and place them into the community mosaic tile project, which will be on display at the library when completed.  I picked a cup that included the peace sign made by Marcia:

I'm such a dippity doo -- I think I forgot to set the gold and brown tiles that were in my cup, leaving them on the board for someone else.  Such a dope!

It's a beautiful, sunshiney day but too hot for me to linger.

A couple of artists were doing demonstrations during the show.  A glass blower was getting fired up and the potter below was getting ready too.  Something about the heat just made me keep walking, though.

These potted flowers were near the entrance to an apartment building nearby where my grandfather lived more than 75 years ago -- amazing!

At my last stop for the day, I picked up dog food and treats for Maggie at my favorite pet store, Premier Pet Supply, and returned home to gear up for an afternoon of serious sewing in the air-conditioned comfort of my living room.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Guardian Building

Last Saturday's Detroit's Big Crush wine stroll included a stop at the Guardian Building.  It's one of the most beautiful buildings in the city with a nice mix of Art Deco and Native American Indian art.  There was so much to see, the photos deserved their own blog post.

First up though, is the ceiling of the entrance to the Buhl Building, directly across the street.

Isn't the tile work amazing???!!!  Sometimes you need to look up to catch the art -- easy to miss if you're only looking forward.

The next few shots are from the Guardian Building.  Enjoy!

 Above -- outside view of a gorgeous window.  Below -- inside view of a nearby similarly designed window.

This is the wall behind the greeter's desk:

Mary Chase Perry Stratton was the founder of Pewabic Pottery. I saw examples of her work in several buildings on the tour and her style of pottery is still made today.  Highly sought after by collectors and museums alike, you can find it in buildings all over the world.

It's really a fascinating building.  My neck was worn out from looking up all the time!

Here are some more examples of Pewabic Pottery, located near Cliff Bell's on Park Avenue:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Back in the Saddle

I've been busy the past several days working on another item for the wool challenge for my quilt guild, which is due NEXT Thursday!!  It's still in pieces and I can't show the progress -- yet.  Look for pictures after next Thursday.

I've been playing around a bit with my new camera.  I think I'll try to take a class or two with the Digital Photo Academy, which is offering up a deal on Groupon right now.  I know I can do so much more with this camera than I currently know how to do.  Here are a couple of shots I took over the last few days.  I always like to take pictures of my roses:

And during the full moon I tried to take a shot using my tripod, a first for that:

This second image shows stars I didn't even notice when I was taking the shots.  Ok, maybe it was because I was too busy swatting mosquitoes to see anything else.

Often times I can get my crafting mojo back by picking up new yarn, fabric, books, or tools.  When I was at Joann's picking up wool batting for my niece Erica's wedding quilt, I spotted a display of Gingher Rotary Cutters.  What the heck, I thought, I'll use my 50% off coupon on them.  But wait, that still makes them about $30.  Hmmm.  While waiting in the hopelessly long cutting line, I looked them up on the web -- found them for $16 and ordered them right then and there.  That was Sunday and they arrived yesterday:
It has a nice little metal case to keep them safe and out of the hands of an inexperienced user (AKA my roommate).
I used it tonight to cut some wool and it really did cut like a hot knife through butter.

I've also been getting quilt books left and right from Amazon.  I wanted to have books from all of my speakers for next guild year's programs.  I can't sell the workshops if I don't have materials to entice members into checking them out for themselves.
In order of their appearance for the 2012-2013 guild year:  Gyleen Fitzgerald, Frieda Anderson, Kim Diehl, and Anita Grossman Solomon.  It's going to be a great year.

Now, it's time to get back to work on my wool project.....