Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clock is Ticking Down

I've only got 6 days left on my contract job.  No sign from either the contract house or Ally that they'll be needing me past next Friday.  I've been in contact with a few other contract houses, put some résumés out there for jobs I think I might like and I guess I'll just be waiting to hear back.  I wouldn't mind another 'vacation' as my sewing piles are getting mighty high!  One niece has moved into a new home and the other niece I'm sure needs a visit.  We'll see.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Long TV Story

When I left you yesterday, I had begun to tell the tale of my non-Uverse world.  I only got wind of my increased cost by reviewing my upcoming deduction from AT&T.  Maybe it would have been received a little better had they told me up front but NOOOOOOOOO!  I had to hear it the sneaky way.

Hence my plot was hatched -- find a less expensive way to watch TV.  I've never been the kind of viewer who had all the extra channels like HBO, Cinemax, etc.  I watched very few channels.  So, hey.....why am I paying for all those channels I never, ever watched???  Answer -- I shouldn't.

Here I was watching every stinking Housewife out there.  Miserable, back-stabbing, whiny women who couldn't care less about what I was going through in my life.  Why in the world should I be so wrapped in them??!!

So I did what any sane modern person would do -- I posted a question on Facebook.  First answer was from my fiber friend Rita -- get a Roku and Hulu Plus.  Now I did know what Hulu Plus was but I'd never heard of a Roku.  I Googled, asked around a bit and quite a few of the people I know knew about Roku and even more had Hulu Plus.  I checked Costco and sure enough they had them so I headed over there Saturday.  I got a little bit more information while I was there -- if you buy a SMART blu-ray player or TV you can receive the Hulu Plus, etc. options through your wireless internet.  HMMMMM, more to ponder.

I pushed my shopping cart all through the store before I made my final decision.  I bought a Roku, antenna, and a small Samsung flat screen TV for my Craft Cave and an antenna and Sony SMART blu-ray player for my living room TV.  Remember you need either a SMART TV or blu-ray player, or a device like Roku to get your TV stations from your wireless internet router.

Normally I struggle with setting up TVs and their various accessories.  I trace it back to my first experience hooking up a VCR to a TV -- all I got was a fuzzy screen.  Never tried again.  Usually I leave tasks like this to my roommate but I was bound and determined to do it myself -- and I did!  Ok, minimal swearing, a few 'have to walk away' moments but eventually it was all working like a top.

Now the first two months of Hulu Plus and the first month of NetFlix are free.  Going forward each subscription will cost $7.99/month -- way less than Uverse.  Now this option isn't without a bad side -- limited live sports -- no Red Wings or Tigers games unless they're on the local TV stations.  You have to live within 25 miles of a TV tower to use the antennas (I do, thank goodness).  So far I'm loving it.  I can listen to Pandora while I sew -- how pleasant is that!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Change is Very Good

Big changes this week at the Jones household.  I've cancelled all of my AT&T Uverse except for the wireless internet.  It's too late tonight to give a lot of details since I have to get up extra early for work tomorrow, but trust me when I say alllll the details will come out soon.  Might be just what I need to push that roommate out of the nest!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Little Late

Here's the pillow I made last weekend.  I used green and cream wool strips from my Chicken friend Diane, brown solid for the background and a great green and brown plaid for the back with a green invisible zipper.  It started out with the strips laid out in a lattice pattern on top of the felted brown wool:

I pinned down the strips then sewed the edges to the background.  Then I sat and pondered.....stitch all of them down?  Sew them down with a button??  Hmmmm.  So I searched and searched my button stash for just the perfect buttons.  But wait, one button on every crossover, every other, only the creams??  YIKES!  The thought of sewing them through two v-e-r-y thick strips of wool AND the background with my feeble hands???? NOOO!  Instead I free-motion stitched them down.  So there!

Close up of the stitching:

And the back:
Not perfectly lined up but perfect enough for me!

Now I have a big, thick pillow to stick behind my back on my big, thick chair.  Makes me want to sit and stitch there now!  I think I'll spend the weekend working on more of these:

Then there's always cleaning to do in the Craft Cave.  I tried to plan a quilt shop hop road trip for tomorrow with my Chicken friends but no one wanted to go.  I think it's the fourth time I've tried so I give up.  Probably a sign.............

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catching Up

This year has gotten off to an interesting start.  Here's a recap:

  1. Mom was dreadfully sick last month, telling us to bury her in her new outfit for niece Erica's wedding.  A couple of cortisone shots in the wrist, multiple overnight visits from her girls, oh, and maybe the threat of an impending moving to a nursing home seemed to have cured her.
  2. Roommate finally applied for unemployment.  Now he's working on leads for a new job.  Seems to run in the family.
  3. I had an appointment today with a new recruiter.  Hopefully this one 'gets' me and I can find something I'll be happy doing for a lonnnnng time to come.
  4. Found out how to fix my power window on my Ford Focus.  Hold the button down for a few seconds, then hold it up for a few seconds, then the one-touch down and up functionality will return -- happy, happy, joy, joy.
  5. Shortened some new pants tonight (SHOCK!) -- it always takes 10X as long to undo a mistake than it takes to make it in the first place.  How is that????
  6. Laundry is almost caught up -- still have some hand wash items waiting for me in the hamper.
  7. Clean up project -- Craft Cave is still a disaster - ARGH!  Must. Get. Working. On. That.
  8. Finished an interesting wool pillow project -- pictures coming in the next day or two.
  9. Bargain Pendleton cable knit pullover sweaters found today -- $118 marked down to $35 -- can't lose on those.  Sorry to say, made in Ch*na - double ARGH -- what happened to them being made in Oregon???!!
  10. Nearly booked all of the Kim Diehl workshops in March -- speak now or forever lose the chance.  See for details.
Much more fun to be had -- stay tuned.

Friday, January 18, 2013


....this will be my Mystery Quilt Day project for next month!  I've got all the fabrics, just need to start cutting out.  I think center will go together pretty quickly but that border -- that's gonna take a hunk of time.  Worth every minute though.  Thanks to my quilting friend Sandy for inspiring me to actually use my Marcia Derse fabrics instead of just fondling them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spend a little.... a little!  In case you need help spending your fabric money, has a sale going through 1/21/13 so hurry on over to their website.  Enter the promo code, SNOW2013 at checkout, and you will save 20% off your order of $40 or more, plus shipping always free on orders over $35!!  It's not hard to spend more than $35 now is it??!!

They have a huge selection of fabric, lots of notions.  They even have Kokka fabrics a few of my Chicken friends might lust after.

Can't wait for my shipment to arrive!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Out and About

Yesterday my friend Sue joined me for a trip to Brighton.  My key mission was to drop of some raw Alpaca fleece to my rug hooking friend Kris, along with a fabulous Victorian Paisley wrap.  Kris's face lit up when she saw the wrap and she shared her knowledge of the wonderful woven piece with all of the rug hookers who had gathered for their monthly meeting.  When we transferred four bankers' boxes to her vehicle she couldn't wait to sneak a peak.  She had a fibergasm right there in the parking lot.  Woohoo -- a love connection was made.  Kris will send the fiber off to be processed in Frankemuth and then who knows what she will do with it -- most likely spin it into fabulous yarn.

From there Sue and I headed over to Creative Quilt Kits just down the road from the rug hooking meeting site.  A very nondescript office building held a store with room after room of wonderful quilt fabric.  Oh my!  I was very cautious with my spending, coming out of there with less than 12 yards of fabric and only one pattern.  I could have easily bought a whole lot more.  They have an amazing selection and I know we'll be back with more Chickens next time.

We had lunch at a great little restaurant called The Wooden Spoon.  Full of dishes uses locally sourced ingredients, we each had their mushroom with brie soup, and a different sandwich.  MMM, MMM good -- we'll be going back there too.

A quick stop at the Monarch Quilt Shop was much less fruitful.  Although we each found a few more fabrics we liked, the store worker (don't think it was the owner) had a bit of a confrontation with someone who had brought in a quilt top to be quilted 6 weeks ago and they hadn't started on it yet so she was taking it home.  The store worker muttered about the incident in front of us after the other customer had left and I think that was very unprofessional.  Plus, 6 weeks and it wasn't even started yet???  She should have taken it to Quality Quilting in Ann Arbor where they turn quilts out in about a week.

Today I went looking for more fabric for my upcoming Kim Diehl workshop at the local quilt shop and found nothing, zip, zero, nothing.  That quilt shop owner is such a putz.  She never even asked what I was looking for and always seems bothered that I'm there.  Again, why do I keep going back??

I went to my favorite fabric store, Haberman Fabrics, and found some great wool to use for a pillow and it was on sale.  Woohoo!  It's been washed and awaits a couple of hours for me to sew it all up.  Looking forward to that project using some wool strips my Chicken friend Diane gave me last week.  Adding it to my very long To-Do list.

But it's back to work for me tomorrow.  Last Friday was a very frustrating day with people signing off on documents and then doing the complete opposite of what they agreed to.  It's not my place to tell them off -- someone higher than me in the food chain will have to do so and I expect I'll be having that conversation with them tomorrow.  I'm just a temp, ya know?!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Quilt Guild Firsts

Tonight was our monthly meeting for the Great Lakes Heritage Quilters.  Being the program chair can be a bit hectic.  I'm busy trying to fill workshops, answer lots of questions, taking checks, and welcoming the speaker for the night -- phew!

Cynthia Gentit was our speaker tonight.  I had all sorts of witty things I was going to say to introduce this organizing guru.  Rushing up to the podium from the back of the room, I think I left all my thoughts at the back table too!  I had intended to talk about how Cynthia had been on an episode of Hoarders, she being the professional helping the messy person.  Forgot.  I was going to tell everyone the story of me organizing my sock drawer last year and getting rid of dozens and dozens of pairs of socks.  Forgot.  I felt so scattered that I hope I didn't sound like an idiot.

Cynthia's program was great and she had wonderful giveaways for member as well as handouts, which I think she may have run out of before everyone got one, so there must have been over 100 people there.  She was the first person to speak at our guild about organizing your crafting space and she had a lot of super tips.

The other first for me was, when speaking to someone I didn't know, I actually paused and said "I'm sorry I don't know your name", and introduced myself.  I'm sure that doesn't seem like such a big deal but it was for me.  I'm actually kind of shy and I usually just make small talk with someone I don't know, kind of pretending that I do and then move on to the next conversation.  But I liked this gal and I wanted her to know she mattered.  Sometimes new members don't feel a connection with the guild and then they just stop coming.  But Jenny had shown a really intriguing quilt at Show n Tell and I could tell I wanted to get to know her better.  You have to nurture new quilters.  I know.  I was one once, many moons ago, and if not for Betty and Marilyn and Heather and Debby, I probably would have abandoned that craft.  So glad I didn't!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Last week I was getting ready for work, putting on my first sock, when the phone rang.  Fearing something bad with my Mom, I answered quickly.

On the other end was an automated voice asking me about some potentially fraudulent purchases made with my debit card.

No, I did not purchase $400 worth of gaming software at some business in Seattle, Washington.  I eventually spoke to a human to verify, who then pronounced my account closed, and instructed me to call the credit union to have a new card issued.  Ugh!  Can't people get real jobs like me??!!  This is the fourth time this has happened to me over the last 5 years or so.

Here is an even crazier story from a family in Alaska.  What a headache for them!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Easy Money

How would you like to have over $1300 in a piggy bank at the end of 2013??  I know I would and I found a simple way to accomplish this courtesy of a friend on Facebook.  I'm going to put money in my piggy bank that corresponds to the week of the year.  Did I lose you?  In other words, this is week 1 in 2013 so I'm going to put $1 in my piggy bank.  Next week is week 2 of 2013 so I'm going to put $2 in my piggy bank and so on and so on until the last week of 2013 when I put $52 dollars in the piggy bank for a grand total of $1378.00!!!

Maybe that money will pay for a nice vacation?  Or some other fun stuff.  Hmmm.....I'll have all year to plan!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I had a great weekend up north at my niece Erica's wedding.  Everything was beautiful and we all had so much fun (some of us had TOO much fun!).  Good food:

Beautiful flowers:

Happy guests:

But most of all, a happy bride and groom:

Even at the end of a long day....
Wishing Erica and Tommy years and years of happiness, good health and a deepening love.