My "Handy" Man

Friday, July 30, 2010

It's so nice to be married to a "handy" man ...

We remodeled rebuilt our Seattle home almost 5 years ago.  Taking a "mid-century modern" with challenging foundation issues into an open concept more common in the "new century". 

But there were still a few pesky little things that never quite got fixed.  The concrete wall just outside the family room door for one ...

The wall was cracked, partly covered with green-stuff (this is rainy Seattle) and it had settled unevenly.  We have a walk-out basement, so this wall is under the deck ... not the highest priority, but everytime we sat on the sofa in the family room and looked out the french door ... we had this unsightly wall to look at.

So last week, John surprised me and I came home and found he'd installed verticle firring strips and had started hanging horizontal cedar strips on them to hide the wall ...

Arriving home tonight ... it's finished!!!

Oh ... and did I mention that he cooks most all of our meals too?  I know ... I married a gem ...

We've been taking advantage of theNetflix "Instant Queue" and watching some documentaries ... "King Corn" ... "Food Inc" ... "Super Size It"  ... to name a few.  Certainly provides a different perspective. 

Tonights' dinner was home-made chicken soup with garlic bread.  Our goal was to see if we bought an Organic, Free-Range Chicken if we could squeeze out an extra meal to make it worth the investment in the bird that we know is far more healthy for us ...

Success!!! It was DELICIOUS!!! Just the broth made from and the remaining meat from the chicken carcass, a little celery, and some shredded carrots and herbs from our garden.  And we got three meals, plus a lunch for me at work out of it ... definitely worth the extra investment as the chicken was SO MUCH more tasty.

Well enough swooning over my man ... we're off to catch a ferry & head to the cabin for the weekend.

Hope everyone has a great one!

All the best

Month 2 of Modern Quilting Bee 2

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So THAT was interesting ...

I have just completed month 2 of my first online quilting bee ... the ask was wonky blocks ... something that I haven't tried before.

Susan's fabric choices were brilliant and I really enjoyed working with them.  I graduated to improv blocks earlier this year ... confident that I had gone totally wonky ;-).

I learned this weekend that I've got a long way to go on the wonky meter !!

As much as I like the look of a wonky quilt ... it would take a lot more practice before I felt comfortable taking on one myself!

Susan ... I hope they're what your looking for and thanks for the opportunity to work with such beautiful fabrics and stretch my self a little!

All the best


Monday, July 26, 2010

Well clearly quilting is not happening nearly as quickly now that I am employed ... I am, however, spending a little more time planning ... which is great.

As I previously mentioned, when I started this quilt, I had a different vision.  But it morphed as I built it and I'm quite happy with the result.  In fact ... despite what I thought when it was a just a top ... this is quite likely one of my faves ... one of the first ones that I really haven't wanted to give away!

I had plans to go a little wild on the back ... I thought the whole quilt was a bit boring ... but my husband (who normally remains silent on such matters) was insistent that it was "soothing" and that he "really liked the simplicity of the color".  So in a nod to "his" input ... I did a very simple and solid green back.

The binding is "my" nod to spice it up a little bit ...

So while this is definitely a "keeper" ... it will go in the mail to my sister-in-law for her birthday tomorrow.

Pertinent facts -- a variety of fabulous prints (FQs), White Sateen from JoAnns, and my favorite Kona - Sweet Pea for the back.  The quilting is in a small meandering pattern and after a HOT bath and HOT trip through the dryer ... the quilt is now 66" x 52" ... which I believe is perfect for an afternoon nap!

Well ... off for my 3 mile x-training walk ... hope it's a good week!

All the best

Great end to a week

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A friend of mine & his wife won a day cruise through the San Juan Islands for him and 18 of his closest friends aboard the Norwester -- a 76' foot long classic wooden boat that was once owned by John Wayne.

She's typically chartered out, but the owners volunteered her up as an auction item at the Center for Wooden Boats to raise money.

Not only did we have a spectacular boat to sail through the San Juans on ... we had a fabulous day of weather (a rare event so far this summer up here) to sail with!  

Mt. Baker kept us land-lovers directionally correct for the day as she seemed to hover over us almost everywhere we went.


And of course, we had some fabulous sailing buddies to hang out with!

An interesting factoid ... John Wayne, who owned the Norwester as his California yacht in the 1950's, was 6'4" tall.  In order to walk around below deck, he had several areas of the ceiling (deck outside) raised, so he could stand upright.  The area that we are all sitting on in the photo is one of those raised areas.

John and I had a GREAT day!

All good things must come to an end ... but what a fabulous days we all had ... thanks so much Brian & Camie for including us!

All the best!

L O N G couple of weeks ...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm finding it is longer and longer between blog posts ... not because I'm not well meaning, and not because I don't have a couple of projects in progress ... more because I am struggling to figure out what to share that will add value to folks that likely already have very busy schedules! 

But this one I had to share!!!  I won some fabulous Michael Miller Hedgehog fabric from "pieceful" Stephanie over at Blog Creations.  Stephanie is a talented and quilter/creator who's always got something fun and interesting on the wall and I get inspired each time I wander over to take a gander.  Back in January, I saw one of Stephanie's "Loft Creations No Strings Attached" logos on someones blog and decided to check it out ... I joined in January and set my mind to make a string quilt in February ... then March ... the April ... well ... you get the picture.  I am pleased to report that I did complete one in May, it was for my neice just in time for her high-school graduation present!

So it turns out that Stephanie ... who participates in a large way in the on-line quilting community ... gets us all involved in something that's fun ... posts our pics and projects along the way ... and then after she's done all of that work, she then comes back and rewards us with wonderful fabrics and other great giveaways!  How cool is that ???

So now ... I am the owner of some great new prints and my mind is already wandering on what I can do with them!

Update on the "Me time"

It continues and I'm now running regularly 3-4 times per week with cross-training on the off days.  While I haven't picked up mileage yet, I am definitely picking up speed ... so progress continues. 

I had a rough 2 weeks at work with a major project due this Thursday, my star performer had a bad bicycle accident and has been recovering from shoulder surgery over the last two weeks .... the best news is that she's OK ... the worst part is I saw shades of 60+ hour weeks for a couple of weeks (that's what I did regularly in my last job and caused the hiatus from corporate life for awhile).  I was able to keep up the the running over the last few weeks, but the quilting definitely got short-shrift over the same time period.

Come Friday however ...

Hope you guys are having a great summer out there!

All the best

Benefit of crummy weather ...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

= more quilting time! 

I'm kind of bleh on this one ... whilst I LOVE the fabrics ... when I put them all together with the white ... there's no pizazz ... so I started working on my monster quilt (no photos yet) and it is now the size of a queen size mattress (I call that progress) ... but still a lot of work required to allow for the drop on 2 sides and the bottom.

We spent the long weekend out at the cabin ... a little yard work, a little quilting, a little window cleaning, a little quilting, a little dog walking, a little quilting ... you get the picture ... and relaxing it was!

Happy Tuesday!

All the best
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