Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31: What is going on around here?

Dad's embroidery is set up and he is playing with eagles.

I put all the blocks together for this twin sized quilt and
have all the rows together for my red, white, and blue.

I also took time to make microwaved apples and cinnamon for
dinner and washed 2 loads of laundry.  Two servings will be
added to my Greek yogurt over the next couple of days.  Love it!

Kevin spent most of the day working in the shop.  Two
projects are still in the prototype phase but we think we
have the angles for this wine bottle holder.  All  the items
he is working on today are for the two shows we are
doing this fall.  I will do my part on each item very soon.

Last but most yummy would be the 5 containers
of refrigerator/freezer jam that Kevin and I finished
making 30 minutes ago.  We used some of our
Colorado peaches that were getting pretty ripe.
I will love it from afar, but the guys are excited!

July 31: Little House of Horrors

Just kidding, but on Sunday, Kevin was standing at the kitchen sink.  He pulled out the faucet nozzle and had water flying all over the place. It took him a few moments to register that he just had the faucet in his hand and not the webbed hose that should have attached.  He was pretty wet.  Boy was it funny from across the room, even when the spray hit me.

Fortunately, we managed to make the repair in quick order.  I got under the sink and pushed the hose up so he could capture it on top.  He got it screwed together and we were back in operation without any further mishaps.

It would have been worthy of funniest home videos!

Life is GOOD!

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30: Heart Doctor - Pontoon - Griffin's Quilt

Dad found a new heart doctor as part of moving to Sioux Falls.  Today was his first appointment.  He got a full work-up and will probably get a couple more prescriptions, but did not hear that anything else had changed.  Seems to be pleased with this doctor. =0)

Kevin is on his way to take the pontoon boat to the boat doctor.  It will not be a couple hour visit.  Seems that there are lots of boats needing to be "healed".  They said they would look it over in the next couple of days and then get back to us about what needs to be fixed.  Sounds like an expensive thought.  =0(

Griffin's t-shirt quilt top is almost finished.  I am guessing that before supper I will have all the borders in place.  The binding is prepped.  Now all we need is the quilting frame, gray flannel backing, batting, and t-shirt gray thread.  =0}

Okay, here is a little confession, too. I have heard that it is good for the soul so maybe it will be great for the waistline, too.  Since coming back to South Dakota I have gained 10 pounds.  Part is allowing myself to celebrate every birthday without accounting for the number of calories each dish of ice cream or pie entails. Learning to make pizza on the grill has also contibuted. Part is stress-eating (It is not good or bad, just getting things done and accepting that all things in a new business take longer than I imagined.)  Life has changed and I am pleased with it, but I am still working at adjusting.  Heat and humidity are also a factor because they tend to make me want to sit more and move less.  Another part is not journalling.  So today, I have confessed, but beginning yesterday, I have also taken action that will get things back on track. Excuses have been checked at the door.  Since I threw out all my "big girl" clothes and have NO intentions of buying larger, I have to do this.  However, the bigger pieces are that when I was reflecting this weekend it was like the light came on and said, 10 pounds ago felt so much better mentally and physically.  A few sticks of Extra gum have helped to refocus, so I have a pack in the kitchen and one in the studio.  I have also cut up celery and am using it as a snack - don't say yuck, until you try it.  It leaves such a fresh feeling in my mouth.  Until the 10 are off, I will be mentioning them every couple days.  Hopefully they will come off as easily as they went on.  MIGHT AS WELL DREAM BIG!!  =0P

Life is GOOD!

July 29: What's Wrong

We took the pontoon out for its maiden voyage of the season.  We had a couple days of delay because the battery needed to be recharged, but everything checked out on Saturday.  We made arrangements to meet up with my sister Wendy and most of her kids/grandkids.  John had his dad's speed boat.

We arrived early thinking that Dad and Kevin could do a little fishing first.  After waiting in line to use the ramp, we got everything situated, backed the pontoon off the trailer.  Put the truck and trailer up in the lot and backed away from the dock. Then there was a sad moment of realizing that there was something not quite right because we could no longer change gears without killing the motor.

Kevin paddled us back to the shore.

There is the dock and the red dragon.
Our own "rescue heros."

Sam, John, and Kevin begin pulling the pontoon.

Think that because Same is so tall he got the deep end of the deal.

John looks on after the pontoon was safely loaded on the trailer.

Ask yourself this, is this the right way to steer the pontoon and red dragon?
I will admit that this was an interesting couple of hours, and the guys did get their fishing lines in the lake for a brief time, but there were no fish biting.  (Most of the minnows said, "Thanks for releasing us bak into the lake.  Bye!")

After we got everything organized, we did go out on the water in the speed boat.  Not many words, just photos.  The one shot I got of my sister was mostly of leg.  I will capture her the next time.  Question for relatives: Doesn't this photo of Brianna look a lot like Amanda?

Kevin rarely wears a hat anymore, but
it was HOT!

Brynn and Kale
Life is GOOD!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28:Griffin's t-shirt quilt blocks

My sister requested that I make a t-shirt quilt for my nephew/godson Griffin.  He had 19 t-shirts and 3 hooded sweatshirts.  I decided to make the sweatshirts into a pillow and used parts of 3 gray shirts to make the 20th block.   The blocks will measure 15x15 when finished, so even before the borders the quilt will measure 60x75.  Guess this will be a XL twin size.

It will be the second quilt I will complete once my new quilting frame is set up.  The first one will be a practice so I can get used to the new set up.  I am getting excited.

Life is GOOD!

July 28: Randomness

Last night I used my Purple Cow for the first time. Remember the rhyme---I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one, but this I can tell you, I would rather see than be one. So what is this purple cow that I used? It is a hot and cold laminating machine. It took us 2 tries to do our laminating in a smooth fashion, but once we did it looked so good.

Remember the first signs I made to tell customers that we were in the shop?  The finish did not work and made the black paint run all over them. (Afterwards, Dad told us that he had the same prolem with that can of finish.  It was his, so why did he keep it?)   I decided to cut my losses and make something simpler.  The arrow will hang next to the front door when we are down in the shop working.  The "open" sign will hang on a hook on the front of the building while we are open and then go inside when we close.  Like I said, nothing fancy but may help to draw in people as they drive by.

I am delighted to report that we are still receiving rain.  It means we will not be taking the pontoon boat out for its maiden run of the season, but the rain is so much more important!

Life is GOOD!

July 28: Can you hear the singing?

Yup, that is R-A-I-N!

July 28: Happy Birthday, Jon

Today my older child is celebrating his birthday.  He has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives over the years.  We are truly happy to point out that he is OUR son.  There will be some ice cream celebrating around here tonight!

Friday, July 27, 2012

July 27: Today

Guess I missed the point of my last post's title.  What about today?  Well, my mind seems to be moving in way too many directions lately and I am finding myself needing to refocus of the task I intended to do.

As I said we have been working on the computer writing ads, designing  brochure and making our first "catalog" of Kevin's work.  However, I got side tracked when I was in Word checking for some other templates and found one for weekly menu planning. It is Friday and the day we do the grocery shopping.  Of course this lead me to planning the week's menus and then making the grocery list.  Looks pretty cool.  Then there is the marathon shopping that happens on Friday.  We don't just go to the grocery store, we run all the piddly errands, too.  All this food related stuff and running the errands took us about 3 1/2 hours.

Of course,yesterday, when Dad went with me to pay for the quilting frame, he found embroidery software to make an adorable baby quilt with applique puppies.  It was not in his format, so I needed to get on my computer and format each design.  Not a really difficult process, but I had not done any for him in a while and forgot the magic step of dragging an image into the EMB5 file before it will load on the embroidery machine.  That meant I spent a couple of hours fudging around on it to get it right.  Guess I should write myself some instructions, huh?

Did I mention that we got our first Colorado peaches of the season?  There is a very worthy distraction.  These are the best eating peaches we have each year, so I had to take time to make some into a peach ice cream pie and am just about to go and make freezer jam with more of them.  The timing is not perfect but the eating will be. Yummy!

Well, this blogging is not getting anything done, so I will sign off.

Life is GOOD!

July 27: Yesterday and Today

Yesterday started with a fabric exploration trip with my niece Isabella.  Although she is not technically my Goddaughter, I did stand in for my sister Pam at the ceremony and Pam has past away, so...  Anyway, I am making her a lap quilt with her t-shirts on one side and her color choices on the other.  With all the quilt frame issues I am behind on a couple of other quilts, so she won't be getting this soon, but it will happen in the next couple of months.  The batik fabric that is laying across the other fabrics will be the fabric used to fame the t-shirts and also to be the outer border on this side.  I do not have a pattern in mind, but I need to make some decisions in the next couple of days so I can be certain to find these pieces in the quantities needed.  In case you are curious, she wants grey to be the most dominant color on the non-t-shirt side.  hmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

As I told many of you, we are making and selling bunk beds, lofts, trundles, and under bed storage drawers as part of our woodworking business.  We had considered making a toddler bed along the same lines, so Kevin drafted a design and made the prototype.  We even have the safety rails for both sides of the bed. In the meantime I continued to check out the regulations, etc.  Just as the bed was finished I found the last pieces of information I needed and discovered that the regulations for making and selling such items specifically for use by toddlers are extensive and require third party testing and certification.  I want children to be safe and protected, but I do need to say that I find that the testing costs are prohibitive to the small shops.  I know that our bed meets the requirements presented in the documentation, and we have done our own tests based on the information listed by the CPSC, but this bed will not be sold.   Therefore, once the new addition on the house is finished this sweet little bed will be set up in one of the guest rooms.  It will be used by our grandkids when they visit -- I would never think to allow them to use something that would be hazardous to them! 

The afternoon and evening were again spent at the computer. We began with a photo session of one of our lofts and one of our bunk beds.All beds have safety rails, but we wanted to show several different views.  My quilts (but not the ones I have been working on this past week) are on the beds. After cropping the  pictures, we placed several ads and did more work on Kevin's design portfolio and a brochure containing photos and information which will be placed in several businesses around the area.

Obviously, we have been busy like usual, but we are enjoying it.  Now we just need to make our first sale.

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26: Something to Ponder

What will this paper pieced and quilted little block have to do with woodworking?  The hints are that it is for a prototype and the block design will be varied.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25: Yesterday's Fun

No change in the weather and none expected today --- HOT AND HUMID!!!
I spent a large chunk of yesterday doing paperwork for the business and for us personally.  The business stuff is still novel and interesting.  This is going to be something that requires at least weekly attention, but I do love the challenge. However, I really do not love to balance the household budget and make it all work, but it is the grown-up thing to do.  Now it is done and ready to act on for the month, so let the other fun begin.  Later today it will be menu planning, but I actually enjoy it.

In the evening, the three of us went down to my quilt studio and opened up all the boxes that Dad brought for his embroidery machine.  We figure out how to set up his space, and now he is downstairs organizing himself.  He seems to be fairly excited to have his own sewing space, again.

For my part, I had help packing up the "useless parts" of my original quilting frame and then did some more placing of items on the walls or in storage.  There is more space and room for my new quilting frame.  Today, I am going to do a little more organizing and then work on quilt blocks for the bunk beds.  It is so pleasant to have a cool space to work in on these hot, humid days.  (Of course, I am going to buy some UGGs (boots) to wear down on the tiled floors this winter --- I love the cold but not on my feet.)

Life is GOOD!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24: Paperwork Day

Today is personal and business paperwork day.  I have been trying to find out all kinds of information on toddler size beds and all the Consumer Product Safety Commission's standards.  I have also been looking for places to buy large quantities of lemon oil - not polish because we are using it to finish the bunk beds.

I took this break to catch up on my emails and blogging.  Then I will be doing my banking, bill paying and budgeting, etc.  My children are probably moaning at that because I can get very focused, and admittedly a little grumpy when I have to find ways to stretch funds.  Hopefully, that will not be the case today.

Later this afternoon, I am going to check out the college classes that I am planning to take in the fall.  I am looking forward to that with great anticipation.  I love being a student and I have a real focus for this learning -- how to run a business.

The heat and humidity is still very much with us.  I am thinking that there are a great many reasons that I love living in the North, but the hot, humid days of summer are not on the list.  Bring on Fall, Winter, and Spring!  (I apologize to all my teaching friends and family, but I do like those 3 seasons better!)

Sorry that I missed mentioning my niece Emily's b-day yesterday.  We remembered, but after our huge celebration dinner, there was NO ROOM for ice cream.  We will have to celebrate today.

Life is GOOD!

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23: Stitching and Stitching

It is just to blame hot to do anything outside!  That worked in my favor today.  I spent most of it in the basement where my quilt studio is located.  I sewed sets of 2 strips together and then cut them in lengths of 6 1/2".  Next I sewed these pieces into longer lengths.  They will be cut into 6 1/2" blocks and then sewn together like rail fences.  This bunk bed quilt is going to be VERY bright, just like the other one I did yesterday.

We also went and got a very close estimate on the quilting frame for my HQ Sixteen.  Once I added the rolling casters, the sled, shipping costs, and taxes it will bring the price up to about $2,700. Before I can actuallypurchase the frame I needed to find out one piece of information to make certain the frame works with my stitch regulator.

Finally, we went out and celebrated the fact that Dad's house is sold and the money is in the bank.  He is so much more relaxed now that it is done.  We went to Olive Garden where my niece Isabella was our server.  (She is quite the charmer!)  The service was great, the food was excellent and far too plentiful, but we were all members of the "clean plate club", anyway. 

Still hotter than blazes, but we are blessed with air conditioning.  We know we are lucky!

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22: Another Set of Blocks

Finished another set of blocks for a twin sized bunk bed.  The photo does not do the brightness justice, but still, I wanted to share.  Probably will rearrange the blocks a bit, but for all intense purposes the quilt top just needs to be pieced and wait for the new frame to arrive.  For the rest of the afternoon, I am going to piece more strips and do something with them for the other bunk.  Probably not the same design, but there will be solids of some form in it.
My headache continues to plague me.  I get to thinking it is pretty much faded, and then I sneeze or swallow wrong and B-o-i-n-g it is back.  Kevin has a headache too, so maybe it is the weather????  We need a break from the heat and humidity, but not as much as the farmers need rain.

Despite that we have so many blessings, so.....

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21: Sewing Despite the Headache

My head still hurts, but playing with fabric seems to help me refocus, at least today. 

I need some fun quilts to use when displaying and photographing bunk beds.  I remembered that I had tons of coin strips sewn and lots of 5" strips cut, so I combined them to make blocks for a very bright, cheerful rail fence twin sized quilt. For now I am just putting them up randomly on my new design wall.  I actually think I will have more than enough coins and strips to make 2 similar quilts.  All the little strips in the coins make me smile because they are the leftover parts of other quilts and clothing that I have made.

Back when I made my first quilt in 1977, I made what my mom thought was a "way too bright" quilt for my son.  Today I hung it on a wall rack and thought about how much it had been through and how even though it has faded, the colors are still very vividly remembered in my head.

Life is GOOD!

July 21: Smiling Through More Headache

My headache is apparently not really gone, but I am smiling anyway.  There seems to be a solution to my quilt frame dilemma.  My dear FIL has decided to provide the money to help me get back to the quilting part of quilt making.  He actually went out searching for tables and machines this morning -- neither of us were aware that was a big part of his errand running today.  Normally I would not consider it, but with the house renovations about to begin, tying up funds for the frame was giving me fits.  He said he loves the quilts and loves making his embroidered blocks to create quilts so he wanted to give me the chance to get up and running now rather than later. I told him it needed to be in the form of a long term loan rather than a gift, and he said that was okay, but not to rush into repayment.  Got to LOVE him.  I know that I am blessed!

Here is a top I am working on today.  I had a lot more blues than reds and the stripes need to be moved around.  I will have to do some re-arranging, but it is a fun twin size for the loft bed. 

Life is GOOD!

July 21: Down for the Count, But Back Up and Running

Yesterday, I had the worst headache in a long time.  I think the burning eyeballs was my least favorite part of it.  I went through some saline eye drops!  Never nap unless I am really feeling wiped out.  Had lots of 1/2 hour naps and even curled up under a quilt on the bed for a longer nap. 

Why am I sharing?  I feel glorious today even with the heat and gray sky.  I was a little hesitant to get out of bed because I did not want another repeat, but now I have my schedule filled for the day.  I am sewing all morning while Kevin and his dad are off on separate adventures.  Then this afternoon we will all be working in the shop.

Plan to grill turkey for supper and then have a round of "Chicken Foot" dominoes.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20: We Need Rain!!!!!!

I was total that farmers are hearing their corn crops are worthless because of the high levels of nitrogen and without rain I am certain other crops are doing as poorly.  I understand in principle why, but I am not a farmer so............ Can't imagine how a family deals with this kind of risky business and am praying for all of them.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19: A Day of Family

We had breakfast with two of my sisters and one brother-in-law.  I split a meal with Kevin.  I had a great blueberry brioche french toast, and Kevin had the eggs, bacon, and hash browns that I did not want.  It was so tasty, so imagine the calories were not on the LOW side but ohhhh...............

Then I came home and did some painting on my signs. I had painted one side of each sign last night. so I finished up the back sides with the other words. One of the finishes we tried did not agree with the paints so the one side of the signs has a very aged or maybe weathered appearance. Might have to redo, huh?

 Then I worked on a few other tasks until my niece Isabella and sister Jodie came and dropped off my other sister and spent some time talking.  I then spend a good chunk of the day with my sister Debbie.  We talked and sorted all the acrylic paints that we brought from my FIL's house.  Kevin and his dad built a number of simple shelves between the studs on the t-wall.  Doesn't it have a colorful appearance.

Tonight Kevin and I had a very tasty dinner over at my brother Jim and his wife Teresa's house. The rhubarb/peach/apple dessert was definitely a favorite for me.  Debbie and her husband were spending the night there, so the  6 of us spent a few hours just laughing, talking and enjoying some family moments.

Planning, scheduling, and finding a space to gather with a big family is not easy, but since we have been here (2 months) we have managed to spend time with each of my siblings families.  I have so many sisters, a brother, and lots of nieces, nephews, and even a few greats living close by, that schedules, etc, make whole family gatherings harder to come by.  Therefore,  we are enjoying having these smaller family meals.  Besides it gives us time to get reacquainted with everyone because we can focus in on a few of the "characters" at one time.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18: Anna Bannana's 2nd Birthday Celebration

We stayed in a motel overnight and then got up and headed over to our son's to celebrate his daughter's 2nd birthday.  His work schedule lead to a change in party plans but it was a wonderful celebration, anyway. 

We started by giving Anna her birthday present of the dress-up wardrobe and some items for playing dress-up.  Then we headed out to a movie, popcorn, and Sweet-Tarts.  Since it was a kid's movie time, there was no issue with just being kids.  Anna was excited, but she has been partying for a couple of weeks so she did not make it through the movie.  Dean and Bryson loved every single minute, as did Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Grandpa.  Managed to get some really good cuddle time with the boys.  Grandparents love that.

We went out for pizza, but Anna fell asleep so we regrouped and took the pizza home.  We followed it up with more ice cream.  That was just about enough time for Anna to rest up and be ready for more play.  Wish my videos would have been shot correctly, because the joy these kids had playing with the wardrobe and the dress up stuff was unbelievable.  There are going to be some major fun moments involving this wardrobe. Here are a few more shots of the birthday girl and her big brothers.

Life is GOOD!

Sharing a sweet look with Great-Grandpa
Goofing with Grandpa

Can you see her fairy wings?
Bryson has an idea.

Check out the bow, the scarf, the bracelets,
the fairy wings, and the BRAND NEW tennies.
Anna loves dress up and shoes
Dean was striking a pose - so much silliness!

July 17: Henry and his Tongue

Henry loves photos, being in them and being silly in them.  These were taken after Zoe hurt her teeth so she was not as camera happy.  For some reason every time he struck a pose he stuck his tongue out.  Not something he normally does, sooooooo.................

Life is GOOD!