Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24: Really?

Okay, where have I been?  I thought I was getting better at doing all this blogging.  I know I have been on the computer, and I even read a few of my favorite bloggers' posts.  I think I will blame Facebook for thinking I had been sharing.  lol

As I have said, school keeps me quite occupied, especially when I am having some glitches in what I am trying to design, etc.  No specific reasons for the glitches, so I guess they fall squarely on the shoulders of the constructor - ME!  I have been wrestling with a particular portion on InDesign, but part of that is because I got lost before the instructor got to that point in class and had to play catch-up.  So, I have spent a chunk of time learning it on my own.  Of course this has forced me to truly learn it, so Pollyanna see a reason to be glad.

My evenings have been spent putting together all the paperwork for the accountants so they can figure out if we owe.  I am guessing with buying a new house, starting a new business, and reducing our income there is a chance we will actually get something back.  "I hope, I hope, I really hope!"

Friday was in my eyes a very revealing time.  I spent the whole day, from 7:30 to 5:30 building a remarkably easy to use spreadsheet on Excel.  It contains so much information and yet it is so easy to access it all.  My thanks go out to Kelly Blok who is my instructor in Advanced Microcomputer Applications.  A click here or there and I can tell you exactly what we have spent for shop supplies in 2013 or what materials we have purchased to finish a commissioned piece.  It is amazing!  I knew a little bit about how to use Excel before this class, but in this class we have unleashed its power, and it makes me feel like I have really accomplished something.

Yesterday, Kevin and I are calling a date!  We went to a wood show, but not as vendors.  We had a quiet lunch out, ran a few quick errands and then went back to the wood show.  Hanging our as a couple with my very best friend was fabulous!

Late afternoon and evening found us refocused on business stuff - but we had been re-energized, so.......!

Except for church and a couple of moments of Facebook that was more social in nature, I have been on the computer doing homework.  Need to get back to it, but thought I would share one photo first.  This is a shot of the wood shop from my office in the house. 

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20: School and Work

This weekend we worked on a number of items in the shop. These ruler racks are all sanded and ready for a spray finish. Two have been sold and the rest are done and ready to be sold as soon as they are sprayed. I finished up 30 comfort crosses, hearts, and seeds of hope.  They will require buffing but I love to see how adding the clear finish brings out the true color of the wood.  Kevin also finished 2 end-grain oak butcher block that are gorgeous and 2  small cutting boards for use with cheese and meats.  The final project that just requires the final finish is a single rail quilt stand made of cherry and stained a teak color.  Considering how long it took to finish the monstrous-sized  Tardis (the blue phone booth/time travel machine from the Dr. Who show), we feel like we have flown through these items.

Other pieces are now in their very early stages: a cutting table with enclosed sides, a special box, and a two-drawer end table out of oak.  Sounds like more sanding ahead!


I do take learning seriously.  I attend classes, complete my assignments, and try to learn as much as I can each day.  This is my second t-shirt.  It means, that again this semester, I have not missed one class up to this point.  That is pretty special considering all that goes on around here, but then I am taking the classes to make our business more successful.  That is another driving force.

Life is GOOD!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19: Blog Title

Do some of you feel mislead by my title?  Guess it should be Computers,Textbooks, Needles, Fabric, Chisels and Wood...Life is GOOD!

I spend far more time with the computer and textbooks than with ANYTHING else in life these days.  Most of my time is for class or homework, but I am doing a large amount of business paperwork, too.  Today I learned how to use a completely different website, and will probably need to spend hours and hours trying to understand how to get the most out of it, but I need it to create our website, so I WILL MASTER IT.  I spent two hours in class doing Excel workbooks and then another hour doing more on one assignment.  Then I moved to completing a Market Analysis assignment for a class, wrote another short paper and spent time with the new website that I need to master.  I have a two hour class in this website later today, so I will have more than enough of the computer by the time I get home.

Funny how I am using my break time to type a post, read email, and check out Facebook.  8 months ago I would have laughed if anyone even thought I did such things.  So far today I have been on the computer for 5 1/2 hours.  I am guessing that I will do another 3 before heading home, and then I have paperwork that must be dealt with for an hour or two.  CRAZY!  However, it is also amazing that I have learned so much about the technology. 

A couple of days ago I was willing to throw my hands in the air and abandon this whole adventure, but it was just momentary stress.  I worked in the shop and did some quilting.  Then I jumped back in with both feet and conquered the project.  I wanted to sing "I am the CHAMPION!"  But then I started another project and was again humbled.

In church this week, we were reminded that all that we have comes from God and that it is by his grace that we are able to accomplish things. I do believe that I have the freedom to make choices, but I am also thankful that I am able to acknowledge and verbalize my grateful for all the possibilities I have had in my life.   I have done a great deal of praying and offering prayers of thanks and gratitude for being given the opportunities that I have.  I even offered a prayer for the humility of that next project.  This poem seems to cover my thinking on all of this.

       by B.M. Franklin (1882-1965)
My life is just a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaves so skillfully.
Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why-
The dark threads are as needful,
In The Weaver’s skillful hands
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February 16: Business of the Day

Since Friday afternoon, Kevin and I have been spending hours cutting and sanding and sanding some more. Sanding  is not the glamourous part of woodworking, but we do quite a bit.  Kevin is not very dusty compared to some days, but then I was doing more of the sanding at that point.  lol
Can you guess what all of this represents?

Life is GOOD!

February 16: I Love the Surprises of Winter

These are not bird feathers pelleted at our handrail.  This is part of the mornings' Hoars Frost.  God has so many marvels for us to observe if we just take the time.

Life is GOOD!

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15: Mostly Out of Commission Yesterday, but...

I did go to class and work on several business bits, but mostly I slept.  It is very unlike me to nap and even more unlike me to leave class before it is over, but I did both.  I also left both classes very early.  It has always annoyed me that students leave early, especially went they complain later about their low grades, but................

Anyway, today I feel so much better.  I am almost done with all the laundry and have dusted and vacuumed every part of the house.  I have also done some more designing, and I am working on my last piece of homework until Tuesday.  The afternoon is scheduled for the shop.  Until Kevin finishes cutting out the final pieces for the ruler holders and the quilt stand, I will do the final hand sanding on my comfort crosses. 

For those of you following the saga of my FIL's back problems:  He had a shot in his back yesterday.  He was pretty uncomfortable according to those who were awake.  Today he seems a bit better.  The boys are off for another doctor appointment and haircuts this morning.  Think the side trip to get haircuts is a good sign.

Life is GOOD!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14: Searching and Experimenting on a logo

We have a few ideas for a business logo.  Currently something like this sketch I made or maybe an altered photo turned into something like this is in the running.  Opinions?

Goal is to make the table appear to be coming right out of the wood.  This is a ROUGH sketch but it is of a piece Kevin already made.

If not, it might be something with initials, possibly with letters tht look carved out of wood.


Anyone feeling creative and want to make a submission?

This is part of the first stages of actually building our website.  =o)

Life is GOOD!

February 14: Happy Valentine's Day

To all I love and all that need to feel loved:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13: Is it my imagination?

Is it my imagination, or did this box of strips multiply over night?

I sewed last night and finished up quite a few blocks.

Then I sewed this morning for several hours.

 After  I finished studying today, I had a little more time to make a few more blocks.  Now I have to decide whether to make them larger log cabins, leave them this size, put them on point, or just do these this way.

I have not put any new scraps into the box, so it must be that I am stirring the pot!  I decided that I am going to use all kinds of scraps except for the ones with words, or actual pictures.  Whatever way I decide to go, it will be another twin sized quilt for the grandkids room. 

Life is GOOD!                     

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12: I Enjoyed Playing

 What do you do when you have a 30 gallon container of strips, that are between 2" and 3"? 

I am going to experiment and play!!!!
I am thinking a bright log cabin, but I may go with this kind of thing.  I have lots of "whites", and this seems to be looking kind of fun.  Of course the blocks would only going to finish out at 4".  Whatever I decide, it will be BRIGHT!

Life is GOOD!

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11: No Snow or Ice Day

Kevin dropped me off at school about 6:30.  I have been working diligently on my Excel spreadsheets for class.  I am quite proud of my attitude and outcome on this.  Told my former accounting teacher that I really appreciated all she had taught me because it made the assignments so much easier for this new class. 

Now, I am headed to my back-to-back classes.  Enjoy them both, but they are also on the computer, so I am planning to do something like piece or vacuum and dust when I get home.  In the evening, I am planning to finish another binding if I don't get sucked into piecing.  I will try to take a couple of photos to share, if stitching happens.

Life is GOOD!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 10: Winter Weather

I would take Fall, Winter, and Spring over Summer almost any day, but I do dislike these slushy, icy, snowy days.  Tried to go to church, but we turned back.  Kevin is a great driver, but nobody is invincible on these roads.  This is suppose to be the beginning of the storm, but I doubt tomorrow will be a snow day for me.  Guess we could always be in New England digging out.

The Pollyanna spin:  I am glad we are receiving moisture in any shape!

Plan to study and then go work in the shop if I can get there without falling down.  lol

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9: Waiting for the Storm

Does not sound like we will get lots of snow, but I am thinking I would definitely prefer that to ice.  We will have to wait and see.

Delivered the Tardis today.  Think Sarah was dueling impressed.  Her family seemed to like it too, but her brother was already thinking about having to help move this heavy item.

Dad is still feeling somewhat miserable and doing a lot of reading and napping.  Kevin and I would have traded a nap for all the cleaning that we did instead, but the shop is clean and has been more organized for efficiency as we start our next projects.

Now I am doing laundry and studying.  Feels good to sit.  Depending on how much studying I accomplish tonight and what the weather brings tomorrow, I may be down in the shop for a few hours again tomorrow.  In the evening I will be doing binding.

Life is GOOD.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8: Tardis Done

Here it is!  The Tardis is finished.  There was one similar to one on Pinterest.  It is 2'x2'x6'.  The whole thing weighs about 235 lbs.  At this point in time, we are both a bit tired of blue, but it did turn out better that we thought it would several days ago.  There is a blue light bulb on the top that really does light up.  As I said, we will only make this one, but maybe we could make one that was a simpler  version without the shelves on the door.  It would also not be square.  Of course it would be a few months before I would consider asking Kevin about it.  This was a bigger challenge that we thought it would be. 

Life is GOOD!

February 8: Finished and Ready to Mail

##18!!! Can you believe that this is the 18th "Cousin Quilt" since we started making these back in Minneapolis a few years ago?  Ladies, you have done a wonderful thing.  These quilts have been seen in many photos I have received through email and now on Facebook.  The next one will be needed in March, when Jim and Teresa's daughter adopts her new baby.  Brianna has that one covered, again.  Thanks to all the nieces that have worked on these so far, and for the rest of you that will be receiving an invite to join in again this year.          Life is GOOD!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7: No Pictures, but...

I am now on Twitter.  This is not something I have seen as anything worth discussing yet.  I could care less if someone needs to tweet to the whole world that they are at the car wash.  I need to wash my car too with all this road salt, but do strangers need to know that I am doing that right this minute.  (blush! - guess I just told all of you, but then you are all aware that this blog is all about the happenings since we moved back to SD so you probably know that I am capable of sharing strange thoughts.)

later today, we will put the finishing touches on the "Tardis" and then plan to deliver it this weekend.  It has been more than a challenging project.  Believe me, we have both learned a lot by making this "one-time-only" project.  We don't swear around here, but I am pretty certain this projects difficulties have tempted us both.  In the end it will be something that will definitely be enjoyed by the owner.

If all goes well, I should have Jakob's binding done before bed and maybe even packaged for mailing.  If not it will be the first thing on my agenda tomorrow!  Friday is my day to work on business papers and hopefully to sand and finish a couple dozen comfort crosses.  The sanding is actually very much a stress reducer, kind of like doing binding on a quilt.  Paperwork is something different - organizing, thinking, and reorganizing.  Love that too, but I do tend to focus on the minutia far too often.  Someday I will have to face the accountant and show my system.  SCARY!

Lunch break is over, and I have quite a bit of school work, so I bid you ado and hope you find some way to make this a great day.

Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6: Good Morning!

The sun is shining the temp is 30+ and I am ready for the challenges of the day.

1. Finish homework in applications and web design.
2. Read ahead for InDesign.(I am going to ride my bike while I do it.)
3. Start working on the layout for our business web page. (That is one of the big reasons for being in school this semester.)
4. Finish the last details on the "Tardis"  (We had a few issues last night, so the final assembly will not happen until tomorrow.)
5. Spend a good part of the evening finishing the binding on Jakob's quilt.

Dad is feeling a bit better this morning.  Thought he might even go down to the studio and embroider this morning.  He has not done that for a couple of days.

Life is GOOD!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5: A Day of Forgetfulness

I left for school on time, but I left my computer charger at home.  Then I kept having issues with my cell phone.  It was not really ringing because it was on vibrating mode, but it was not giving me any messages, either.  Seems the cell phone had forgotten that it was living in South Dakota rather than very close to the Canadian border in Vermont.  It kept telling me that roaming charges would apply and that the data charges could be much higher.  Even though I turned it off several time it still kept coming back on with the same messages.  So bizarre!

Then I had to come home between classes to help Kevin with a project in tho shop and see what information we might have gotten from the doctor about Dad's cat scan.  The shop project went fine, and Dad did not have a news yet.  I left to pick up a special order stain, grab a bite of lunch and then go back to school for my second class.  Guess what I forgot.......................The computer charger.  Fortunately another student was kind enough to share her charger.

Forgetting things have improved, but there are still a few things.  Kevin's dad heard from the doctor.  He has several bulging disks in his lower back, quite a bit of arthritis along with that.  That seems to be the reason for the  pinched nerve in his leg.  Doctor feels he is too old for surgery, so they are
going to give him a shot every so often and  hope it works.  Prayers for him are important, please!

Dad must be feeling a bit better though because he was actually interested in going out for dinner.  Seemed to make him smile just a little.  He even said something about getting old was not for sissies.  Thankfully, he has ever cracked a few funnies.

Life is GOOD!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4: Happy Birthday for Real, Jodie!

It is my youngest sister's birthday today.  We celebrated this weekend with groundhog cake, but this is the real deal.

Have a shared the almost finished addition photo?  The finishing of the fireplace is on hold for a month or so.  Figure we need to pace ourselves.


I am also working on binding two of my quilts.  One will be my gift to myself for my 60th birthday in May.  The other one is going to Kentucky to the newest great nephew - a cousin quilt pieced by Brianna and then quilted and bound by me.

This is the top that I was using to conduct an experiment on how
to make some very "ugly" fabric beautiful.  Finding is that if I
cut it small enough all fabric is much better looking, and backing
it and binding it with the blue/white fabric has made it even better.
The unveiling of the finished quilt will be within the next couple of
weeks unless something more odd happens around here.
Jakob, do you love your quilt, yet?  You will be able to compare it
with your sisters' quilts.  I hide 3 hearts in the quilting so you can
always point out that this one belongs to the 3rd child in your small
family.  I will have it in the mail by Friday.
Life is GOOD!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

February 3: Unbelievable!

So surprised considering how stressed I was after the Office Word Applications test, butwhen I checked my grade tonight, I actually pulled off an.......
Guess it was just the minutia that was freaking me out.
Life is GOOD!

January 3: Another Look at Isabella's Quilt

With a smile like that, can you believe that she had
the guts to ask if I would have remade it, if she did not
 like it!!
Life is GOOD!

February 3: What in the World is a "Tardis"?

 Watch this space to see this custom piece.  Believe me we will only make one of these, but it did offer the trained worker and his grunt laborer a real work out.  We almost gave back the deposit as we got more and more frustrated with a few aspects, but I think it will be just what our client wants.

Even when things are "crazy" life is GOOD!

February 3: Relaxing

What better way to use my new "Jellyfish" cup from my sister Jodie.            

Life is GOOD!

February2: She said she would celebrate with a groundhog.

It all started with  strange conversation about birthdays.  I celebrate mine because I am really grateful for every year that I have lived longer than my oldest sister Pam.  My youngest sister does not love her birthday or birthday celebrations, but I caught her in a statement that has caused me to prepare her a party this year.
She said that maybe it would be different if she was able to celebrate with the groundhog.  That is like throwing down a challenge for me.  My new viewing of Pinterest led me to discover that there are even groundhog wedding cake toppers that you can purchase.  BUT this more about making it into a fun celebration than buying a permanent kind of figurine.  I used 2 small tall round cake pans and 2 9"round pans, some store made candy eyes, deviled chocolate cookies, a chocolate wafer thin cookie, and my imagination to recreate these guys.
First I formed the heads.  Then I added a thin glaze type frosting to make it easier to add the other frosting.  Then I baked and frosted the bases after digging out a divet in the center of each.  I placed the heads on the bases.  I frosted it with the best chocolate frosting and then used a comb to rake through the "hair" and used grounded up chocolate chip teddy grahams to look like the dirt that the groundhog comes up through to look for his shadow.  The nose is 1/4 of a chocolate wafer cookie.

I made treat bags filled with RPMs (raisins, peanuts, and M&Ms so that it would feel like my sister Debbie was there to join in the party atmosphere.

By the way, Jodie's birthday is in early February so...Happy Birthday, Baby Sister!

Life is GOOD1