Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Market, to Market

When we last left little Barbara, she was a mere stripling of a girl, only 53 years old. Now she is a grown-up lady of 54. Not only has she polished off her share of her b-day cake, sadly not chocolate, as her husband is allergic, she has some news. But we'll let her tell it in her own words...

I celebrated my birthday morning by being the first "official" customer at my LQS's (Local Quilt Shop for any unfortunate non-quilters who may be reading this) new location- they moved from the other side of the next town, to 1.3 miles from my house, literally down the street. I didn't buy anything- just wanted to say hi and fondle some fabrics. I'm on a mission to use up at least a tiny portion of my stash before I buy more, but I DID have to go back two days later (honestly, my car just swung in there after work) to buy two quarter-yard pieces to be able to finish some projects. You know how that goes. Having the shop so close means I can probably just kiss my paycheck goodbye, which may not be Spooky, but is definitely Scary!

My newest patterns, the ones that will from here on be published by Quiltwoman, rather than myself,  are on their way to the International Quilt Market in Houston. While I'm impatiently whiling away the time waiting for the results, I've taken a brief break from creating new patterns to concentrate on making some finished pieces for some holiday shows. I just was invited to another one this morning, an open house/craft sale hostessed by a teller at my bank (if you go back into last December's archives, you will find a cute reindeer ornament I bought there last year).  Last week's show was poorly attended, but it did get my patterns into two more shops - one in MA and one in NH, so I can't complain too much.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quilt Dash has begun!

Come one, come all, and join the fun at the Quilt Dash. Register to play and you may just end up winning some great quilty prizes.

Finally Posting Spooky again!

Okay, so when I last posted, the batteries in my digital camera had gone dead. No problemo, just recharge them for a few hours and we'll be good to go. Yeah. Right. The bleeping batteries wouldn't charge. A day and a half later they still hadn't charged. So, rather than scavenge two batteries from the miscellaneous clocks and radios in this house I bought four more new rechargeable batteries. Here is the picture I promised the other day. The second picture is a tablecloth (not shown are the eight matching napkins) I bought yesterday at a local consignments shop. I have lighter green candles to match the stripes in the cloth, but I have to trim down the ends to fit into the candleholders. I love my antique candleholder/bowl thingie. You can also see it on the cover of my Double Pinwheel Table Runner pattern, bedecked with satin Christmas balls.

My Halloween quilt top is stitched together and I found a piece of purple, black and white camo fleece at the Remnant Shop this morning for backing. Finishing it up will be my project for this afternoon. Oh yeah, I also found a sparkling orange and black wreath for the front door. Pictures later.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No pictures (spooky or otherwise) today

I took my camera outside yesterday to take some pictures of this year's parade and after the second shot my batteries went kaput!  I'll make up for it tomorrow.

 I finished a cute Halloween wall hanging- bought the pattern at my last quilt show and actually USED it! It was a fun fusible project, stitched down and quilted in one step with clear monofilament. Then I finally pulled out some Halloween nine patches from a block swap about five years ago- maybe some of you remember- or may even have participated. I have twenty blocks, enough for a cuddly throw, so I stitched the blocks into rows, now have to stitch the rows together. I thought in lieu of batting and backing I'd look for a Halloweeny fleece backing. No luck at WalMart; they didn't have ANY Halloween fabric and I find it hard to believe they sold every single bit of it with more than two weeks to go. I could have gone with solid fluorescent orange fleece (like for hunters' vests), but it was just sooooooooo orange. 

I pulled my fabrics for an Ugly Fabric Challenge I'm hosting in a group I'm in. I will send them on to my swap partner who has to use them, along with up to five fabrics from her stash, to make a small quilt. Then she sends me her quilt, and I send her one made from her ugly fabrics.
Yessiree Bob, I do have ugly fabrics!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Columbus Day Parade Eve

The Columbus Day Parade is to Westerly what Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is to New York, only more so. If you're not at the parade watching it, you have only one excuse- you're in it! Okay, I don't think anyone really believes Christopher Columbus discovered Westerly, but this is a big deal. A very big deal. And we live on the parade route. Here are some pictures of last year's parade.

What would a parade be without a Pinpoint Doppler Weather Vehicle? I love this Cub Scout Float. And every year that fife and drum corps shoots off that cannon right in front of my house!

Not shown are the numerous politicians who come from all over the state, often both party's candidates, which makes for some interesting parade viewing in this bluest of the blue states. The governor waved to my dogs one year. Like they're not spoiled enough!

Kitchen Witch or Domestic Diva?

Obviously Kitchen Witch. Domestic Diva would have gone the frou-frou route; cupcakes with fluffy pink frosting. I don't do fluffy pink frosting. These are my traditional (this is the second year now) Columbus Day Parade snacks- my baked, not fried, mini donuts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 9

Okay, so I missed Day #8. I have an excuse.

I was gone from 7 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. First I had to drive the 100+ miles to Waltham, Mass. for a 15 minute appointment. Mosquito had a follow-up visit with the veterinary oncologist; she had a malignant tumor removed in July, then 3 weeks of radiation in August. Waltham was the closest place to bring her-I'd drop her off Monday mornings and Rick would pick her up Friday afternoons.  It seems our little alpha brat became the Belle of the Boston 'Burbs during her time there. When I brought her in yesterday they announced over their PA system (do they still call it that?) "Mosquito is in the building", and all the vet techs came out to give her a hug. While I was sitting in the waiting room, a vet I had never seen there before walked through and greeted her. Her vet gave her a clean bill of health, and she was very pleased with the way her radiation site (left side of her neck below her ear) has healed. Then I headed back home to gobble down a very quick lunch, go to work, gobble down an even quicker dinner, then pick up the woman I carpool with and go to my quilt guild meeting. 

Our guest speaker was Karen Eckmeier, and seeing her accidental landscapes and happy villages up close and personal was a real treat. Unfortunately I didn't take the today off to take her Accidental Landscape workshop, but I did buy her book Happy Villages, which looks like a lot of fun. 

I was able to cut some fabric for quilted handbags this morning before work; trying to get a bunch of them cut out so I can sew them assembly line fashion. I'm using up my stash- well, a tiny bit of my stash. I lucked out at the thrift shop the other day- stopped in to see their new location and walked out with exactly what I had hoped to find, but truly never expected to- a bag of zippers! Sixty-five of them, to be exact. For $2.75. 

Tomorrow morning I have to head over to Gales Ferry, CT to do a home visit for an animal rescue group. I've never done one before. No Ali, I'm not going to end up adopting another critter.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 7

While this doesn't exactly qualify as spooky, I just pulled out my copy of The Witches of Eastwick to give it a re-read, before the sequel comes out later this month- ya just gotta love a book with a character who laminates her hubby into plastic placemats! The not-so-ficticious Eastwick is just a few towns away in Wickford. Years ago we knew a family who lived in a house on a tiny island in the middle of a salt pond, accessible by a narrow causeway- surely Updike must have borrowed that location for the devil's home- the description fits to a "T", although their home was far more modest.

Another great October read is The Lace Reader. The title character is one of a family of women who read bobbin lace in the way that others read tea leaves or tarot cards. The story is set in Salem, Massachusetts, complete with a sympathetic portrayal of a modern day witch. I was drawn to this book because I used to make bobbin lace, and it was while on a visit to Ipswich, Mass, the center of the lace industry in America, that I visited Salem. Check out the author's (Brunonia Barry) web site- pun intended, she draws you into the lace like a spider at its web.

Today's picture is a cute Frankensteinish candy/dip bowl I bought last October at a local independent supermarket. It must have been left from the previous Halloween, as it was already marked down half price. It reminds me of DustBunny with her little smooshed-in face!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 6

This little quilt was done in a year long challenge at Linda M. Poole's Fairie Goddess Mothers group. In Linda's original pattern, the goddess is holding a heart over her head. Each month we had a different color scheme or theme for our goddess- needless to say, this one was October's!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 5

Truly spooky- this is my cousin's web site. I don't have an appropriately scary photo to do it justice, but this was my pitiful attempt at being Martha Stewart last year. This year I'll expand on it. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 4

Dinner went well- I made a chicken and pasta dish I made up a couple weeks ago (threw together after work one night) and it was a big hit! I used my nifty new favorite kitchen gadget, my julienne tool. Funny how a few shreds of zucchini makes you a gourmet chef. Anne brought a carrot cake from a new recipe that was (although I never would have thought this was possible) even better than her "old" recipe. I am STUFFED!

Today's photo is not at all spooky, but it IS autumnal. I love how the late afternoon sun gives my house a lavender tint that makes the orange lanterns pop!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Posting Spooky Day 3 - Dark Angel

Actually about the spookiest thing I could possibly post right now would be a picture of myself. It was a very long day. Had annoying little projects to finish, shopping to do, errands to run this morning. Rushed like a madwoman to make it in to work for noon, 2 1/2 hours earlier than usual. Then back home spending what should have been a peaceful hour or two refilling the pantry- I haven't been able to store food in there because of a leaky roof and all the rain Ike and his buddies brought with them. Hopefully Rick fixed the leak because cartons of food on the dining room floor gets real old real fast! Now I'm finally sitting down with a nagging headache and not hot enough cup of tea. 

Today's picture is one of my ferret angels. For several years I made them to donate to my friend Chere's ferret shelter. She'd sell or auction them and use the money for the vet bills. I started with "traditional" ferret Christmas tree angels, then branched out. Mona Weasel, Library Ferret Fairies, miniature wedding cake ferret toppers, angels in outfits made from friends' wedding gowns.  This is my Goth ferret angel. Click the picture to see it larger. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Posting Spooky, Day 1

The Halloween countdown begins! Laume has urged her readers to "Post Spooky", and so I am!