Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This Just In...

(Can you hear the newsroom noises in the background??)  This isn't "just in," more like I "just found it."  Suzanne Earley, of Machine Quilter's Resource website (and author of two longarm quilting blockbuster books, "Meandering Magic" and "More Meandering Magic") is closing her storefront and concentrating on her online store. So she is cleaning out the shop with some great bargains. Check out her blog and then go to her online shop for some real bargains.

Saving Money

Since my cable isn't here yet for uploading photos from my camera, I thought I'd share information on the best way to buy inexpensive glasses.  I have a copy of "Real Simple" magazine, its the one with the piggy bank on the front.  In it, they listed a bunch of way to save money on everything from groceries to doctor's bills.  Also included, they had a website that you could go to and order glasses for as little as $8!!  Okay, so $8 is the starting price, but I just received my first pair for the low, low price of $17.90.  And they work!

Here's the catch though, your eye doctor has to be willing to give you all the necessary info so that you can order a pair that will actually work.  I ordered the cheapest pair that I liked for my initial trial run.  These were $8 and I added the "Anti-reflective" coating for another $4.95.  Glasses for under $20 can you go wrong??

Monday, January 25, 2010

Frustration & Defeat

I'm so frustrated; first I've misplaced the USB adapter to upload photos from my camera and what fun is reading my blog without pictures?  And, second, the power kept going out over the weekend until it finally culminated in being off almost all day on Sunday.  I was right in the middle of working on the Opportunity Quilt for my guild when everything stopped...and didn't come back on until almost 7 p.m.  I had hoped to have that quilt nearly done this weekend, but no such luck.

And, I'm defeated...well, I'm not, but my team is.  We have a generator and since yesterday was playoffs, Dennis chose to hook the generator to the house instead of the yurt, so we watched football.  The game between Minnesota and New Orleans was so close...New Orleans never should have won.  I know exactly how Brett feels...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ta Dah....

Finally, finally, finally!!  The yurt is finished (except for a few decorator touches here and there).  We've been working like crazy to get this done, get moved in, get the house in order and our lives back to some semblance of normalcy.  Well, normal for me, anyway!! Below is the picture my step-daughter painted of a Featherhorse specifically for our studio.  Isn't it great??

We have combined both of our working areas quite nicely into our round space. Because the building is round, "Lilly" (my Millennium named after my mom, Leonalda Lillian) took precedence. I had planned to put her where I could see out the window and into the pasture.  Unfortunately, the angle isn't quite right, but I can see down to the meadow, so that works.  She's farther out from the wall to allow space to get behind her which means that more things could easily be placed behind me. We have a fold down "craft" table from Joann's that is 39x59 when opened, but only 13" wide when closed that stays behind me when not in use.

 My Janome (Sylvia) is back on her antique table in a position that makes it easy to piece. The bobbin winder for Lilly is easily accessible; the serger will even be a snap to use. 

Dennis has his two embroidery machines, the Roland cutter (for vinyl decals and such), his heat press and several other printers all set up.  He's also storing his extra stuff and stuff he needs to go through on top of the bathroom ceiling, so that's freed up enough room that we were able to put our antique rolltop desk in the yurt for him to work at.  Also in the yurt:  his keyboard (stored under the heat press) and his two guitars and amp. (I guess he had to put them somewhere *shrug*)

We have a large tv on the wall that is mounted on a swing-arm for easy viewing.  I love watching my training DVDs on a television that you don't have to squint at to see!  Behind the TV and around the corner is where my rolls of batting and the ironing board usually live.  (not sure why I didn't put it away before taking photos!)

This was going to be Dennis' corner (if you look real close, or just click on the picture to blow it up, you can see him working at his computer), but he really did need more room.  Now its his corner and our little "kitchenette" area.  We have a microwave and a refer, running water and soon a couple of shelves for a few dishes. 

Lilly is the 2009 Millennium and comes with many features my 2007 didn't have.  It has an on/off switch that can be reached from either side of the machine, special LED lights (a terrific upgrade!), and a new feature called "Quilt Glide."  Quilt Glide allows you to switch between stitch-regulated and manual without any noticeable change.  As you slow your stitching with the normal stitch-regulator engaged, the machine would get a bit fiddly to move; with the QG engaged, the needle continues to move up and down at the speed you set.  No more herky-jerky movements.  I also chose to install Edgerider Wheels on this machine.  I've heard so much about them that I really wanted that upgrade.  It was scary at first--I just couldn't get them adjusted correctly.  But after much adjusting of the tension on the wheels, I'm thrilled.  I'm working on my guild's Opportunity Quilt using a new swag template from Constantine Quilts.  The ER's making traveling around the template so easy...the difference was worth the hassle! 

If you're thinking of adding a longarm to your quilting repertoire, give me a call.  APQS has many specials this month that I'd love to share. Or if you have tops stacking up that are waited to be quilted, e-mail me and we can see if my services may be just what you're looking for.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Okay, so maybe its not a milestone exactly, after all, people do have birthdays all the time, but yesterday, I turned 50.  Its a weird concept for me.  I don't feel 50, I certainly don't act 50 and hopefully, I don't look 50.

I had a really fun shopping day yesterday in Reno.  We went down in the a.m. to shop for house/yurt items.  Just a few of the things we bought: area rugs for both the house and yurt, shelving (mudroom & yurt), furniture (matching!) for the house, flip flops (I'm really tired of wearing soggy slippers back and forth to the hot tub), and a desktop file box with an orange lid to help in implementing my new filing system (future blog topic, if it works). By the time we headed home, the dogs had to ride up front because the back was completely crammed with stuff!

The best part of yesterday was having a phone that let's me get my e-mail.  My friend Shannon (of Pieceful Kwilter fame) sent me this picture.  Is this not the most stunning snow man you've ever seen?  I LOVE it!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let 2010 Begin....

Christmas is rarely had on Christmas Day in the Miller household. Dennis and I exchanged our gifts, but we waited until January 3 to celebrate with his daughters. It is well worth the wait though. Both girls are exact opposites in every way, except that they're both gorgeous.

Hannah is the oldest, the artist, and on the left; Rachel is currently in the Masters Program at Davis for nutrition. They are both alot of fun to have around.

                  ........and their beaus...(Dustin Left & Mike on the Right)

Hannah and Dustin, her boyfriend, arrived in Quincy on Friday as we were frantically moving our studio into the yurt and the bed back into the bedroom.  It was crazy!!  (Doesn't it look cute?? Just wait until we have a bit of landscaping!!)

 Luckily, Dustin's parents live in Q as well, so we had a few extra hours to throw everything together before they came out.  It was a short visit; but fun.  Saturday, before Mike and Rachel showed up in the early afternoon, the four of us went for a hike to the "ponds" behind our house on SP land.  When the girls had been growing up, these ponds were their public swimming pools--they shared lots of great adventures there.  Since Hannah and Dustin had to be back in town early for dinner with Dustin's mom, we decided to postpone opening gifts until Sunday morning. 

Sunday morning Hannah made the best fritatta (that girl can cook!) and we opened gifts.  We'd asked them to give us photos and they did; we now have two very nicely framed photos of them to hang on our walls.  Hannah also painted us a picture of a "Featherhorse," since the name of Dennis' business is Featherhorse Designs.  Its on a small canvas, so it will fit perfectly in the yurt.

 We were very excited about the gifts we got for them.  I don't know about your kids, but as they get older, they get harder to buy for.  This year though, we did great.  Rachel had been wanting a dog but her boyfriend, Mike, doesn't think they should get one--so we got her one.  A really big one...she named him Moose.

Hannah has the best dog in the world (other than Hank & Chloe, of course).  Her name is Violet Fur Pants and she's the sweetest dog ever. 

She's a Pitt Bull, but apparently, no one has ever told her that she's supposed to be mean and aggressive.

 She adores Chloe and chases Hank--both of whom try very hard to ignore her.  Its not easy though...Violet is a big girl!

 For Hannah's main gift, we got Violet a dog bed and Dennis embroidered "Violet Fur Pants" on the bolster and Violet's Native American name ("Pig Who Runs With Wind") on the bed, itself.

 Both Hannah and "Pig" were thrilled. "Pig" immediately plopped on the bed and napped!

After presents, we took a hike down to visit the horses then up to the ponds again since Rachel and Mike had missed out on yesterday's adventures.  Hank opted to stay home, but by the time this second hike was over, Chloe was tolerating Violet quite nicely.

It was a terrific holiday!  With any luck, they will be up this summer for another adventure.