Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sharing the Yurt

Sometimes, sharing the yurt becomes a delicate balance.  In case you can't tell, that is my longarm loaded with aprons that Dennis is embroidering for Carla Barrett to take to MQS with her.  They're adorable, granted, but do they have to be on my table?  What if I want to quilt...after all, there is a quilt loaded!

The good thing about sharing is that Dennis knows when he can and can't utilize my "Lily" for storage.  During the week, I rarely quilt.  I've tried before, but after working 10 hours and then cooking dinner, I'm just not able to quilt a customer's quilt and have it look the way I want.  After many hours spent frogging, I've given that up.  However, come Friday morning, that stuff better be gone! 

Because I'll be getting back to work on this.  Its almost done...
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I bet that won't be much of an issue after last official day as a County employee.  Woohoo!!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today is Tuesday....

...and you're saying, "duh," right?  Well, here's the deal.  Yesterday was my last Monday and today is my last Tuesday of being "employed" at a job with a set schedule, an office, etc.  Yesterday, I didn't feel any different coming to work. Today, I'm almost sad.  What's up with that??? (Maybe its the rain.)

I adore being at home and working in my house or in the yurt.  In fact, during my three-day weekends, I will do almost anything to NOT come to town.  I do all my shopping during the week and if we decide to have a pizza for dinner, I can usually talk Dennis into going into town for me.  I think the fact that the dreaded "change" is coming, even though I'm so looking forward to it, is still scary. 

Tonight I have to travel to Graeagle (about 30 minutes away) to take minutes for one of the districts I'll be working for and tomorrow night I have my quilting class.  These things will be so much easier when I'm not working all day and then going to them; life will settle down and be so much better.  I want to paint the interior of the house in fun colors (Dennis finally has agreed that walls do not have to be white!), I want to keep it relatively clean and free of muddy puppy prints, I want to have time to do my quilts as well as my customer quilts.  All this will happen beginning, officially, on why am I sad?  Perhaps because I'm female???

Here are some photos of my office.  The woman in the military outfit in the photo on top of the wooden file cabinet is my mom; she was a Marine.  I adore this photo of her--she looks so beautiful.  Hard to see much (other than my lack of neatness), but I had to use my work camera which was the first digital camera ever invented.

And my boss is initiating a new tradition: every month that has a 5th Thursday, the office is invited to go out for a drink.  He's trying to say its a coincidence with this Thursday being a 5th and my retiring and that it really isn't a celebration of my leaving.  I'm not convinced!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Twisted Scissor Quilt Shop

This is Karen of Twisted Scissor in Sparks.  She has an adorable little quilt shop on Disc Drive, right where it intersects with Vista.   I talked her into modeling the apron Dennis embroidered for her.


She liked the apron so much, she ordered four more with various bright colors for her helpers at shows.  This one was done in really bright yellow...unfortunately the flash washed the color out.
I'll post a picture later of the quilt I'm doing for her shop.  It should be a fun one.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Birthdays Year 'round

I picked up the mail the other day and had a squishy package.  Funny thing was, I hadn't ordered anything and I'm not the one collecting the blocks for our exchange; so what was it?? It was a package from my friend Kristina in Ely!!  Its a birthday present!!  Yippee...I love presents!!!  Who cares if my birthday was in January?? I certain don't.  I'd be happy if people remembered my birthday on a monthly basis, everyone on a different month and then I could get a presents year 'round!! That would be most excellent!!

Inside the package were these wonderful things:


"Less Stress Feathers" is by Jodi Robinson and it looks like she's actually accomplished this.  I can't wait to have time to load my practice piece and try her method.  I'm always looking for a way to make my feathers look better and to keep from stressing over doing them!  The round item that looks like a CD is actually a really cute card.  Neat idea!  And finally...look at these:
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Really cute earrings with a quilting motif...what could be better.  Thanks, Kristina.  Everything is lovely, as are you.  I can hardly wait to actually meet you and Shannon this summer...oh what fun we'll have!

Not to be too maudlin, but isn't it funny how people you've never met face-to-face can become such good friends?  I'm not sure what got Kristina and I talking the first time, but we've had phone conversations and exchanged e-mails for months now.  Shannon found my blog a few months after I'd started it and e-mailed me to say it was time to update it.  My last post had been three months before she found it.  After all, I thought, who in their right mind would want to read it??  I still don't have many "followers," but that doesn't matter so much anymore. It just feels good to put my feelings down on paper and if you read it and like it and want to sign up to follow...great! (just click the "follow" button)  But if you read it once and never come back, or if you just want to read and not "follow," that's fine too.  Its just nice to know that there are a handful of people out there that seem to care or have an interest in what I say.  Thank you, it means alot to me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Springtime Quilting in the Yurt

The yurt has become a very interesting place to be this time of year. Its generally between 53 and 55 degrees in the morning..chilly. But, if you light a fire, its entirely too warm by mid-morning. We have a little electric heater that we put on to get the morning chill off.

Then the sun raises more and shines directly on the yurt. You can actually watch the temperature rise as that happens. Sunday it hit 81! I was able to stop the ascent by opening a couple of windows and raising the top, but where the suns hits directly is sweltering. I finally gave up and took Kate out for a spin.

Before it got real hot, I finished this cute Wizard of Oz quilt for Joanne's niece, Annie. Its her first quilt; she picked out the pattern and the fabric. (Naturally, I love everything "Wizard of Oz"--its the only good thing about being named Dorothy!) I think she did a great job. I used the Alfresco pantograph and didn't quilt over Dorothy's face.

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I now have a lovely Selvage Quilt loaded from Carolyn. And best of all, after a quick trip to Reno last weekend, I am now the proud owner of an air conditioner that will cool 750 sq. ft.  Since the yurt is only 450 sq. ft, I'm hoping it works!   

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring in Butterfly Valley

Every year, several things happen that let us know its spring:  The Masterson's come back (these are the bats that fly around eating mosquitos), a bird arrives that makes a "whooping" noise at it flies around eating mosquitoes and who knows what else, and these geese come back to roost.  They are here every year and I'm vowing to see their little ones this year before they leave.  I've never seen them before and I'm just hoping that the coyotes don't wait for their arrival as much as I do.

Also visiting this year for the first time in our pasture are these cranes.  They make the most awesome noise.  I just knew when I saw them that it warranted a trip back to get the camera.  Not only were they kind enough to hang out for the photo session, they even let Dennis walk out and get pretty close.  I love how you can tell the male and female apart...but why is it that the female always follows the male????

This is the male in flight as he went over our electric fence.  Isn't his wingspan awesome?

Of course, since I had the camera in hand, Emma felt it necessary that her picture be taken as well

Hank loves Spring.  He can find a million sticks and pinecones just begging for humans to throw for him. And if he can't find the one they threw, he'll pick out a different one for you.  He doesn't understand what happens to all his sticks in the winter and why he can never find any when the ground is white.

Kate was relatively good for her spring trim.  Dennis trimmed both she and Emma. 

After her trim, Emma got worked in the roundpen.  As you can tell by the look on her face, she thinks running in circles is stupid and can barely be bothered. 

Chloe was in heaven though.  She stays on the outside and runs back and forth while the horses are being shod or lunged.  She lives for her ponies! Sunday she got to come out with us for a four-mile ride.

The only sad note in all this:  our cart.  Its been through a lot.  It served us well for two Tevis adventures of our own, several for our friends and then became the feeding cart.  It was doing quite well, until Dennis decided to modify it with the flatbed.  He still used it though...right until it looked like this!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good News...

I was in Reno early last week and stopped by to see whether some fabric I'd purchased from Twisted Scissor, a really cute quilt shop in Spanish Springs, was still there.  I'd been to this store once before about a month prior to going to Asilomar/Empty Spools.  Karen, the owner, actually remembered me!  We got to talking and I offered to quilt some store samples for her in exchange for fabric and my card and flyer being on/near the quilt.  My goal, as you all know, is to get more customers.

I stopped by yesterday to pick up the top, but she didn't have the back ready yet.  We'll be back in Reno either this weekend or next, so I'll show you a picture when I get it.  I'm also offering a 5% discount for people who mention her store name when they make the appointment for their initial consultation.  (I'm hoping there will be lots of trips to Reno to pick up lots of quilts in my future!)

Dennis was with me and she talked to him about embroidering her business name on an apron for her.  He immediately got to work when we got home and embroidered an apron for her with her store name and using a pair of scissors to be the "I" in both Twisted and Scissor.  It looked so cute and she loved it.  This was the graphic he changed to look more like quilting scissors rather than haircutting scissors; he also changed the font.  I'll get a pic the next time I'm in Reno.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Whispering Results

Several weeks ago I was at Carla Barrett's Quilt Whispering class.  This was one of the tops I took (with my customer's permission) to get some ideas.  I've done several of these Victory Quilts and sort of felt as if I were getting in a rut. Lyn is planning to put this quilt in our local show and since I'm trying to build my business, I was really hoping for a fresh eye and some new ideas. 

This is what Carla "whispered": (click on the picture if you want to make it larger)

And this is what I quilted:

I really stretched the limits of my comfort zone with this quilt, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I've done feathers on a couple of quilts in the past, but never feathers that actually showed up--at least not without a magnifying glass!  This time, not only were there feathers, but there were feathers going in all different directions and some in light thread on a dark background. *scary*  Overall, I think they turned out quite nice.  Following are pictures of several of the blocks.

Notice the feathers in the cone??  (I know, they're in matching thead, but they're still feathers!)

And this is what they looked like on the back:

More blocks with feathers...

And this is the outside border.  I used my swag template (I'm still in love with that thing!), but this time, I only did the top two swags, the little flower thing under it and bead board above.  In the corner, I used a template from Kimmy Brunner and did feathers on the outside.  Just something different *shrug*

Another shot of the back for a better view of the borders.

And, in case you aren't screaming, "Enough, already!" --here's one last shot of the whole thing.

Carla, if you're reading this, I just want to say thanks.  I stretched the limits of my own personal box and am quite happy that I did.  Best of all, so is my customer!  (Remember, if you want a closer view, just click on the picture).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Ultimate April Fool's Joke

...courtesy of Mother Nature:

Those white dots are not problems with your monitor; they're big snow flakes.  Here's a better look of what's going on here today:

Can you see both deer??
I'm surprised they're out; generally they're in the barn eating our hay!