Sunday, November 25, 2012

Week of many tasks

Away from home without sewing machine and studio space, I did some handwork. Finished binding this one for EBHQ's annual Show and Tell:
mini whole-cloth with trapunto

And after burying threads on this one, I could then say the quilting is done and it's ready for binding or facing.
circles with straight lines, quilted 

I kept busy with other things during the week . . .

. . . pruned in the orchard before the rains:
branches and logs from a felled tree
. . . helped move a very heavy metal desk:
new office, old desk
. . . picked up bags of walnuts:
a dozen old walnut trees line the driveway
. . .  cleaned out the pantry:
vintage finds
For some reason I ended up at the supermarket every day, but stayed out of the malls and big stores on Grey Thursday and Black Friday. 

The barn is now holiday-ready with new l.e.d. mini-lights:
barn with new lights 
A big 8-foot square block just below the prow would be a fabulous addition, don't you think? Something bold and improvisational. Would love to see the neighbors follow suit.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Last post was about the small and medium sized bumps occurring before and during my last trip. The biggest bump happened a week and a half before my trip.

On my way to the gym and only a quarter mile from home, a minivan driver flung open his door just as I drove by. Thankfully no one was hurt.
not pretty
And you should see the other car's crumpled door! The driver won't be doing that again! The insurance company was very prompt and the settlement check was waiting for me when I returned home.

After some research, I opted for a new car instead of repairing this 13-year-old. More research and dealer visits for test drives consumed many days.

New cars have a lot of techno toys, a lot of computerized controls and parts. Hybrids even more so. I test drove four of them then decided they weren't for me despite the good gas mileage.

At the Barn's Sunday night dinner, they always pose a question to each of us. Last time they'd asked: what was your first car? My first car was not so interesting: a Ford sedan retired from the state of California. But my favorite car? One just like the ad below.

Experts say we love listening to oldies but goodies because those tunes have become ingrained in our brain and body. It must be the same for cars. I drove the RX-7 for 21 years. When I got behind the wheel of a new Mazda3, it felt like right - space-wise, transmission-wise, handling-wise. I knew immediately it was the car for me.

Bedtime reading is now the one-inch thick owner's manual. Gosh, the Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System chapter alone is 66 (boring and confusing) pages!

I still have my Jetta to sell or dispose of (any takers?) but I'm ready to zoom zoom zoom back to more routine life and art!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Speed bumps

Okay. I know everyone encounters bumps on the road of life. Maybe it's just me, but my road seems to suddenly add a few extra bumps whenever I am going to a workshop at the Barn. The two weeks before the trip started most inauspicously. Are the gods telling me something?

Half a week before the trip, my cell phone died suddenly and inexplicably. It was only 2.5 years old. So I replaced it with a different model.

I started the trip with a visit to a good friend near Detroit. After deplaning my new cell phone malfunctioned and then totally quit. Not even a week old.

Thanks to push button technology, who memorizes phone numbers anymore? I panicked before remembering my printed itinerary with phone numbers. And the airport had pay phones. Old fashion technology saved the day. The area's T-mobile store graciously replaced the phone.

A week later, passing through Chicago airport on the way to the Barn, Southwest Airlines lost my luggage. Not the suitcase full of personal stuff but the big duffel bag with quilts and most workshop supplies. Chicago airport is notorious for losing luggage.

Once again, the printed itinerary came in handy: Southwest wanted an address and phone number for delivery - should the duffel be found. It was still missing Monday morning. Southwest's standard reply: they're actively looking for it.

Due to the generosity of the other workshop participants - special thanks to Meredith - I was able to work on the first exercise. All whilst imagining the worst about my missing luggage. If it's really lost, I would be out many many hours of work. Enough to make any grown woman cry.

Then early afternoon I got a message: duffel found and on its way to Columbus. Who knows where it had been. I was just immensely relieved when Bill Morgan delivered it to the Barn before dinner.

For the return trip home, I split up my precious cargo. I would've done that even if I weren't going through Chicago. Lesson learned: halve the valuables, halve the worries, halve the loss.

Those were the medium bumps.

Partly because I'm an unseasoned traveller, partly because I'm a techno-dolt - I encountered a few small bumps too. My cell phone wasn't usable at all in Toronto even though I got a message about roaming charges when I first crossed the border. My iPad got no AT&T cellular data service in Canada nor at the Barn. Service was sketchy the whole trip. I managed anyway without these tech toys. And credit card charges in Canada were denied until I called them - at least they're looking out for me.

Next time I'll tell you about the big bump that occurred a couple weeks before the trip and resonated afterwards.

Friday, November 2, 2012