Monday, July 31, 2006
friday was the 29th annual maine quilts show.
at 9 am, mum and i took off to the augusta civic center (a scant 10 minute drive from my house) and already there were at least a hundred cars in the lot.
the place was hopping with vendors selling their wares, many many women and a handful of men. we hit the vendors first; some booths consisted of just buffet tables covered in fat quarters, embellishements and bolts of fabric, while others were set up to look like mini versions of their shops. all had quilts, quilted wall hangings and quilted clothing in all the colors of the rainbow (and every color in between) displayed around them, on walls, hanging from the railings of the civic center's balcony seating. this was the set up, here.
not 5 minutes inside, and we run into marge, the wonderful proprietess of maine-ly sewing on route 1 in nobleboro (where my parents live). and of course we have to stop and talk for a few (10) minutes! then it was time to move on, until we got to the sanford sewing machines booth, where they had a representative from the baby lock company there showing you how to use the different machines. i was so psyched, i got to try a newjoy personal long arm quilter and a serger (thoughts of what next years tax return will be invested in came to mind several times at this booth!) if i purchase a new machine of any sort, i believe that i will go to sanford sewing, as they fix machines right there at the store and never send your machine out of state! how very handy!
i was very proud of myself. i could have gone hog wild buying fabric, but i showed restraint. i only bought 5 fat quarters for the pink and green quilt that i will be making for myself soon (hopefully this winter). you can see them here, here (this may not go into the quilt - it may become something else), here (reminded me of pajamas!), here (loved this hummingbird fabric from australia) and all together here. i'm on a mission to collect pink and green fabric between now and...november (just giving myself a deadline) and i'm trying to come up with a block design for it. i've already gone through my stash to pull out pinks and greens i want to use in it; i need to go through my scraps bucket, then it will be off to find new fabric wherever it presents itself.
after finally completing the vendor circuit, it was on to the quilts. i took pictures of all the ones that i really thought were incredible and felt inspired by. you absolutely have to check them out, here. really, all i can say is wow! as you can see, trying to describe them would be difficult; descriptions truly pale, even the pictures pale as compared to experiencing them up close. there are some truly amazingly talented quilters and quilt artists out there! it was so inspiring! i was so excited, all i wanted to do was go home and create. so i did! i started creating "grazing" and will continue to work on it when i can. i'm so happy that i got to go to the quilt show this year.
anyhoo, must go enjoy the rest of this day off! have an inspiring day all!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
so i thought i would share a corner of my home with you.
now it's not particularly pretty (at least not yet...i'm working on it!) but i really love the stairs in my house. this is a section of my home that is greatly taken for granted. i go up and down the stairs about a hundred times a day (or so it seems) without much thought, unless i'm vacuuming them and then the thought is "ugh, what a chore!"
but every now and again, i start to walk down them and suddenly i need to just sit and look at them. i realize that they're very pretty stairs. the wall paper around them is not ugly but needs to be painted over and the ceiling has a large crack (as you can see) but if you could look closely, you'd see that the ceiling is not painted but plastered in sweeping spirals with bits of glitter catching the light, done by my grandfather (who was a plasterer and a mason) more than 30 years ago.
the stairs also sport a small, but very pretty, stained glass window that my dog loves to sit by, with her butt and back legs on one step and her front paws on the next step down, and watch the world go by.
at the top of the stairs sits an antique milk can (belonging to my mother, but i really don't think i'll be giving it back to her any time soon :^) with a big, drapey plant that has begun to grow between the spindles and down into the downstairs hall below.
i remember sitting cross-legged on the bottom landing and throwing a ball up the stairs so that it would bounce back down to me over and over (of course back then i was only 3 apples tall and could easily fit on that bottom landing with room to spare...uh...not anymore!)
i guess i'm feeling particularly nostalgic about my staircase today. around it is the next area to be painted. i have yet to choose a color and have had a million thoughts flit through my brain(like the one where i paint the walls blue, mural rolling fields and paint the floor to look like either a dirt path or a flagstone path; or the one where i paint a stained glass window into a stone wall at one end - but that would make it too dark, the hall is very small!) i just haven't decided where to go with this hallway yet.
i often wander through my house and think back to what the rooms "used" to look like. i have a bunch of old pictures at home that i need to scan and believe me, you will all have a good laugh at the old wallpaper, the paneling, the clothing styles of my family! oh but it's funny!
well, until next time!
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
at lunch, i had to run to the credit union, which took all of 10 minutes, so i spent the rest of my lunch break wandering around the dollar store (we have a killer dollar store in augusta).
i had mentioned to my sister this morning that i'd picked up a bunch of school supplies for my niece when i was at target last week, but i didn't pick anything up for my nephew because i didn't know what he needed. he starts high school in the fall...oh man...he's really starting high school! my baby! i helped raise this kid...because of me, he loves the dropkick murphys and the beastie boys, the boondock saints, monty python and office space! is he really old enough to be in the 9th grade? oh dear! it seemed like yesterday he was just a little, giggling, round faced babe...meeeeem' ries. he'd glower me now for ever saying he giggled!
so anyway, i found pens and pencils, highlighters, a stapler, a magnetic locker mirror, magnetic paper clips to hang stuff in his locker, and a pencil case (which i know is totally dorky for a freshman to have, but i needed something to put all his stuff in and he'll find some use for it).
i also found a math compass for me (for quilting and it came with geometric shaped rulers! yay!), a 100 pack of hair bands and this cute wicker purse for my aunt (who's birthday is this coming month). i have a couple of little quilting things for her that i can tuck inside with some fat quarters. she'll love it!
and i found this for me...
you see, i've had an idea in my head for a guerilla art project (actually ever since shari mentioned it in her original "junk drawer tuesday" post). but it requires 2 friends, a midnight excursion and some major caffeination as these two friends don't drink. so i need to find a night (preferably a friday or saturday) where my friends aren't working the night shift or the next morning shift at their respected jobs.
the best part of my lunch-time excursion...i only spent $13! i love the dollar store!
have a superb evening, everyone! for those of you suffering the heat wave, here's wishing you cool breezes, iced beverages and cold water to put your feet in! and for those of you deep in winter right now...i'm wishing this heat wave your way!
what a beautiful morning!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
the parking lot on the left side of our building will be closed until november. it's being ripped out for what i thought was supposed to be an expanded parking lot, but all they are putting in is a sidewalk, which we do need. but really, does it take 5 months to put in a side walk? it's not that big of an area. they are ripping apart places that had new construction done to them less than 10 years ago...i actually think it's been maybe 5 years and is a total waste of tax payers money. oh, and they are ripping out trees! beautiful trees! some of which are flowering trees! and you know darn well that they won't be "digging" them out. they'll saw them down and tar over the spot where they were (which they have already done on the other side of the building where an incredible flowering crab used to be). so much of this is unnecessary, i believe!
i love the summer months; the only bad part is the construction. construction is the absolute worst part of summer and of course in Maine, you only have so many months to work with when the ground is not frozen, so everywhere you go cities and towns (and the department of transporation) are working on roads. it's everywhere! but i guess i just have to get used to it, as its all around me: my town is blasting and ripping up roads to replace water mains, various paths i take to work are fraught with road work and now the melodious sounds of backhoes and dump trucks fill my day at work!
i do know that some things are necessary (new water mains, roads without pot holes and sidewalks so we pedestrians don't get mowed down in the parking lot) but some things just seem like poor past planning, especially the work being done around here and especially the ripping out of beautiful trees. why didn't they think of putting in sidewalks when they did the initial work?
i apologize for the rant; i'm feeling a little stuck in a "paved paradise". anyone else feeling construction woes?
ps...the construction woes are seeping into blogger as it won't let me post pictures, nor will it let me blog from flickr. i give up!
YOU WIN, OH GREAT GODS OF CONSTRUCTION!
Monday, July 24, 2006
so i had a dream a few weeks back, very vivid dream of dancing in a moonlit field with a man in a leather jacket and van morrison's "moondance" was playing. very clearly, i heard every word to the song in this dream. i never saw the man's face but i know he had short hair and he was taller than me, but not by a whole lot as i could see over his shoulder. i could see the stars and they were soooo bright.
Friday, July 21, 2006
hearing: construction vehicles and blasting whistles as they fix the streets around me; people yelling, splashing, playing in a pool next door; this morning: the various conversations of the patrons at the sunrise cafe in freeport, now: sadie moving, stretching, trying to stay cool.
smelling: exhaust from dump trucks; a hot, not quiet musty, attic smell; this morning: hot coffee, pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs cooking.
tasting: this morning: perfect blueberry pancakes, crisp bacon, refreshing homemade iced tea
Thursday, July 20, 2006
i only twirled a couple of times because i started getting dizzy and i thought, "how on earth did i spin with my face to the sky and my arms out, so much, when i was a child and not get motion sick?" or did i and i just don't remember?
but anyhoo, taking a break from work, i thought i'd snap some pictures of architecture and things around my office:
have a great day!
ps: i have a new inspiration, a rediscovery of sorts...i have to take pictures and i will blog about it tomorrow!
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
so the baby blanket was a hit! here is mommy-to-be, nina (behind the quilt) holding it up.
i managed to finish it last night, along with the dishes, reinforcing my neice's messenger bag and my sister's pants (save the waistband and hemming them). i was a stitchin' machine last night!
and, my coworker, the ever lovable marcia, said "you should take friday off!" so i am!
yippee for me!!
it seems lately that i've been really keeping an eye to the sky. i'm not sure what has brought on this new found, deep appreciation for the sky, but i find that this summer, i'm looking up more than down. i think it's been the weather that we've been having. crazy-out-of-the-blue storms, super sunny skies, beautiful sunrises and amazing sunsets! the colors have just been an awe inspiring palette. the blueblue of today's sky makes me want to sit in a field somewhere and watch the clouds drift lazily across, picking out shapes like i did before life seemed to get hectic and stress-filled; where there are deadlines and timelines and too many things to do to take time out to stop and smell the roses.
friday will be a time out day, despite the fact that it's supposed to rain. i will dig out a book that i haven't read in a while, sit on my porch, in a hoody (if it's chilly) and drink chai tea. i'm ahead of the game right now. i have plenty of time to vacuum, to fold laundry, to work on projects. friday will be a selfish "me" day. i can't wait!
here's wishing you your own selfish "me" days! spoil yourself rotten, i know i will be!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
this morning, i feel good though. the headache's gone, the sunburn isn't so bad and i'm well rested! the baby quilt is almost done, just a little more stitching to go. also i've got my list here to organize me! this chalkboard hangs in my kitchen for me to create my "to do" lists. as you can see, it has a couple of bills to pay, a quilt design idea and a day by day list of things that need to get done.
now it doesn't seem so overwhelming, all the things i have to do. we're doing a big bar-b-que for my mother and sister at the lake on saturday, so i have until then to put their presents together - which means i don't feel so rushed. yippee!!
okay, must get to work this now. hope the day is fantabulous for all of you.
oh! and if you get a chance, i highly recommend bruce springsteen "the seeger sessions". i just picked it up and can't get enough of it! love love love "o mary don't you weep". okay, that's my plug for bruce. have a great day!
Monday, July 17, 2006
with every new blog i find, whether on my own or via other bloggers favorite blogs lists (which is usually the case), i find these new inspirations, these new things i want to do or try; pretty pictures, loads of color, others who share my love of all things fabric. pretty well all of it is arty or expressive in some form, but then i get home from working the typical 8 to 5 job (with an hour lunch to get the heck out of work and soak up a little sun so i don't go completely stir crazy) and i find that i just can't muster the energy needed to start a project or all the amazing things that inspired me from the blogs i read have flitted out of my brain or i have too many other projects that require my attention and i feel much too much guilt for setting them aside. like i've said before, i'm a project starter, rarely a project finisher.
with my penchant for lists, you'd think i'd be more organized. ha!
i think the deadlines are starting to get to me. or the sunburn has sufficiently baked my brain. tomorrow, after i have put some time into the baby quilt tonight, i will feel better organized and more focused (lets hope). i guess today just wasn't a day for work.
but now it's monday and my sister & mother's birthday is on wednesday. the baby shower is also on wednesday. i guess the other things don't really have deadlines, but i really hoped to finish them. so i've got 2 days to finish these things...no, i have to work those 2 days...i've got 2 evenings to finish these things. and besides, who needs sleep? sleep is overrated! oh wait, i need sleep. i'm cranky without it. well, we'll see what gets done in the next two nights!
everyone enjoy your monday! it's another triple "h" day here in central maine (hot, hazy and humid). thank the moon and stars for air conditioning!
so you know what i got for my 2 days of swimming instead of finishing projects? a brilliant, too-hot-to-touch, too-painful-to-think-about sunburn across my face, shoulders and arms. that'll teach me!
Friday, July 14, 2006
my brother is an adrenaline junkie, i am a chicken. but after about 20 minutes, i started to relax and figured that no one was going to roust us out of there (the fact that there were a bunch of high school kids who'd been there all day helped, too).
the quarry is where granite used to be mined, but with the popularity of concrete, the quarries were forced to shut down in the early 20th century. eventually a natural spring opened up, flooding the area 20 feet deep and it became the hot spot for swimming.
it's a bit crazy, all the different places you can jump from and the different heights of the cliffs. the kids had a great time. jess and i stayed over by the rope swing, where the 10 foot jump is. derek and alex went over to the 30 foot cliff known as aerosmith, so dubbed because someone had spray painted the band's logo on the ledge back in the 70's.
by about 8:00, i was ready to go (the mosquitos were eating me alive) and i think the kids were ready, but my brother wanted us all to go over and check out "the 60", a 60 foot jump into a skinny, water-filled ravine. "we're just going over to look at it", my brother says. famous last words. with in seconds of us arriving, my brother jumps.
so that was my adventure last night. thank you for listening to (reading about) my "older brother is an idiot" rant and do check out the pictures. despite the crazy end to the adventure, the beginning and middle of it were fun, and the pictures are cool!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
the head piece is almost done as well; just needs little flowers on the back. the stick of the star wand is painted and i put glitter on the star itself, those will get attached tonight. the wand will be dripping with ribbon and then it's on to the yellow & orange flower petal skirt! and then to make brooke the same exact thing!
oh, so i have to thank brianna for her farmer's market post, because you see, this propelled me want to make dinner using only what i had in the fridge. after a minute of staring blankly at the void that is my fridge, i took off to the grocery store for veggies . i had chicken at home and red potatoes, but i needed milk and sandwich bread anyway, so i figured i'd get some green beans. i walked out of the store with green beans, organic italian dressing, garlic hummus and rosemary & olive oil bread. no milk. no sandwich bread. i'm telling ya, if i don't write it down...poof...it's gone! but i had a lovelylovelylovely dinner of grilled chicken marinaded in mediterranean mango sauce, grill potatoes, green beans and rosemary & olive oil bread dipped in hummus. yum!!
must run to the craft store for more flowers. enjoy the day!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
my friend's daughter, megan, is turning 3 on thursday, but having her party on saturday and when i saw the fairy wings on the angry chicken blog, i knew that i had to make them! and who better to make fairy wings for than a 3 year old! i have to make a fairy wand, too, oooh and maybe a little flower petal skirt...hmmm, now i need fabric for flower petals and satin ribbon. but this is what the wings look like, so far:
these things are so very easy! a couple of metal coat hangers, a pair of pantyhose and duct tape! then you paint them and decorate them however you want. i still need to add glitter and maybe glue on some jewels; i have a funky shimmery gold/orange fabric that i will stitch around the center where the duct tape is, find a funky flower to put in the center and get some ribbon to stream from the flower! i should make her a little ribbon circlet for her head, too. oh this is so much fun! i hope i can finish everything by saturday!
for those of you who have the day to yourself, i hope it's spectacular. for those of you who have to work, i hope the day goes by quickly with little to no hassles and your evening is slow and languorous!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
so my sister comes over last night and unloads this little wooden table from her truck (i was mowing my lawn) and starts to bring it into my house, and i'm thinking "what on earth?" i figured it was something she was going to leave in my garage for my dad to fix the next time he came up. as i got closer to it, i realized what it was...it was a little sewing table!
on sunday i was heading over to picked up my niece and nephew to go shopping. this little sewing table was at the end of someone's driveway with a "free" sign on it (i figured it was something that didn't sell from a lawn sale, so they were just giving it away). i knew what it was and i was going to stop to look at it after i picked up the kids. on the way back up the street, (with the kids in tow) not but a few houses from my sister's, a truck pulls out in front of me. it slowed down and pulled over just at the house with the sewing table and a woman got out to inspect the table. i was kicking myself for not stopping before i got the kids! i should know better, to stop when i see something i want. i missed out on a dressmaker's form last summer when i passed a yard sale, but i was on my way to portland to help a friend move and i was already late. i still kick myself for not stopping for that one! but apparently i was not meant to have it.
apparently i was meant to have this little table! i was so psyched! it needs some sanding and painting...and a little shelf for my sewing machine to sit on, but with my dad's help, i can make it work the way i want it to! it reminds me very much of my gram's old set up (which either got sold at a yard sale or went to one of my aunts who doesn't sew after my gram passed), but her's was bigger with a shelved cabinet underneath.
it was a wonderful surprise! i'm so happy (thank you, dina!! and jessica for telling your mother i wanted it!!)
have a wonderful wonderful today, all!
Monday, July 10, 2006
so here's a quick continuation of my adventures in self reflection!
she loves the smell of fresh cut limes
discovering foods she never knew she liked (boiled onions, fresh salsa, asparagus)
words like: arugula, portulaca, serendipity, guacamole, widdershins, recidivism
the rumbling sound of a passing harley
licking her fingers after squeezing a lemon and the puckery taste
she's never been fond of mooky tomatoes. they have to be firm and beefstake
has never been a particularly good navigator due to her sense of wonder...as in "i wonder what's down this road?" while someone else is driving (sorry Ju!)
love hokey william powell and myrna loy movies!
gets chills whenever she hears van morrison's "into the mystic" unexpectedly come on the radio
Sunday, July 09, 2006
to recap the vacation, let's see...hmmmm...didn't really do much! no, that's not true. i didn't really go anywhere, but i did a lot around the house. and despite wanting this to be a "project finishing" week, it was more of a "project starting" week.
i did spend about 3 days at my parents, which was very relaxing! my brother, father and i went on the search for quartz rock out behind the house of my parent's neighbor. that was interesting! this whole hill in the woods is covered in huge chunks of quartz, and if you pull a piece out of the ground, it's all crushed quartz rock under it! it was so cool. check out the pictures here. we also had a freak rain storm that day, so my brother and i played in the rain. now that was fun!
for projects, i started a baby quilt for a co-worker (i have to work on the binding today). i made capri's for my sister (and never took a picture of them...oops!). i primed the bottom cabinets in my kitchen, scraped and painted my back door (a color called "grape jam", i love it!), i also painted a couple of sunflowers in my hall, painted a warren kimball-esque scene on the top of a set of star nesting boxes that my mother had bought me a while a go, i did get to play in my garden and i went shopping for new fabric (surprise surprise! but i got a good deal on this 108" wide fabric that will be the backing of a couple of quilts!)
i didn't get to go on an adventure with my friend. her work was being weird and she was "on call" so to speak on her day off, but we did get to hang out, which was nice. and i missed out on the subdudes, unfortunately. i just wasn't feeling well that day. i don't feel that i missed out on anything during my vacation, though. i spent a lot of time relaxing! i couldn't have asked for a better week weather-wise! but i'm sad to see it over. i love being on vacation, staying up late, sleeping in and not feeling rushed to get things done.
now i sit, catching up on blogs and uploading photos to flickr (something i should have done during the week - but, as my friend fran says, "thou shalt not should" coupled with my own, "shoulda, coulda, woulda, didn't - so get over it!". so i'm over it and doing it now!)
i'm having issue loading photos into blogger, so i will blog (through flickr) my fav picture from my vacation week of the "forever wild" field next to my parents house on the lake. it reminds me of something one of the wyeth's would have painted (andrew, probably).
well, have a good sunday, all!