Wednesday, August 27, 2008

La Boheme

Ta da!  Finished the binding at 10:30 last night, washed it first thing this morning.  What do you think?  

I'm taking it to Denver tomorrow as a birthday gift for my friend Mary -- best friends since 7th grade.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer Days

Saturday Margaret and I went to Fran's for a lunch potluck.  Obama's announcement  that Joe Biden would be his V-P running mate had arrived in my Inbox at 3:11 AM, and Margaret and Fran wanted to see their joint appearance in Springfield that afternoon. Biden seems like a good choice: seasoned, knowledgeable, lots of experience working across the aisle in the Senate before politics overtook statesmanship.  Maybe the two of them can turn this battleship around before we sink.

Today I'm making stuffed cabbage rolls for supper.  I used to make these when my boys were young, and it was a favorite supper.  I haven't made them for a long time because it's hard to find cabbages large enough to provide the big leaves required.  The magnificent cabbage from Primrose Farm is just what I needed.  Yum.

I have been poring over eleven years worth of loose photos looking for ones of the trip to Door County Mother Mo and I took in October of her first year here.  I had nearly given up, having got to the 1997 level of the midden without finding them, when several more envelopes of prints came to light.  Lo and behold, there they were!  Just in time for her retirement celebration scrapbook.  But what a lot of wonderful pictures I had forgotten about . . . now I'm on a mission to get them into photo albums.

Day after tomorrow we go to Denver to visit our friends Mary and Dave over Labor Day.  This has become an annual visit, one we look forward to every year.  This year is especially neat because we'll be in Denver the last night of the Democratic Convention, the night Obama gives his acceptance speech there.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer bounty

Half of this week's CSA share:

We're splitting a share with Matt & Claire, so they have the other half.  I'm loving it -- fresh veggies without any chemicals, and tasting like they did from my grandmother's garden.

And here's this morning's bread rising, fragrant of yeast and rosemary:

Here are the finished blocks for the Pieces of Time class I'm taking.  It's a two-year class, meeting every other month.  We're making a quilt from a Lori Smith pattern. Although this is not my usual kind of thing, I'm taking the class because I want to learn to applique, and to improve my piecing accuracy.

I'm improving, though I discovered that a quarter inch seam is one click different on my two almost-identical machines.   I've put reminders on each machine with masking tape.

I've used a different method of preparing the appliques for each block, and so far the one that seems to be working best is to iron the freezer paper template on the wrong side of the fabric, baste the seam allowance, give it a good pressing with spray sizing, then remove the freezer paper before stitching  the applique to the background.  If I leave the freezer paper in until after stitching the applique to the background, when I pull it out, it stretches my stitches, distorting the piece.  

I tried heat-proof plastic templates, but they shift around while I'm trying to press the seam allowances.  Needle-turn works well with fairly straight edges, but the first method has given the best all 'round results so far.  I do wish I knew how to avoid little thread pokies in the tight inside curves and corners.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Meanwhile . . .

This is what Noah was up to for a week in Canada, followed by three weeks at a nature camp in northern Wisconsin.  It sure was good to see him Friday!


The California grandkids left this morning after ten days with us while their parents vacationed in Belize.  If we needed a reminder of why people our age don't have children, this was it!  We are exhausted.  But the kids had a great time. We did just about everything there is to see and do:  toured the Cave of the Mounds, rode Aunt Claire's horse at Hoofer's stables, saw dinosaur skeletons at UW's Geology Museum, went to Vilas Zoo and the playground, saw Kung-Fu Panda, went to the butterfly hatch at Olbrich Gardens and swimming at the Middleton pool a couple of times.  Cousins Olivia and Annika had several overnights and play dates --  looks like they enjoy being together, doesn't it?

Erik spent about eight hours over two days building an awesome pirate ship (more like a barge) from styrofoam packing materials -- complete with sail, helm and two planks for enemies to walk.  (I suppose to a pirate the Good Guys are the Bad Guys.)

Here is Grandpa watching the kids while Nana cleans up from lunch:

And this is what they left behind in the laundry room: