Thursday, November 1, 2018

Hope your Halloween was Happy

October flew by with more happening in and around my home.  My husband continues to do well health-wise and the monthly Boston trips are becoming even more routine.  Typically I try to have a picnic or quick touristy stop nearby with the clinic visits, but didn't scope any out for October as we had so much already going on.

Our first focus for the month was repainting the outside panels of the above ground pool.  CHECK!
Years ago we used "water-filled" gallon jugs to hang off the winter cover (that's what we were told to do to keep that winter cover on).  It didn't work and those water filled jugs just rode up and down on the outside pool panel walls destroying the finish all winter long.  At that time, we used a recommended Epoxy paint to resurface the exterior pool panels.  Because we used a deeper grey tone then we noticed a 5 degree increase in water temperature.  It made make sense when you think about it as darker colors attract and keep more heat than the lighter reflective colors.  Fast forward 25 years later, that surface was getting sun fade and some smaller area blights. So with every thing else going on I thought it best to get it done this fall rather than trying to complete one more spring-time chore and who knows what we'll be dealing with health-wise at that time besides.  My philosophy of taking care of it now rather than later.   DH wasn't too keen on the idea but he slowly warmed up to it after I moved many stones to let the lower part be exposed.  Walls were washed and primed, taped off then painted with an Oil based paint.  The medium darker grey color wasn't available or offered so I thought, okay....we'll use the lighter grey and mix 2 parts of it with one part of black.  It worked and it's a very dark grey -almost too dark but now it's DONE!  Even the landscaping of returning the rocks back to the bottom edging.  Looks good and feels great.  We only have to trim paint the top rail after opening the pool next year.  We also had to replace the pool liner this year as the other one which started leaking dh destroyed it by poking holes allover it so it could drain through the winter which shredded it to pieces.....  long story, but thankfully it's over now.

On a personal focus I had planned to finish the Autumn Medley this past month, a needlepoint kit I started last year while Hurricane Irma was attacking my Mom's neighborhood in The Villages.  And sweet success, I just  finished the last stitches on it this past week.

Autumn Medley designed by From Nancy's Needle on 18 Zeigart Sandstone Mono Canvas
with the called for threads.  Caron Collection Snow- 14 -Mango, Caron Collection Watercolours #137-Copper and #255 Cornflower blue, DMC#5 #435 Very Light Brown, 437 Light Tan, 935 Dark Avocado Green and 3371 Black Brown, Rainbow Gallery Gold Rush 18 GD109C Bronze and Rainbow Gallery Overture V122-Caravan
Since attending my quilt guild in Glens Falls by myself, (I usually travel there with a friend or two) it was a great time for me to travel to KC Frames and Fabrics in Saratoga Springs to check out the framing that she could do on it even though it wasn't completely stitched at that time, I still had the two smallest leaf design elements to finish. They're both in the center areas of the top and bottom.    KC's offered an idea of one mat/frame available that I don't mind but I'm not sure if I'm in love with it after all my work if you know what I mean.

With using a mat, I noticed that just at the edge you could see the mono canvas slightly behind the last row of stitching just beneath the mat edge.  So I used a black magic marker to color three rows of the  mono canvas borders not yet stitched and then decided to stitch one more row of stitches in the same border thread used (Bronze Rainbow gallery GD109C) around the perimeter to counterbalance any loss of design by the matting and framing.

We'll see and I need to stop by some more framing shops before I "pull the trigger" on what I select.

Step one of Secret Santa sew along
The last week end was an annual quilt retreat I love doing with my friend Trudy.  It's become a pilgrimage and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it despite the weather happening along the St. Lawrence seaway.  Thankfully was able to get to the many bits I brought along to get done.  What's that you say..., well I was able to cut out the Prima Diva Clutch with all of it's parts of cloth, fusible batting and interfacings, also got part one all cut out for Temecula's Quilt Secret Santa Sewalong  and all those nine patch blocks are sewn now ( the only change made was using a black Grunge for my center square instead of browns), Step two soon.  Then was able to progress on preparing Homestead Hearth's BOM for my "go to bag".   I only have 3 more blocks to prepare and the border pieces - boy I'm  always amazed at how much time this takes!

I also took two different classes besides all the projects I brought for prep work.   One of a folded star taught by Debbie Baldwin and the other a wool project with Phyllis Acres so I felt really accomplished in getting to all I did besides the talking and reconnecting with friends.  The latter is now a current WIP now being focused on.  lol

While I was doing that dh got to enjoy some quality time with the grands.

Signing off but not before I share a pic of the grand dog with his Halloween costume.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Small successes

Trying to get into my sewing room more lately.  A successful impulse was this smaller project (it's been on my radar for a couple of years), the wonder clip pocket pincushion.   Here's a tutorial for another style that holds many more clips than mine.  I was able to pull some scraps out of my 1-1/2" squares for the nine-patched pocket and then cut the rest from other fabrics from the scrap stash.

It was done just in time to go to a quilting class on English Paper Piecing where I knew I'd need my wonder clips, aka: La Passacaglia offered in Saratoga Springs on September 13th.   What tiny pieces are used in "La Pass"! 
I managed to cut out 5 A pieces and only got two of them sewn together.  (Mom- This may end up being another decade project!, lol)

So far with 5 of the  A pieces:

Slow start - one night's work at class.

This is the fabric used for that first star center.
The fabrics selected for it (so far), I am thinking it needs some more blacks, solid colors, some very light-lights,  and those "read-like-solids" prints besides of course some Tula Pink prints perhaps.

The assortment of fabrics (so far) for La Passacaglia. 
My theme fabric that touched my heart for this quilt is on the upper right
and the upper left is what I choose to make the first configuration of the 5 star center.

September's goal of finishing this wool piece  -  DONE!

Nesting Time, a Primitive Gatherings design was my portable/totable project and has come to an end.
I love and enjoyed stitching on this wool table mat "Nesting Time",  the good Lord knows that's what I like to do too!  lol   (Love my nest! btw)

With this project I continuously tried to expand my stitching repertoire.  I own two of Sue Spargo books which helped me with their excellent illustrations.
Also on this table mat is my first ever Colonial  knot.  Thanks to a yahoo group I belong to, Lisa Bongean had a video explaining this knot perfectly in the moon Garden SAL, Thanks Lisa!

Since I was out of the fusible that was large enough to attach the backing, DH and I took an hour ride to Joann's so I could obtain some.  Couldn't believe with all that I own, I didn't have any!

Also learning how to draw on a picture with editing (notice the blue arrow above), it's good to learn new things though I feel like I'm stumbling through and on wards  in getting it done or just happy accidents!

Got the fusible for backing it - Done,
Adhered it - Done,
Stitched the edge finish - Done!

I won't be labeling this one though, it's good enough as is.

DH and I are still working on the island garden, should be finished this week if the weather stops crying, and crying so hard too.  Another project that we want to get finished is to repaint the outside of the above ground pool, so even with the dampness wetness/condensation on the walls, we started prepping that area by scrubbing the walls and moving the stones away from the bottom.

Christian Science Chapel 
As for health, we are both doing great.  While DH was hospitalized at Tufts, his nurse, Audrey told us about a sight we should see whenever we could called the Mapporium at the Christian Science Center so during last month's transplant clinic and heart biopsy visit, we visited that site and the chapels that were on the premises.  The Site is absolutely gorgeous and a stunning creation representing a moment of time on this earth.  I believe the creation was finished in 1935 and since funding besides the many global changes that have occured since that time, geographically it has 'stayed at that moment of time'.  Mary Baker Eddy had vision and altruistic benevolence.  Just letting you know now, that if you have any secrets do NOT whisper them in the globe as all sounds are amplified.

Now a Miss Teenager and her younger brother - 2018

The youngest grands going off to school, 2018.
Going into fourth and eighth grades.  Another year of learning, fun and adventure besides reconnecting with their friends.



Saturday, September 1, 2018

Saying Goodbye to August

Still playing catch up.  Am plodding along nicely too.  Dents are being made in many locations but all is not how I want it yet.  Though I know that it will happen sometime.

Highlights of this past month:

International sand sculpture competition held on Revere Beach, MA Incredible!  We saw it on the 31st of July which was two weeks after the start date  of being built.  Enjoy some photos.

 Our favorite one was this heart sculpture with the two human forms framing a heart.  To us it represented a heart donor and recipient looking over a shared old, worn-out looking heart depicting DH's which he gave up in April 8, 2018.

Cirque du Soliel at Suffolk Downs, MA:


Saw Cirque du Soliel's LUZIA in Boston at the Suffolk Downs racetrack.  Another bucket list item of mine checked off.  Incredible Showmanship besides a profound story line of a waking dream of Mexico! 

Adult kind of funny!
Or perhaps my mind was briefly in the gutter.

The contortionist's act was unbelievable in the 3 Episode.  Aleksei Goloborodko is the most flexible human I've ever seen!  Incredible show and showmanship!!!!

Was able to visit the Shaker Museum, a longed for visit as I've traveled past that exit in NH for over a decade or two with wishing to know more.

I was able to get there just before leaving NH
while traveling back from Boston from DH's
heart transplant clinic, catherization, biopsy and
blood work check up.  He had a good followup
but with the phone results called to us the next day, the biopsy showed signs of rejection (level 2) which called for altering his medications and some dosages increased.  The repeat test and visit done two weeks later showed improvements and will be seen in a couple of weeks.
He's gone through much but was stingy on this trip and refused to go to Cirque's performance, so I want alone and also sat in the car at the museum instead of enjoying it.  As I've mentioned to him it's all in the timing and we needed a two hour trip delay to be at a certain restaurant when they opened to use a couple more coupons before they expire.  He can be frustrating and so stubborn at times! 

Then our annual trip to a rental Camp in Vermont on the shores of Lake Champlain with daughter's family.  Kayak, hiking, (OK make that walking) and biking each day were highlights of our time.  Great to have such happy and quality family time!

The last day of the month an annual Labor Day sale offered at my Local Quilt shop located only an hour and a half away.  A day trip happened and it seemed like a great way to end the month.  Though I had several projects in mind I didn't do too badly with my acquisitions.  In the evening a party followed for a  family friend who retired from NYS Correctional Services after two and a half plus decades of service.  A nice was to end another busy month with some family and friends.

My current focuses are:
  • Our Health
  • The Island Garden:  Vetching experiences....
  • Working with wool- the end is in sight shortly....
  • Trying to straighten up my sewing room studio...... though knowing I 'll have to make many more messes to clean up this larger one!

During the process  
I can access the sewing machine now and many
of my WIPS are in the white drawers

PIGS and UFOs contained in a stack of Art Bin Cubed bins

At least I can open my doors containing my fabric now!
I think I need to sew much faster, ha ha!

Also, I have been doing a Keto food plan and participating with "workout warriors" for health improvements and much needed weight loss.  I am finding and cooking keto recipes.
Many are not as great tasting as their higher carbohydrate matching recipes, but I am losing weight and have stopped all my insulin injections!  Woo Hooot!!!!
Gladly I have also have tapered way off my glucose medications.  I'm feeling better and the asthma has improved too.  I plan on continuing this.

TTFN and God Bless,

September Goals:
  1. Studio cleaned up further
  2. Island Garden Finished
  3. Wool Table mat done
  4. Wild card with any one of my copious UFO projects lying in wait perhaps the wonderclip pincushion or the tesselated heart .....

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hi, I'm well

Hi everyone.  I still am here and doing well considering the roller coaster the whole family has been on.

DH in Tufts Medical Center in the Cardiac ICU while he was on his 4 or 5th swan catheter and the balloon pump was whirling...
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting, eyeglasses and indoor
Daughter, DH and myself April 2018
As many of you know, my husband's heart has been an issue for us for the past 14 years.
Unfortunately or better yet, fortunately, he had a heart transplant done in April 2018 in Boston at Tufts Medical Center, (a Number #1 Care facility in our experience).  Since we live in NY the transportation and travelling to and from for his several months' long hospitalizations (there was 3, one quick (days), one for a week and the other months long) not considering all of the necessary weekly follow-up care that has been trying.  It's been my number one priority and taking my focus and energies.

With our absence the neglect seen in our home, gardens, etc. is evident since all that took a back seat considering the immediacy of his health and the possible risks.  When returning home, I prioritized to get to the most urgent chores done first.  His recovery and recuperation as been the priority, predictable and continues upwards without troubles.  Thank goodness.

He and I are both doing well and feeling blessed.  Recently his followup care has been stretched out to once a month.  So we are easing our way back into a new "more normal routine" and thought I'd try to blog again, besides work on some of my projects to share as I've done in the past.

Sorry I was away for so long without comment.  I'll share more later.