Thursday, May 31, 2007

Almost June!

Time flies in the spring, I really wish May wouldn't zip by like that, I miss the lilacs & daffodills & tulips. The next few days are supposed to bring a lot of rain, so the grass will probably be pretty deep by the time we can mow it, and the mosquitoes will be thriving. At least we missed the 17 year cicadas. The news at first said our area would probably get them, but now they say the bugs will be near the Michigan/Indiana border & to the south and not this far north. I guess I'll see them sometime when I'm visiting Shipshewana, Indiana.

Actually, I was down there yesterday (saw no cicadas!) with my daughter and a friend of hers who has a 10 month old baby. It's so fun to have a baby around again, and he's such a sweetheart. He was enjoying a bit of ice cream when this was taken (posted with the permission of his mom).
The flea market was going on, but we don't go there much anymore, we like the little town with all the shops. The flea market used to be more interesting, now a lot of it is t-shirts, 'designer' purses, sunglasses, socks and stuff like that. Anyway, I'm totally worn out today, but it well worth it. I got some pretty batik fabric to add to my monstrous stash of batiks and got to ooooohhhh and aaaaaahhh over the new quilts at Lolly's.

I think the Allegan Antiques Market is much more interesting than the Shipshy flea market, Taiya and I went there Sunday. Most years I completely forget that it's the last Sunday of the month, or we have plans on that certain Sunday, but this year I've actually been there twice! It's really huge and though some stuff is still pretty high priced, there are decent deals to be found and there's so much stuff to look at that it's fun even if you don't need anything. I happened to be looking for some new chairs for my kitchen, ours are getting beat up so I'm retiring them until I can get them re-caned and repaired.
I'm going to repaint these, but in different colors (um, no black & red though!), I don't want them to match. Our house is perfect for that mis-matched country look. All I ask is that they're sturdy enough to take some abuse and not fall apart. Furniture has to be pretty tough to make it in this house, this isn't the place for sissy furniture! The black chair was $20 and the green was $18, I thought those were good prices, so much so that I didn't even ask them to take less (I'm slipping!). Now I need to go back next month and find two more, then we'll be all set. And maybe a new cupboard for my craft room.......

Oh yeah, I did actually do some quilting lately. I have two baby quilts for Project Linus, I just need to get to Kalamazoo and drop them off. Unfortunately they have to be dropped off at a fabric store that is right next door to a bigger fabric store and right down the street from....you guessed it, another fabric store!! I need to get some rest before I tackle all that, it may take all day!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Home Again

So glad to be home. I enjoyed the trip home more than the entire week in NC. A highlight was the stop in West Virginia at Tamarack (google it!). It's a circular building, the center being a patio where you can sit down & relax or have a bite to eat. Circling around that is a ring-o'-art, many awesome things made by W.VA. artists; quilts, pottery, jewelry, furniture, photographs, & etc. On the outside of that ring are some glassed in rooms where you can watch the artists work, sort of an artist-in-a-box, not sure if I would be able to work too well that way, but it was interesting.
I didn't see anything that gave the name of the quilt artist that made this quilt, nor did I find the name of the person who made this cute little leather coin purse that I bought.

We drove across Ohio, and happened across the original Bob Evan's restaurant, which is on the Bob Evan's homestead. We were too late to visit the homestead or the craft barn, or the quilt show that is going on there (arghhhh!), but we had a great dinner in a nice hometown restaurant. It was exactly what you would expect, chock full of locals who all knew each other, including a cheerleading squad. The waitress was a nice older lady who was sweet as pie, and the food was wonderful. It was kind of out in the boonies, or at least it seemed so to us, so I guess that says a lot about the restaurant.

They have events going on throughout the year, I'd love to get back there for their Christmas Crafts show. Also they're not far from Athens, Ohio, home of the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center. The brick house is the Bob Evan's homestead, definitely on the list of places to visit at another time.



The windmill was on the homestead property, too. I didn't even have time to run up and read the plaque, we were getting tired and needed to get on the road and find someplace to stop for the night. We ended up in Chillicothe, in a really nice Hampton Inn. I could have spend a lot more time in that motel, it was nearly perfect except for the lumpy floor thing. Seriously, the place was beautiful and looked brand new, but you'd be walking down the hall and all the sudden step down on a dip in the floor, and even in our room the floor was lumpy under the carpet, it was weird. Doesn't surprise me, though. We had work done on our house and had two different contractors who messed up, cut corners, lied extensively, apparently just didn't know how to do some things so faked their way through.
But anyway, back to the fun stuff. Here are a couple more pics from Tamarack. Isn't the desk great?
I think all the quilts there were machine quilted. I prefer hand quilting, but they had some lovely quilts there. A lot of batiks, which I love.

I got the baby quilt I was working on finished before we left North Carolina, but didn't get a pic yet, maybe next time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hello from Kannapolis

I have landed in the land of Nascar. DH had to come here to North Carolina for work, so I came along. Charlotte & the surrounding area is apparently filling up quickly with people coming to see some big race. I have nothing against Nascar, just haven't ever paid much attention to it, other than watching Taladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Anyway, we've been told that it would be best if we get out of here on Thursday because things are going to get crazy this weekend.

The picture above was taken in Virginia, which I really hope to explore someday. VA & West Virginia are so beautiful (and that's just the view from the highway!). We had such a nice drive down here, the weather was perfect and everything is so pretty right now. I wish I'd been able to get a pic of the poppy fields that they have planted in the middle of some of the highways, thought I might get in a bit of trouble with the state police if I was found stopped by the highway, stopping traffic, trying to get a perfect shot of the pretty flowers. Nothing against North Carolina, BTW, it's beautiful, too, I just haven't seen much of the countryside here, I didn't care much for Charlotte, big cities don't do anything for me.

Of course I brought some quilting along, thought it was about time I made some more baby quilts for donating. Anybody have any good ideas where to donate them? I used to give them to ABC Quilts, until they shut down. I contacted Project Linus, but haven't gotten a reply.

I also cut a bunch of pieces for my Civil War blocks, I always bring way more quilting and reading materials than I have time for, but better to have extra than not have enough. Just finished Jonathan Kellerman's newest book, Obsession, and found a copy of Jane Eyre at the Salvation Army store today right next door to the motel. It was fate!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May

Today started out cloudy and a bit dull, but it's turned into a beautiful day. My DH is working in Chicago again, and said it was about 85 degrees and sunny there. I think we were the lucky ones here, with temps in the 70s.

As you can see below, the first lilacs have bloomed, the purple ones aren't quite ready yet.


We got a new breadmaker, an Oster. I've been trying to make bread with it for the last couple of days, the results are quite sad (NO pics!). I tried to make wheat bread from scratch first, and it was a big, dry, lumpy mess. The next batch wasn't too bad, but not at all what I'd call good. The next one was quite a sight, the middle sunk right in. Finally I got something edible out of it today, but the crust is pretty hard. We used to have a breadmaker (until one of the kids lost a vital part) and it made much better bread. Not sure if we should trade it in in case it's a faulty one or just take it back. I can make good bread by hand, but my DH would like it a lot more often than I'm willing to make it. Guess I'll try it a couple more times and see how it goes.

I found a new version of Jane Eyre on DVD yesterday, and I love it. It stars Ruth Wilson & Toby Stephens, it's a Masterpiece Theatre movie. Problem is, I've seen enough movie versions of Jane Eyre that I can't remember what was and wasn't actually in the book. Time to read it again.


I was REALLY trying not to start any new projects, but I'm bored with the UFOs I've been working on, and I had a bin full of Civil War repro fabrics calling to me unceasingly. Besides, I'm hand piecing, so it's perfect for working on while watching long movies. The pattern that I was going to use is Civil War Star by Bits 'n Pieces, but I don't think I'll follow the pattern, I'm thinking I might do something a bit different, haven't decided yet. And, yes, I do finish some quilts, I promise.