Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Vacation from Blogging?

So I sort of took a hiatus from blogging - because, well I was actually on vacation in Boston with my sister and her family. This is my third time out to the city - but the family's first - so I was the tour guide for group.

All in all - it was a great trip - we jam packed it with seeing so many sites. I crossed a few more things off my "Boston Bucket List" - like staying at the Omni Parker House Hotel and touring Fenway Park and Harvard - but I still have have a few more things I want to do out there - like visiting the JFK Library and taking a trip out to Cape Cod - but I guess there is always next time.

Several of the souviner shops were selling a "historic" reproduction quilt for something like $90 dollars. I had to laugh and think to my self - really???, that's a quilt? - it was definitely mass produced and I think if I searched hard enough - it is probably available at the Walmarts in the greater Boston area.

If you ever have a chance to get to Boston, here are my recommendations for things to do/see:
1. Definitely go to Mike's Pastry on Andover Street in Little Italy - they have the best cannoli's
2. Take a day trip out to Salem - if you can, take a night time tour. However, beware of their public restrooms -I have to say they are horrible!
3. Go on a Liberty Fleet tour sailing trip - it is a working schooner and they actually hoist the sails and you sail around in the harbor.
4. Count how many Dunkin Donuts you come across - there are more DD's than Starbuck's in the city - they have almost 80 in Downtown Boston alone
5. Eat and shop at Quincy Market - they have the best food court anywhere and the food is awesome!!

I did not come across any fabric shops - but they have bead shops in a couple of places - a nice one in Harvard.

My other advice is - do not take young children to the Salem Witch Museum. A family near us had a three year old with them - he cried through the first part of the presentation and in the second part were they have talking statues - he was around a corner - but he heard the words "I am a witch" from a statue that was explaining Wica and he just started screaming blood curtling screams.

I did rub the beam in the museum that previously hung in the Salem jail - it is supposed to bring women good luck. In hind sight, I probably should have hugged the darn thing and gave it a kiss - like America's very own blarney stone - to bring me luck. I did buy love Karma beads in a shop in Salem that are supposed to attract that "special someone". I have worn them two days so far- and nothing. I have only gotten a kiss from my dad when I got off the airplane. I will keep hoping.

Well more about my trip and some pictures later! Have a fabulous day! -Jen

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Today I learned a few things.....

including the semi-scientific fact that I don't sew very well with my mother. My mother is a very gifted quilted and has been quilting for years - at least half my life. We had a very interesting evening. In my crunch to get a sample done for the shop, I asked my mom to help put the top together. We both have a Bernina - so in my head, it made sense for us to just whip through the piecing. Boy - was I wrong. Our compatibilty in sewing together is the same as our compatibility to bake together. I love to bake - my mother prefers to cook because she hates to follow recipes. I suspect she hates to follow patterns. The blocks were set on point and as we were sewing them together, I kept referring to the diagram on the pattern - but she kept referring to the diagram in her head. I sewed two columns worth of blocks in the time it took for her to complete one.

Now don't get me wrong - I love my mother and I love to spend time with her. However, our styles of sewing are so different - I still have to rely on patterns and am more visual - but because of her years of experience - she has it all in her head. I think she keeps it locked up in there in a super secret laboratory - where only she has the password.

Our night went something like this - Jen "this is what the pattern says" - mom "but thats not how I do this type of piecing" Jen - "I know, but the setting triangles are already cut for me" mom - "but this is a stupid way to do it" - Jen (now yelling) " look at the diagram - see how that triangle is placed" - then I hate myself for yelling at my mother. Even the dog left the room.

Yikes - I am a glutton for punishment and will be back there Friday night. All I know is that a big old bottle (well not old - maybe a bottle circa 2007) of Riesling wine has my name on it when I am done.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Road Trip Weekend....

This past weekend, I went on a road trip with one of my oldest friends and her husband. While he bicycled 150 miles between Mequon and Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin, my other friend Jen S. and I volunteered to help out at rest stops on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning was an early alarm - 4:30am and Sunday was slightly later at 6:30am. It was such hard work making gaterade all day and trying not to stare at men in REALLY tight shorts. It was a great weekend to spend with Jen and Mark, who I get to see often but we don't get a chance to hang out together without any children very often at all.

I did call Jen, "Johnny Junior" on the way home - after my dad, who always gets irritated with the directions of the GPS system. Like some of the bike riders this weekend, the GPS system must have been dehydrated as well and started to take a few wrong turns. While we were heading down a rode for the first of 25 miles, the "car" goes off the road on the GPS and starts traveling through fields - while we continue on our same course that we were on. I have decided that Garmin should let you down load a 4X4 off road vehicle and it should literally go up and down as it speeds through the fields.

I have decided I need to give the GPS system a name - it is a Garmin system - so the best I could come up with is Garmin Mirenda and Marvin Garvins (after the Monopoly square). While I am tempted to name it Garmin Slipstream after the Tour de France bike team - I just can't do and am holding out hope that Lance will come through and make up his minute and a half and move up from second place. A girl can hope!!!

So after watching people bike a crap load of miles this weekend - I am inspired to kick up the training for the 5K in September quite a bit. Who knows - next year I may be riding 150 as well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I got so "ripped" on Saturday night....

As in "ripped on" had to "rip" apart several blocks.

So every once in a while, I have "dumb ass" moments - or moments I like to ask myself - "they really gave you a degree?" About a year ago, it was sewing a border on 11 blocks that were twelve inches log - without any bobbin thread.

This past weekend, I had another of these moments. I was sewing some blocks together to make a bag - one block was a chocolate and pink floral fabric from the Posh Moda line and the other was a very thin pink textured fabric from an older Moda line. As I was sewing the squares together, I thought, "How do they make the fabric textured on both sides?" That should have been my first clue I was an idiot - but I was pretty oblivious to my stupidity at that point.

So after sewing through half the blocks and running out of the pink fabric, my friend Jen B so kindly pointed out that I had been sewing two squares of pink to every chocolate brown square. (That explained why both sides were textured.) Thus began the ripping of the pink fabric from every square I had already sewed.

Then the "ripping" saga continued and Jen's Mom - Cindy started in on me. For about the next hour (okay - it was probably only 30 minutes) I was reminded about my past sewing indiscretions and was pretty much the evening entertainment and the butt of the jokes that ensued.

Add to this -the fact that a women at the shop used the word "husky" to describe someone she had talked with early - we had many, many laughs for the evening.

My observation from the weekend - NEVER, EVER use the word "husky" to refer to someone that is heavier than 135 pounds!

Have a good one! -Jen

Friday, July 10, 2009

Keeping it going....

So finally after figuring out how to get to my blog, remembering my password and figuring out how to add a post, here I am writing my second post. I just finished a work out at the gym - I am training for a 5K in Disney World in September with my sister. I will do anything to get to Disney World. I am a terrible runner and I really think the staff at the YMCA were standing by with a crash cart in case I went into cardiac arrest. My next task on the list is to figure out how to upload pictures to this blog so you can all see the stuff I am working on.

I learned several things this week - I have my very own on-line stalker, I am only worth an 8 pack of Crayola crayons - not the box with the sharpener, Ryan Reynolds is kinda hot (check out "The Proposal") and I am totally addicted to the Tour de France. This weekends goal is to finish the quilt top to the Moda line "Pack Your Bags" - it is very cute Parisian fabric and it will be a perfect gift for a friend - if I can only concentrate long enough to get it down. Oh well.... I am off to root Lance Armstrong on in the tour!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My First Posting

I would really love to blog right now, but it is too much pressure to be witty and smart at 1:00 in the morning. I have been held captive and am not being allowed to leave until I created my blog. So, here it is and the journey begins....