Friday, September 3, 2010

Ok.... Guess what this is a picture of...

Looking for something to eat on my way "out west" two weekends ago, I was looking for a place to eat.
I almost passed this place up - there was no familiar golden arches prevalent, but the front of the place had a light house... huh.....
This McDonald's was in Fon du lac, Wisconsin. Land locked Fon du lac, WI. I was confused - maybe visibility for boaters is an issue in Fondy!!!! I would have probably found the place better if it was lit up - but no such luck. They made a great Mocha Frappe at least.
It was a picturesque Mickey D's though..... Not much else is in Fon du lac.

My Oldest UFO is done!!!!!

Ta da..........
So I finally finished my oldest UFO. This was actually the first kit I ever bought when I worked at Patched Works. It is slightly less than 3 years old. The kit was called Wine Country and was also my snowball project for Regina's snowball challenge. I have a wine themed kitchen, so I am thinking I am going to chose the thinnest batting and maybe use it as a table cloth/runner.
I love the cork fabric as well as the combination of hunter and burgundy.
Here is my question - what is the best way to photograph quilts? I had a hard time getting the whole top in the picture frame - I did my best - but if you have any great ideas, let me know.
Enjoy the Labor Day weekend!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ummm.... Osh Vegas????

This past weekend, I went "up north" if you live in the Waukesha/New Berlin/Milwaukee area. However, if you are leaving work from Sheboygan to drive - I simply went "out west". I spent the weekend in Neekoosa, Wisconsin - where the largest grocery store is actually a large convenience store connected to a BP. Where else can you buy orange life preservers, live fishing bate, frozen pizzas and fresh tomatoes in the same place? Only in Wisconsin is my answer. I also found another "only in Wisconsin" on my may home. I came across "Osh Vegas" - an RV park south of Oshkosh. Only in Wisconsin is all I can say.
If you have ever wanted to stay at the Palms Resort - the 800 number is in the picture. I also came across an ice cream place called the "Milty Wilty" in Wautoma, WI. I didn't stop - but as I kept driving, I liked to repeat the name Wautoma over and over - except I added an Arnold Schwartzenegger accent to it - so it sounded like "wau - tumar" - the things we do to keep interest up on the road......

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A little hiatus from social media?

Ok, I know it has been a gazillion days since I posted or have been on any social media site, but I have a few good reasons why.

First, don't even get me started on Facebook. I tried tonight to connect with some friends and low and behold, it took me fifteen minutes to actually find my friend list. I could see the names of the six that were on-line, but none of the others. It has been sooo long since I have been on Facebook that the format has totally changed for me. Add to this that my computer is slower than molasses on Facebook (think dial-up slow) and I am ready to throw in the towel.

Secondly, I started a new job with a seventy-five minute commute. It (the commute) isn't that bad - except for the five thirty wake-up time. I have always been a night owl and now I am falling asleep at eight thirty. The area has a great bike trail which I have to try before the end of summer. Sheboygan is an adjustment for the city girl - but I think I am up for the challenge.

Thirdly, the Tour de France is finally over. I was addicted to it every weekend for three weeks. I laugh that I have trouble biking 15 miles per hour on a flat trail when that is the speed the bikers pedal up the side of a mountain in the Alps. Oh Lance - he faltered this time, but he is still my hero, along with Brett Favre. I know, I know. I can't help it I have a thing for aging athletes that can't make up their mind about retirement.

Fourthly (is that even a word), I cannot get enough of the summer reality tv. First it was the Real Housewives of New York City, then came the Next Food Network Star and now the season is winding down for the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I apparently cannot get enough of rich psycho woman who have no better ways to spend their time than backstab their friends. This and their crazy New Jersey accents, gawd I laave it!!

Lastly, I have been day dreaming about the vacation I need to take. I am not "scheduled" for anything until the quilting weekend in November and my Disney trip in December. Yes, Jen just got a promotion and she is going to Disney World with my niece and sister-in-law Cathy. I can't wait!!!!

Cre8tive Jen and I took a road trip to Green County this past Sunday. It is scary when you start to learn your way around the county without a map. I love the area out there - the scenery is beautiful and the rolling hills are a blast in Kobi - Jen's car. We had a great time and saw quite a few barn quilts.

I am trying to get back into the quilting mode - I am working on my snow ball quilt - my of my earliest UFO's. I stalled at finishing the first border. Hopefully this weekend I will get back to sewing.

Well, that's about it for now..... Hopefully it won't be two months until my next post. -Jen

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again.....

Ain't nothing going to keep me down. If you are singing the song from Chumba Wumba (I think that's how you spell it) - I have succeeded. After not blogging for two weeks and falling down the list on Cre8tive Quilter's blog - I am getting up again and blogging. Right to the top of the list again - at least for the next few minutes.

I can honestly say I have had a hard time getting into the groove of sewing again. I want to - I went to PW to buy a moda marble to keep going - but I bought the wrong color and I am stalled right now until I get the right color.

I have joined Regina's snow ball challenge - and I will post the blocks I have made. I have to pull the camera out again and down load the pics. Regina gave me some great shout outs on her blog - I loved having her and Patti stay with me before the retreat. I can't wait until next year!

With the upcoming summer, how do you stay on track with everything that needs to be done? I literally walk through my sewing room everyday and think about what I need to do - I just have to make time to get to it.

I am hoping that at least one day of the upcoming holiday weekend will get me back on track. I can do it..... I can do it..... I can do it.......

I spent some time this morning with my brother, his wife and their two girls. Their youngest, Claire, is my god daughter and is literally the happiest baby I have ever seen. She never cries - even when she gets up in the morning - she just waits for Cathy to get her. Everytime I talk to her - she just breaks out into a cute drooly smile. And her older sister Emmy is the star of our family - she gives the best hugs ever - the kind where her whole body melts into you. They always make the day better when I see them. My 14 year old nephew Alex was there too - it is so hard to believe how much time has past since he was a munchkin too - time goes by so fast - so I guess I better enjoy the ride while I am here.

Have a good night! I am contemplating watching Lost for the first time tonight - it is the series finale!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Top of the List.....

So I have realized that the more often I blog, the more often my blog will appear at the top of the list of blogs Cre8tive Quilter follows. Since I am an uber competitive person I have decided that I need to blog my fingers off so I can always be at the top. This fleeting thought, in reality will be over by tomorrow and I will fall farther down the list - but for tonight - at least for the next few minutes - I will be at the top.

I have started my journey into paper piecing - the 140 blocks for Sylvia's Bridal - and the picture above is the first four. I finished the Chinese coins block tonight. Only 12 more blocks until I am caught up with the rest of the group. I still haven't quite gotten the rhythm down - from the cutting, the pressing, the folding back and the sewing - I just always seem to fumble. I am hoping that by about block 20 I will find some kind of rhythm. Jen makes it look so easy!

Next up on the skills to learn - English paper piecing. So I have officially uploaded 2 pictures from my camera - I think I might be able to officially cross one of my goals off my list! Can't wait to tackle the rest.

For right now, I will settle for being at the top of the list.......

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goal #10......

is accomplished.

I recently posted a list of goals for the upcoming year and I tried to accomplish goal #10 - "Learn how to down load the pictures from my camera onto my blog - if I can't boil an egg - I don't know how I will be able to accomplish this - I will probably not get around to this until February or March......."

Well, here it is. I finished a quilt top for a design called "Peaches and Dreams" out of scraps that Jen and Linda gave me. Initially, Jen gave me a bag of scraps from all of her projects with the 3 Sisters line "Chocolat" by Moda several months ago. I cut the fabric up before retreat and at reteat, Linda was working with the same frabric from a Moda University quilt. She gave me some scraps as well - and the final project turned out quite nicely. Between scrounging for the scraps and recycling fabric from a curtain valence that my mom made that she did not like and put back into her stash - I spent only about $25 dollars on this quilt - not including the back.

So I am well on my way to completing May's goal of one quilting project and uploading a picture to my blog. Wooo whoo - I am getting to be a little more techno savy every day.
Next blog - pictures of my trip to Mexico. Hasta la vista!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Two for one.....

Two posts in one day??? What???? I just had to blog about the retreat this past weekend. We had a great weekend, but I was really wondering ..... Is there any such thing as "quilt ettiquette"? I know it is taboo to use other people's tools without asking - like the all revered rotary cutter but what about other things?

What are the rules for quilting in groups? I am picturing Amish women (in my head they are the founding mothers of quilt retreats) all gathered around the quilting frame - do they have the same issues we do in groups? I am guessing that they do not have the issue of the super industrial commercial iron blowing the fuse, over and over and over - yes Julie I am talking about you (this was a great laugh this weekend -so thanks for the entertainment) - but do they have other issues?

Do the Amish women talk about their husbands - certainly they don't complain about having to watch football or the NASCAR race every sunday - but do they spend too much time in the barn - their own version of the man cave or spend too much time working on the horse and buggy?

I already know one rule - in my head at least - there is no crying in quilting - it is an homage to Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own - but I need to come up with others.

The retreat was so much fun this past weekend - but like with all gatherings - it had some small glitches (that's glitches - not bitches).

Here are my rules for retreats.... next year I am going to make the attendees sign a contract that states they agree to the following rules.....

1) Never ever leave your wing man. We all have the friends we are closer to and naturally gravitate to - but when you have to sit next to Nancy Know It All - never ever leave her alone.

2) Have a code word with your wing man - if you get bothered or want to go postal - it is nice to have a phrase to let your wing man know what you are feeling

3) If you can't carry it - you have no business bringing it. My motto for traveling is if I can't carry my suitcase - I have no business packing it. Asking people to carry things for you - is muy annoying. And no - I don't mean carrying my mom's suitcase or machine or my friend's mom's gear - these are my job - I am the porter upon arrival - but others people's stuff - not in the cards

4) Don't go to Mr. Pancake in April - it ain't open. Don't eat at Country Kitchen either - while it was fantastic as a kid - now, not so much

5) Try to go to at least one quilt shop every trip - it is nice to get out of the house for awhile.....

6) Cheetos - not a quilt friendly snack - who wants orange crumbs on your fabric - but the baked ones are oh so good.....

7) Silence is golden - for some of the time.... The rule should be..... sew a little, talk a little, repeat, repeat, repeat. Not talk, talk, interrupt, bud in, talk, talk, sew, sew, press, repeat, repeat, repeat. For the health and criminal record of all people involved - shut your pie hole some of the time...... we go on retreat to get away from the constant nagging and commotion at home - we don't need it all weekend.

8) Only go to locations where alcohol is allowed - if you have to deal with number seven - a slight buzz makes it a little better.

9) Take a group photo - we didn't do this ......

10) Remember to behave - any one of us can be voted out of the tribe and kicked off the island - we don't want to be the one that people are talking about the whole next year - we don't want to be the Jill Junior of the group (and no I haven't changed the name to protect the innocent)

I did have a great time - I loved spending time with sister and mom - it was great to see my mom getting back into quilting after her stroke. I had to fight back tears after putting her blocks up on the design wall. It just made me think how fast things can change and how lucky we are to have great friends and family that want to spend time with us.

To everyone that attended the retreat..... thank you for the laughs and memories - I am already wanting to plan next year!

Today is like New Year's for me.....

So today is my birthday and I feel like it is actually the second New Year's day of the year. Whenever it is my birthday, I always think about the things I want to do in the upcoming year. I am sure I did this last year, but as I didn't write them down, I don't remember what I wanted to accomplish. So, this year I will write them down - forever in cyber space and hopefully have a fabulous year reaching my gioals. Some are already in the works - but need to be accomplished or finnished - so here goes.......

1) Take a vacation - alright, I know what you are thinking - I already do this alot - but it never hurts to have something to look forward to
2) Complete a 150 mile bike race - barring any injury or sudden cardiac arrest during the ride - this should be accomplished in July
3) Climb a mountain - there is a very small one in Lapham Park - called Lapham Peak - it does sound impressive to have this as a goal though - won't it be cool to tell people that I climbed a mountain - they don't need to know how small it was
4) Listen to an audio book - I am strongly opposed to audio books - it is like voting for the opposite political party - I love turning the pages of books - but in the spirit of bipartisanship - I am willing to go across the aisle and at least try something new. I think I should try listening to my favorite book - Memoirs of a Geisha - on audio. Maybe I could listen to the books I already read - hopefully I can find all of Jane Austen's books on audio - she like me, loves the happy ending
5) Lose 25 pounds - hopefully training for my 150 will help reach this goal
6)Complete at least one triathalon this summer - the thought of getting back into the pool is only less scary than the thought of me on a treadmill - I am definitely not a graceful runner.
7) Read a book a month - I have about 25 waiting for me to read
8) Finish one quilt project a month - hopefully this will be doable.
9) Actually use the cook books I have at least once a month - I have to call my mom everytime I need to boil an egg - I can bake beautiful cakes - but boil an egg? How could I handle something so complicated.
10) Learn how to down load the pictures from my camera onto my blog - if I can't boil an egg - I don't know how I will be able to accomplish this - I will probably not get around to this until February or March.......
11) Find all the barn quilts in Wisconsin in person - I won't jump to the dark side of making the blocks - but I love driving and finding them - there is nothing better than a map, a car and list to check things off of - it is like my very own scavenger hunt - Layfayette County - here we come

Unfortunately 1 day down, 364 to go - no goals accomplished ..... YET!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Life as I know has ceased to exist......

Ok - in the grand scheme of things - it hasn't. But have you ever had one of those moments when you completely change the way you look at things - or the way you believe in things? I had one of the moments last week. My earth shattering experience is the equivalent to finding out that Santa Claus doesn't exist or that Daniel Craig had a body double in Casino Royale - it just can't be.

So anyone who knows me knows a few key points about me. I love Disney World, I love happy endings, tiaras rule and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Phantom of the Opera. I have seen it three times in Milwaukee, dragged my dutiful friend Gina to the cliff notes, drive through version in Las Vegas, have the CD and have the movie version permanently recorded on my DVR where I often fast forward through just to listen to the songs. I love the music, the costumes and the romance between Christine and Raoul.

So here's my beef...

Andrew Lloyd Weber (ALW) decided to create a sequel. At first I was ecstatic - I couldn't wait! But then like anything I see or watch - I had to know the ending - so I looked up the sequel on Wikipedia. Now to refresh everyone's memory about the first show - the Phantom is mad in love with Christine and kills at least two people in the first production to show his love for her. Apparently ALW was never happy with how the first ended - that Christine did not end up with the phantom. So he decides to write a new production with a completely different story line.

Without giving away the plot - I will say that the new production creates a story line where the Phantom and Christine have been in love since the beginning and Christine loves the phantom more than her husband, Raoul.

ALW has now shattered everything I love about the show and the movie. It's like finding out Ross and Rachel get divorced in the Friends reunion show 10 years from now. UGH!!!

He has turned Christine into the modern day version of one of those women who marries her prisoner pen pal husband - the kind that meets her husband after he has been sent to prison. I don't get why ALW would think a murdering, psychpath would be even remotely attractive to a woman. Although I am currently looking for Mr. Right - I can say that the criminally charged and incarcerated in one population I don't think I am willing to tap.

I just don't know if I can ever listen to the music the same way again. I guess I am going to have to learn to love Wicked even more than I do - as to usurp the place of prominance Phantom had!