It’s Monday?

I don’t know why, but I woke up thinking that today was Friday!  I guess to me, every day is now Friday — so full of promise.  No extreme depression about having to drag myself back into that office!  Yeah!!  Thank goodness the Mac has a little date and day up in the top toolbar, or I’d probably have no idea what day it is.

I guess I should be aware of the date.  There is a quilt show coming up next month in Portland, and I entered a quilt that was not quilted yet.  Our guild is the featured guild, and so they were encouraging us all to enter, so I went to the show website and looked up the date for quilts to be delivered for the show.  I checked my calendar and yep!  There was a slot in there for me, a week and a half before deadline, so I went for it.  What I didn’t realize was, all of our guild quilts are supposed to go up together, and they are leaving on Wednesday.  The quilt is on the frame, I can probably get it quilted by Wednesday (although it would be rushed and I’d like to take my time with a show quilt) but I surely will not have it bound, labeled and sleeved by then.  I emailed our guild coordinator this morning and let her know if Wednesday is my absolute deadline, I’ll have to withdraw the quilt from the show.  Thing is, I have to go to Portland on Friday (where the quilt drop-off is) and I’m certain I could be all done by then.  I think I’ll call the show people and ask if they would still accept it, especially since the final due date isn’t till next Wednesday.

I’m trying something new and top secret on this quilt.  After the show, I’ll post pics.  You can all tell me if you can tell what it is!  Well, I’d best scoot and get that baby quilted.

The hardest part of retirement

Well, I guess there are two things, but they both involve pets.  I have the cutest little schnoodle, Ozzie, who, I’m afraid (wow, look at all those commas!) I’ve made addicted to playing ball.  Since I’m not working, he is certain that my main function is to throw the ball to him in the back yard.  If I’m not up for that, then surely I must be ready to throw the pumpkin or gorilla stuffed toys we have in the house.  It’s a little hard to get work done when the cutest pup in the world looks up at you with those big brown eyes, just so you can see the whites of them appearing like a crescent moon at the bottom.  That “please . . .PLEASE come play with me” look.  So, I play.  Then I leave him out in the back yard to chew on his toys, dip in his kiddie pool, and chase squirrels.  This is fine, until one of the squirrels decides to sit in the tree or at the top of the fence and taunt him unmercifully.  He barks.  Actually, he’s one of those yappy dogs.  ACK!  Not my little baby?  Yes, it’s true.  Now, if that weren’t bad enough, I also have two cats.  One is a hugely fat orange tabby (Otis, Jr.) whose only interest in life is food.  He will wake me, stalk me, try to trip me, and generally hound me until I fill up his kitty bowl.  I try not to keep it full, because I worry about his weight.  My other orange and white tabby (Vincent) lives on love alone.  He really doesn’t care for treats or anything like that — he just wants his belly rubbed . . . oh!  and a little water in the bathtub.  I’ve been letting him drink in there, because if I leave a bowl of water on the kitchen floor, he will dig in it to get the water (the other cat does this too – I should have named them both Bernadette!) and will dump the whole bowl out.  I regularly step in a large puddle of water in the kitchen.  If I put water in the bathtub, and he drinks there, I’m less likely to have a flood in the kitchen.  Vince will let me know if 1) the bathtub has no water, 2) the litterbox is approaching soiled, and 3) that he needs loving. . . right NOW, by howling.  Or is that YEOWLING?  I swear, people passing on the street would think I’m beating a cat with a baseball bat in this house!

So, while retirement is grand, it’s certainly not at all quiet around here.  Still, a noisy, wobbly, ball-toss filled day at home beats a day in the office every single time!

Celebrating every day

I’m so used to complaining, I haven’t really known how to start my blog posts lately!  ;p  Not only am I free to do mostly whatever I want (as long as it doesn’t involve too much money), but we are entering my favorite time of the year.  The days heat up, but in the evening, it cools down nicely.  Nice to sit in the backyard with the dog and a cool drink (non-adult beverages for me these days) and watch the sky turn lovely shades of pink, orange, and purple.  Nature’s magical light show that imbues one with a sense of wonder and awe.  I am so content.  Life is simple; life is about joy and creating.

Today, and for the next few days, I’ll be quilting one of my own quilts.  I was going to get mine done before the one I delivered yesterday, but the owner called and was nervous, so I put hers ahead of mine.  When I dropped it at her office yesterday, she was away until Monday.  Oh well, part of the ebb and flow of everyday life, no?  Although mine is a show quilt, it’s entered in the every day bed custom category, so I will be doing familiar designs, prettying-up a quilt I made just for me.  Stencils and freehand, even though I have the IQ, because at the time I entered it, I didn’t know the IQ would be here, so I entered it in the hand-guided category.  So be it.  It’s nice to keep one’s skills up anyway, not that you don’t still need your skills when using the computer.

It’s supposed to be 90 degrees here today.  Unlike most of the country, we have been blessed with a relatively cool summer.  It has been sunny and lovely, but the temps haven’t gotten much above 85.  For someone like me who is freezing all of the time, the weather has been perfect.  I may actually be warm today.   So, off to play on one of my own quilts.  I’ve not done this in ages!

Have a great day all, and take time to enjoy the magic of summer.

Let’s see . . . where were we?

Or where am I?  HOME!  I quit.  I had planned on August 19th being my last day at the office, but as I was trying to finish up loose ends and prepare files for my replacement, I found I would need some assistance every now and then from the Business Office, or the Dean’s Office, or some other office.  I’d call or email and the basic response was – oh, look that up on our website.  Hello?   I’d worked at the place for nearly 32 years.  I know the website is there.  If I’m calling you, it’s because I can’t find it on the website!!  I had to go to Portland for yet more extensive bloodwork on Thursday, August 4th, and when I got home that afternoon, there was a barrage of emails, all letting me know that I needed to do this, this, this, this, and this . . . with a copy to my replacement in case I didn’t finish all of that by the time she arrived on the 15th.  WHAT?  I had agreed to stay until the 19th so I could do the payroll because I thought no one would be there.  If she was coming on the 15th, she would be there to do the payroll.  Why . . . why oh why oh why  . . .was I hanging in there.  I decided to go in the next day and hand in my letter of resignation, and that is exactly what I did.  So!  I am officially retired.  Prepared to stand on the corner with a sign that says “will quilt for health insurance.”  I may be poor, but I’m free, and that’s all that matters right now.  We’ll worry about the starving artist part later on.

I’ve been bonding with my Intelliquilter.  First quilt up, I got really wild and went with a basic meander.  Kind of like you do when you first get your quilting machine.  I wanted to be sure I could line everything up and get it all straight.  My friend Ellen was in a bind, as she was having machine difficulties and had promised this quilt to a friend on a Sunday.  I picked it up Friday night and whipped it on.  It was done in no time.

Easy peasy!  Yes, I could have done it myself, but to tell you the truth, this thing sews a whole lot faster than I do.  I didn’t even know my machine could run that fast.  Of course, the whole reason I’ve been going to Portland for tests is because I seem to be lacking metabolism, so a snail’s pace seems like the Daytona 500 to me.

So, here we have Eowyn hard at work (yes, we quirky quilters name our machines – well, some of us anyway).

And, we have Aragorn driving (the way it always should have been — Tolkien kept Arwen discreetly in the background, Jackson just made her ridiculous!)

Next up were a couple of quilts for a new customer, Lynne.  She had some cute and fun tops to do:

This had a coffee theme to itThen was the little redwork that needed crosshatching.  I decided to do this one myself instead of trying to set the IQ up to do it for me.  It was just easier to whip out a ruler and have at it.I finished off the border with a little no mark, no spine featherThen I downloaded a turtle pantograph for my friend Joyce’s quilt.  It had the turtles going all in the same direction, and was a bit boring, so I flipped the even rows and skewed it to make it nest a little better.  King Tut Nefertiti on the top, Magna Glide cream bobbinsOne turtle

And a whole herd of turtles on the back

I delivered the turtles quilt this morning and everyone loved it.

In the meanwhile, I’ve taken the dog for a walk every morning, played countless games of ball toss, had my niece help me clean the studio for the IQ install, and then my sewing room, so now I can just walk in, sit down, and sew.  I also assembled the Hemnes sideboard for my studio and made a large pressing surface for the top.It’s great storage, and a 24″ x 64″ surface to press on is great!

On Saturday, my sister and my niece and I went blueberry picking.  We have such tiny berries (NOT) in Oregon that it took forever!  Actually, I picked 12.5 pounds of these babies in about an hour.

Life is beyond fabulous!  I highly recommend retirement.

Did you miss me?

Well, probably not, but here I am again.  I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger!  I’m trying to wrap up work at the UO.  I will not be in the office later than August 19.  Basically staying to do the next payroll and then I am free as a bird!  I got my Intelliquilter installed and I am having the BEST time!  The design possibilities are nearly infinite, and buying new patterns gives nearly instant gratification — you just download them, put them on your USB stick, and load them into the Intelliquilter tablet.  I’m usually a very slow quilter, but I loaded and quilted five quilts in the last week.  Four were done with the Intelliquilter, one was a custom cross-hatch job that I did with my trusty Janet-Lee’s Favorite ruler.  The really good thing is, now that I have nearly all the customer quilts cleared off the decks, I can load a quilt for show!  Nothing really special — it’s entered into the custom bed category, as it won’t be all that fancy.  I entered it in NW Quilt Expo before I knew my IQ was coming, so I entered it as hand-guided quilting.  I guess I’ll just have to do that now.  No way around it.  Still – it’s all good!  I’ve been taking pictures as I go, but haven’t had the time to upload any yet.  I’ll add them in here over the next few days.

Taking Ozzie to the vet in just a bit.  The little booger got into a patch of burdocks in the back yard again and this time got a bunch of them near his eye.  It took me quite a while to get him to relax enough to let me get them all out, but he still is rubbing the eye and there is a bit of goop.  We’re going to go and make sure there is no big cut and protect him against an infection.  Poor little fella.  It sure has not put a crimp in his desire to play ball, however.  He’s lying here panting right now because he’s exhausted from our lunchtime session.