Saturday, June 19, 2010


Can I ask you guys a question?

I have a quilt that I started a while back and as I have finishitis (defined as the inability to finish anything, usually a craft, undertaken by a "startaholic"), it has languished in its bag, waiting for me to get back to it.  I WILL get back to it, but here is my dilemma:

Our house is small.  We are a messy, part-human, part-canine crew of muddy-foot-bearing creatures.  We leave things on the floor (some of us more than others), we drag things around, we are not careful with our belongings.

I use the terms "we" and "our" lightly, here. 

My question is this: is this quilt going to get destroyed?  Probably.  Will I be angry when that happens?  Probably.  Should I sell it to make some extra money?  Wouldn't hurt.

So, I need to know, Interwebs.  If this quilt is your style, how much would YOU pay for it, hypothetically speaking?  I need to decide what to do with it before I continue putting all sorts of energy into it.

Looking at it now, I fall in love with it, all over again.  Then I get a vision of a dog claw ripping a huge tear in it or all the white patches getting stained with rust-coloured dirty paw prints (yes, my poochachos are allowed up on the bed and no, that's not going to change) and it breaks my heart, a little bit.

Am I crazy to sell this?  Wood will say yes, but I want to know what the rest of you think.  I trust your opinion, as you OBVIOUSLY have great taste (in blogs).  HA!

So, keep and protect with my life and become somewhat obsessive about it or sell and pocket the cash?  And how much would I even get for it, if I did sell it?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just about almost there.

Just a few more days, I think:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This week can go and suck it.

Monday?  It can go and suck it.

Tuesday (aka: The New "Monday")?  IT can go and suck it.

Wednesday?  Well, ok, maybe Wednesday doesn't have to suck it.

Thursday?  Thursday, you are the epitome of suckage.  You can take your crappy "problems-without-solutions", your "Here's a fun job for you: I need you to call this guy and tear him a new one 'cause he's not doing his job", your "I'm not going to be able to meet your deadline because I don't have my shiz together" and your "psychotic-contractor-on-a-murderous-rampage-because-he-is-crazy-and-obviously-has-a-problem-taking-orders-from-chicks" telephone calls and you can go and SUCK IT.


This is what I'm talking about:

Ignore the adorable dog, Champion of the Fetch.  Ignore the Crocs.  Ignore the AWESOME socks.  Look at the screened-in gazebo structure on the left.  You see that?  That's less than a year old.  That is the only thing that allows us to enjoy the outdoors during the summer.

Add some Tuesday to the mix and what do you have?

Tuesday was a little breezy, apparently.  And that *thing* actually landed on my new ornamental grasses, nearly killing them in the process (the plants cost almost as much as the structure).

Do you see what I'm saying, people?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Front porch redux

Before (taken last year or the year before):

No, wait.  We need the proper perspective.  Here's the before-before.  The Beforer:

This was taken in August of 2006, the day we took possession.  There was grass growing in the eavestroughs ("gutters" to you non-Canadians).  That's a dying rose bush beside the front stoop.  The driveway dominated the front yard and there was absolutely no landscaping to speak of.  Just a whole lotta grass to mow.  Particularly ugly grass (not a lover of lawn, over here).

So, we chopped up the existing front stoop for temporary re-use, replaced the roof, painted the whole kit and kaboodle, started landscaping, ripped up the interior (notice I didn't say "redid the interior" - that project is still pending...ugh), replaced the front door, ripped off the side addition (not visible from this angle), etc.

Here was our status, a few weeks ago - before we started this project:

The During:

During, Part II:

Other side:

During, Part III:

And the Grand Finale:

Yes, it does seem that the bottom step has settled a bit in the intervening weeks and is listing off to the left, but at this point, I really don't care.  I'm so exhausted and sore that I can barely type.  Do you have any idea how much dirt is in those boxes?  Even with the rocks and old chunks of sod we piled in the bottoms, they probably represent 20 wheel-barrow-fulls of dirt.  And guess what?  Our topsoil here is not very well-suited for this type of planter, so we were advised by an experienced local gardener to use different types of compost instead. 

You know what that means?  We had to sift it all.  In a home-made wooden frame with metal mesh on the bottom, like a giant colander.  All 20 wheel-barrow loads.  Two shovel-fulls at a time.  All told, it took somewhere in the neighbourhood of 14 man-hours to do, over two weekends.  My hands and back are killing me.

So, if anyone tells me that they don't like my planters, I will throttle them.  Just not right now.  I'll wait until I regain sensation in my fingers, first.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dear Lori

Dear Lori,

You suck.

Why, you ask?  Really?  You have to ask why?  I think you know why.

You have betrayed me.  You, my "friend", have stolen my love.  The apple of my eye.  That which I hold dear.  And the worst part of it all is, the two of you seem to be happier together than she and I ever were.  I am wounded.  You have both cut me so deep,  I can barely speak of it (snort - yeah right).

This photo is proof of the betrayal.  Yes, I have stolen it from your blog.  Yes, I am re-posting on my own blog without your permission.  I make no apologies.  This is simply retaliation.  All's fair, etc. 

You see, that was MY sweater.  I was knitting it.  In teal green.  In fact, I had it all knitted and sewn up before it became clear that we were not meant to be.  I could see the truth plain as day, but it doesn't mean that I felt no pain while frogging and winding her back into luscious balls of merino.  I loved her, dammit!  I'll never forget the day I first saw her photograph, in the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits - it truly was love at first site.  Alas, our love was not to last.  Sadly, she made me look like a bus and so we had to part ways.  It truly was for the best.

But did you have to go and make her fall in love with you?  Friends just don't do that to friends!  Where her blouse-y sleeves and rolled placket made me look like the Michelin Man, they merely emphasize your delicate proportions.  Where she made me look short and stumpy, she makes you look tall and lovely and *gasp* WILLOWY!  To add insult to injury, you've gone and knit her up in some of my favourite colours of Belfast Mini Mills yarn - the ones that remind me of Van Gogh and wheat fields.



I don't understand it.  You sit there, eating french fries and still, your slim figure is not affected!  This is simply obscene.  I sit here with my salad (and ok, cream of mushroom soup made with butter and full-fat cream, but c'mon, it's vegetables - how fattening can it be?) and I suffer in bus-like agony.  It is beyond what is fair and just.  I shall not stand for this.  RESTITUTION MUST BE MADE!

Also, MUST YOU FLAUNT THE DIMPLES?  Is it not enough that I am shivering and cold (being cardigan-less and all) that you must rub my face in your adorable-ness?  Am I to be completely robbed of dignity?

In parting, I must insist that you allow me to visit my your (whatever) beloved sweater and admire her in person, at least one time before you whisk her out of my life completely (that, and you must invite me for supper on a night when your husband is making his famous Pad Thai).  I fear that without this courtesy, our friendship is at stake.

I stoically await your reply.


PS:  Since WHEN is your 5-year-old the second coming of Annie Leibovitz?  I am thoroughly disgusted.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Huh. Cool.

I don't have a fancy sewing machine.  It was a birthday gift....7...8...years ago (geez, it makes me feel old when I can't remember how many years it's been since college).  My husband bought it for me at Sears and it was probably in the $200 range.  It's a Singer it has all of 5 different stitch options.

Simple.  Un-screwupable.  I can thread it in my sleep.

I've never really tried to do much with it, experiment-wise (though it HAS made a wedding dress):

 It has served me well but lately I've been feeling the itch to try some new stuff with it.  Like how about sewing my own yoga gear?  Or what about pin tucks and smocking?  More top stitching, for sure.

And then tonight, I read this article on using a double needle.

Hmmmm.  Vewy vewy eentewesting.