Welcome, Fall!

Now, I don’t even want to think how long it’s been since my last post.

Never fear! I have loads of fabulous excuses  (hm…) reasons, I mean, why I haven’t been around or have updated my blog lately.

I guess I should start at the beginning. In May, my family finally decided on where and when we were all meeting up for a family reunion in August. Since DH was coming with me, we decided Newport, RI, where my older sister M went to college but none of us had visit in about 10 years and DH had never been. Everything was set up and we bought our tickets from SFO to RI while my family planned on driving up from PA (about 6 hours.) DH and I would have driven too if it was at all possible – because flying sucks. Unless you can afford first class.

Around this time, my oldest and dearest friend decided that it was finally time for her to visit me in CA. I mean, I’ve only lived here for 13 years so you don’t want to rush these decisions right? She told me she was committed and booked her flights for September within two days of our my recent “I’m thinking about visiting conversations”. All well and good… but -

Recently (you know, this past spring? Remember that? I barely do…), I mentioned that DH and I were house hunting. Here in CA, the whole house buying process has been crazy. As of July, we’d been looking for over a year and had bid on four different homes. We lost out on three and pulled out of the third while negotiations between our realtor, sellers’ realtor and another interested party.  We were just about to take a breather when we found a two homes we liked and another our relator suggested we tour. So we did. It wasn’t love at first sight but we liked the layout and the neighborhood seemed great… The kitchen was eh but with appliances would be liveable for a few years. So, we submitted bid #5 in the never-ending house hunt search.

Unbelievably (or maybe predictably, since we were getting close to vacation), we got it. We had one day to decide if we wanted it because the house was scheduled to hit the market with its realtors’ open house the next day. Ack. We debated for hours and then figured what the hell and said Yes!

Then we started the craziness that is inspections and all that fun stuff. Luckily, everyone said the house (built in the 60s) was solid. No issues except a very dirty chimney that took two cleanings to get passed by the assessor.

We left for vacation with my family in Newport while the paper work for the mortgage was still going through. We had sent everything the mortgage broker requested but still found several requests waiting for us when we got home for additional stuff. Talk about added stress.

We finally closed on the house the day before my birthday. And I got the keys the same day, Aug. 21! Of course, the key wouldn’t work because there wasn’t enough drama with the whole process. DH finally jimmied the door where we found the latch wasn’t a nice clean circle, more like a mashed oval so we did some quick maintenance on that so we could get back in the next day and headed home.

The end of August was figuring out paint colors and actually painting (with lots of help from my mother in law) before I started packing the apartment so we could move in September. Once we were officially in the house, I had to clean the apartment so we could get our deposit back. DH’s parents came down to help. Then I had to unpack everything so my friend M wouldn’t have to worry that stacks of boxes might land on her while she was sleeping. Her flight arrived a week after we moved. No pressure or anything.

Luckily, she had a great time doing the SF tourist thing and I managed to finish her quilt before we moved… although I need to fix a few spots that frayed when I washed it.

So, now that life is settled in a bit and we’re back to just us. Now, if I could only find an interesting part time job. Ah well.

Off I go to finish the laundry.

Back again.

I haven’t done anything to exciting. I just lost track of time and found myself a bit behind for no reason at all.

I finished piecing my quilt backing together… but I forget the names of the fabric I used… Then I got a really bad sinus infection and spent a week or so just sitting on the couch wishing I could breathe and taste food.

Then back to quilting once I felt better…

I used some leftover fabric pieces to try to free motion quilting. Ha. Not as easy as people make it look so I’ve decided to stick with wavy lines. I used some extra triangle rows from the quilt top to practice and see if I could make the lines wavy without making them too uniform. It went better than I expected. Not perfect, but much better results than the free motion quilting idea.

I laid everything out and started pinning it all together. After spending far too long on the floor, I realized the backing had shifted and I didn’t have enough at the top of the quilt and had to unpin all my work. Sigh.

I haven’t re-basted the quilt yet because when I rearranged furniture for floor space, I noticed a wet spot on the dishwasher cabinet. Luckily, maintenance came yesterday and switched out the dishwasher for a new one. It was leaking through the door… even with a new door gasket. The maintenance guy said he’d never seen a leak like that in his career. We’re lucky people, I guess.

So, the plan is to have DH help me layout the quilt pieces tomorrow or Friday while he’s off so I can maybe avoid the problems I had last week. Fingers crossed.

 

Still working.

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I’ve been working away on my second quilt. After sewing three rows of triangles together I realized that I needed to break them up a little or the quilt would look really bad due to my inaccurate cutting. I couldn’t save the points on most of the triangles but it looked better with a barrier so I added gray stripes between the rows. It seems to be helping. The quilt is far from perfect but I don’t hate it any longer, which I take as a positive step forward. I’ve got the fabric for the backing but I need to get some batting because the quilt ended up longer than I expected once I added the borders.

All for now.

Back again.

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A work-in-progress.. that is churning in place.

DH and I took a little last minute trip to Disneyland at the end of April. He had just finished a bunch of big stuff at work and was feeling really stressed. So much so that he actually said he wanted to change careers. (He’s always loved his work.) So, after talking to his Senior Manager, who freaked out when DH told him how unhappy he was, he got some things reworked and was told to take a few days to recharge. Awesome.

Last week, we were back home. DH back to work much happier than he had been just the week before. Nothing about his job has changed much officially but he and his managers have discussed moving him to another project or just cutting what he’s in charge of. We’ll see what the future brings.

As for me, I was still trying to figure out what to do with my quilt project. I got the various rows completed last week but have been hm-hawing about what I want to do next. Borders? No Borders? Gray? No Gray? So, I’m leaning towards borders, a thin white one and a dark purple because it doesn’t seem big enough to snuggle in to read a book. Maybe I’m just weird (Our couch blanket is King Size because DH says I don’t share well). Still don’t know about the gray.

Project on hold.

ImageWell, I got all my pieces cut out and started sewing them together. It only took two rows to know that I miscalculated the amount of triangles needed and I was going to need more fabric. Sigh. I went ahead and sewed the triangles into pairs and ordered more fabric yesterday, which I’m hoping might come tomorrow and I can get back to working on this. I expect lots of cutting in a my future. And I thought I was done with the bit. Ah well.

Further proof that I am far from perfect.

Since I had the extra time, I spent yesterday doing my Weekly album. I had stopped halfway through Week 11 (March 10 to 16, I go Monday through Sunday to keep the weekends together). I’m happy to say that I got it all caught up yesterday. A few weeks only had enough pictures for a single spread so I’m sure that was part of the reason why I got done so fast. Today, I spent catching up my photoblog. Again, missing more pictures than I would like. I’ve fallen off the “daily photo” habit.

New Project.

I’ve been working on getting stuff started/done that I have been putting off from fear of messing them. So far, I haven’t had any disasters with any of my projects. My current project is a quilt that I have wanted to make for most of last year. I even bought the fabric during a sale right before Christmas. So it’s only took me until the last day of March to get started. I have to say that’s better than my other neglected projects.

 

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Fat quarter stack before I cut into it.

I have all the pieces cut out (I think) and started playing with the layout yesterday. I’m still not sure what the final design will be but I’m not stressing too much over it.

Action cutting shot.

Cutting set up.

I’ll be laying out the pieces again (I had them on the living room floor, only spot big enough) after I get my Easter cards made for family and friends.

Birthday card.

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Sister M’s birthday card

My older sister M turned 39 on Tuesday so I made her this card (above). Pattern paper, kraft card from Paper Source. Flower I made by inking over ugly patterned Prima flowers and stacking them together with a brad. Stamps (“happy”) from Michaels, Stickers (“birthday”) from BasicGray. Envelope made from a Paper Source shopping bag because I didn’t have any in the size I needed.

We also sent flowers to her job and a present to my mom’s house (since someone is usually there during the day).