Archive for February, 2009

Weekend wrap-up


(Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, shot at f/3.5, 1/320, ISO200, filters applied in Photoshop CS3)

Saturday was February weigh-in day and I had the best one I’ve had in a long, long time. Down 3.6 pounds! Finally seeing some payoff for hitting the gym several days a week. But more important to me than the actual numbers (although if I have a similar experience with my March weigh-in I may actually be in the range where I can quit paying Weight Watchers every month) is the fact that my pants are looser and I’m getting back into some that I’ve avoided for the past several months.

Saturday afternoon John and I went to Williamsburg to have dinner with one of his cousins whom we hadn’t met before. Now if you think that’s weird, I probably know more of John’s relatives than he does thanks to the 20 years of family research I’ve worked on. Jane is a 2nd cousin, her father and John’s father were 1st cousins. She and I have emailed and talked on the phone, exchanged Christmas cards, but had not met in person. She and her friend Barb are in  Williamsburg this week to attend some seminars and see the Quilted Fashions program at Colonial Williamsburg. She lives in Illinois.

We went early so that we could visit the Williamsburg Antique Mall. That place is huge! We walked around there for close to 2 hours. I’m looking for some things to put in my secretary curio and thought I might start a small antique teapot collection. Or maybe antique cameras. I don’t know. I was surprised at how many cameras the place didn’t have, I think we only saw 2 and neither of them was what I had in mind. I looked at the teapots and didn’t really see any that spoke to me, so we left empty-handed. Probably just as well.

We met Jane and Barb at Bonefish Grill in the New Town shopping center. Everything was yummy! They explained their involvement in Revolutionary War re-enactment, which I openly admitted to not “getting.”  I’ve not been to any re-enactments but have seen pictures and stuff on the news about Civil War events around the area. They say there’s definitely a sub-culture around these things. What John and I were unaware of is that there was Rev War activity (battles) in Indiana. They go to Vincennes, Indiana every Memorial Day weekend for the big Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous. They say it gives them the chance to play dress-up 🙂

And I must say that there really needs to be an “Academy Awards Monday” for the east coast. It’s a good thing I snoozed through most of the show because it didn’t end until the stroke of midnight. And my alarm went off less than 5.5 hours later.


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February project finished!

Shenandoah Autumn, formerly called “Shelly’s Swirling Leaves” is finally completed. 

One thing I’m not (apparently) is a quilt stylist. I didn’t want to take my “ta-da” photo out on the garden bench because at this time of year it’s not very pretty out there. So I tried styling the quilt over a chair in the family room and that was awful. 

Then I draped it over the sofa:


Well, maybe. At least you can see the pattern of the leaves.

Lastly, I tried it on a bed. It’s not queen size, so it doesn’t look it’s best on this bed plus I took the photo at “eye-level.”


At this point, I’m done taking pictures of it. It is what it is.




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I’m a big fan of Flickr and the pools of 365 Self Portraits. Other people’s pictures mind you. I will never commit to taking a photo a day of anything, let alone self-portraits. I just don’t like looking at myself all that much.

But as I was looking through Saralonde’s photostream of self-portraits, I decided it’s time I tried one myself. After all, I bought a wireless remote shutter thingy and I have a tripod and my 50mm f1.4 lens, what am I waiting for? Well for one thing, I need to be alone for this. I’d be too self-conscious even in front of John.

So I was home today and feeling better this afternoon (I was working, okay?) so I set up my gear. Only problem was, I wasn’t completely alone. The dog would not leave me alone. I decided to pose myself on the floor in the living room which is about the only room in this house with good natural light. He thought the remote was a toy or cookie that I was hiding from him, so he was jumping all over me. Good grief!

When he finally settled down, I got a few shots. Some of them were out of focus, not sure why. I put the lens on manual focus. Could that mean I need a prescription change? Probably. In other shots I was partly out of the frame even though I thought I was sitting where I should be.

So here’s what I was left with. I guess they’re ok, although man I sure look old. I guess I’ve been in denial about the beginnings of crepe-y skin on my face and neck. I guess age spots on my hands are next.



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Uh-oh, look what we got

My husband is not an impulse buyer. He has the most self-control with cash (his) of anyone I know. It just doesn’t burn a hole in his pocket like it does mine.

So imagine my surprise when he came home from work the other night with a big box from Amazon. He hadn’t told me he’d ordered anything.

Wii Sports? We’d never even talked about this. John is the gamer in this household, always has been since the days of Space Invaders. I think we’re going to have to move the furniture to accomodate this.

I expect he’ll hook it up this weekend. I’ll keep you posted on my bowling score. 🙂


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Weekend retreat

Erin and I got pedicures Friday afternoon and then headed up to Fredericksburg (VA) for my church’s annual Women’s Retreat. What a great time! This was my 4th retreat, I think, Erin’s first. There were about 50 women this year, the largest crowd of any I’ve been to. So many, in fact, that they had to move the venue from the historic hotel we went to last year, to a brand new Residence Inn. Erin and I had a 2-bedroom, 2-bath suite with kitchenette. It was wonderful.


Saturday lunch was at Pinkadilly Tea. We had an honest-to-goodness tea party, complete with tea cozies, finger sandwiches and frilly hats.
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What a girly-girl thing to do. I bought some of their “Lady Londonderry” tea in the gift shop. Yum!

With wonderful spring-like weather and the company of girlfriends (of all ages), it was a weekend of bonding with my daughter, renewal and relaxation.

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Happy Birthday, Sissy!


Lordy, lordy, look who’s


Yes, I’m a good bit older than my sister, these are some photos I scrounged up out of the old photo albums. The first one is from my 21st birthday, the second was from 1975 when we were bridesmaids in my best friend’s wedding. (That photo had so much color shift I couldn’t do much with it in Photoshop, so I just made it black & white.)



Happy Birthday, Dana! Love you! Wish I could be there to celebrate with you!


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Like JudyL, my trusty Rowenta professional iron has started leaking. crw_3673-75

Unlike Judy though, I haven’t had as many iron woes as she has. I’ve had the Rowenta for close to 10 years I think, so I guess it’s due. My mother gave me her freebie Oreck cordless which I am less than enthused by, so it sits on the shelf in the laundry room, untouched.

Because I’ll be attending Laura Wasilowski’s fusing class at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest, I bought this iron.


Like Judy’s new iron, this one says not to use ordinary tap water or softened water (no problem here) so I guess I’ll need to lug around a bottle of drinking water for it. Because it’s a travel iron, the water tank is über-small so for extended home use, there will be a lot of refilling.

I tested it on the double fold binding I made for “What Was I Thinking?” and it worked just fine. However, after the heft of the Rowenta, this felt like a toy. I don’t know how Sharon Schamber uses one full time (my assumption, as her iron can be seen in her how-to videos and it appears to also be a Black & Decker travel iron).

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UFO progress

Using Sharon Schamber’s method of joining strips for binding, I quickly made the bindings for both the maple leaf quilt (which is going to get a name change before it’s done, by the way) and “What Was I Thinking?”.

My previous method, admittedly not at all efficient, was to lap the two ends at right angles, mark a diagonal pencil line, take them to the sewing machine, stitch. Go back to cutting table, lap the next two ends, lather, rinse, repeat. Etc. etc. etc. Lots of back and forth from the table to the machine. After all were stitched, I’d then trim the seam allowances, press them open and if I was in a really anal mood, I’d trim off the bunny ears.

But Sharon’s glue method was so much faster. I pressed the corner down to get my crease, drew a bead of glue, positioned the next raw edge, pressed. Went on to the next strip. Bam, bam, bam I was done. Took the whole thing to the machine, stitched each one with a short stitch length (1.5), popped the seams open (I think that’s one reason why Sharon uses the shorter stitch length, sometimes you really have to tug to pop and release the fabric from the glue), trimmed the seams and pressed open.

One unexpected benefit, no bunny ears:


Since that went so well, I went ahead and made the binding for “What Was I Thinking?” which will be my March project.


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Groundhog Day and a birthday

Groundhog Day has special meaning for us. In 1996, it was the day the kids and I (and Lizzie the cat) landed in Richmond to begin our new lives here.

6 years later, this little guy was born:


Joey was 11 weeks old when we went down to Charlotte to pick him up from the breeder. He was born on 02/02/2002 and we feel that’s just one reason why he’s such a special little Schnoodle.


Happy Birthday, old man!


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