Archive for February, 2010

Batik swap

I received my first package of swap fabrics the other day. Beautiful fabrics and not like the ones I chose. I hope the recipients of my fabrics were not disappointed. After all, the theme this month was “Anything” and according to the swap hostess, mine did qualify (at least she didn’t find them so awful that she had to send them back to me).

Oops, I just went back and read the rules and she’s added a line: “If you sign up for more than one set, at least one of your sets must be a wax print, not a mottled or hand dye.” Guess who that was meant for. Well, you know, I don’t feel bad. This is how she described the swap in general: “We will be only swapping Bali or Island batiks, no Indian batiks, no printed batiks.” and while mine were probably “hand dyes” they were labeled on the bolt as Java something-or-other and the lady in the quilt shop called them Bali Blenders (which I think is a brand name for another fabric company, but oh well, you can see why she and I figured these fabrics would qualify).

Here are the fabrics I received, a nice assortment:

The next swap theme has been posted and it’s called “March Madness.” ┬áThe hostess describes it like this: “Any fabric that is “out there,” kind of crazy, either in pattern or color. Think spirals, confetti, champagne going off, etc.” I went to buy my fabrics on Saturday and I had more difficulties with this. My LQS has a decent assortment of batiks, but “champagne going off?” What the heck does that look like? I settled with “confetti” as I didn’t see any spirals. I don’t know what constitutes a crazy, out-there color so I didn’t try that angle. And I don’t know if my fabrics will actually look like confetti to her, but I was at a loss.

Confetti, anyone?


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What the heck?

Do you watch HGTV? I do. Have for years and years. There’s one show that’s pretty new called “Holmes on Homes.” Mike Holmes is a Canadian builder/contractor/renovator and from the looks of his website, he must be pretty popular up there. His slogan is “Make it Right.”

The premise of the show is that they find people who have hired someone to do a remodel for them (or in some cases are in a brand-new house) and the work was done very shoddily (is that a word?) or not completed at all. To watch these shows, you’d think that there aren’t any capable building contractors in Canada. So Mike comes in, tears up all the work, points out all the crappy workmanship, shortcuts, stuff not built to code, etc. and totally re-does it. He makes it right. He wears these silly-looking overalls all the time, I don’t know if that’s a registered trademark look, but come on Mike, you look like a hick.

But I like the show. I’m curious to know if his work is really as good as it sounds, but it does look good when he’s done. At the end, all the women hug him and they’re happy.

What I’m getting at is the episode that ran Sunday morning. I wasn’t paying attention because I was showering and getting dressed for church, but John pointed out to me at the end a curious thing. Mike and his crew had, for whatever reason, converted a bathtub to a stall shower.

Looks nice, doesn’t it? But if you look closer, you’ll see:

What the heck? Now, he may have explained it at the time they were building it, but we missed that part. It was not mentioned/explained during the “reveal.”

Can you think of any valid reason for this? We can’t.


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Directions FAIL

This is what it’s supposed to say:

1/2 mile south OF CHIPPENHAM at Turner Road

(I looked it up on the map just to be sure)

Imaginary scenario:

The Guy at the Gold Exchange calls up his brother-in-law in some faraway place who fancies himself the master of all things digital and asks him for help making his commercial. Sure, says the brother-in-law. What do you want it to say? The Guy tells him and the brother-in-law writes it all down. The Guy sends the brother-in-law low resolution photos and he makes the commercial in Windows Movie Maker and sends it to HGTV. Keep in mind that the brother-in-law has never been here and he made the commercial just like he heard it over the phone with a bad connection. Because the brother-in-law is so good at what he does, The Guy doesn’t question that his brother-in-law didn’t ask him to proofread it first.

And for those of you who don’t live in Richmond, yes, it’s Hull Street Road. It’s common around here for streets to be named like this.


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Make it stop!

Of course I’m talking about snow. It’s no longer a novelty, it’s a royal pain. I can see why my parents moved to Los Angeles way back when, LOL. My dad, anyway. He’s a Wisconsin native. My mom’s from Arkansas, which does get snow, but probably not like what my dad was used to.

So what do you do when you’re snowed in on yet another weekend? Make a batch of peanut butter cookies, of course! Yum-o!

Since the snow wasn’t showing signs of letting up, I decided to take my camera out into the backyard to see if there was anything new to shoot. Joey went out with me and decided he really does like snow after all. We had to quarantine him to the kitchen so that these funny-looking cotton ball-like balls of snow would melt there rather than all over the rest of the house.

I really like this one. I wonder if it’s worthy of being printed:

If I was any good at retouching, I’d clone out the shepherd’s hook for a nicer composition. I might just try it to see what I can do with it.


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What in the heck is “Lard?” This time I’m picking on channel 8. Oh Richmond, your local news channels are so lacking.


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Batik swap

I signed up to participate in a Batik swap over at the quilting forum on about.com. This is a monthly swap and the first month’s theme is “Anything.”

These are the fabrics I chose:

I’m to cut each yard into 4 fat quarters, keep 1 for myself and send the other 3 to the swap hostess. In turn, she will send me 6 FQs.

But I have a problem. The lighter fabric is terribly off grain. It’s off by 3 inches on one end. If I’m lucky, I’ll get 2 FQs out of it. I can keep the smallest cut for myself but I’m afraid I’m going to have to buy more. There’s no way that I’m going to send fabric that doesn’t absolutely adhere to the rules of the swap. Heaven forbid I should become a swapper not in good standing the first time I try one with this group.

Well, I guess this is a learning experience. Next month, I’ll have the lady at the quilt shop tear the fabric rather than cut it. Will they do that? I hope so. It’s not their fault the fabric is on the bolt that way, but I would hope they’d help me out.


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Snow scenes

Are you tired of snow talk yet? My mother wants to see pictures, so I’ll post them here and my brother can show them to her on his laptop.


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Snowy weekend

We were hit with another snowstorm this past weekend, what’s up with that? That’s the 3rd major snowfall in less than a year. This is Virginia, not Wisconsin. We were forecast to get from 6-12″ with the south side of the river getting hit the hardest. Turns out we got 13″ and in some cases, that was more than what Chesterfield got.

It started snowing Friday night in the wee hours and when I got up about 6am, we’d only gotten about an inch, if even that. So I figured we were probably on track to get the low side of the forecast. But it snowed all day long most times pretty heavy. We stayed in, because I presume just about everything was closed, plus the roads hadn’t been plowed. We don’t have 4WD.

Yesterday was Shovel the Driveway Again Day. When we had the last storm, we had 1 official snow shovel and 1 flat bladed garden spade. While that was better than nothing, it didn’t help reduce the amount of time it took to clear our driveway (John estimates it’s about 180ft long). So when I was off between Christmas and New Year’s, I bought another Official Snow Shovel at Lowe’s not thinking I’d get to use it this soon. I can’t say we made quick work of it, it still took hours, but it had to be better than before.

While we were out front, our neighbor dog, Cranky, came over to visit. His dad was shoveling their driveway so he got to be out and about.

Since Cranky was out, John decided to let Joey out. Joey does NOT like the snow. But he had a blast running back and forth in the tire tracks we cleared like a crazy man.

And they played together.


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