Quick Shot Post

I’m sitting down to write this – just to try to remember how to write a blog post. It’s been that long. There are numerous reasons for my delinquency, but one of the big ones has to be the fact that I’m not happy with the “theme” that I’m using. Several times I’ve tried to find something new that I like, but thus far I’ve been unsuccessful. I think I need to just try a few on for size, so watch for some new looks. Don’t expect much for content until I find something that I love. Promises, promises, promises.

Adding photos is also a bit more tedious since I moved my photo library to an external drive. Unfortunately my computer and my external hard drive aren’t always in the same room – a problem I need to work out.

Well, the good news is that I still remember how to type. That’s got to be worth something, right? Now to test my ability to add photos… of course, the only ones I have at hand on my computer of photos of Kush the cat.

Great – I can’t remember how to add a photo to the heading on this theme. Can’t see/remember where to add categories or tags. I definitely have some work ahead. Stay tuned as I try to get back into the wonderful world of blogging!

Open Studios and Winter Art Sale

Today and tomorrow I’m taking part in this event. If you’re in the Calgary area, please drop by!

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Admittedly I don’t have much left to sell, but it’s a great opportunity to see where a number of wonderful artists work and there will be loads of their work for sale. Hope to see you there!

quilt love

quilt pileFor the past year I have made quilts. I should clarify that. Before last year I had made a total of about 7 quilts, even though I’ve always been a quilter. A slow quilter but a quilter non the less. I decided that now I should make quilts 6 at a time, because you can’t hope to use up a fabric stash sewing them one at a time! Each set of 6 quilts are a series, with the same basic construction format. Of all the 96 blocks involved in making my 6 quilts, none of them are the same. I use a production method of doing lots of one thing at a time, in hopes that I can work efficiently. That means I cut strips of fabric (lots of them) and sort them by colour value before I start any sewing. I cut all the center blocks for the quilts, and then work on sewing 100 blocks. I will need 96 but have spares so that I can play with their arrangement. Once I have completed and arranged the blocks, I sew them together, creating the centres of the quilts. Then one by one I work on the borders. I like to include a border of “home make striped fabric” that I have created from sewing strips together to create yardage, and then cutting that fabric apart. If that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry. Most of what I do doesn’t make sense to many people. Here are some photos of the work in progress on series 3. I always get help from my trusty assistant, Kush.starting quilt blocks my assistant assembly line sewing block construction comfy blocks almost finished blocksI lay out the completed blocks to arrange them. This process could go on for days, so I try to set a time limit and work within that.finished blocks arranging quilt blocksHere are the finished quilts from my first series, along with a few details.quilt 1 quilt 2 quilt 3 quilt 4 quilt 5 quilt 6 quilt detail detail with printing quilt detailMy good friend Catherine took the first and the last nine photos. I’m grateful for her time and talent which will help me to keep clean images of my work. I have my second series away being quilted now, and I’m almost finished the tops for the third series. Feels good!

Computer Issues

We all have them now and again, but that doesn’t lessen the world of frustration felt when programs aren’t behaving the way that they should. Last week I lost access to my photo program (Aperture) and my word processor (Pages). Both problems experienced “errors” while they were updating and would not open because in theory they were still updating. Insert scream and mild hair pulling. I wasn’t worried about losing my data. I assumed that the program and the data included were hopefully stored separately. I thought that perhaps I should just delete both programs and reload them, but that sounded a little too drastic for me to follow through on without confirmation. In order to obtain that confirmation, I booked an appointment at the genius bar at the Apple store. I know there are a lot of jokes about being a “genius” at the Apple store, but for my money – that’s exactly what they are. Fricking geniuses. In my 15 minute appointment I was able to get my problems resolved and learn a little more about my computer with time to spare. What’s that if not genius?

I should point out that without access to my photos I felt like I had lost an arm or something equally valuable. So, I am now a happy camper. I was anxious to work on my blog, but without photos I didn’t think it was worth posting. I never have anything that fascinating to say – I need the visual enhancement of photos. I was panicking because I couldn’t take part in the weekly photo challenge, but then decided that the theme this week – eerie – didn’t really appeal to me. Take a look – there are some great responses to the challenge. Just don’t waste your time looking for mine.

We’ve had some renovations going on in our basement, largely because of water damage during heavy rains in June. I decided that enough is enough – the problem needed to be dealt with. Apparently our house sits on a street with a high water table, even though we are on the top of a bluff above the river. We already had 3 small sump pumps installed, but obviously they were inadequate. On the recommendation of a friend, I called a company who dug up the concrete basement floor to expose the footings. Then a trough was installed, leading to a new giant sump pump. You can tell it’s a giant because it has 3 motors and a battery back up that is larger than a car battery. Unfortuately, this was installed in the adjoining guest room – practically in the middle of the room. In order to fit a bed into the room, we had to reconfigure, tear out the closet and build a cabinet unit to hide the pump. Oh, did I mention that the basement systems people chopped out the bottom 2′ of drywall everywhere that they worked? We’ve been in a real mess trying to get everything repaired and put back together. Yesterday we installed new carpet in the bedroom. I chose carpet tiles from a company called FLOR. This particular pattern is totally random. I love it. The yellow bit shows the wall color.new carpet tilesI’m hopeful that the ceiling will get a last coat of paint today, and then I can start to gradually move things into the room. Unfortunately I’ll have to stuff it to the ceiling because we need to empty the adjoining family room to finish work there. The fun never ends!

Winter has arrived, or at least the first big dump of snow. This coincides perfectly with the new roof that is being installed on our house. I believe the work started 2 days before the snow arrived. But never fear, a little snow is not enough to stop outdoor work in Calgary. As the stomping and hammering and goodness knows what else continues over my head, our roof work continues.roof work continuesThe work in the back yard does seem to be on hold just now, but I’m sure there will be some action there once more of the snow has disappeared. I’m sure of it. I’m sure of it. I’m sure of it. Here’s the view from my studio.back yard

Hopefully the next time I post yard photos you’ll actually be able to see what’s going on!

P.S. There is work going on in the back yard right now. How’s that for the power of positive thinking? Also a huge blue plastic tarp just went up past my window – good to know I’ve got interim coverage from the weather!