Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life returns to normal, whatever that is

Commencement is done and the in-laws have returned to their respective homes. I did a bump on a log imitation for a week before I finally had enough energy to get up and move. It's really embarrassing to have 70 year old relatives exhaust you from running around. That's ok though, it was even more embarrassing in May when my 82 year old grandmother was leaving me in the dust.

One of the first things I did after the family left was to set my sewing machine up to continue with the thread embroidery. I had put it away and JR moved my sewing table out into the shed for the duration of the visit so that we'd have enough room in the living room for everyone to sit down. It was an odd experience to not have my machine right there. In fact, within 24 hours of it being put up, I felt like I was missing something very important.

Mind you, I don't even sew every day. I plain and simply can't do it. But there's a big difference between, "Maybe I'll feel up to it this afternoon." and "OMG! IT'S NOT THERE! AUUUUGH!" Yes indeedy, I was having my own personal version of the Charlie Brown scream.

The machine got put back in the little shrine of a sewing area I have in the living room. I threaded it and set it up to start back on the thread embroidery. Then I got out the house block and started looking for spots that I needed to touch up. At first I was torn, how was I going to visibly but non-permanently mark the spots I needed to work on? Then I had an epiphany.

Painter's tape

I love painter's tape for a variety of reasons and very few of them have to do with painting. I put it on the wall before I put up double stick tape to mount a bulletin board or coat hook so that if some day I wish to move things around, I can take off the adhesive without removing a chunk of wall with it. I wish I could claim I thought of this handy trick but the truth is I saw it on some home dec show years ago.

The cool thing about painter's tape is that the adhesive is very lightweight so that it doesn't leave a residue when you peel it off. That's why painters use it. It allows them to paint something and when they have to paint in another color up to the edge of the first color, they can protect the work they've already done.

The house block ended up with a bajillion little pieces of painter's tape all over the foliage section.
I had already gotten a bunch of areas fixed by the time I took this picture, but I thought folks would get a kick out of seeing it anyway. Here's a closeup:
Yes, that is a pin you see securing the tape. The tape wasn't going to stick for more than an hour or two without help. I'm sure you're now wondering "why not just use the pin to mark the spot?" I'll tell you why, dear readers. Because I stabbed myself waaaay too many times 'cause I couldn't see the stinking pins! Thus, the big blob of tape was my way to tell myself "Watch hands! Sharp pointy things are right here!" I still stab myself, but not as frequently.

After I finished touching up the foliage above the house, I started working on painting the foliage at the base of the house. Once that's done, then I'll work on the foliage framing the whole block, then paint the house itself. Then I have fish to paint and then! excitement! excitement! I get to start drafting the Mariner's Compass blocks that will fill the corners of the quilt. Once the Mariner's Compass blocks are done, I'll be putting all the blocks together with some borders and then finally! quilting the whole thing. I have no idea how long it'll take me, but I'm still learning and having fun with it. This will though, be my very last comission. Ever. If I agree to take a commission ever again, please have me hauled away to the funny farm. I believe my father's words when I told him I'd accepted the commission was, "God, you're nuts!" My husband's reaction was somewhat similar though less politely phrased. Ahem.

Idle hands are well, boring

As you might have guessed, I don't do well without having something to do with my hands at almost all times. I've found I tend to scratch a lot more, which is bad for anyone but especially bad if you have ichthyosis. Also I tend to get real twitchy. Thus, while the in-laws were here I did some more knitting and a little bit of tatting.

I didn't finish anything but I had fun playing with yarn. In fact, I was having so much fun that I recently volunteered to test a pattern for someone on Ravelry.
Sheila asked for volunteers on the Ravelry site so I sent her a message saying something along the lines of, "I could be a tester for newb factor. If I can follow it, anyone can since I'm very new to knitting. I've made a scarf, hat, and dishcloth." So she took me up on it. I'm excited 'cause I'll get a nifty pair of socks out of it.

The tatting is hanging out in its bag in the bedroom where the hubby is sleeping before his graveyard shift tonight, so pics of that today. Sandy, a buddy of mine from my online quilting group, sent me a bunch of old Workbasket magazines. Those things are great because they have tatting, crochet and knitting patterns in them. Sadly, Workbasket stopped being published in the very early 1990's. Fortunately, many people kept their copies. One of those people was Sandy's mom. Thank you, Sandy's mom! In return I am sending Sandy some tatted motifs for her efforts of digging around 'til she found the stuff and then shipping it off to me. Hopefully I will have pictures soon.

Until then, be safe and do stuff that makes you happy. Hopefully the two aren't mutually exclusive!