Thursday, June 28, 2007

back to reality...



Jon and I have been mia lately, partly because of our mission to re-read the first six Harry Potter books before the final book comes out on July 21, and partly due to this lovely little kitty. Thanks to the wonder-drug/cat pheromone, Feliway, and lots of cleaning, we now have a calm cat and our sanity back. Thank goodness for science!





Because we were so obsessed with taking care of the cat and cleaning our house, we both kind of neglected our garden. I went outside to look at it this afternoon and was amazed at how big everything (both plants and weeds) had grown. We really are going to be able to eat lots of veggies later this summer...I can't wait!







And, our flowers are filling in nicely this summer. Some coleus (my favorite):





and big, beautiful hydrangea blooms:







And finally, this afternoon we got our first Thursday edition of the Oakland Press. A few weeks ago I was coerced into buying a 15-week subscription from an amazing adolescent salesman who only needed TWO MORE subscriptions before he won some fabulous prize. I caved under his amazing sales capabilities. He is going to make one excellent car salesmen in the future. This comes as a big disappointment to me because my Persuasion and Propaganda class in college was one of my favorites. I guess I need a refresher course!



Jon, on the other hand, has this amazing ability to avoid any and all forms of door to door salespeople. In less than five seconds, he is able to turn off lights, close blinds and yell our our secret “child-salesperson approaching” codeword to warn me of the impending guilt. Next time I think I'll follow his lead and run and hide when I hear the doorbell ring!



Monday, June 18, 2007

new veggies & funny site



We enjoyed a delicious tossed salad tonight! And the best part was that we were able to eat our first batch of lettuce from our garden. All those back breaking hours of sod lifting and dirt hauling are finally starting to pay off. Looking forward to the beginning of August when everything else should be ripe for picking!





And, one of our tomato plants is starting to bear fruit...it may be small, but it's a great start!





Check out this site...it gives grades to world flags based on their overall design aesthetic...read the methodology first to see the judging criteria and icon key.



Tuesday, June 12, 2007

overheard in the car the other day



"Oh cool....lego ice cube trays! We should get some...they're only $8."



"But you don't like ice."



"Well, I would if it was lego shaped."



Monday, June 11, 2007

good weekend...

...enjoyed lots of relaxing, reading, napping, bike riding, weeding, mulching and festival-going.



We went to the Detroit Festival of the Arts on Saturday for about six hours. First we saw Jon's soon-to-be erhu teacher's band, XD Wei perform. Then we saw the fantastic Wailin' Jennys and Amos Lee perform. The weather was beautiful and the music was delightful! And, of course, there was the kettle corn, oh the yummy kettle corn!





The Wailin' Jennys are worth checking out. I'm pretty sure they've convinced me to tune up my guitar and start practicing those fingerpicking melodies again! Their voices were soulful and harmonic and the melodies they played were enchanting.



Thursday, June 7, 2007

another new project!

I wasn't joking when I said I was planning on making pretty much every project from the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. I bought the fabric for the "What a bunch of squares" quilt a few days ago. You can see a beautiful example of it here.



I started cutting out one set of 8 squares and was pretty dismayed at how long it was taking me. Then I had the realization that if I folded my three yard piece of fabric into eighths, I could cut all eight pieces at once. I was so proud of myself for having this thought...seriously, so geeked!







So, here are all of the square cut and ready to be assembled. I'm planning on turning this into our summer bedspread, so this is going to be a queen sized quilt...my largest undertaking yet. I had every intention of buying fabric that would match our current duvet, but I fell in love with the green and sky blue, so it will just have to match our neutral walls for now. Trying to work on the whole balance thing, so I don't think I'll be able to whip this thing out in a week like the last quilt, but we'll see.



Wednesday, June 6, 2007

and it's finished!

I finished the quilting, binding, washing, and drying of my any way you slice it quilt tonight. It feels to have another thing crossed off my list!



I've decided to rename this quilt my new "80s quilt" as the neon rainbow colors remind me of all those rad outfits I used to wear! It doesn't really match anything in our house, so I'm pretty sure we'll be using this for picnics and outdoor concerts this summer. Can't wait to check out the DSO at Meadowbrook soon!







pics just before I stuck this in the washer/dryer for some crinkle action





all nice and crinkled!





the hero shot





Nuku Nuku has claimed seating rights





some post wash/dry crinkle action





and a close-up of the backing fabric and bias tape binding



That should give you a good idea of the final project...from evey angle : )



Tuesday, June 5, 2007

it's a pic-a-nic table!



My dad helped Jon build our picnic table over Memorial Day weekend. He's built our family a couple of picnic tables over the years...so he's quite the pro when he's armed with a protractor! The picnic table is pretty big...eight feet long and seats 10 people comfortably - 12 squished.







We tested the table out with a Memorial Day picnic and then retired it to the garage for a stain/waterproof treatment. We finally pulled it out this afternoon after it had safely dried and avoided the rain of this past week.





I purchased oilcloth by the yard for the table cloth...a trick I learned from my mom, as 9 ft table cloths are not the norm at most home stores these days.





We powerwashed the large bricks on our patio a few weeks ago and discovered that they weren't a simple white brick, but instead were pastel blue, yellow and pink...lovely!



Now our patio is complete with a new table, two IKEA folding benches and a copper fire pit. Now we're ready for lots of summer barbeques!



Monday, June 4, 2007

after dinner excitement

As Jon and I were finishing up dinner, we looked outside and saw a police car pull up and stop across the street from our house. Being the nosy neighbors that we are, we got up and looked out the window. We were definitely not prepared for the sight we saw. A man was running down the street with a bloody face and bloody hands. 4 other police cars, one fire truck and one paramedic van pulled onto the scene shortly after. Judging by what we saw, we're guessing that our neighbor's granddaughter beat up her boyfriend. After much questioning, she was handcuffed and taken off in the squad car. The bloody guy washed himself off with a garden hose and the paramedic cleaned him up with rubbing alcohol, so it wasn't a major injury...just incredibly freaky looking! Crazy things going on in this neighborhood...definitely not something you see everyday. I'm pretty sure that every kid in the neighborhood and every resident on the street was either watching from the road or from the front windows of their homes (just like us).





And, Jon's new erhu (chinese violin) arrived this afternoon from Singapore. He's been obsessing about learning how to play this instrument for months. Every once in a while, I could hear erhu music coming from Jon's office and I would just laugh to myself. We're very similar in that we both embrace new hobbies and ideas obsessively wholeheartedly. I'm not so excited to have Jon learning how to play a stringed instrument...as of now, it sounds like a dead duck/screeching cat. But, with Jon's track record of picking up and learning new things...he should be a pro in no time and the cats and I will be on better terms with him (we all run away from him in fear/ear pain right now). Here's a cute video of a little kid playing the erhu...this is the goal Jon's going for right now. In fact, in the time I've written this paragraph, he's just learned how to play his first scale. I told you he was fast!





Sunday, June 3, 2007

any way you slice it: progress

Well, I ended up staying inside most of the weekend...partly because of rain and partly because we were without power all day today.







All of the blocks were assembled...





...and pressed





leftover scraps





quilt top laid out





and then assembled and basted



I'm planning on quilting the top with white thread and a stipple stitch instead of tying it with yarn. It should hold up better with the extra quilting and I might as well make it look just a little crazier with the contrasting white...it can't get any worse, right?



It feels good to get another project almost out of the way and to take a break from the neverending yardwork!



Saturday, June 2, 2007

patchwork pillow



Here is a matching pillow for the quilt that I made for Andrea and Ryan. They had their precious son, Evan Reid, about two weeks ago and we finally had the chance to drop by and visit him last night. We had to delay the visit because I kept procrastinating on finishing the pillow : )





This was my first time using my sewing machines metal quilt spacing bar - don't really know what it's called - to help make parallel lines. I'll definitely have to use it again in another project.