Friday, April 30, 2010

Treats in the Mail

I came home from work on Thursday to find not one...but two packages on my doorstep.  I brought them inside to unwrap my goodies.  The first box was from my FAVORITE tea shop, Harney & Sons.  They have awesome tea. 

Harney box

After digging through the packaging, this is what I discovered...

Harney Tea

A whole package of Harney's Hot Cinnamon Spice tea!  Yummy!  I've had their Apple Cinnamon tea before and it was really good, so I'm sure this one will be good, too.  If you look close, there's a little card that came with it from my sister.  Thanks, Laura!!

So the other box on my doorstep was something that I ordered for myself....

thread box

Its my thread!  I didn't think it would be here so soon.  Superior was able to ship it through USPS priority mail (flat rate shipping) so not only was it cheap (less than $4), but it got here very quickly.  I placed the order on Tuesday and it got here on Thursday...not bad!

Superior threads

It will be fun to test out the tea and to try out the thread when I start to put together my quilt.  Tea and quilting seem to go well together. :-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Garbage Day -- the Aftermath

I forgot to take pictures when I first came home, but let me tell you...after the wind today it was a mess.  Someone had kindly put the lid to our garbage can up by the house, but the garbage can itself was a good 400 200 feet from the house and I had to dig around through some pricker bushes to retrieve the recycling bin.

The sad part is... take a look at the nice photo below from a few years ago (our rose garden with the white obelisk in the middle).

Rose Garden

The obelisk didn't make it through the wind today.  It had taken some damage last fall from some stupid kids who decided to rip it out of the ground, bust one of the legs and take the top off.  We had managed to repair it a bit and stuck it in the ground.  This past winter, one of the plows was trying to get done REALLY fast and they went flying down our hill and throw the heavy, wet icky stuff at the edges of the road 15 feet onto our property and a chunk of ice took out part of the obelisk.  So with both episodes weakening the obelisk, the wind today was just too much for it.  The wind knocked it right over and broke one of the other legs.    So now we'll have to figure out something else for the climbing rose to climb on this year and we're going to have to do it quickly before it gets too big.

Garbage Day

Every week our garbage is picked up by the local village municipality.  Each Wednesday evening, like clock-work, everyone in the neighborhood takes their trash out to the curb for it to be picked up the following morning.  Apparently there is some "rule" that the garbage MUST be out by 7am Thursday morning.  I've actually heard of people getting yelled at for putting their garbage out to the curb after 7am, but just before the garbage truck gets to their location.  If its out there before the truck and its not slowing the garbage guys down...who cares when it gets out there.

Anyway...invariably Thursdays are windy.  We have no idea what it is, but it seems like EVERY Thursday there isn't just a nice gentle breeze blowing.  We always have a gale force wind on Thursdays, which means that all the empty garbage cans are littered everywhere along the road.  Since we're at the bottom of the hill, we typically end up with everyone else's garbage cans.  Most of the time people come and retrieve them as soon as they get home from work.  However, there are some that just don't come to claim their bins, so we end up taking them into our garage so that they don't get blown around into the road.  Then when the wind does die down, we put them out for their owners to claim them.  It would be nice once in a while to NOT have a windy Thursday. :-)  Today in fact...they're forecasting wind gusts up to 50 mph!  That kind of wind will DEFINITELY move an empty garbage can.

On to a few "quilty" things....

I ordered a few new types of threads this week.  I usually do my piecing with Mettler's Metrosene thread.  The quilting store that I bought my Bernina from told me that the machine is designed around the Metrosene thread and if I want a really good 1/4" seam to use that thread.  To be honest...I haven't really found any difference in my seam allowances between using Metrosene or Connecting Thread's Essential threads.  That being said, I have heard lots of great things about Superior's Masterpiece threads and their BottomLine threads for quilting. 

For my birthday, my inlaws gave me three spools of Bottomline thread (in colors that I had requested) along with a color card and they also gave me one of the large cone thread holders so that I can get the larger spools of thread.  So earlier this week, I got myself my own birthday present of a large 6000 yard spool of Masterpiece thread in "Canvas" (can't wait to actually see the size of this thing) and two smaller 600 yard cones in a medium olive green and a peachy-pink. 

I have a quilt that I'm making that I posted a picture of a while ago.  Its a design that Judy L. has in her new book "Weekend Quilts" called Shine on Bayou Cane.  The dark background fabric I'm using is a deep, forest green and the lighter background fabric is soft of a yellow/olive green.  Then the focus fabrics that create the stars in the middle are a light pink, medium peachy-pink and a deep rose color.  Fabrics can be seen here and the pattern here.  So the olive green thread and the peachy-pink thread will be good for piecing these fabrics.  I've read that matching the piecing thread as close to your fabrics as you can make a big difference in how your quilt looks.  This happens a lot when you have light colored fabric and you use a medium or dark color thread.  I saw one quilt that had pale yellow fabric and it used a neutral grey thread for piecing, but because of the pale yellow fabric, you could see the grey thread all over the place.  Definitely don't want that happening to one of my quilts!

So the thread should arrive in the next few days and it will be kind of fun to receive something else in the mail...besides a jury questionnaire (more about that some other time).

I think that's it for my random thoughts for least for the ones I feel like publishing. ;-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


So after reading a friend's post about taking a trip to Harney & Sons, I couldn't help but think...I need to really replenish my tea collection.  Over the past few months, I'm managed to empty just about all of my tins with the exception of the caffeine free ones...which just don't cut it first thing in the morning.  All I have left is a tin of Fanciest Formosa Oolong, Boston, and about half a tin of Early Grey Supreme.  Now, if you order via the internet, Harney will send you tea bags, loose tin in small tins, or you can get the grand-daddy 1-pound pouch of loose tea.

Let me tell takes a long time to go through a pound of tea and when you like a wide variety of teas, one pound of each one will last a REALLY long time.  So I happened to send an email to Harney's to see what they would say to offering smaller quantities of loose tea without the tins.  Surprisingly, they said they are easily willing to do just takes a little longer for the order to be filled.  I'm fine with that!  The only thing you need to do is either be REALLY specific when ordering online...or just call them on the phone and order that way.  I think I found a new way to fulfill my tea fetish. :-)

I definitely plan to sift through all my empty tins and make a list of what I need to fill them back up.  I just have to make sure its not too expensive a shopping trip. ;-)  On that note though, R confessed earlier this week that it seems like his "pain threshold" for spending money is about $500.  Hmmm...$500 buys a lot of tea.  If he's not bothered by a purchase under $500...... .

Just I said...$500 of tea is A LOT OF TEA!  I don't think I could drink that much tea in the next decade.  I'll be floating if I tried to drink that much.

That's my little random thought for the of many of course. :-)

Turning Over the Blogging Leaf

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.  Things here at home and work have been busy for a while and I haven’t really had the inclination to really post anything.  I guess it was a sort of mini-hiatus from blogging.  Well…I’m hoping this is a new start.  :-)

Recently I turned 30 (gasp! – although for some of you…30 probably seems like a lifetime ago) and I’ve done a lot of thinking about things in general.  I have a hard time being outgoing towards people and my first inclination is to say no to any kind of invitation out.  I’m just a quiet person and while my husband thinks I am very social…most of the time it scares the heck out of me.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself wanting to be around people even less.  I’m not sure exactly why (still working on that), but its been a case where the last thing I want to do in the evenings or on weekends is to socialize with people…even if they are good friends.  Family is a whole other issue.  I used to call my mother and talk to her several times a week.  Over the past few months, I’ve maybe talked to her once a week…sometimes not even that often.  It seems like all I want to do is really be alone and not be bothered by others.  Maybe its just a case of being overstressed at work (had to make a decision about staying at my current position, having my manager leave our group, and now having a new manager take over and having to figure out what my new technical leader will be like…when they finally announce it).  I’m not really sure, but I’m hoping that at least this blog can be a little bit of resurgence to being with people.

So at my attempt to blog a bit more and at least “talk” to people, I’m hoping to post something each day.  It may not necessarily be about quilting or anything that you readers would find interesting, but its what will be going on in my head at the time (that’s a scary proposition :-)  ).  We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stash Busting 2010 - Week 14

Boy its been a while since I last posted.  Life has definitely been busy for us.  Work is very busy despite our manufacturing workload being low this year.  Our upper level management pulled in a lot of funding to do advanced design work since we didn't have a lot of customer orders last year and into this year.  Its great that they did that because they've been able to not have any layoffs.  Even our manufacturing crew hasn't had any layoffs...but they do have unpaid furloughs this year because there just isn't enough work to keep them busy.  We're starting to get more customer orders now, so we think things have turned the corner.  The only downside is that if we get half the number of orders they think we'll get...we're going to be seriously understaffed.  To the point where they may have to institute paid overtime for salary workers to get all the work done.  While we all put in extra hours each week...its a whole different ball game when you NEED to work 60 hours every week just to get the basics done.

We've also been busy with trying to sell our house and buying land to build our next home.  Our house still isn't sold, but we've seen a lot more traffic the past few weeks and we're hoping someone will eventually make an offer.  We're kind of tired of keeping the house spotless -- its amazing how much effort it takes to do that all the time.  There's a certain kind of clean that you have for your own family...and then there's another level when you're showing the house.  On the plus side, I think we've found a really great piece of land.  Its 16 acres total, with the section where the house would sit being about 230 feet wide.  The house would be setback about 550 ft off the road (which is good considering its a state highway with a speed limit of 55mph).  Its all treed right now and its absolutely gorgeous.  Rich and I spent about 2 hours wandering around the lot on Friday afternoon and sat for about 20 minutes beside a small brook that runs across the northern edge of the property.  It was very nice and quiet.  We just need to finalize our building costs and get the right tests written into the contract for the land.  Since there's no well or septic on it, we have to have both of those tests done before we're willing to buy the land (both tests will be on a contingent contract for the land).

Aside from doing stuff for work and house hunting/selling, I haven't really gotten a lot done.  I did however finally get my mid-arm machine setup and start sewing a quilt on it.  The quilt is probably about 2/3rds done now.  It took me a little while to get the setup that worked for me, but I think I have it now.  I'll definitely  have some pictures on here later this week to show the progress.

Anyway - from a stash front...because I put the quilt on the frame and started quilting...I used stash for the back of the quilt. :-)  Here's my numbers:

Used this Week: 2.85 yards
Used Year to Date: 16.2 yards

Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards

Net Used for 2010: 16.2 yards

I've been good and still haven't bought anything new!  That may come to an end soon though. ;-)