New Year’s Adventures

So we have had quite an eventful 7 days in this house.  This is what happened on New Years Eve:

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Beautiful four hour old Oliver Reynolds is held by his grandfather Robert Reynolds.  This was a good day!

It is amazing how maternity wards have changed in 30 years.  Here visitors are welcomed immediately into Mom’s room, which is shared with baby.  There is no nursery for healthy babies.  The baby never leaves the room until he goes home.  This allegedly provides more bonding with parents and is healthier for the babies.  I think it is nicer to give mom a good night’s sleep before going home, but I’m just a mom.

Then things got crazy!  After a night of being extremely ill, I drove Robert Reynolds to the emergency room in the morning on New Year’s Day.  We were really nervous about what would happen on this long holiday weekend.  However, he had emergency surgery by a wonderful surgeon, who we think was the perfect surgeon for this difficult situation.  Bob remained in the hospital for five days.  He’s home now, on the mend, and is feeling MUCH better.  It was a good experience and we can’t say enough for everyone who works at Milton Hospital!  They seem to be the nicest type of people.

Quilt-wise, I finished the wolf quilt:

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It is awaiting pick up.  I still haven’t formed a final opinion about the color of this quilt.

And to end this eventful week, seven day old Oliver came to visit his recuperating grandfather.

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Isn’t he just perfect?!

Happy New Year!

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Productive Waiting

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I have been asked to make a black quilt.  I have this black material on my longarm just now.  Can you see the white lint from white batting on the first bar?  I started to put the white batting on and changed my mind.  I can imagine these white threads popping through the back with the stitches and marring the solid black.  Consequently, I ordered some black batting and I am waiting for its delivery, allegedly tomorrow, which means it won’t be started before Christmas.

In the meantime, I thought I’d make a protective pocket for my new laptop.

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I use my play quilted muslin for the cushion and the accent fabric.  I line  the quilted fabric, sew it together, reverse it, and then make the envelope.  As it is mine, I did not include ribbon or velcro to keep the envelope closed as I find the decorative stitch 1/4 of an inch or so from the top is sufficient to keep it closed.

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So you can see the quilted lining when opened.

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And here’s the finished product.  It’s perfect.  Now I need to make something for my DSLR…

Happy waiting!

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Wednesday’s Word

This week’s WordPress photo word is oops.  As I was mulling over how to ever get this word, B. said all he would have to do is follow me around!  Yes, I can be clumsy.  And with clumsy in mind, I have a lot of oops photographs of this nature:

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I can’t tell you how many photographs I take by mistake while I am changing positions.  This is the most recent such photograph from a few days ago while I was taking photographs at Castle Island in South Boston.

Happy Oops!

PS.  Later today I went out to see what type of photographs I might be able to obtain in the ‘golden hour’.  My ‘oops’ issues continued to surface so I thought I’d add a couple more photographs:

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Once again I was changing locations.

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And here I was putting on my gloves.  So, B. is correct.  I regularly have ‘oops’ moments.  Many ‘oops’ moments, but taking place in very joy filled days!

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Sundry

I gathered my Don’t Bore Your Baby quilts together and delivered them to the refugee resettlement group, which I discussed previously, and with whom I will continue to work in my extremely tiny way, but it is my Miss Rumphius moment.  My delivery was only 7 quilts, but it is a start. The following pictures show a pile of six quilts and then I added the bike quilt after I played with some freehand custom quilting designs. I forgot how much I enjoy just playing with my machine. I didn’t quilt too densely as I want it to be soft for the baby.

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I also totally switched gears and made some curtains for a family member’s nursery.  The baby is expected Christmas Eve…  It was nice to just sew.  I like their fabric choice.  It is a nice contrast for the baby, which, as you know, I think is important.  curtainThis is the only photograph that I took of the curtain fabric and they were only partially finished at the time.  And, hey, I took this photograph with my ipod; lousy photograph.  It is nice to know that my DSLR is worth it.  Back to subject, their nursery is adorable,  but I didn’t take a photograph and I never know if I can use other people’s photographs so I won’t show you at this time.

Anyway, Happy week!

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Wednesday’s Word

OK, I’m getting back into my post autumn routine. The Daily Post’s Word this week is transition. Here’s my offering:

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I love the way this modern, linear building wraps around the old, detailed building in Umeå, Sweden.  I don’t usually like black and white photographs, but I think limiting the color helps accentuate the geometric differences of design, while the detail of the old is warmly wrapped by the sterility of the modern, creating the transition between the two buildings.

For those who don’t know, the above articulation is absurd art history talk. This is from a reformed art history student briefly falling off the wagon… ‘Don’t try to describe it so you think you sound more intelligent than the next guy, just enjoy it’, is my post college (and, in fact, to the disgust of my professors, my in college) position.

Happy transitions!

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Say ‘Yes” to Calvin and Hobbes

As a continuation of the thought behind my prior post…

My daughter learned to read on Calvin & Hobbes so I laughed when I came across this summary of life lessons by this daring duo.   And then I thought that this one is particularly true in my life right now (although I can relate to all of them still, thank goodness), but you need to go to the link to see the cartoon picture:

8. When the dynamic duo taught us the pure joy of just hanging out:  “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
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Have a great day!

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So many opportunities, so little time…

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As many of you know, I started my quilting business a little bit before I retired to make sure I had something to do during my ‘retirement’.  I love quilting.  However, I think I was affected by all the people who told me they won’t retire until they are 67, 70 or never, because they can’t imagine what they’d do with their time?  They, allegedly, just see a world of boredom.  While I never saw that, it did make me wonder if maybe I didn’t understand something, the reason other people were going to work well into their dotage.  Maybe they knew something I didn’t know?  So, I decided I needed a small business to make sure I had some structure…and I do enjoy small business.  However, I kept trying to make the business bigger even when I was totally enjoying the size it was. So, I am reducing the size of the business.

One reason I retired fairly early was because there are so many things that I like to do, that I didn’t have time or energy to do while working in a stressful environment with long hours.   And while I have planned my retirement well into my 90’s, I don’t think that there is any guarantee that I will be healthy enough to do everything I want to do in my ‘retirement’.  The longer one waits, the older one gets, and the greater the chance of illness.  I really worry that people will retire late and be very sorry they waited so long.  Now, keep in mind I’m talking about people who can afford to retire, but won’t, not those people who have no choice.  I’ve bumped into other retirees who are also mystified by people who will belittle ‘retirement’ and retirees as if it means a brainless, sedentary life.  That’s hardly the case.  I don’t have enough time to enjoy all that I want to do and learn.  And the longer I’m retired, the more I enjoy it!  But to each their own…

I have been very upset recently with the terrorist attacks and the affect they have had on the position of refugees here in the USA.  The horrible, angry, fascist rhetoric from certain political figures or candidates are frightening and I think it is becoming so dangerous that the quiet, calm, generous people need to start speaking up.  As a result I’ve recently been very vocal with my representatives in the government as well as just with people I know.  It has also made me want to support Syrian refugees, and other refugees.  I am fortunate that I don’t need my business to make money for me.  Consequently, I am closing my Etsy shop on December 1st.  I will continue to make my Don’t Bore Your Baby quilts, but I have arranged to give them to a local refugee resettlement organization.  I will use the money I make from concentrating on tee shirt quilts to buy more materials for DBYB quilts.  I will still make custom DBYB quilts for people who want to buy one via the grapevine, because I think the visual stimulation for babies is so important, but again, profits go to more quilts for refugees.  And, I’m keeping this business small so I can enjoy more than just my quilting.  This is a small endeavor to help people, but it is something I can do.

So, TheQuiltifyShop is closed.  Profits from any sale will go to materials for more refugee quilts.  Unpurchased quilts will be delivered the week of December 1st to the resettlement organization in Boston.

Besides kindness, what are some other ways sane people can help the world one small step at a time?

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The morning light on the rocks on Otter’s Point.  Here’s to you, who are adding some joy to the world.  Happy days!

Posted in Don't Bore Your Baby Quilts, retirement | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Eleven Pound Carryon

We recently provided transport to and from Logan for my cousins.  They were flying on a new airline at Logan, WOW.  The flight was Boston to London via Iceland.  It is a discount airline for which you pay for any extras and it stops in Iceland before continuing to Europe. And I mean you pay various rates for luggage, seats, food, etc.  It is kind of up to you how much you spend.  My cousin A. is frugal, as am I, mostly.  WOW’s basic luggage is one free 11 lb. carryon.  Any other luggage situation requires a fee.   This brought on a discussion as to whether each of us could travel this way or not.  I confess I had no idea what an 11 lb. bag, including purse, looked and felt like  (I hate to carry when not necessary).  My present way to travel is to check my 20 inch, less than 20 lb. carryon and just carry a largish purse with some extras for the flight.  And I want my DSLR, so this would not seem to be a possibility for me, generally, but I still wanted to know, because, never say never.  So, because I am a luggage, packing, ease of movement freak, I had to see what 11 lb. looked like and if I could pack enough to be comfortable.

Here’s the bag I have used for this experiment.  It is sometimes my underseat bag with my purse in it.  In this case, it is packed except for my travel documents, as I’m not really traveling right now.   It weighs 10 lbs. so I’m sure my travel documents would fit.  It measures 14″ X 14″ X 6″.

So this is what I have packed into this bag.

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So this picture shows,  what is in my bag, except my brassieres (2), which will remain hidden.  LOL.  I rolled my black jeans and stood them upright.  I rolled the night shirt, two tee shirts, sweater, three pairs of underwear and three socks into the packing cube below, and placed it at the bottom of the bag.

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Below, the square item in the middle is the microfiber towel, which sucks the water right out of the handwashed items so they dry overnight.  Also included is an umbrella, my 3-1-1 bag, my dry toiletries/emergency meds, my purse, and electonics, etc. bag.  The 3-1-1 bag went in an outside pocket for easy access.

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So in my purse, I have the following:  phone, wallet, ipod, pen, and 2 pairs of glasses.  Not in picture are my house keys.

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In my dry bag, I have emergency meds, powder, floss, toothpaste, hairbrush, mirror, eyeglass cleaner, toothbrush, and shoe horn.

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In my auxillary bag, I have a sink stopper, clothesline, ipod charger, phone charger, flashlight, spork, laundry soap, safety pins, compass, duck tape, extra pen and cable organizer.

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All the containers fit in the main section of the bag.  The only things that didn’t make my luggage, btw, were yoga pants, flip flops and a fleece jacket.   And this is what I would wear on the plane: blog 11 lb-2-4

black jeans, reversible quilted vest, pashmina, tank top and cotton blouse.  (Obviously, worn but not in picture, underwear, shoes, and a jacket.

I would be fine with what is in this bag, other than the loss of my DSLR, which is a major loss, IMO.  But even worse than that, while 11 lbs. is not much, I would hate to have to lug it around airports or around town for any length of time…and I love strolling around the airport waiting for my flight!  So, while this light weight packing is fine with me, I won’t be using it.  Give me wheels anytime, and let me check it.

If I did insist on carryon with this airline, I could take the following approach, as I could bring my DSLR.  I managed to fit all the above items in my 20″ suitcase along with my camera/purse case.

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The only thing missing from this photograph is my DSLR with 15-55 mm lens, for obvious reasons.  So all the items listed in this post and this camera bag packed full, fits into this bag:

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When full with these items, this bag weighed 20 lbs., which is well below the 26 lbs. allowed for an additional $38.00 each way.  This would be my only bag.  If I can save enough money to make the layover in Iceland and the overnight flight worthwhile, I would consider this option.  But I really think I would just carry my camera bag/ purse onto the plane and check the bag for $48.00 each way.  Sometimes, being frugal at the expense of comfort is no longer worth it for me, but I can appreciate those who are diehards.   However, in reality, I still like my BA daytime flight to London, a nice bed at the airport hotel, and a morning flight out to my ultimate destination…and the deciding factor is really the day flight to Europe.  I HATE night flights and I don’t get a lick of sleep.  The day flight limits jet lag.

Anyway, long story summarized: blog 11 lb-1

This is what 11 lb. look like.  If  you don’t mind the weight and don’t need your DSLR, it works fine.  Now we need to decide where we will travel to in 2016.  Happy day!

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Just follow the flow…

Ask questions and follow the flow, the answers will be there.  Wow, don’t I sound philosophical today?  When I had my own insurance related business when my daughter was growing up, my marketing technique was lying on the couch and meditating.  Pretty soon the phone would ring and I had another project.  Over the past few months I’ve been thinking about the direction in which I want to take my business as I’ve been doing a little of this and a little of that for several years now.  Well, over the last few weeks the business has shown me which branch of the river it is taking.

Did I ever mention that when I receive a bag or box of tee shirts to be made into a quilt, I feel like I’m getting a Christmas present to open?  It’s so much fun to turn old tee shirts, or in some cases new tee shirts, into a pretty, functional object that will comfort the person for years to come.  I thought this would be the last thing I wanted to do when I started this business, but it turns out it is my favorite!  Who would have known?  Why is it my favorite, you might ask?  Making this type of quilt incorporates all I love about the process: creativity, design, piecing, quilting, beauty and function.    I also can learn a lot about a person from seeing a series of tee shirts or sometimes just part of a person in depth.  However, as my camera has been in my purse so I can do outdoor photography during this, my favorite season of the year, I do not have any pictures.  I suppose if I did some step workouts, the camera could travel around the house, but no.

So I will, instead, show you my neck of the woods in autumn.

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I think this photograph looks like an impressionist painting.

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And does this photograph say Solitude to you?  I’m trying to decide whether to place it in a beginner’s competition under that subject.  It says that to me…

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I love autumn colors, and autumn.

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I have a picture without this vehicle in it, but I like it better with it.  Do you agree?

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I’m lucky enough to live between Massachusetts Bay and the Blue Hills Reservation (6000 acres).  I often can’t decide which way to turn!

So enjoy this wonderful week.  Happy days!

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October SALE

While I ponder the future of TheQuiltifyShop, I am having a sale.  We all love sales, don’t we?  There will be FREE shipping on all items to the USA and Canada for the month of October.  I also have placed this item specifically on sale:

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Some come shop for a deal!  Happy shopping!

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