Monday, February 27, 2023

Sunny Sunday

 We've been dealing with freezing rain as winter tries to transition to something resembling not winter.

We had a doozy of an ice storm last week, it wasn't rain that froze on impact, it was little pellets about the size of a seed from a green pepper that came down frozen and stuck and froze together and created a crust that forced some people with level driveways to be prisoners in their homes for a few days.  We, on the other hand, have our steep driveway and, well, water does flow downhill so as it started to melt we were free. For once we had an advantage!

In order to have something to do on a wintry February Sunday yesterday the Showboat committee planned a painting class.  The class was on the showboat and it was, thankfully, a beautiful blue sky sun shiny ice melty day.

The sun just sparkled on the river, the swans were happy, people were out walking the riverwalk, it was a perfect day to get out.
This is the painting we were going to be guided through.  When the instructor asked if anyone had painting experience no one raised their hand!  "Good to know," she said.
We were all given a blank canvas and paints and brushes.
We were guided step by step, measuring distances, mixing colors.

Everyone's was different, as they should be. These were my table mates. The woman on the right in gray just retired from her part time job at the chamber of commerce so I knew her and we had some good laughs about retirement.  

And this is my finished painting.  I added the daffodils in the front of the fence just because. 

Saturday was gray and cloudy and heavy and PH was bored with days like that. He knew I needed to go to Shipshewana for the batik I needed for Charlie's quilt and he likes going down there for the food so early that morning he said, "let's go."  You're not going to believe this, but we were there two hours. He dropped me off at the store I was aiming for, he walked down the street to the meat and cheese store, came back and found a husband chair while I finished up.  I had a problem loading my phone with the photo that I was using as a guide - can you believe they don't have WiFi????  I felt like I was on the moon.  But the clerk could pull up the picture on her phone.

We spent an hour choosing, cutting and then I took PH to lunch.  After we got in the car to come home I noticed the time.  We had been there exactly two hours.  I was on a mission and did not divert from it. Fabric, lunch, home. Two hours down, two hours there, two hours home.  If I did anything wrong with this selection and amount I'm screwed.  But I think it will be ok.  Fingers crossed.  Math has never been my thing.  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Excuses, excuses

 Well, goodness, it's been couple of weeks since we've been staring at that chocolate cake but I had a good excuse.

I've said in other posts that one of the programs our museum offers is a two day immersion experience with every third grader in Lowell schools.  Third grade is when the kids learn local history so this program is intense.  They learn about museums and they learn about the fur trade that put Lowell on the map.  This gentleman and I sign up for all of the days of the program so we are there six days in January, every day the first two weeks of February and six days in March.   I come home tired...of talking for hours straight, for being on my feet for most of it and setting an alarm every morning for two weeks. But now this particular elementary school has finished the program and we have a break till March.

Now that I'm home again for a bit I've tackled grandson Charlie's graduation quilt.  I have a year to make this but I'm a hand quilter, remember, so it takes time.  I'm someone who does what can be done ahead of time because you never know.
I spent some time on Pinterest finding ideas and then showed them to him to pick out what he might like, but with the caveat that I will be changing what he shows me.  I am not copying someone else's quilt absolutely.  
This photo is to show you my primitive working conditions.  It's not unlike time travel.  I searched high and low for this kind of enlarger.  I asked at the elementary school I read at. They tried to get me to use one of the high tech projectors in one of the classrooms.  "No," I said, "I need something that will sit on my dining room table."  All of their old ones had been junked.  I asked around.  I looked online.  Finally, I found a YouTube video showing how to make one with a cardboard box and the flashlight from my phone.  I asked at the museum if I could take one of their boxes and told the education director what I needed it for.  " I need to make an overhead enlarger."  "We have one in the barn," she said.  Bless her heart.  And it works!
Friend Barb came over to do the math.  I don't do math.  She figured out how big to make the interior, the finished size, the size of borders and free hand drew the Blue Angel planes. You can see in the first photo with the enlarger the layout we are going for. 

We thought I would be enlarging the planes to fit but I couldn't get the enlarger to make it SMALL enough.  Ok. Take the paper off the wall, make some copies, cut them out and place them on the paper, which is the size the center will be. Turns out I didn't need that enlarger after all!  
Now to decide if I want the planes to be head on, second photo, or look like they are a bit on angle by changing that cockpit.  I'm going to ask Charlie.  

                                                             This is the quilt I'm going for 
   This is the Blue Angel that Barb based her free hand drawing of. It's more head on and will be "interpreted" with the fabrics.  I just have to check with him if he wants full on navy blue or more like the batik. I know, he's a guy and probably won't remember in a year what he chose but you know how kids can be, they get a notion and lock it in and throw away the key.

We have a group, herd, it what you will, of deer that come everyday, sometimes twice a day to the side of the house just outside the dining room window.  Sometimes there are two, sometimes there are seven. Never more than seven. They are so aware now that when they come nosing around if I go outside to spread some corn for them they will either just step away and wait or run just halfway down the hill. I shake the container so the corn makes a good noise.  They stop, ears up, wait till I've spread some and by the time I turn to come back in the house they are back eating. We are enjoying the dynamics of the group, how they are to each other.
Around Michigan we like to trumpet when we see the first robins.  We say seeing a robin is the first sign of spring.  Well, last week we saw these robins - there were a total of four - drinking the melting water in the eaves. Middle of February?  Not unheard of but not normal, either.  It's unusually warm, we are never surprised to have a blizzard in the middle of February, but this is a very mild winter.  Yes,we've had snow but not for long.