Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ignoring the fear

Every time I have to do free motion stitching on something I have an anxiety attack... I have let a piece sit for the past 2 months because it needed some thread painting. There was a discussion recently on the Quilt Art list about fear and how it hampers us and some wise folks just piped up and said basically just get over it and do it!!! So I held my breath and did it. It wasn't bad! I had painted and stenciled these grasses and flowers but they got lost in the piece. I knew I had to add some stitching to them to make them stand out more. I finally just sat down and did the work I needed to do. This is just a small piece of it. I also added some French knots for a bit of color. Maybe now I will do the work I need to finish this piece up.

No Strep.. yea! Just tired. Seems some crud is going around and it hit me too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Serenity hung

It is not always you get to see a piece of your work hanging in someones house. The person who bought my Serenity piece sent me a picture this morning. It certainly fits well...even matches her cat!  Made my day since I seem to be coming down with something. Bleh.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Muse playing tricks

I think my creative muse is playing tricks on me. I seem to be doing a lot of flowers lately and I have never been fond of floral quilts! What is going on here?? I also never had any intention of doing things in a series and yet I have found myself doing a bunch of still lifes. The piece I really want to be working on is languishing on my design wall. I have to start working on some thread painting and fear of screwing it up has me frozen. Tomorrow... I have promised myself that I will start to practice some thread painting and get back to the piece. In the meantime I am working on this floral that is pretty but mostly "fluff". It is large by my standards.... a yard of fabric is behind it. It has no story other than the fact that I happen to like these particular flowers. I spent hours cutting them out probably to convince myself that I was actually doing something for a change. Seems like I have been in a creative rut this summer. Maybe I am finally coming out of it... slowly for sure and not in the direction I expected. Guess you have to take what you can get.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Food overload

We are back home from a whirlwind 3 1/2 days visiting "family" in California for the holiday. We did the drive this time.... most of it is boring although I do love all the windmills outside of Palm Springs. I happen to have been driving this stretch so could not take photos. Phooey. Spent 2 days cooking my fingers to the bone and enjoying every minute... unfortunately, I also gained back the 2 pounds I worked so hard to loose the previous weeks. We had some down time so went over to Roger's Gardens and walked around... and bought some plants to bring home. Don't ask me why but they are cheaper there than here. We bought some babies of these succulents.
We also stopped at a farmers market.....oh, oh, oh, I was in 7th heaven. We tasted our way through it and picked up some delicacies. We don't seem to have many fresh markets here for some reason. I do miss them.

Does anyone know what these are?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I am attributing the boredom to the continuing heat wave we have been having. I am tired of it already!
I have not felt like doing any of the projects I was working on, so I decided to revisit something I had in mind about 2 + years ago. I bought all these wonderful fabrics and cut them up in shapes for something I had in mind at the time. I realized that I couldn't put them together the way I wanted to... laws of geometry... so I left them sit. Because I am not in the mood to really think about what I am doing I decided to chop these fabrics up and just strip piece them. Definitely mind numbing, but that is all I am in the mood for.
While I was out today, I stopped at my local quilt fabric store. I haven't been there in quite a while as I have not been buying commercial fabrics of late. I was looking for some large flower prints, hoping to jump start my creativity. I was sorely disappointed on several levels. One, they had nothing of interest, but worse, they have changed the whole focus of the store. They used to have a really great selection of fabrics that I loved. They have since changed their stock to much more traditional stuff.... and lots of it! Yuck. The owner loves art quilts but she says she has almost no customers who are into that. She has to please her clients and this is what they want. Oh my.  I am really glad I can come up with most of what I want. Guess when I go to shows I am going to have to buy there.... it used to be that the quilt shop carried most of the stuff.... sigh, not anymore.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


MacMall has made good on its customer support and has sent me a return label for the Lexmark printer. Nice to know there are some companies who actually support their customers. Kudos, MacMall.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Getting bored of the Mac stories yet?

There are more.... The Iomega drive I sent back for replacement arrived yesterday... sigh, this one runs just as hot as the last one.... I give up. It came in a new, sealed box with cords etc. so I know they didn't send me a refurbished one. I installed Snow Leopard this morning.... NO problems!!! However, the POS Lexmark printer no longer works but no surprise there. I still haven't heard back from MacMall. Will call them again on Monday. My husband tried to set it up on his PC and it doesn't do real well there either. It is suppose to have an automatic document feed.... it doesn't work. I think I will donate this as it does not seem to like this household.
I had some good stuff happen as well. A friend came over who is a REAL Mac maven and showed me some tricks. He got my trackpad to work the right way and now I love it. He also told me I could hook up an external (read larger) monitor and use them concurrently! I went out and bought an adapter and it works like a charm. Whooohooo!
In essence, the Mac works real well. The problems were partially ones that I caused because I wanted to use programs I already knew and loved. That is all behind me now and I think this will be a long and happy relationship. THE END.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And so the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing

Saga continues.... I spoke to someone at Lexmark... in India I think and was told that yes, I do need a black cartridge for the printer to work. So I ran out and bought a black cartridge. Guess what? It still didn't work. I made another call to Lexmark and spoke to a very knowledgeable person. I explained what had been tried and SHE asked if she could check out my computer remotely. I said yes. She also said that the printer should work without the black cartridge. So she waved her magic wand and got rid of half the crap the Apple geniuses put on and installed the correct driver. It was now working! That is the good news. The bad news is that when I upgrade to Snow Leopard next week when I get it, it will not work. Because the printer is an older model, Lexmark has opted not to come up with a patch for Snow Leopard. I bought the computer through MacMall so I gave them a call yesterday as well and spoke to the guy who sold me this stuff. At first he told me that I bought the computer before Snow Leopard was issued and therefore the printer was compatible. I explained, very nicely that EVERYONE knew Snow Leopard was about to be issued... it was even mentioned that I could buy it for $9.99 instead of the regular price. He said he would take it up with management. I haven't heard back yet. I don't tweet, but if this goes wrong, I might ask someone to tweet about this. I think someone at these companies listens to that stuff.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Mac saga continues

This afternoon I played "Stump the Chump". Brought the Mac and the offending (free) printer into the Apple store (made appt) to see if they could get it up and running. After two of the geeks tried to do the same things I had done (I think they figure that all females are dumb), they called in the HEAD HONCHO geek. After about 20 minutes of tinkering, he decided that the reason it was not receiving data was because the printer had no black cartridge.... well it only came with a color cartridge and no where in the info did it say it needed one to work. It has 2 slots.. one for either a black cartridge or a combined color and black and one for just color... what do you want for a cheapo printer. I am going to call Lexmark tomorrow as it was too late today to do it and find out if it really does need a black cartridge to work. I do not want to buy one and find out that was not the problem and then be stuck with it. Why the heck they would pack the box with a cartridge that prevented the printer from working is beyond me.

I am pretty sure they are going to RUN if they see me in there again. I do not make them look good.

My first week as a Macbook owner....

....was not an auspicious one. I had Parallels pre-installed so I could run some of my old Windows based programs. Some do not have Mac equivalents and some, well... just call me cheap. The new Macbook Pro is a beautiful, shiny, lightweight piece of technology. It runs quiet and cool. The first thing I tried to do was set up email. I decided that I really did not want to learn another new program so I installed my trusty Thunderbird email client. No problems getting it to work,, however, I wanted to migrate over all my old email and the files I had created. Not so easy. I dug into Google and could not find a definitive way of doing this. OK, so I knew I had a safety net at the Apple retail store. They have a "Genius" bar and they claim they will help you set up a new computer including migrating over files from your PC. GREAT! So I make an appointment and bring my two computers in. The "genius" said he knew how to do this but it would take time since I had 3 GIG worth of files.... 5 1/2 years worth of email. I had nothing better to do so I walked around the store and admired all the new toys while they made the transfer. Finally it was all done and the tech announced.... you know, I am really not suppose to do this... this is not a Mac supported program. HUH? So why do they advertise they will help you move stuff from your old PC to your new Mac? I thanked him for his time and went merrily home to tackle the next thing on my list. I turn on my computer and .... Thunderbird won't open. I keep getting a message that says there is an instance of Thunderbird already running.... WHERE??? I could't find it, I couldn't close it. Now I am getting pissed. These guys are suppose to know more than I do. It took me 2 hours to undo what this "genius" did. After doing much more research, it took me 6 hours to fix it and get the old files on the new machine. It was laborious.
So my next project was to install the FREE Lexmark printer that came with the laptop.I should also mention that the printer came with 1 3 color cartridge and no black cartridge although there is a slot for it. What do I want for free? They did toss in a printer cable as a gift! This should have been a piece of cake. The printer was functional... the Mac recognized it.... except there was no data transfer. I have installed lots of printers over the years but I decided that it was user error so I uninstalled all the programs and drivers on both sides (Mac and virtual Windows) and started over. Same thing.. I figured I missed something somewhere so started the process all over again. Still not data transfer. Sigh.... I guess I have to take them both back to the "geniuses". These guys weren't even born yet when I got my first computer in 1984. Did I mention that my trusty 2 year old HP printer bit the dust the same day?
Ok, so next up was installing my old copy of Office 2003. Not a big deal except the time it took. I had 6 years worth of updates to install as well. Next was my iphone and getting it to sync with the new machine.The itunes store makes it easy to install the apps and other data synced when I hooked it up. Not so my music library. I had to manually transfer via a thumb drive all the songs. This also took hours.
Next on the list was Picasa. I like the way the program works and I am used to it. iphoto is good for other things. 3 Gig worth of photos had to be transferred but the old program did not like my thumb drive. I had to back up all the photos onto a DVD and then restore them into the new program. How many hours? I lost track. I was finally done with all the housekeeping and I could now enjoy my new toy. ... but printerless.
Next question is which printer? Do I get the same type of HP which takes the Vivera ink cartridges I just replaced? Or, do I get an Epson? Decisions, decisions. I didn't think I was very hard on my printers but none of them seem to last more than 2 1/2 years.

It's a new week... maybe this one will be less "exciting".