Sunday, February 27, 2011

I must be having a nightmare!

6:30 a,m
Today is Sunday, February 27th, and I live in Scottsdale, ARIZONA. This is what greeted me this morning at 6:30 a.m.

What is this white crap doing here?? I do have to say it is beautiful though. It is melting pretty quickly.... at least we won't have to shovel it.
7:00 a.m

Our Courtyard

Saturday, February 26, 2011

An unexpected surprise

.... in my mail yesterday! I found a package by my door when I got home yesterday... I didn't recall ordering anything. I opened it up and found a wonderful book... "Twelve By Twelve" The International Art Quilt Challenge. I scratched my head for a bit trying to figure out who sent me such a lovely gift as I had just listed it on my Wish List on Amazon.... but I had only done that the day before! I was going to order it and another book ( I didn't want to pay the shipping) but hadn't decided on the 2nd book yet. Then I remembered that I had signed up last year to review books for Lark. I am thrilled.

This is going to take me a bit the get through, but at first glance I know I am going to love it. It is the contribution of 12 art quilters who each created a 12" x 12" piece that represented a particular theme every 2 months for 2 years. I see that each piece is explained by the creator as to how they arrived at the choice they made for the theme and a description of how they made each piece. There are 144 marvelous quilts for me to drool over. At first glance this is my favorite...
Passion and Colours by Francoise Jamart

I have just started to do some small pieces in this style myself, so this was really a treat.

I highly recommend this book even though I haven't had the time to go through it in depth. This one is a keeper! And to think I was about to order myself a copy. I must have been a very good girl!

Friday, February 11, 2011

February is Pamela Allen month

Some of us got lucky (again) and Pamela Allen decided to do another online class this month. First assignment was to find a piece of art one liked and using the same palette of colors copy it... Ok.. no screams here.. we are using it for a lesson! The 2nd step was to use the same fabrics and make an abstract design, and the 3rd step was to make a still life using the same fabrics. I used a piece by Ovanes Berberian called Sunset 1.
The still life is still a work in progress but I am finally doing Something after a long hiatus.

I also decided to go through my stash of my own fabrics and get rid of those I probably will never use. I am going to be doing more dyeing in March ... I will need more room! They are up for sale at

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The last of the Indian goodies

.... arrived today. After the past couple of weeks I needed this lift! We ordered 2 hand made Dhurrie runners for our hallway and they arrived today. They are gorgeous. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I think I can breath now (this is NOT quilt related)

Nope, I haven't been blogging. It is said that trouble comes in three's but I think we exceeded that limit in the past few weeks. It all started with a hail storm back in October. The hail was larger than golf balls and sounded like rocks hitting the roof. We didn't see any apparent damage and thought nothing of it. Fast forward 6 weeks and we were thrilled when the goodies we ordered in India arrived. I knew I was going to have to rearrange some art work on the walls but was waiting till everything arrived to do anything. Ned and I walked around the LR to decide what was being moved where. I took down one piece that hung on an outside wall only to find that the wall had buckled behind it! Yikes! We had a leak that came down through the ceiling and the wall. OK, I have to admit we rarely use the LR and almost never turn on the lights unless we are having company. We called the insurance company and the next morning they sent a crew to look at the damage and do what ever was necessary to stop further damage. They went up on the roof (we have a flat roof) and found we had holes from the hail and they could see where the water seeped in. They did a temporary repair and pulled off the sheetrock and the very wet insulation. They treated the area for mold and mildew and sealed it up with heavy duty plastic. The furniture got moved around too. The adjuster arrived later. We have an open floor plan and there is no way to stop a paint job without doing most of the house except for the closed rooms. Did I mention that we upped our deductible last February from $1000 to $5000??? Good planning. We also had to replace 2 A/C units and their air handlers ( new laws on the type of freon used), the roof needed refoaming and sealing, and there was damage to the stucco on 2 sides of the house.... outside needed a new paint job. This little leak turned into a massive pain in the ass. I will say that the insurance company was generous in their estimates and we did not have to fight for anything. Only downside is that there was enough damage to trigger an inspection from the mortgage holder (for which they have the balls to charge) which we are waiting for. Since Thanksgiving my house has been turned upside down with furniture having to be moved and art work taken down, although most of that was done by the painters. It was still stressful. During this time we had to put Sammy down. Of course since this was holiday time AND the fact that there was a lot of roof damage throughout the area, we could not have the roof repaired until January. Nothing else could be done before that was fixed. No problem fixing the roof and the painters who did the inside did a fantastic job and were very neat. All I had to do was to direct where things went. They took pictures of everything and put it all back exactly where it came from except for some changes I made. The air handlers and A/C units were put in and I decided to go to CA for a few days to visit a friend... I had a free ticket I needed to use up and Ned was out of town. My neighbor was going to check in on Lucy. Before I left, my GF asked if I could stay longer... she was going in for surgery and could I lend a hand. Not a problem. I was away for a week. They painted the house while I was gone. While I was away the weather turned cold and I noticed when I returned that our bedroom and bathroom seemed much colder than the rest of the house. Turned out one of the air handlers was not on. No breaker seemed to be tripped and the thermostat was working. We call the HVAC guys back and they scratched their heads BUT, in the area where the AH resides are 2 sets of outlets. They opened up the one that it was plugged into and found that it was part of a series.... this was weird. They plugged it into the other set of outlets and it turned on immediately. Now we got worried. We decided it was time for the electrician. Turns out the top outlets where it is now plugged in was the dedicated one for the air handler. After some more head scratching, he figured out that the other outlet was part of the outside set of outlets that has a ground fault wired to it. The ground fault had tripped but never tripped the master in the breaker box. That mystery cleared up, I was not so nervous about an electrical malfunction and the bedroom was now warm. This sense of well being was not to last long. We had a really cold spell here with a hard freeze. Nighttime temps about 22 and daytime in the 40's Brrrr. That is not usual out here. Next day the house got really cold.... I mean really cold.We had gone to have dinner with a visiting out of town cousin and got home about 9:30 and the heat is not coming on. Now we think there is again something wrong with the air handlers but their lights were blinking like they should. Ned went out with the flashlight and saw that our propane tank was empty. We called the emergency number and left a message. No one ever called us back that night! We bundled up and closed off all the rooms of the house and hoped not to freeze to death. It was too late to check into a hotel... one who would also take a kitty. I should now preface this by saying that we had some issues with the propane company a year ago... they had new drivers and a new system and somehow we slipped under the radar and ran out of propane... but it was not in the winter. They are suppose to check at least once a month. They promised it would not happen again so we trusted them. The company has been sold and the new routine is to check every 2 months except no one bothered to inform us!! We were really pissed off, especially since no one bothered to call us back. Ned made another call in the morning when the office opened and they were surprised that the person we left both a voice mail message with and a text message never got in touch with us. As far as I was concerned they were now history except that the new company I contracted with could not be here for another 5 days... they have certain routes they do and could not get here.... since we were not their current customers. We got a partial fill with a reduced price and now I am waiting for the new company to fill the tank up. They claim they check every month, but I think from now on we will check ourselves. It is finally starting to warm up and I took all the sheets off the plants. We lost quite a few in the freeze.

I hope we am done with all this crap.  Sorry, I had to get this all off my chest.