My quiltsMy 2001 Grant ProjectSociety for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake

Saturday, June 23, 2001  
Whatta weird day. Slept late because I was just totally wound last night. couldn't figure out this morning why the cats were stomping around all over me - ooops - no Ron to have already fed them! poor starving kitties.

Made a phone call, faxed a letter. Umpteen telemarketing calls and some more hang ups. That's getting really old. The phone rings and I was ready to say something nasty to the next telemarketer.

Nope -it's a nice fellow from Apple, in California! 20 minutes or so of phone interview ensues. Fun but nerve wracking. Guess it's one of those things that it's better not to fret about ahead of time. But! He says I'll be hearing from the fellow who is doing the face to face interview. YEAH!

Then I talk with Pat for awhile. Then I chat with Mr Merrill for awhile. Go out and try to start the lawn mower. Nope. Grrrrrr.

Ron calls from the Tetons to say hi. They're going climbing/hiking tomorrow. Sounds like it's going ok out there but he didn't expect to be on his own teaching CPR. Once he was over the shock of it, he was ok.

Even got a walk in today - so now it's time for me to hit the hay!

Written at: 6/23/2001 01:41:00 AM

Thursday, June 21, 2001  
I took a plunge late last night and signed up for photographica. It's a collaborative photo blog. People post photos that they have taken and today there was a challenge to take a photo that someone provided and do something to it.

Since Tripod won't let me FTP at the moment, here's my challenge piece via my local ISP:

That was pretty cool - you could spend days or weeks working on a project like that, but it was freeing working with someone else's image - no emotional attachment. Let's see, what to make of it. I was actually the first one posted, probably a good thing - no pressure.

Spent most of wednesday working on NYQuilts! stuff for the meeting and it was pretty laid back. Tomorrow - lots of quilting and lots of work on the CD for the fund raiser stuff.

Written at: 6/21/2001 12:37:00 AM

Tuesday, June 19, 2001  

Yesterday's photo expedition!

Written at: 6/19/2001 01:25:00 AM

Monday, June 18, 2001  
I wore my cool original issue Blogger tshirt today (made sure my hair was up so you could read the back too!). No one said "huh?" but I noticed people trying not to obviously read my chest, LOL.

Just part of the evil plan where people see something, see it again, hear something about it, and suddenly it's EVERYWHERE and they're thinking 'I saw something about that before...... I think I saw a tshirt one day at UPS....'

Beware! The revolution will be bloggerized.

Written at: 6/18/2001 04:58:00 PM

Sunday, June 17, 2001  
The past two days, I've been working on the web-based virtual quilt show tour for the fund-raising package. You can see the beginnings of this here

Phew! I've just finished the "sampler pages" from the 2000 show. Will do the 2001 show tomorrow. thasalotta pages and images.

Interesting having picked out the quilts without knowing for the most part who made them and then adding the maker's name etc. Only duplicated two makers (everyone is allowed to put two quilts into the show) so that's not bad at all. My goal in choosing these particular quilts was to show the range of what sorts of quilts are shown. Keeping in mind that the intended viewer of these pages is probably not a quilter and may need to overcome the stereotype of little old ladies making nine-patches in their church basement.

Written at: 6/17/2001 12:28:00 AM

The Dyeing class was great! 7 people let loose with ziplock bags, three yards of fabric, bottles of dye and two attentive teachers.

After we got done setting up our 9 bag run of fuschia blue yellow, we basically got a little out of control. We had three more FQ's that were provided and they told us to do whatever we wanted. That was all the encouragement that we needed. I had brought a trashbag of fabric for overdyeing and discharging and people used some of that. I used a lot of it!

We clamped and rubberbanded etc but I mainly wanted some of those too-harsh black on white prints to be some other color.

I thought initially that this was all just too too too tidy and that I would never get to live out my dream of wearing white clothes to a dyeing class. I had worn a white tshirt that had the classic grease spot mid chest. FINALLY I saw some blue dye on my gloves. I swiped it across my chest. The teacher about flipped! NOOOOOOOOO! I smiled and wiped my other hand off. LOL Before you knew it, all the other students were coming over to wipe off their hands and tools on me.

After that and some lunch, most people left. Naomi, Sue and I stayed on. Naomi and I wanted to do some discharging (that's the opposite of dyeing - you apply bleach to fabrics and see what happens).

Sue was just hanging out. She consolidated the dyes and the soda ash solution. That made it seem like too much good stuff to go to waste. So we went through the group stash and pulled out all these REALLY awful donated fabrics that are huge parrots, fish, fruit or flamenco dancers on white background. I think they were supposed to be appliqued on sweatshirts in the early 80's maybe. We'd used some for stack and whack quilts and for backings.

Anyway we did quite a few big hunks of those in bright colors. Even if they come out pale, it's better than white! We figure we'll give them out as prizes to people who do the mystery quilt and challenge quilt! Hey, it's hand dyed fabric.

Meanwhile Naomi and I were working on discharge. Most of my black solids went to a brilliant red except one that was a bright green.

Sue left to meet some friends. As Naomi and I were packing up, I said I was going to take my spritzer full of bleach and hit the bathrooms. Things were very clean. I was in the downstairs kitchen wiping down the counters, and about to write a note saying - don't worry about the bleach smell, we just did a little cleaning - when I heard a funny noise and then a "MARY BETH!"

I go into this very makeshift downstairs bathroom and all I can see is water gushing over the top of the swinging door!

Naomi thought she'd follow my lead and clean the urinal in there with her left over bleach and when she flushed, the pipe above the urinal just came apart! She turned the one turnoff she could see, but it didn't stop the water! I ran around looking for a turn off and didn't find one either. Finally she rummaged behind a partial wall and found the turn off which was for the whole building. The only thing that helped was that there was a sump area right next to the urinal.

We called and someone from the VFW came to see what had to be done. By then we had most of the water mopped up. When I called our VFW contact, his wife seemed ever so grateful that we'd called to let them know about the problem.

All of this just goes to show that housecleaning is potentially hazardous to your health and furthermore that "let no good deed go unpunished" is very very true. Naomi's best comment "YOU're the one in the swimsuit - why am I the one who's sopping wet????"

Anyway, the VFW fellow wasn't at all upset, he was glad we had it all mopped up and he was already calling other guys when we left!

Thus endeth our dyeing fabric day.

Written at: 6/17/2001 12:22:00 AM

Friday, June 15, 2001  
oh one more thing. I had a wonderful email from a woman who had really had the week from hell, including a personal assault/robbery. She wrote to say that she had gotten an email that my grant site had been updated. A few days later she was able to check it out, and she said it gave her great peace and that she'd been going back there frequently since.

I felt terrible for her and her troubles, and thought it was just wonderful that she wrote to tell me that my art had meaning in her life. I'm glad it could help her.

Written at: 6/15/2001 11:38:00 PM

Another busy day.

First off it's HOT, actually it's the ol' HHH Hot Humid Hazy. And don't go there with that "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" malarky.

The idea of going to an air conditioned place held great appeal, let's just say. So I went off to Walmart with the notion of getting a few things I need for tomorrow's dyeing class at East Side Quilters. I got sidetracked on the way and ended up at Staples.

I wandered around there for awhile and ended up with a pile of stuff for the fund-raising letter we're about to get out for NYQuilts!. Got some cool stuff. Totted it up when I got home and it comes out to about fifty cents a recipient without the postage. There will be more on this.

I did finally get to Walmarts for the dyeing stuff. Needed things like a respirator type mask. 9 X 13 disposable pan. rubber gloves. Ziplock bags etc. I picked up some bleach for discharging some fabric too.

Came home and sat down to work on the fundraising deal. This book I have Guerrilla Marketing for the Home-Based Business talks about thinking through the whole package - what the person is going to experience from the time your envelope arrives.

I was trying to figure out ways to show non-quilters and non-quilt-show-goers what a quilt show is like. Indeed, what is contemporary quilting like. Figured I would through in some of the postcards that we have of raffle quilts. But then FLASH (that was the lightbulb flickering!) I realized - put it on a CD.

So I have processed 80-90 photos from the last two years of NYQ! to put into web page format. Then I can do the same for the letter etc. Then it will all get burned onto CD's. whoooo hoooo!

Written at: 6/15/2001 11:35:00 PM

Wednesday, June 13, 2001  
Wow - what a busy day. First off, I wondered what the heck was up with Bill the Cat, since he seemed to follow me everywhere and yeowl purposefully. I assured him that it was NOT time to eat again. Over and over again.

Finally he followed me upstairs and jumped up on the bed. We had a good wrassling match and finally I have him a wadded up sock to kick the bejeepers out of. That was fun, and apparently that's what he wanted all along. Guess sometimes only a good wrassle will do! ^..^

Mainly though, I worked to get back with the program in terms of house keeping. Remember I took the baby steps thing very seriously. I have managed to keep my sink clean and shiney for a whole week. That means I did the dishes as they were created and did not leave anything laying around. This had some nice side benefits since it also meant the sink was open for food preparation. It also meant that each dish wshing was smaller - few things hanging around. The whole thing was easier!

Today I thought about the newspaper guy that wants to come interview me about the grant. Surely that is motivation enough to clear out the downstairs? At least the living room?

So I decluttered the computer desk, the phone table/area, the coffee table. Not better homes and gardens but MUCH better. Didn't vacuum, just decluttered.

Then I headed upstairs to tackle the bathroom floor. First off, I discover that Mr. Ron has left a couple inches of water in the bathtub. Because the pipe is clogged, you ask? No way. Merely needs to have the gunk cleared from the drain, silly. ick.

But in anycase, now the floor and rugs are clean, and the bathtub is more clean. And I'm clean too because my deodorant gave up about half way through the floor. Man is it hot today!

And on that squeeky clean note - I'm off to the sewing room.

Written at: 6/13/2001 07:15:00 PM

Tuesday, June 12, 2001  
Later start today, but once I got moving things went along.

I did a couple test blocks for the landscape quilt to see if I wanted to strip piece the background area rather than raw-edge-applique it. Think that will look good.

While I was pondering this, I decided to start machine quilting a little quilt that Mom made. Nice little single irish chain with muslin and doreen speckmann fabrics. The back are all little hunks of muslin that folks had used on the backs of their quilts (to cover their labels) at NYQ! Guess mom ended up with them after the show.

Pretty funny, but seems like a good use for them!

This quilt isn't all that big (about 60" square) but it's surprising how long it takes. I'm about half done with the center portion. A couple more passes with the design through the pieced area and I'll get to do a more continuous line design through the open areas.

Ron cut a couple branches off the poplar tree next to the house - it was reaching out to tap on the window!

Written at: 6/12/2001 11:30:00 PM

Monday, June 11, 2001  
whooo hooo! what a day. First off had a lovely phone conversation with NYS Tax & Finance. Actually wasn't bad, but let's see if the solution will be as easy as it sounds.

Then bits of cleaning interspersed with bits of quilting. The quilting is going really well. Go here for updates.

Getting excited about going to Vermont but have a lot of things to do before that. Have to figure out how to pack up my quilt to send it there among other things. eeks.

I got up really early this morning because I felt I should witness McVeigh's execution in my the only way I could - listen for the announcement on the radio. So that's what I did. It was very odd really. First off, because I was AWAKE when Ron left around 5:20 AM and the birds were really really loud. I laid there snoozing and scritching cats until the alarm went off and then it wasn't too long before it was done. I am really puzzling over my feelings about this. I read a bit on Sr. PreJean's web site (of "Dead Man Walking" fame)

She said:

Remember that, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 we have now executed close to 700 human beings in this country - men, women, juveniles. Separation and distance from a deed makes anything possible. I'm all for people being able to see it with their own eyes when the government kills one of our citizens. We can get to the truth quicker that way. And so, when I'm asked if I think the McVeigh execution ought to be seen on television, I say yes, and not only McVeigh's killing but every government killing. Of course, both state and federal government are very reluctant to show executions. They like to keep the sight of their deed away from the eyes of the ordinary people of this country. Plus, they don't want other countries of the world to see these executions. Imagine U.S. executions being seen in Europe or Russia where a moratorium is in place or Japan or Latin America. How then could our leaders dare to claim that we place high value on human rights?

Finally, on an equally somber note: the NYTimes magazine had a hit-you-between-the-eyes short piece this weekend. Drawings and words by kids across the country collected by Sesame Workshop. They apparently asked all sorts of questions and gave kids the chance to draw and write their answers. The NYTimes used 6 drawings about what kids fear.

You can see them for yourself at: by clicking on the "Children's Fears Are All Too Real" link or at

You need to be registered to get in, but it's free.

Then tell me what we can do about this.

Written at: 6/11/2001 10:31:00 PM

Busy day today (Sunday) - although it started rather late because I lost track of time while working on this quilt and well it was 3 AM when I realized what time it was.

Headed out after fortifying myself with coffee. Got the new cutting mat. Got a new plumber's helper (plunger) so I could fix the slow kitchen sink. Plunged and fixed. Must have been in shock from being clean for a whole week! really really really clean!

Did some heavy duty cleaning in the bathroom, but didn't get to the floor yet. Had bought a gallon of vinegar and that works great on mineral build up and other weird problems.

Mostly though I worked on the winter panel of the quilt and started the last, summer panel. Got to use some of the sheers that I bought in NYC. It's actually easier to rip them than it is to cut them, but you have to rip confidently.

All this ripping up of fabric is no doubt contributing to my mellow frame of mind. I find ripping fabric into strips to be very relaxing.

Last night I sent a request for help to the company that makes SmartMedia cards. In the last couple weeks I've had TWO cards go kaflooey for no particular reason. I'm down to a single 8 MB card which doesn't go too far. I'm hoping that they'll be able to tell me how to reformat the cards properly. geesh.

Night all - I'm giving up a little early tonight to make up for last night.

Written at: 6/11/2001 12:19:00 AM

Saturday, June 09, 2001  
Yesterday I went to the Interment Service for 'Lexi Lepore - small group of family, school friends and neighbors and friends were there. It was at the Evergreens cemetary in New Lebanon NY, most notable for being the resting place of NYS Gov. Samuel Tilden.

After, I went to JoAnn's in Colonie to pick up an item that was being held for me. I had a 50% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket and used it to buy a big flat carrying case like Pat and Sue have. $60 is too much, but $30 is a great price for something like this. Holds an 18 X 24" cutting mat and a lot of other stuff.

Now there's a 50% off coupon at Ben Franklin and I'm thinking that my 18 X 24" mat is pretty chewed up! LOL

Last night I worked on the winter panel. I'm not totally thrilled with the foreground area, but may let it sit awhile while I ponder other options. I might do a test piece to see what the sheer/white stuff I got to help with the idea of snow looks like sewn down. My feeling is that it will look good when it's not just stuck on there.

Written at: 6/09/2001 10:24:00 AM

Thursday, June 07, 2001  
Worked on the quilt, took a walk, processed the photos.

I think the 7 June photos came out pretty darn good!

Now I'm waiting to see what to do about dinner.....

Written at: 6/07/2001 07:15:00 PM

Another Thursday.

Mail today brought a package from St. Rose, where I have 15 credits of a 36 credit Masters degree in elementary ed from 1987-89. ack. Seems forever ago that that degree represented my "out" of working in the print shop. sigh. I'm not sure a) if they'll accept the credits and b) if I'd want them to! But I have to look into it.

I can tell that the job-free state is starting to bug me. Have to get to work on my quilting while I have the vast opportunity, but I know deep in my heart that I need to work for the money.

When I stepped outside today it was SO warm and bright - made my whole body relax. Welcome summer!

Written at: 6/07/2001 10:47:00 AM

Wednesday, June 06, 2001  
East Side tonight was great. Helped Mom pin baste a quilt. Joan J. helped me cut up some donated fabric into lengths for table coverings. Mom brought the serger for me to use to finish the edges.

Then we sat around and looked at books and pictures while Naomi cut and sewed on a quilt. After we came up for air on the gabbing, we put away the big tables, packed up our stuff and went out for ice cream!

Yum! Rum Raisin!

All this and a day old full moon.

Written at: 6/06/2001 10:58:00 PM

This has been a humdinger of a beautiful day apparently sandwiched in between some mighty rainy ones.

Since it was so nice, I got up and out rather early this morning to take some photos. The clouds were fabulous!

Fiddled with some of the other photos. Tried the QuickStitch software for making panoramas. You Decide

Fiddled with IMovie and finally paid for Quick Time Pro version to see if that would help. It did some (by letting me translate the .mov file to .dv, but silly me needs to remember to keep the camera in basic horizontal mode apparently. No way to rotate movies? (Know a way? Please email me if you know!)

Other than that I've sort of spun my wheels. A local paper wants to do a story on me and my grant and wants to come photograph but where? Not in this house! LOL. Not quite ready for prime time as they say. Thought about sending my quilt to vermont but have another couple days to ponder that. Looked at the new autumn section of the new seasons quilt.

Bothered the cats. About to head out to East Side Quilters.

Very productive day. My sink is still shiney. Life is not altogether bad.

Written at: 6/06/2001 05:51:00 PM

Tuesday, June 05, 2001  
Let me just add here, that despite all the fun I'm having quilting and learning to keep a clean house, a paycheck would be mighty nice? Let me know if you have any leads!

My two links for looking locally?

The TU want ads and the reverse phone look up link via Metacrawler. A MUST have. Darn all those ads that won't say who they are! Must everything be a mystery?

Written at: 6/05/2001 11:52:00 PM

Yesterday I learned about this site, FlyLady where the goal is to retrain yourself to have good habits in terms of housekeeping chores. Man, can I use some of that! Even though the site only seems to work in IE (ickypoo) I read and I subscribed to the email list via yahoo. So far I've cleaned my kitchen sink - don't laugh it SHINES! and the counter just to the right of it. I also threw away my first 27 bits of clutter.

For good measure, I vacummed in the living room today. Cats had a big catnip party there and it was a mess. Not quite beer cans all over, but.... LOL

Slow but steady wins the race on this one. Tomorrow - maybe the bathroom floor!

Written at: 6/05/2001 10:23:00 PM

Monday, June 04, 2001  
Mail outgoing and incoming - bills out, other stuff in. the other stuff included my severence check from Sage, an insurance refund check and some miscellaneous stuff.

After mailing my outgoing stuff at the Nassau Post Office, I went in to the grocery store to get some stuff for the next few days.

Meanwhile, at some point Deirdre snuck down into the basement. Can't remember if I saw her this morning or not, so I don't know how long she was down there. She was sure glad to come out. I was holding her little purring and rubbing self and walking past a window when some unknown noise made her and a few other cats go flying. Well! That meant I yelled as four sets of little sharp claws went pushing off of ME. This made the pushng off more frantic and made the claws even sharper! yikes!

Now all the cats are a little nervous.

Oh well. They'll forget about it soon enough.

Written at: 6/04/2001 05:10:00 PM

Sunday, June 03, 2001  
Back from a nice relaxing couple of days at Brant Lake with my parents. Ron got OT so he stayed home with the multitude of cats.

Mom and I went to the Wings Falls quilt show which was nice - guild show with two years of quilts made by members. A few wowser quilts, some by unfamiliar names and many quilts from patterns and many that were "professionally machine quilted." In a moment of bean counting I toted up the number and about a third of those entered had been professionally machine quilted.. About half the total quilts shown were judged.

Other than that the weekend was WET - it rained, thunderstormed and rained some more. We had just enough breaks in the rain that we got the 50 day lilies I'd ordered for Mom and Dad's day in the ground. whew! Now some warm sunshine would be a good thing for them.

The lake is very very high.

On the way home I stopped at a place Mom and I had stopped on Saturday. Then, like a fool I hadn't bought anything. It was Lazy River Farm in Warrensburg NY - right off exit 23 of I87. Some of the most spectacular hanging baskets I've ever seen. Nice other plants as well. WHY didn't I buy a basket on Saturday I thought?

I was glad when I pulled up at five on Sunday that they were still open (til 6!) and I wandered around again enjoying the plants. A cat said hello to me and when I stopped to scritch his ears he put a paw on my shoulder and next thing I knew he was draped over my shoulder. So I hauled him around while I was looking. I finally asked if one of two baskets would be better in partial shade since my porch only gets morning light. I got to drive home with a beautiful basket in the front seat. I also picked up a resin frog with some attitude for the front garden. He was only $5 and I just had to bring him home. Left the cat at the garden center.

Nice drive home, not too rainy, nice views.

Now I'm off to read some more "House of God" and then to sleep.

Written at: 6/03/2001 11:37:00 PM

Friday, June 01, 2001  
Well, the new hard drive is in. I even got to help screw it into the protective guides with the little tiny screws. Took a couple hours - literally - to zero out the new hard drive. Then we partitioned it and installed OS 9.1 into both partitions. Then began the process of hauling all the stuff from Ron's machine to this one.

Not hard exactly but you have to be careful. Still have some bugs to work out. Why don't all the hierarchal menus work in the apple menu? Why can I get the AIM up in the main menu bar but not palm? Why don't some settings seem to stick? Why did I ever do this? Oh yeah - 20 gigs.

Well, most things are back to normal. The rest shouldn't be too bad. Crossing fingers on that one.

Written at: 6/01/2001 01:27:00 AM

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