Thursday, May 31, 2018

Squirrel sighting -

But first - the results of my "experiment" - ;))

There was a suggestion on a Blogger "help" forum that offered a "work-around" for the issue of Blogger no longer sending comments to our email inboxes -

The suggestion was to "publish" your post and then be the FIRST to comment - making sure that you check the box saying that you wanted to be notified of any FOLLOW-UP comments -

Simple, huh? -

Well I tried it - and I had a couple of problems -

1 - Lately I have been "scheduling" my posts to go "live" at 5AM so that I can have one post each day. That meant that I would have to get up at 5AM to leave a comment after it posted. HAHAHA - BOB and I don't DO o'dark-thirty anymore. Instead - I waited until just after midnight to "publish" my post - so that it would show as being posted on the 30th - then I left my FIRST comment (Test) - checked the box - and then left another FOLLOW-UP comment (Test #2) - to see if it worked.

2 - It DID work - kinda - ;))
I got BOTH comments in my "social" inbox - the one for "no-reply" commenters. So I got the emails - but they were flagged as "no-reply" - so what good is that????? The whole point is that I want to be able to REPLY to those of you who take the time to leave a comment on my blog!!!!! But I guess it beats having to constantly check my "dashboard" for "comments" to see who said what - if anything. So if I don't answer your comment like I usually do - don't take it personally. I may not have a contact email for you - or I may be chasing Squirrels - ;))

Jeanna has the same problem and said it pretty well in her comment yesterday -

Yes, Blogger is frustrating. I have to constantly monitor my posts to see who has commented and then hope I have their email address to reply. Hope Google is working on it.
Jeanna - I think Google IS working on it -

We can't be the only ones complaining -

But I'm not holding my breath while I wait -

I'm too busy chasing Squirrels - LOL - ;))

While I was waiting for my mail carrier to deliver the box containing my Saturday Squirrel - I decided to pull some fabric for the alternate blocks for the Blue Floral Crumb Squares -

I know I should have been stitching the binding on Upstairs/Downstairs -

But Squirrels are VERY loud in my house - and WILL not be ignored - LOL - ;))

I pulled two blues and two pinks -
All four are "Mirage" fabrics from Connecting Threads -
That have been in my stash for a while now -
And I really don't know if they are still available or not -

From top to bottom - they are -

Patriot Blue -
Steel Blue -
Brick -
and Mauve -

I pulled out the Brick -
And laid out the remaining three going the other direction -

And then split them up -

First the Patriot Blue -
It's more "royal" than "navy" so I might look for one a little more "navy" -

Then the Steel Blue -
Which is more "blue" than the "gray" it appears to be in the photo -
And matches those leaves (in the bottom center) really well -
It would be a nice "neutral" to give the eye a place to rest -
And it would also let the Blue Floral be the "star of the show" -

The Mauve looks good, too -
But I think that it might be too much "pink" to use in this one -
And - at least to me - it seems to be "fighting" the floral for attention -

So I'm leaning toward the Steel Blue -

What do you think? - ;))

While I was "pondering" - I got the box with the Saturday Squirrel in it -

A Pillowcase Doll -
JDNA - Jack Dempsey Needle Art - Stamped for Embroidery -
#1900-143 - Fluttering Butterflies -
That I ordered from JoAnn's - HERE -

It's my Saturday Squirrel because I need it for a Baptism party on Saturday - ;))

I ordered it three weeks ago thinking that I would get it in plenty of time to make it -
But if I was cutting it close - that I could skip the "embroidery" part and trim the dress with ribbon instead -

But I am also VERY acquainted with Murphy's Law -
"If anything can go wrong - it will!" -

So - while I was at it - I also ordered a "muslin doll" - just in case I wound up cutting it REALLY close. It was a good thing I did because Saturday is the day after TOMORROW - and that's cutting it a little TOO close - ;))

I laid the muslin doll out over the pattern for the pillowcase doll - hoping that I could skip making the "doll" part - and I think I can - so one less thing to worry about -

I traced the dress and bonnet pattern pieces onto tracing paper so I didn't mess up the original "pillowcase" one that I will make some other time - when I HAVE time. I'm going to skip the "embroidery" part, too - and use the pink gingham and some pink ribbon - adjusting it to fit if I need to - and I can always "fancy it up" with some simple cross-stitching in the squares if I have "extra" time - or not - LOL - ;))

I know I should spend today sewing the binding on Upstairs/Downstairs so I can have a FINISH this month - but I don't really care about that - it can wait -

I want/need to make a dress and a bonnet for this doll first -

Because BOB and I want to give the sweet little party girl a pretty new doll -

And we want the pretty new doll to be wearing clothes - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The binding is made -

And the backing is marked on my Upstairs/Downstairs -

But that's about as far as I got - ;))

For those of you who don't know already - I like to sew the binding to the back first - then trim the quilt - and fold the binding over to the front and stitch it down by machine using a decorative stitch. Most of the time, I'll add a little flange to the binding and "stitch in the ditch" - but this time, I opted to make it solid coral - hoping that'll finish the edge nicely -

I'll try to stitch it down tomorrow - I'm quickly running out of month and I have another Squirrel that I need to chase down and finish by Saturday - ;))

Side note -

Apparently Blogger is not sending comments to other bloggers' emails either - so we are not alone. I read some entries on a "help" forum and found a suggestion for a "work-around" that I'm going to try - at least until Blogger gets back to sending comments to my email again - assuming they intend to fix it at all one of these days - when they get around to it. If the experiment works - I'll let you know - then we can all pretend that we like Blogger's idea of "Spring Cleaning" - LOL - ;))

And BOB would like Blogger/Google to stop saying -

That it is all for ME -

That they change stuff to enhance MY experience -

Because - in my opinion - they do no such thing -

Their constant "enhancements" make MY experience VERY frustrating -

I am getting REALLY TIRED of re-learning how stuff works TODAY -

When I ALREADY know how it worked YESTERDAY -

But then I figure -

They didn't ASK me for my opinion - or BOB's -

So I don't want to waste my time worrying about stuff that I can't control -

I'd much rather chase Squirrels - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Quilted -

Upstairs/Downstairs is quilted -

And I figured out how to lighten up the photos taken with my old/old camera - ;))

First I quilted some "base" lines in every third column/row -
Then I decided that it needed MORE quilting -
But it didn't need to be quilted "to death" -
So I went back and stitched a line through EVERY column/row -
Some of the lines are more "organic" than straight - but that's OK with me -
I like how I managed to bypass all of the seams in each corner -
And how it makes the one inch squares look like they are even smaller -

But - the side effect is that all of those corners sort of POP UP in your face -
And some show how they don't quite line up - sigh - ;))

The grid looks pretty good on the back side, too -
I used the coral colored thread in both the top and bobbin -
And it shows up nicely on the black -
And sort of disappears on the coral spacer strip -

What you CAN see is crooked because the backing didn't line up perfectly -
But I'll pretend that I didn't show you that - ;))

Tomorrow I'll play with the binding and the label -

So I might - just might - have a FINISH this month - LOL - ;))


BOB and I had some more thoughts on this new GDPR -
Which stands for - General Data Protection Regulation.

I have already put a blurb on both blogs that my "store" will be closed until I figure out what I need to do and how to do it. In the meantime - on this blog - I also took down the page with the link to my other blog - and I set the other blog to "private".

BOB wants to post something like this -

Regarding this new GDPR Privacy Policy - Yeah, I collect some personal info - namely your name and address - I need that so I can mail you the ruler you ordered. If you send me a check - my bank will get that info when I deposit the check - and I have to keep a copy of both your invoice and your check for my accountant and the taxing authorities to prove that it was a legitimate sale. If you pay by PayPal - I don't have any of your credit card information - that's between you and PayPal. If you leave a comment on my blog - you can delete it at any time - because Blogger/Google will keep it indefinitely. If you email me - that will also be kept indefinitely - and both Yahoo and Google gave themselves permission to read my emails - so don't say anything that you don't want them to know. I don't save contact information to give or sell to others - and I don't send out "newsletters" or mass emails for "buy me" crap - but I may send you a Christmas card. I think that about sums it up - but I probably need to put all of that in some sort of "simplified legalese" in order to comply with the new regulations - LOL - ;))

And this privacy thing goes both ways -

Blogger hasn't been sending my comments to my email lately and today they automatically published a spam comment about Viagra and Jakarta - something that Blogger should have caught but didn't. It somehow got past the "I am not a robot" thingy - and that makes me nervous. From what I have read - since I AM a business - I need to post a "Privacy Policy" and make it easy to find - a separate page/tab will fix that - BUT in that "policy" I have to list my "physical address". My address is a matter of public record - BUT Mr. Viagra/Jakarta may not have that info now. He most definitely can find out VERY easily if I have to post it on my blog for all to see!

Makes me want to just close up shop - MY privacy is at stake here, too - and MY privacy is just as important to me as the privacy of my customers - and I don't want/need strangers knowing MY personal information either! That's why I try to keep my personal stuff to myself and off my blog - and stick to "quilty" topics. I don't give names of family members or friends or share their personal information and/or drama - that stuff is not my circus - not my monkeys - and none of my business - or yours.

At this point I don't know whether to close up shop altogether - or just stop selling/shipping Internationally - that might be the way to go. If I had a "staff" and/or some "tech support" to help me with this - it would be easier - but it's just me and my dog - and he's not much help - LOL - ;))

I repeat - my "store" will be closed until I figure out what I need to do and how to do it. In the meantime - on this blog - I have taken down the page with the link to my other blog - and I have set the other blog to "private".

So - until further notice -

I am no longer "in business" -

And this is a personal blog - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Monday, May 28, 2018

Basted -

And pinned - at least until I get the "base" rows quilted -

And a shot of my sink for Gene - since he couldn't find it in my previous photos -
It's under the window between the stove - trash compactor - and the dishwasher - LOL - ;))

In the family room - in front of the fireplace - that we never use -
Is my Husqvarna Lily 555 set up with her custom walking foot and special table -
And a couple of "banquet" tables to extend the flat surface surrounding it -
It's where I do my "stitch-in-ditch" and straight quilting with my walking foot -
It's easier for me to switch machines than change all of feet and settings -
And I have the luxury of space - so it works for me - ;))

And I found a "coral" colored thread to match - when I sew the binding - ;))

I got quite a few rows quilted today - so I should be able to finish the quilting tomorrow - and then the binding and the label - and maybe even have a FINISH before the end of the month -

Wouldn't that be nice for a change? - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Quilty playtime -

Also puts my wonderful kitchen "island" to good use - ;))

I got the backing for Upstairs/Downstairs together with the coral spacer strip -

I wasn't sure if I wanted to leave it one large piece - or cut it into two -
But decided to leave it "whole" so the black print wouldn't get all chopped up -

This shot is just to double-check that the backing is larger than the top all the way around before I add the batting - and it is -

Here you can see how close I got color-wise with the "coral" strip -
Not bad, huh? - ;))

Normally I would want to quilt this using a diagonal grid -

But with 1" finished squares - these seams are really close together -
And some of them are bound to get flipped the "wrong" way -

So I think I'll use my walking foot - starting near the center -
And stitch down the center of every other column/row -
Avoiding all of those corners where all of the seams come together -
Then I'll decide if I need to go back and stitch down the center of the rest of them -

One pass in each direction might be enough -

But we'll see - ;))

And a quick note regarding my LEFT-EZE™ Rule -

The new GDPR rules regarding Privacy Policy went into effect recently -

And there a bunch of "hoops" that I need to jump through -

So - for now -

"My Store" on my LEFT-EZE™ Rule blog will be closed -

Until I can figure out the requirements for compliance -

And get all of my ducks in a row - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Back to Upstairs/Downstairs -

After I spent most of the day doing "chores" -

I wanted to play with the backing that I had chosen for Upstairs/Downstairs -

But before I knew it - it was time for dinner - so maybe tomorrow - ;))

The top came out to 36" x 36" -

And has so many pretty colors it was hard to choose which one to "feature" - ;))

I finally decided to accent the Coral -

When I found a yard of this really pretty large-scale black print with coral and lavender hibiscus and surfboards. It's perfect for a backing - the beautiful flowers and the surfboards would disappear if I cut it up into strips or small pieces -

The strip at the bottom of the photo is a tone-on-tone coral that I'll use as a "spacer" to get the back a bit larger than the top when I go to baste it - ;))

And just so you know -

I'm really enjoying those YUMMY cupcakes -

I haven't eaten all of them yet -

But that might not be true tomorrow - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Friday, May 25, 2018

Good stuff -

I know that I am extremely lucky to have a pretty good sized kitchen -

Even though I don't cook a lot anymore -

And I am sometimes reminded of the line -

"I only have a kitchen because it came with the house!" - ;))

I remember when I first stepped through the doorway to the kitchen in the "model home" -

I said (probably out loud) -

I LIKE this kitchen!! -

And I still do - ;))

It has "white" cabinets - and I know a lot of people don't like "white" cabinets -

But I think they look "light" and "bright" and "clean" -

And if I want my kitchen to be blue/yellow today and red/green tomorrow -

I can do that - ;))

I also think they are "timeless" and that my kitchen will not look "dated" -

When Stainless Steel appliances & Granite countertops are no longer in style - ;))

In addition to the large "island" -

I have a lot of counter space -

And I even have a side counter where the coffee pot lives - ;))

The other end of the room is the "family room" -

But it's OK because I usually sit in the brown chair (on the right) -

And I can't see the dirty dishes from there - LOL - ;))

I needed to make room on the "island" so I batched up some salad fixings in some mason jars -

The white stuff at the top is a paper towel I stuck in there because I didn't fill them all the way to the top -

I could make a bigger batch but I only make three at a time so that they don't "expire" before I get to them -

This batch has halved cherub tomatoes, red onion, green onion, Garbanzo beans/chickpeas, sweet red peppers, sweet yellow/orange peppers, mini cucumber chunks, mozarella cheese cubes -

When I actually make the salad later -
I'll add mushrooms, avocado, croutons, romaine lettuce and Ranch dressing -

I had a lot of sweet peppers left over -
So I "seeded" them and sliced them up and put them in portion-sized sandwich baggies then into a big Ziploc Freezer bag -
That way I can freeze them and pull out a baggie or two when I need it/them -

I had to do that first because I REALLY wanted to try out Ruby -
And Gene's Peanut Butter/Cream Cheese Frosting - HERE -

And I LOVE my new mixer!! -

She is AWESOME!! -

I added a bit too much milk -
And should have added some more powdered sugar to compensate -
Which I will definitely do next time -

And I'm not the best cupcake "froster" -

But you get the idea -

These are REALLY YUMMY!! - ;))

Gene said that he added mini chocolate chips to the top of his cake -
And I was thinking that I might add some of my favorite trail mix -

If you can't read the package - it says -

Indulgent Trail Mix -
A Decadent Mix Of White, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Flavored Drops, Peanuts, Golden Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Almonds & Cashews -

And in case you're wondering what that little yellow pillow/thing hanging on the pantry door knob says - here's a close-up -

"Press button for maid - If no one answers - Do It Yourself!" - ;))

Grandson #3 always complained that the button didn't work -

It's probably the only thing the three of them will want after I'm gone - LOL - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Thursday, May 24, 2018

More new stuff -

And some old stuff that I forgot to post - ;))

I didn't realize that it's been over a week since my last post -

So - grab a cup of coffee - this will be a "catch-up" post - ;))

First the OLD Stuff -

My "jigsaw puzzle" friend and I put together a couple of puzzles last month -

And then I WON a Fat Quarter from Rhonda -

THANK YOU - Rhonda -

I LOVE squishy mail - ;))

NEW Stuff -

I told a friend that after playing with my new camera for a couple of days - I discovered some things that I don't like about it - and it's not just that they are different - they are flat out ANNOYING!!

1 - It's small like my old one - so that's OK - I have a little "tripod" thingy that I screw into the bottom of the camera and hold with my left hand while I push the button with my right. The new camera can accept the tripod - but it gets in the way of the battery/memory card slot - that I apparently need to open frequently -

2 - The old one didn't need a memory card - it has/had an internal memory - which did NOT have to be removed to download to my computer - so having to take off the tripod and then take the memory card out is not nearly as quick/easy as grabbing the USB cord and plugging one end into the camera and the other end into the computer to download whatever photos I took during the day -

3 - The old one didn't come with a USB cord - but I do think one is available - need to check that out -

4 - The old one has/had a battery charger that used the USB cord to recharge - the new one has a battery charger, too - but you have to take the battery pack out of the camera and put it into the battery charger and then plug the whole thing into the wall outlet - again - not nearly as quick/easy as grabbing the USB cord and plugging one end into the camera and the other end into the battery charger already in the wall outlet -

5 - The new one has a "focus" feature that sounds good until you have to use it - you have to press the button down half-way until it beeps/focuses - then press it all the way down - and hold it STILL until the shutter sound stops - which seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r. -

When I FINALLY found where the USB cord can be attached to download the photos - I ordered a set of USB cables (3) that look nothing like the one I use on my old camera - the last one on the right - knowing that one of them would fit my new camera (the first one on the left) - the other two will come in handy for other "stuff" if/when I need them - ;))

So then I looked at other cameras - with internal memory included - AND USB cords. I found one that has what I want - for a reasonable price. I downloaded the manual BEFORE I plunked down the $$$ - something I should have done before I bought the new one - and checked out some of the features. I could have gone ahead and ordered it right then - but I wanted to check out some other online stores in case there was something out there that might be even better. My brain was fried right about then - so I decided to mess with it later - and SEW a little - ;))

I got Upstairs/Downstairs together -

Old camera shot -

New camera shot -

I didn't really pay much attention to how the blocks went up on the wall -

But I like how it turned out -

And I like how the yellow/gold patches brighten it up -

And how the optical illusion of on-point squares appear when 4 blocks are set together and alternated up/down -

This one looks like the dark blue square is the center of the square -

But here - you can see that it is not -
In the 4-square set it's the top left corner square of the block on the bottom right -

And did you notice that the "Old camera shot" and the two above do NOT have the spot in the middle left side? -

Well - I did find/order a different/new camera because my other/new one has some annoying features. Then one night I took some pictures with my old/old camera - just because I didn't want to deal with the new one and it's annoying features - and wanted some to post - which I didn't then - but am doing now - LOL - ;))

Anyway -

The funny part - NO spot on the photos - which is why I got the other/new camera in the first place. I have NO idea what I did or why that happened. Maybe what I originally thought was a speck of dirt on the lens - that I tried to clean - and that wouldn't come off - really WAS a speck of dirt - LOL - ;))

So here I am with two cameras and another one on the way - and minus some $$$ that I could have used on fabric.

BOB says I have plenty of fabric and only two cameras and they need a friend - ;))

In other news I made some "homemade" croutons with some stale French Bread and some seasonings and some olive oil -

And I got a little heavy-handed with the garlic salt -

So - note to self - I won't need to sprinkle ANY salt on my salad(s) - LOL - ;))

Then I decided to "batch" the dry ingredients that I use in my favorite banana bread recipe - and got some of my quart mason jars out to do that. The funnel didn't work all that well and I wound up just spooning the flour/sugar/baking soda/salt mixture into the mason jars. Now I can wait for my bananas to (over)ripen - mix together the other wet ingredients and add them to a mason jar full of dry ingredients after I dump them into a bowl - kinda like my own version of banana bread "Bisquick" - ;))

Now the NEWEST NEW stuff -

Say hello to my new toy - I think I'll call her Ruby -

And I know the perfect recipe to use to try her out -

Gene's Peanut Butter/Cream Cheese Frosting - HERE -

Peanut Butter - Cream Cheese - and chocolate cake - what's not to like? - LOL - ;))

The mixer I got is this one - and only comes in a few colors -

Lucky for me they had RED - my favorite -

It came with a "Flat Beater" - a "Wire Whip" - and a "Dough Hook" -

I thinks it's a variation of the "Artisan" model -

They all do basically the same thing -

Just different sizes and "professional" or "heavy-duty", etc. -

So I got the one that was the cheapest and on sale - LOL - ;))

The FedEx guy brought the mixer one day -

And the UPS guy brought my new(est) camera the next day -

So new toys to play with = NO sewing the past couple of days -

I did choose the backing for my Upstairs/Downstairs - but it's a little short -

I found a "spacer" fabric for it and will probably use it for the binding, too -

When I get there - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Some new stuff -

Is not always planned - ;))

I was moving right along and got the first four columns of Upstairs/Downstairs together Sunday - and somehow messed up my camera. It has a black spot in the middle of the left side of the "photo". I tried cleaning it with a Q-tip but I think I may have scratched the lens -

You can see it in the middle left block - the third diagonal YELLOW square has a spot on it -

You can see it better in this one -

And it doesn't "move" - which is what makes me think that I scratched the lens -

I told a friend that I spent Monday trying to find a simple "point-and-shoot" camera online for cheap. Found one at Sam's Club - should be here by the end of the week. Going to have to "stall" and maybe post some "spotted" photos - until I can get the new camera and figure out how it works and then how to download photos - should be fun - not - ;))

And no - I don't have a smartphone - just a landline. Don't need one - I'm usually home. I've had my digital camera for so long I'm probably lucky I didn't mess it up before now. I got the most basic "point-and-shoot" that I could find. All I want/need is a SIMPLE one to take photos for my blog - any other photos can be taken by someone else on their phone - haha - ;))

Spent Tuesday doing "chores" - bills and paperwork -

Then today - Wednesday - the FedEx guy delivered my new camera -

And I spent most of the day messing playing with it - ;))

It came with a wrist strap and a case which was nice -

But no USB cord like my old one -

And it has a memory card instead of an internal memory -

So I read the "quick start" and charged the battery while I tried to figure out if I needed to order a USB cord or if I had to download the photos to my computer some other way. The "quick start" didn't address downloading the photos at all - and that's the whole point of getting a digital camera to take photos for my blog - Duh!! -

So I had to go find the "real" owner's manual for the camera (online) -

Then I looked for the owner's manual for my computer (online) to find out where they hid the memory card reader that I have never had to use before - hoping that it had one - which it does - thankfully. And I never would have found it without the manual - they hid it on the "front" of my computer - and I kept trying to find it on one of the sides - silly me - ;))

THEN - the website said I had to download some software to my computer - which I did - but my computer wouldn't let me install it without "admin" rights - so I had to "switch users" to my "admin" account - and then I couldn't find the downloaded file - it was in the other "user's" folder - UGH!!!

I figured out a "work-around" - got the software installed - and took a couple of test photos - and it all seems to work - differently - but it works -

Right about then I REALLY wanted to take a nice long nap - but I didn't - ;))

Anyway - here are the test shots -

If I compare that last shot above - taken with the new camera - to the one below - taken with the old camera - the colors with the new camera are clearer and more "true" - so I think I'm going to like it - a LOT - ;))

Haven't told you guys yet about my new laptop (Win 10) that I have had for months and haven't even plugged in yet. After my "fun" today - it might be another couple of months before I have the patience energy to mess play with it -

But then again -

I might tackle it next week -

Just to get it over with - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew -


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