Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Sister's Book is FREE on Kindle TODAY...

My sister published her first book "I had Dreams" about 18 months ago, and she is offering it FREE for Kindle Users on February 1, March 1, and April 1.

This book is based on real life experience.  Names have been changed, but this is her story.  A story of Love, Loss, Arson, Murder and Recovery.  It is available HERE.

I am in the book, of course my name isn't Paul in the book and it was a little weird reading about my own life experience in the third person with someone else's name, but I am so proud of my sister for writing her story.

DISCLAIMER:  CHECK the price.  It is only available for FREE on Feb 1, Mar 1 and Apr 1.  If you blindly click and it is no longer listed for $0.00, you will be charged and I can't help you...  (At only $3.99, it is worth buying anyway, and I am sure Tracey would love to have you purchase it...)  But, enough of the Disclaimer...

She also just made her second book, "Alternate Choices" available on Kindle.

I just downloaded this one myself and haven't yet read it, but I am looking forward to doing so over the next few weeks.  It is available for $2.99 on Kindle, HERE.

Until Next Time,

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thursday Night Quilting

Well, in my last post, I eluded to going to Quilt Guild meeting Thursday night... That didn't happen.

Thursday evening, I got home from work at about 4:30 and had to run to the bank and the grocery store.  The bank is 0.7 miles from my home, the Grocery, 0.5 miles from the bank, and 0.2 miles from my home.  The entire round trip was only 1.5 miles.  I left my house at 4:45 and got back home at 6:20!

I spent 5 minutes at the bank and about 8 minutes at the grocery.  If you do the math, I averaged 1.097 MPH while actually in my car.  There were accidents at 5 of 7 intersections, there was less than 1 inch of snow on the ground and it was snowing... You would have thought I had been transplanted from OHIO where it snows EVERY winter to some land where they don't have a word for "Snow".  It was horrible.

Normally the weather wouldn't keep me home, especially such mild weather, but that little "jaunt" did have me slightly concerned about going to Guild meeting.  But I was supposed to demonstrate my method of Closing a Binding... So, I left to go to Guild meeting.  As I walked out the door, I saw that there was an accident at the end of the road that had my street blocked, so I went back into the house and decided I was going to quilt instead.

Determined to enjoy myself, I broke out my machine, some fabric, got all set up and ready to go, and then finally settled, started to feed two pieces through my machine to connect them together in that magical way we call sewing and after about 8 seconds, I realized something was horribly wrong.  My machine had no tension on top.  None.  Zero.  My brand new not even 90 day old machine!!

I was furious.  I messed with this and that, I even broke down and took out the manual!  Ladies you know that us menfolk don't open a manual unless we absolutely have to!  I am not too proud to admit that I fit that stereotype perfectly.  After going through the steps outlined there, nothing, still no tension.

So, I gave up for the evening.  I didn't get to Quilt Guild meeting, and I didn't even sew an inch.  It was a complete waste of 2 hours of my time.  I sulked and watched TV.  I thought about doing some homework, but honestly I was ticked off and wanted nothing more than to waste my time.  So, I did.

Friday I called my local repairman and we agreed on a time to meet Saturday morning to have a look at my new Quantum L-500.  (I still haven't named her... Any suggestions?)  Anyway, Steve messed with her for a few minutes, agreed she wasn't holding tension at all, and then after messing for a good 10 minutes with this and that, said, "Let me try one more thing..." and he pulled out an air hose from beneath his desk.  He plugged in a rather loud air compressor and blasted some air into the thread track and throughout the workings of the machine.

"Sometimes," he said, "lint and stuff gets caught up behind the tension wheel and forces it open.  If that's the case, this might blow out that lint and release the wheel."  Sure enough, when he put down the hose and unplugged the compressor, he threaded the machine and presto, she had tension again.

He sewed a few lines and reset the tension, and off I went... So, my first disappointment with my new machine turned out to be a result of using it so much.  I regularly clean what I can reach with a brush, but that blast of air produced quite a decent amount of dust and lint, so I guess I will be adding "Hit it with air" to my weekly cleaning routine from now on...

Now, I need to get my paper written for class tomorrow night so I can sew guilt free on Thursday!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's time to get back to QUILTING...

Wow.  It's been a while since I last posted... Almost 3 weeks.  Life has gotten crazy these past few weeks, but I am back.  I generally don't get too personal here, but the past two weeks have been emotionally and physically exhausting.  Last week I skipped a day of work because I felt like I had been to 4 funerals in a row.

What happened to cause such emotional stress... My wife and I had to make a tough decision...  We decided to leave the Children's Choir that we and our kids have been involved in for over 8 years.  If it were completely our choice, it would be much easier, but the truth is we didn't have much choice.

There are some principles which I simply can not and will not compromise.  We were basically in a situation where we had to compromise our ethics, or walk away.  We withdrew our kids and we agreed to completely walk away.  I still can't believe it came to this, but it did.

On the positive side, as I told Trish, "Well, honey, you are now going to have an extra 20 hours per week to dedicate to something else, and I'll have another 8-10!"  My son immediately chimed in and proclaimed, "You should be thrilled Dad, now you can start quilting on Thursday nights again!"  He is right, I can, and I plan to.

I will start next week.  I have a few things I need to do tonight.  I can't wait.  Of course, Trish pointed out to Jonathon that he also now had nothing to do on Thursday evenings and asked him if he would be joining me and learn to quilt!  I don't think I've heard him so "NO" so quickly in a long time.

All that aside, we have had a bunch of other "fun" stuff happen... We learned that the stray kitten my son brought in a few weeks before Christmas is actually a very small, but full grown 1.5 year old cat.  And she's pregnant!  Here we were nursing this skinny kitten back to health so we could give her away, and now we are going to have who knows how many kittens to get rid of... On a positive note, the doctor did say we had done a great job with her and gave her a clean bill of health.  She looks much better now than she did when Josh brought her home.

Misty - Our Pregnant "Kitten"!

CMQG had a swap last month, and I haven't posted about it because the night of the swap, I never got home before the meeting and I wasn't able to bring my swap item, but I plan to bring it tonight, so it is now safe to post it.  My partner was Vicki, and she brought some very bright orange batiks for me to work with.

We made sewing caddies to sit under our machines and hang down in front with pockets for goodies.  We received a pattern, but I did my own thing.  It's the rebel in me, what can I say?!

Here it is hanging from my machine.  The oranges were provided by
Vicki, I added the Kona Gray.  Note the decorative stitching on the
bottom... Another feature of my fancy new sewing machine.
Two buttons to push and away I went.

A Point of View photo.

Here is where I went on my own agenda... I added one
large pocket for stuffing threads, fabric cuttings, etc.

On the front of the large pocket are three more pockets for storing
scissors, tape measure, seam rippers, or whatever you might need
close at hand.

This is the one I received from Nicole...

Look at this nice presentation... A nice touch!  Of course the bow
looked much nicer when I first received it.  I tried to re-do it for this pic
but... I know how to sew, knot tying... Not so much!

When we were talking with our partners, she asked me where I considered
"Home", to which I replied that Columbus is now where I have lived for
more than half of my life.  I thought it was an odd question, but now I
understand.  Note the print fabric... Cities from all over the globe!

And a photo of the Columbus Skyline right on front.

I started looking for cities I have / haven't been to, there are a lot here...

Three small pockets, one large one.  My Ghinger scissors fit perfectly into
the center one.

I had happened to mention my sewing machine during our conversation,
she actually looked up the dimensions on the web and made it to fit perfectly!
Thanks Nicole... I love it, and I have used it since I brought it home.

Until Next Time,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!

It's 2012!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!

May God Bless your year and bring you Joy Unspeakable!!

Thanks so much for Reading...

Until Next Time...