Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sharp Mind

You know how it goes – your rotary cutter is not cutting smoothly. You keep thinking, “I’ve got to change this blade in a minute.” Finally, it won’t even cut through two layers of fabric. Not to worry, I know I have a pack of blades in my fold-out sewing chest.

Well, I looked in the sewing chest – all four shelves and the whole bottom. No pack of blades. I looked in the cupboard where miscellaneous stuff is stored. No blades. I looked in the sewing machine drawer and in the sewing bench. I looked in the fold-out chest again. No blades. I looked under piles of fabric on my cutting table. No blades.

Robert was planning to go to the bank. I told him I had a sewing emergency and he might have to pick something up for me on his trip. He asked what I was looking for. I told him about the mysterious disappearance of the pack of rotary blades. He volunteered to look for the packet. He looked in the cupboard, he looked in the drawer, he looked in the bench, and then he lifted the top of the sewing chest. He pulled out the blade pack and handed it to me. I thanked him effusively.

He said, “That’s why people get married.”

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Women's Work

What were women doing 20,000 years ago? They were working with cloth – doing many of the things we still do today. Despite our computers, our cars, electricity, indoor plumbing, and shopping malls we enjoy fondling fabric. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to create something out of fabric.

I don’t need to cut and sew. My family won’t go unclothed or shiver in their sleep if I don’t make garments and bed coverings. My house will stay warm if I just turn up the heat. But, when I sit in my rooms I want to look at interesting things around me. Interesting things are not necessities, but I want them around.

The book, Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, is a favorite of mine. I’m re-reading it. If you love cloth you will find a deep connection with ancient women. History isn’t just about wars and conquests; it is also about women’s important industry: fabric.

Barber, a spinner and weaver, approached archaeology with this perspective. Fabric is perishable, but the tools to make cloth are made of more lasting materials. There are spindle whorls and clay loom weights found in digs. Those ancient tools along with small statues and paintings and drawings on walls give clear evidence of the importance of cloth thousands of years ago.

P.S. Yes, I did my walking today and then came in from the drizzle and curled up with this good book.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

A Black Cat Crossed My Path

It was a good thing. I need some amusement while I plod along with my walking program. Today, Blackie, our sweetest cat, decided to join me on my trek up and down the lane. I have never heard of cats going for walks with people. He was exhausted after 35 minutes and is now asleep on our bed. I’m fine and perky.

I’m planning on having left over Apricot Crisp for lunch. We had it last night when it was warm out of the oven. It’s good cold, too.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

These are good

It's a good thing I took a picture of the cookies on the plate earlier today. I'm now eating one of the last ones. Robert made these Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip cookies for a change of pace.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Shopping with Dianne and Walking with Aucuba

She had to come all the way from Australia to get me going to some quilt shops I’d not visited for a long time. Dianne and I met for the first time in our lives at Thimble Creek in Concord. We started talking about this and that and everything the moment we saw each other. We moved through the store with the greatest of ease, grabbing bolts of fabric and plopping them on the cutting counter. Dianne’s taste is wide-ranging – she goes from sweet pastel prints and checks to wild and wonderful stripes and dots. We both took a sampling of the wild stuff. We found we had read many of the same books about Australia; a favorite of ours is The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway.

After inspecting almost every book, notion, and bolt there, Dianne suggested heading for The Cotton Patch in Lafayette. I had forgotten what an interesting quilt-lined labyrinth that store is. They have an extensive collection of Asian prints and I bought just enough. Yes, that is possible.

Over a “gourmet” lunch (Dianne’s treat at Subway) we kept finding coincidences in our lives. We both were raised in the Bay Area. I’d attended a performance or two of the Oakland Ballet while she was a ballerina in the company. We both have sons that are the same age.

(If the picture at the top looks familiar it’s because it is the same one Dianne used on her blog, only I mirrored it for a change of pace.)

Aucuba Goes Out

Robert (coach) told me before I left for Concord to meet Dianne that he would not accept any excuses from me that afternoon. He said if I tried to tell him I walked around a lot in the stores it would not count toward exercise. Our very old cat, Aucuba, is not very active. She does not like to go outdoors for any length of time. But yesterday, she accompanied us outside to observe my exercise walk. Aucuba came to the front yard and watched as we strode up and down the lane. She moved from one corner of the yard to the other to follow our progress with her eyes.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

So Sweet

Robert went to the Brentwood Olive Oil Company to restock his Empire Estate Blend extra virgin olive oil. When he arrived home he said, “Happy anniversary” and handed me a little red polka dot plate. I was surprised because our anniversary is in July. He said he was remembering the day we met in February of 1964. Then, he made some fudge to put on the plate. How sweet is that?

Chocolate Makes My World Go Round
I whipped up another circle today while thinking about chocolate. It’s hard to get a good picture of different shades of brown. It looks good in real life.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Are we having fun yet?

I hate walking, so far. It just seems like an ordeal. I will keep it up because I think it is doing good. If it were not for Robert's "coaching" I would have given up after the second day. Today, it was raining and we used our indoor track -- living room, dining room, kitchen. We did continue for the required time. I am waiting for the fun part.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rainy Day

Appliqué, the perfect thing to do on a rainy, cold day.

My coach made sure I did my walking this morning before the rain started. If it keeps on raining I’m going to have to buy a Bumbershoot.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dots and Spots

Here is the latest circle – Dots and Spots.
My walking program is going fine and my coach is so helpful. More tomorrow.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007


This picture hangs above my computer in our work-way-hallroom. My mother-in-law, Madeline, took it in the 1970s. I loved it so much she had it framed and gave it to me for Christmas. I still enjoy looking at it every day.

Yesterday, I started a walking program. Robert has agreed to be my coach and try to keep me motivated. We will walk for 35 minutes every other day. That may sound wimpy to some people, but it is a major undertaking for me. I have not done any exercise for years.

I do consider my sewing time minor exercise. I sew a few inches, stand up and use the rotary cutter, then go to the ironing board, then sit back down and sew a few more inches, etc. I’ve heard of many quilters who place an ironing pad and a cutting mat within reach of their sewing machines. However, I need the exercise!

By posting this in public I am going to embarrass myself if I don’t keep walking. And, no I do not need to take off pounds.

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