Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Computer whining

Here is my spiffy new computer.

I have found the best way to use my new computer is to sit next to my grandson, who seems to know exactly how to fix what I mess up and to have my email up so artquiltmaker can rescue me too.

I've had a computer since they were first readily available. My first one was an Radio Shack with two disk drives.  I planned to become a programmer and was signed up at the local JC (that's Junior College for you youngsters) to learn Cobol.  Due to an emergency I missed the third class and was totally lost after that.  I dropped out shortly after.

I eventually began using computers at work and became quite comfortable with them.  Two years ago I retired and had just my ten year old laptop to use.  I no longer used business applications, had Word 2003 on it and generally that was all I needed.

I used a little HP notebook for email and pictures and the old laptop for word processing and watching DVDs.

Well, a ten year old laptop is an antique in all respects except the fifty year requirement for antiques.  So, of course, it died.  The power cable plug broke.  Then on Christmas day 2011 my HP notebook was stolen.  My own fault as I had forgotten to take it out of my truck while visiting relatives in Sacto.

So there I was lost in the information age with no computer.  I scraped together the dough to have the plug fixed on the laptop. When I got it back the plug was great but the hard drive only ran about thirty seconds before turning off the laptop.  The technician said he just fixed the plug and didn't even turn the thing on.

Here is the computer illiterate who owns it!

So I was reduced to one hour a day at the library.  On the days it was open, if I got there before school let out and there was a computer available. Ugh.
I stewed about that for almost a month.  One day I figured what the heck the thing doesn't work so slamming it around a little won't change anything.   So I bounced it on the floor three times, took it out of it's case and set it up. Miracle of miracles, IT WORKED!

The other problem we had was that or internet provider went belly-up with less than a weeks notice right around the time all this bad computer karma started.  So just before I received this cool little computer we signed up with another internet provider.

My old laptop decided it wouldn't go on the internet anymore. Something about a proxy server. But little Acer goes on just fine. It just won't read any documents done on the old LT.  

So, I can load one more copy of the Word 2003 I bought with the old LT.  Except that program is one disks and the little guy hasn't got a disk drive.  I see two choices: purchase a new and current word processing program or a portable disk drive.  I think a new program is the best bet, any advice?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Toby the Tram Engine

Somehow I just blew away two paragraphs and a photo.  I have a great new computer that I love. I, however, have not quite gotten the hang of all the bells and whistles, yet. Hence, I tend to lose work.  Must remember to save more often!

Original Toby - about 12 years old

Back to the subject I intended to blog about.  The Big Guy loves a project.  Last week, A Paper Addict phoned and asked him to build a "Toby" toy box like  the one he had built years ago for our grandson.

In Progress

He made the box then bought some foam for the seat.  I had a piece of red leather in my stash that works perfectly for the seat top.  He also purchased wheels so it can be pulled around.  

Toby's Face

I used a clay made by Crayola that air dries for the face and, of course, gave him googly eyes.
We have worked on it a week or so.

Waiting for his number to be painted on

Toby is the number seven engine.  It is taking some experimenting to get the paint on because the The Big Guy rubbed the wood down with his concoction of wood butter before I had a chance to paint it.  The paint won't stick to the wood butter. I also don't have the right color of yellow for his number.

But Toby is coming along.  And he has been fun to make.  Orders happily taken.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Easy Acccess to Blog and Quilting thoughts

Artquiltmaker fiddled around with my new computer this afternoon and now I can get to my blog without needing to remember how!  That has been a little problem for me as my computer literacy has stayed in 1992 and computers have progressed to 2012.  Amazing.

But on to more interesting stuff.

I mentioned in my last blog that I would tell you how it came about that I was hired to make a store sample quilt top for Quilters Quarters.  About three months ago there was an article in the paper about the shop.  Debbie, the owner, mentioned she was having trouble finding part-time help.  I went over a few days later with a resume on disk to apply but she had already hired a couple of people. While I was there I signed up for the Saturday Sampler class.

The Big Guy came with me for the first class as did Roxy Dog.  They explored the little mall where the quilt shop is while I went to the hour-long class.  They ate cookies from the Dutch bakery, found a Japanese shop with gluten free soy sauce, and rifled through all the sale fabric in front of Quilter's Quarters.  

The quilt we are doing is called "Birthday Blossoms" Each square is the flower of the month. April's flower is the sweet pea.  If we made two blocks we got entered in a drawing for a fat quarter.

 Kestrel Cousins
 I was so inspired by spending time with other quilters and lots of fabric that I did the first block, a second in different colors and a third at half size.  I did all the day after the class! 


The next week I made a pillowcase for the small block but it didn't look good on it so off it came.  

 Colby's Doggy Love quilt

 Then I finished the baby quilt "Doggy Love" I had been working on forever for Colby Butler, grandson of some dear friends. And also finished the quilt top for Colby's big sister, Kestral, whose infancy I somehow missed! Big brother got his quilt (an I Spy) almost the second he was born.

Official Class Block

At the May Saturday Sampler class I proudly did show and tell of all my stuff and Debbie pointed at me and said "You, stay after class!".  Which, of course being well indoctrinated by 13 years of catholic school,  I did. Whereupon she hired me to make the shop sample.

My Variation Block

So that is that story.

My half-size variation

Oh, yeah - the $60 worth of fabric I bought...story for another day, I think.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Okay, I really am back in the blogosphere now! We once again have internet in the house. I have a working and reliable computer and maybe something to blog about!

Last week Debbie of Quilters Quarters aske me to sew a store sample quilt from the "Fairy Tale Friends" collection.  How that came about is a story for anothe post.  Sufice it to say I surprised myself by getting it doe in 5 days, only 2 1/2 of which were spent sewing!  Unfortunately I neglected to take a picture after I put on the borders. But the first border was one inch solid red and the second border was black with all the fairy tale characters on it. 


Quilter's Quarters is my new favorite quilt store.  I love novelty prints and batiks and they carry tons of them.  I am usually able to resist buying fabric but I have not resisted the last three times I have been there.  But I am also sewing more so I will be using lots of fabric. So it is reasonable to buy more, right? Sure. Right. Uh huh.

In June I will be teaching a sewing camp for children 8 years old and up at A Work of Heart in San Jose.  I have designed a tote bag and have made two samples.   Have to find a place to stay near the shop because it is REALLY too far to drive everyday.  Anyone have an idea?

The Big Guy and I had our quarterly (it seems) Friday night date at the VA Emergency Room last week.  Lost half of Friday and all of Saturday. Friday was the drive to Sacramento - we went to Mather VA instead of Palo Alto (won't do that again) - because it is closer by twenty miles and no bridges to cross.  But the treatment left a lot to be desired in my opinion and the facility is not state of the art like Palo Alto.  Lost Saturday because I drank so much coffee to stay awake driving that when we got home at 3:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep.  Got some knitting done, read a little and got to bed about 5:30 a.m. Got up at 11:30.

BG had been up for hours. Of course he slept going, coming and while he was at the VA.  We went to lunch at The Mangy Moose - best diner in Manteca - then to Home Depot for supplies. Big Guy is making a Toby toy box.  For those of you without little boys, Toby is one of the engines from the Thomas the Tank Engine Series. I will post pictures when it is finished.
Thomas and Friends coloring pictures
Have I mentioned that Home Depot is my least favorite place in the shopping world?  The only thing they have that interests me in the least are paint chips.

I received a great book from artquiltmaker for mother's day.  It is A.J. Munsell's Notebooks.  What a fantastic book!  I like the Munsell color system and have used it for years.  Reading this book is giving me a more complete understanding of the system and the language of color.  If you get the chance, get a copy of this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in color theory.

Plan on posting three times a week from now on.  I look forward to your comments.