TOO MUCH excitement

Please forgive me but my brain is going a hundred miles a minute. I'm finding this self-isolation thing so stimulating. I know I'm probably the only one, but there's so much happening and so much to do and I've now got the time. I also have the time to dream up new things. This is BAD!!

I know that some people are struggling with the self-isolation thing and I know it's hard to be stuck in the house and can't go anywhere. I can only hope that has provided people with some time to reflect on things. What is important to them? How can they change their lives going forward and a whole lot of other questions? I strongly believe that getting outside and varying up what I do and LEARNING something new every day is keeping me from even thinking about the situation.

I remembered this quote that hangs in Studio U and I think it pretty much sums up why I'm so happy.

One of my favorite quotes

So a LOT happened at my house yesterday. It was a very exciting day. We started off with this in the backyard.

I've noticed on our walks, that our neighbors are getting their first lawn treatment. I don't even know what that involves, but some chemicals being sprayed on the lawn or fertilizer or whatever. And at some point in the year, they'll have their sprinkler systems madly running to try to keep the lawn green.

At our house? We don't have any grass. NOT a single blade - any grass is a WEED at our house.

Yesterday morning the backyard looked like this.

Murphy surveying her (I mean Lexi's) kingdom

Here's the view of the gazebo from the back door.

Along the back of the house

View from the deck to the shed and what I like to call the "upper deck". Lexi has dug herself a nice little spot to sleep under that shed.

View to the shed

Lastly, there's the view down the side of the house. I call this the secret garden. There's a nice bench out there and no one really knows that area is there. We're on a crescent so on this side of the house we're not breathing down our neighbor's neck.

The secret garden

Then this happened in front of the house. My favorite landscape crew dropped 5 yards of mulch. In the past, I've done the mulch thing myself. But I've managed one section of the yard per year and we thought that this year, we'd support our favorite landscape company (Hinkley Associates) and have them lay the mulch for us. It took Mike and Peter all day to lay the mulch, but it looks and SMELLS amazing.

A load of mulch to be spread

I didn't get cedar - I just went with the natural mulch. But it still smells nice.

And once they left? It looks like this.

The secret garden
This area is Murphy's speedway along the side fence. Oh yes - the girls were not happy being in the house all day, and they had to inspect every single square inch of the backyard to see what happened.

The dog run
Here's the view of the gazebo. The guys even put up my bird feeder. The darn thing has four huge spikes and I just can't get it driven far enough into the ground. They dug a HUGE hole and embedded it into the clay soil. I don't think that bird feeder is going anywhere. That was awesome. Thanks so much, Mike for that!!!

The bird feeder is now back in place
And here's the view looking towards the back fence.

The back fence

That's it - we're done our yard maintenance for the year. No watering, no planting (although every year I say I'm going to plant flowers, why bother with my two monsters). Yes - the deck needs to be power washed and the gazebo needs to be painted and the filter in the pond needs to be cleaned and a few weeds need to be pulled throughout the summer. But no grass to mow (no grass clippings to deal with and no allergies to go haywire), no worrying about brown grass, no excess water bill). Our front yard is the same - no grass, just mulch, and a few plants. It's the easiest and most carefree yard I've ever owned. It's also the nicest yard I've ever owned. We've lived here for almost 20 years and this didn't happen overnight. We've never had any regrets.

Now if the weather will only warm up so I can sit outside!!!

I had some homework to get sewn and I needed to pull some more orange fabric for my quilt. Oh god - you know how I shop at my house for fabric. Let's just say it's been a long, long time that I shopped in the orange fabric. There are two baskets - two OVERFLOWING baskets of orange. Why did I buy so much? I've no idea. Anyway - it would appear that I don't use it often so I'm trying to use more orange. And why didn't I use it? I NEED it. Nope - nothing is sacred now. Honestly, it was such a mess that I couldn't be bothered.

The stash of orange fabric

I brought both baskets out onto a CLEAN worksurface and dumped them out. Then I proceeded to "shop" and put most of the fabrics back into the baskets. Neatly of course. But nothing had to be folded - it was already folded. I don't get the refolding thing on comic board pieces. That's just way too much work. The baskets work just fine.

Two "reasonable" baskets of orange fabric

These are yardage pieces that I pulled from the baskets. Oh boy - I seem to have a wee problem here. These pieces will work for quilt backings so it'll have to be measured and a permanent home will have to be found for them. There currently isn't room on the backings shelf, but I have a temporary holding spot for extra backings and I'll put these in the same spot. It's not on the floor. As I empty a spot on that backing shelf, the pieces from this temporary storage go in the spot. It's all good.

Fabric pulled for quilt backings
 So you can see the problem. If I still have two full baskets of fabric and I pulled all this? The shelf was a mess and no wonder I only dug through the top of those baskets. Now it's going to be easy to dump them like the other colors and find what I need.

This is what I pulled to continue working on my quilt. I've decided that I have enough variety of oranges that each round is going to be made with different oranges. I'm liking that. I won't make much of a dent in these but that's OK - they are now going to be used. 

Fabrics pulled for a project

I was looking through another basket of UFOs and OMG -- I found a brand new package of elastic that would be great for masks. I wonder how much I could sell that for??  Just kidding - I think I'll hang onto that one. But I also found a BRAND NEW RULER. And more thread and a couple of UFOs. Oh boy!! But that's OK. I didn't have time yesterday to sort and file all this, so that's a job for later today.

More treasures unearthed

I can only imagine what else I'm going to find as I work my way through the various bags and boxes.

I spent an enormous amount of time on the phone yesterday which is why the written homework that I wanted to have done this morning isn't quite done. But that's OK. I had two test calls for the ZOOM classes that I'll be doing this morning. Both worked out just great and it's amazing how many people are using this solution to stay in touch. I've been out of the loop. I now have a year's subscription all paid for so I can talk all day if I want.

It's simple to use, yet it's pretty powerful. As I find more uses for it, I know I've got more learning ahead of me. I see presentations to guilds because they don't want to have a physical meeting. Already working with one guild on that. So if you have a guild and nothing to do for May or June, let me know  - I'd be happy to put together a ZOOM trunk show for you. Or if you're a faraway guild and wouldn't want to pay my travel expenses, this is also a super way for me to talk to you!!! It won't be free - my regular fees apply.

My brain just won't go to sleep these days. After one of my many conversations yesterday, a comment from an IG post, and a couple of e-mails, my brain is coming up with some other great things. Oh boy -- I may have to stop sewing to take care of the technology side of things.

I love seeing the backgrounds that people use when they are on ZOOM. Mine was my messy office. ACK!!! And that's very hard to show stuff against. So - I got busy yesterday and did this.

I needed to move the table in the office, but it had so much junk on it and the rubber mats under the wheels were stuck to the floor, so I had to empty the table - I just dumped the piles on the floor and moved the table. I actually have great visions of getting rid of all that stuff.

The table in the office is empty!!!!

There - you can see the entire mess. I mean it's not a total disaster. I've seen much worse. There is a LOT of floor showing even with all the stuff off the tables.

The office with an empty table in the middle

Then I hauled my three portable design walls from Studio U and set them up behind my chair.

The design wall set up behind my chair

This is what it looks like from the back and yes - the table becomes handy to hold things for the class.

Behind the design wall

 Then it was easy to put my quilt on the design wall so I could use it in the class. This is Aviatrix Medallion and my modified border.

The quilt for the class

Here's a shot of me on the computer with my new background. I thought that was very clever of me. It actually worked out really well and I could share my screen as well with the class so I used EQ8 to help with the design process. Oh yes - I'm embracing this technology and I'm going to take it to the max!!!!   I've got a couple of great plans to do a trunk show via ZOOM. Just wait for that!

My backdrop for ZOOM
As I was walking yesterday, I passed this townhouse complex. They've been redoing the roofs for a while. Holy - I bet no one thought of the extra expense in this style of roof. Not only are there tons of shingles, but they need cranes to maneuver around to install the new shingles. Something to think about when you buy a house.

That's a LOT of shingles, not on the roof

Our house has a lot of peaks and valleys on the roof. Not my choice and from time to time when I'm walking, I wonder how the roof could be redesigned to make better use of the surface to install solar panels. The way it is - it's not a very efficient roof and it's costly to reshingle. See? My brain just won't shut down - I have my Dad and my Grandfather to blame for that!

I also saw this on my walk. Do you see what it is? It's an airplane!!!  We live near the flight path of a major airport and the planes are usually stacked up (well - pretty close together). There are two runways so often we'll see two planes at a time. Lately? We've hardly seen any planes.

A plane!!!!!

Since the girls were cooped up in the house yesterday, I gave them each a bone which was a mistake because Lexi likes to savor and Murphy likes to devour. So Lexi lay in this bed protecting her bone which was in front of her. Nothing like having your back to the enemy!!!!

Lexi protecting her bone

Phew -- aren't you exhausted? I am!!! OK - so I'm not. I should be because I don't seem to be getting all the sleep I should with all this excitement. After the two ZOOM classes this morning and the final editing of two more written documents, I'm off the hook for a couple of days until I need to start over for the homework that is due next Friday. Thankfully there's only one project due next week. It wouldn't have been so bad - I did have time to get it all done - it was the phone calls that delayed me. But they were so worth it so I'm not going to complain.

Oh - here's a tip for you - well - you may not need it. But I edit a LOT of pictures and write a LOT of documents. If you do - then you had better have a darn good filing system on your computer. I do - now I just need to do the same with paper!!!

Have a super day!!!!!


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