Monday, June 29, 2009

Slip Slidin' away

We pulled out the slip and slide for the kids the other day. The one action photo I had of Noah sliding won't post properly so you'll have to take my word for it that he was sliding like a champ.

For a 2 year old the fun is playing with the water spouts. (click photos for larger view)

I tried to get a photo of Noah when he wasn't looking because he still gives that forced smile when he poses for photos. I almost succeeded here.

Hayden looks like she's running a race here.

It's so hot that it's almost too hot to even play in the water. Remind me again why we live in South Carolina!?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

At the aquarium

We took the kids to the South Carolina Aquarium the other day. Noah always tries to act uninterested in any activity we plan for him (he's almost 8)so it's hard to tell what he thought about the whole thing - except for the escalator. He loved it and couldn't wait to go up. Interestingly there wasn't a down escalator - you either had to come down the steps or take the elevator. Anyway, it made me realize that there are not many locations we visit in Charleston that have escalators. Guess I'll have to scope out a couple more for him.

For some reason one of the exhibits was a fake campsite called Camp Carolina. I'm still not sure how that related to the aquarium. I couldn't get Noah and Jerry to sit down for a photo but here's Hayden sitting on a fake log next to a fake campfire.

The aquarium was good with a nice assortment of sea creatures. We enjoyed the penguins - who are fairly new residents in our aquarium. Some of the fish scared Hayden a bit - especially those that were bigger than her.

It was a fun visit and a good place to spend a very hot day.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bits 'n Pieces Quilt and Fabric Shoppe

I've had a frustrating encounter with Bits 'n Pieces Quilt and Fabric Shoppe in Pelham, New Hampshire.

The first week in May I was looking for a specific fabric line. I went to and searched on the name of the line. Bits 'n Pieces had it in several color ways and on sale too so I placed an order.

On May 14 I sent a follow-up email asking the status since I hadn't heard from them and my credit card had not been charged. I received a response from Liz the same day stating that they only had one of the fabrics in stock and they had shipped it to me that day.

May 22nd and no fabric - and no charge to my credit card so I sent another email and asked them to cancel the order. I also sent an email to telling them about the events. Quiltshops stands behind the shops that come up on their website and I thought they should know - especially since the Bits 'n Pieces web site still featured the fabrics I'd been told they no longer had.

Jan, at Quiltshops contacted Liz at Bits 'n Pieces and Liz's response told about unreliable employees, a busy brick and mortar shop, etc. In her response Liz stated that I had canceled the order when originally told of the out of stock fabrics. I didn't actually cancel it until 8 days later, but it's obvious that Liz knew I had cancelled.

On June 15 I received a package in the mail - guess what it was...the one yard of fabric that had supposedly been shipped on May 14. The postmark and the charge slip inside the package were both dated June 12 so it's not like the package had been floating around the post office for a month.

My initial thought is to just put the fabric in the stash and chalk it up as a lesson learned because it will be just too much trouble to return the fabric and hope they don't screw up the refund. The more I think about it though, the more angry I get about the transaction. So, while I may keep the fabric I decided to make sure others knew about the poor treatment I received from Bits 'n Pieces Quilt and Fabric Shoppe in Pelham, NH.

(Please note that I was 100% satisfied with Jan at and find the site is a useful tool in finding fabrics.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birthday girl

Today is Hayden's 2nd birthday. Here she is back 2 years ago.

And then here she is on her 1st birthday.

We'll be going over to her house this evening for cake and ice cream and then on Saturday for lunch.

Happy Birthday sweetie!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Calendar Girl

I bought the pattern for this Calendar girl quilt a couple of years ago in Pigeon Forge, TN. The main panel of the girl is about 52" tall. The series of mini-quilts attach to the girl's hands with snaps and are interchangeable depending on the season/holiday.

The mini quilts are finished except for sewing small buttons for eyes. The girl needs to be quilted. I actually started the quilting on it after taking these photos, but haven't finished it yet.

Here the girl is holding the Welcome sign that she'll hold when none of the other quilts apply.

These two mini quilts are for Easter and birthdays.

Next we have Halloween and the Fourth of July

Here are St. Patrick's Day and Christmas

Finally we have Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day.

Every time I worked on this I would hum the old Neil Sedaka song "Calendar Girl."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quilters day out

My quilt guild holds Quilters Day Out every couple of months. It's a fun opportunity for guild members to get together and sew. Usually the organizers have a simple project lined up for everyone to do. If someone isn't interested in doing the planned project she can bring something else to work on.

At our last QDO each person was asked to bring a bunch of 6" squares - half light and half dark. (I can't remember exactly how many of each we were supposed to bring - I think it was about 125 of each) The squares were then stacked up on a table and everyone went around selecting squares from all the piles. We ended up with a nice variety of colors and patterns with which to work.

We sewed a light and dark square together diagonally to create a new square that was half light and half dark. Unfortunately many guild members used this swap of fabric as an excuse to get rid of their really poor quality stuff. Some of the fabrics are downright scary. Even so, I challenged myself to just sew together random lights and darks without trying to make 'pretty' blocks. Some of the combinations I ended up with were really ugly, but I did my best to include them.

The blocks could be laid out in several different configurations. We had enough blocks that I was able to make 4 different designs - each of which will be 40" x 40" when completed.

After taking these photos I realized I could have done a better job in placing the blocks in each design. It's amazing how the work looks different when viewed through the camera lens.

There is some Elvis fabric hidden in this one.

I was amazed at how many green blocks I had. This last quilt was made up of all the 'leftovers' and it sure has lots of green.

Once I figure out how to quilt these I will donate them to our community service project. These will be a good size for wheelchair quilts so they may go to the VA hospital.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Waterfront property

I've always wanted to live on water. Ocean, lake, stream - any of those would do. Today I thought my wish was coming true. We had a deluge which overwhelmed the drains. This is the street in front of our house. (click photos for larger view)

That's our next door neighbor's mail box. There really is a sidewalk and driveway there next to the mailbox, honest.

A view of our neighbors across the 'pond.'

The drains on the golf course behind us were clogged and the water backed up into the yard.

Jerry got a rake out and did his best to clear the drain.

It might be too hard to see but the house behind him here had water lapping against the foundation.

It took several hours for the water to subside so our time owning waterfront property was short lived.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


It has been a while since I posted photos of our cute grandkids. I got these photos the other day just after Hayden's bath. (click on photos for larger view)

You can see that Noah is missing one of his front teeth in this photo. His other front tooth is loose but not quite ready to come out. Grandpa has been trying to convince Noah that a string and a door knob would be a good thing. He convinced Craig to do that with one of his teeth - Craig never let him do it a second time.

My 3 favorite people just chillin'.