Monday, July 16, 2018

Grandma Sue's Farm Camp 1

Sue and I have been friends since the 7th Grade. HOLY COW. That's a long time...We raised our kids together -- so it only seems fitting that I make her an honorary member of my Grandma Camp Adventure team...
She lives on a wonderful Scott County Century Farm.
And two of her Grandkids are visiting from North Carolina!!
I decided Lilly and Warren would enjoy spending some time with Madeline and Eian.
SO -- we went to the farm for lunch. THEN, I gave the kids the official "Scavenger Hunt" game. (which I pretty much printed off the internet).
The teams were decided. Boys against Girls.
CLEARLY -- the boys are younger. So the kids negotiated an advantage. AFTER the girls come in, the boys get to hunt for an additional 3 minutes -- AND the boys also get a one-minute FREEZE BOMB. They all agreed that would be fair...
The GIRLS WON anyway! Madeline and Lilly were like two old friends...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Putnam Museum and Uncle Ross

Uncle Ross is a big part of Grandma Camp. He's been in his own house for a year now -- and, as far as I can tell, he loves his job as a R.N. in the Birth Center. sighting at least once But his schedule is crazy...he usually works 8 days in a row, and almost always second shift...

But, when I do manage to arrange an Uncle Ross sighting, both kids are delighted. There is nobody they'd rather spend time with...

Sometimes, we meet Ross at a local park -- and he pushes them on the swing, or spins them on the Merry-go-round.  On this day, he met us at the Putnam Museum -- which has a wonderful area for children's scientific hands-on activities.
Lilly could pull herself up...
But Warren needed some help from Uncle Ross.
There are a ton of hands-on building activities...make a paper rocket and launch it with a blast of air...so many well-designed children's activities.
This is a laser musical instrument.
This is climbing in a rowboat...lol...
With the 3-Dscreen, you become part of the exhibit.  We were being attacked by sharks!
It was about 100 degrees outside on this particular day...
So it was great to have an interesting place to go that was beautifully air-conditioned!!
And I have to say THANK YOU, AGAIN, SCOTT COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM. Because of their wonderful  "Free Pass" program, we had the Putnam Pass from the Princeton Library. Which was good for free admission for 2 adults and 4 children. (that would save you almost $60).

Friday, July 13, 2018

Zentangle Puzzle Chair

Elliott and Emily gave me a wonderful gift for my birthday this year -- NEW CARPETING!

However, the process of getting ready for the new carpet has been difficult and time-consuming. (translation: I have to clean all my closets, and so far have delivered at least 12 big bags to the Goodwill store...)

To distract myself from all the unpleasant CLEANING AND SORTING...I decided this is a good time for a little freshening up around here.
I fund this awesome hot pink vinyl chair at the Salvation Army. ($6). PERFECT. Do you think it's real leather?
As I looked at it, I decided it would be a great art project for Grandma Camp.  Maybe the kids could paint it...
Lilly decided she would Zentangle it.
Hey -- all she needs is a black permanent marker.
She decided to go with all "L" words. YOU GO LILLY..!!
She was very pleased with her finished result.
It's a nice sturdy chair...it goes up and down. Warren loves it. Maybe Lilly will take it with her to college. I'll be ready for a change by that time...

For right now, it's exactly what we need at the puzzle table.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

TMBC Louisa May Alcott Luncheon

In the Quad Cities, we have several colleges -- and they do "Lunch and Learn" programs. Last summer, Lilly and I went to the "Hamilton Women" luncheon. There was a wonderful actress who played the rolls of Eliza Schuyler, and her sisters Angelica and Peggy.  It was SO POPULAR, they had to run it twice.  (300 people is considered sold out).

This summer, their June event features the same wonderful actress.  This time, she is being Louisa May Alcott. And, as luck would have it -- Lilly and I just watched the recent PBS version of Little Women. And she loved it!!

One of the best things about these luncheons is the location. Our favorite location is the very fancy Outing Club.
It's a great excuse to get ALL DRESSED UP.
I restyled this adult lace dress for Lilly...and the back of the dress is her favorite thing.
We were both in our best outfits...
The food is always delicious. Lilly ate EVERY LAST BITE.! (Her mother could not believe she ate asparagus!)
She told her mother the food was "Perfection"...lol. (Hey -- TWO servings of strawberry shortcake)
This is our Louisa May, in her period costume.
She made a living as a writer,writing 43 books...and she never married.
Lilly, with her honorary Grandmas, and Louisa May Alcott.
We had SUCH A PERFECT DAY.
So far, 2018 Grandma Camp is keeping me busy -- and going great!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Our Sleeping Rooms at the RETREAT

You've seen the public space of the Retreat Center...and the grounds...bu I almost forgot to take a picture of our sleeping rooms.
IT WAS SO MUCH FUN TO SEW IN OUR PAJAMAS..!! Really -- that was the real luxury here. No television, no internet, no phone calls, no cooking or cleaning. Just UNINTERRUPTED TIME TO SEW.
I wish I'd taken a picture BEFORE I messed up the room. But, trust me -- the rooms were spotless. Simply and thoughtfully furnished.  With a comfortable bed, clean sheets (we made our own beds). There is a simple chest of drawers, and a writing desk across from the bed.
Every room had a Lazy Boy Recliner, with a GOOD READING LAMP...
Every room had it's own sink....
Through this door is the toilet and shower (shared with one other room).
THIS IS ANN...who cooked our delicious meals every day. On Saturday morning, she got up early to make homemade cinnamon rolls for us.
I cannot believe I did NOT get a picture of it -- but Ann served her delicious cream cheese glaze (for our cinnamon rolls) IN A GRAVY BOAT..!!

G.E.N.I.U.S...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rita's First (and Last) Quilt

So, with the contributions from my TMBC friends...my first (and, obviously, LAST) quilt just might become a reality.
Last summer, I started to lay the quilt out...

At our April library sewing-day, I completed 9 rows of blocks -- using the quilt-as-you-go method.
This is what the back of the quilt looked like at that point.....
At the May library sewing day, I used the quilt-as-you-go technique to sew the strips together...
I'M GETTING CLOSER ALL THE TIME -- and it's pretty exciting!! Once I got the 9 strips all sewn together, I had a quilt top that was 60''x 80". That will cover the deck of a queen size mattress...

My goal for the two days of sewing at our TMBC RETREAT was to figure out my actual finished dimensions, how much of a drop I wanted...and sew the side panels accordingly.
The SS blocks (for the deck of the quilt) are all joined, and I've created two black panels for the sides. (I only had enough black fabric to make 6" panels.)
I pinned the black side panel to the quilt...
Then, using quilt-as-you-go -- I attached both side panels
This is how the back looks now...SOOOO CLOSE, RIGHT??
I cut up EVERY LAST SCRAP OF FABRIC I had in my basket...to see if I'd have enough to make a 10" run around the three sides...to make the finished quilt 80"x 90"
THIS IS ME, DOING MY HAPPY DANCE..!!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Rita's Never-ending Quilt Project!!

To review, Pat Sloan's internet sew-along was called the Splendid Sampler. I interviewed her for Inspired To Sew magazine (OVER TWO YEARS AGO)...

I am not a quilter...so, getting a new quilt design twice a week, and learning all those exciting quilt techniques seemed like A GREAT IDEA...

And, hey -- it could also be a nice sewing/learning experience for Lilly!!
Lilly DID, in fact, sew this very first Splendid Sampler block...(see how young she was??)
As you call, from the very beginning, LP immediately (and gleefully) started making TWO versions of each block design.
And Sandy kept up with the twice-weekly-designs as well, never failing to bring a Sew and Tell to TMBC
I started off strong...
But, sadly, at the time, I was too fat to do that much sewing...
HONESTLY...I look back at these pictures, and ALL I SEE IS FAT RITA...
Hey -- A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN TWO YEARS..!!  It seemed as I was losing weight, and trying to go to the pool every day, I had less time to sew...and, hell, who are we kidding??  My attention span just would not support sewing TWO new designs every week.   Some of those little 6" blocks could take 4 or 5 hours to sew, people!!  (I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know...)


By the time the Splendid Sampler was over -- LP had two finished quilts, and Sandy also completed her quilt. But I only had about 50 blocks...I tried to figure out how I could use these blocks to make a quilt...ugh...

THEN -- I GOT A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS.....

Because LP is a VERY PERSNICKETY quilter -- after completing TWO of those monster quilts --she had about 40 blocks that were REJECTS...!! Which she gifted to me...and my hopes soared that I might actually make a quilt..!!
Then, the equally-as-persknickety- Sandy, also gifted me HER Splendid Sampler rejected blocks...
Don't forget, Lilly sewed two blocks altogether...
I just might be able to DO THE DAMN THING..!!