Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy Birthday, Miss A!

Do you remember the last time you were excited about having a birthday?

I don't.  I've had too many I guess.  The novelty has worn off.

Someone's birthday is today, and she was SO excited, she decided to celebrate the last day of being 7 yesterday!  Then she got up at the crack of 0-dark-30 to come over this morning so she could have breakfast with Gramps and he could put her on the bus.

Wow, I wish I were that popular!

So many, many happy returns of this day, Miss A.

"I can comb my hair later, just before the bus comes"
I hope YOU can be excited about something today too.  If not, I recommend a LONG conversation with an eight year old.  :-)

Sew on...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nothing To Do With Sewing...

Yesterday I was asked by someone in my office to do something he classified as 'weird'.

OKAYYYY... I'm listening.

Someone was doing a proposal and they're looking for a way to use a building they're decommissioning.

Now, for the record, I work with wastewater engineers.  Sewer guys.  Yeah, ugh, THAT stuff.  They try to find the fastest, most efficient and cost effective way to turn dirty, stinky waste back into useable water to help mankind and the planet. 
Not exactly sexy stuff.  So when you are trying to sell it, you do whatever you can do to make it cool and important and whatever else the marketing department wants.
The request was for me to go get a cup of $8 coffee.  OK $3 coffee, or not even coffee since I don't drink coffee.

I am a 'bag lady' myself.  I have a cup of English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast Tea in the morning.  I love the smell of coffee and when it's good, it's really good, but when it's bad it's a waste of water.
So the request was to go to the Colectivo Coffee Shop in downtown Milwaukee on Lincoln Memorial Drive and take some photos of both inside and outside.  The reason is that this building was a pump station that belonged to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District for years.  Since 1888 in fact.  And it was decommissioned and turned into a coffee shop.  We want to show a client that their building can be turned into something interesting without being completely demolished.
Here's a shot of the outside.


It is so super-cool... you can go up to the balcony and see the cream city brick walls and the old floors.  Those boards sticking out are floor joists for the second story.

This is the front patio, and it was such a beautiful day, I sat in an orange chair and drank my tea and ate a coffee cake muffin in the warm air.

Check out the front entrance...

Here's a guy working right next to the old pump station equipment.  You don't really want to know what that equipment did when it was working, but it looks pretty cool now!

And right across the street is the Yacht Club and Lake Michigan.

The front patio...

 And an old water wheel.  A nice architectural feature of the back parking lot.

I enjoyed the assignment immensely.  It's not often I get to go outside and sit in the sun  and get paid to do it!
Thanks for the weird assignment, Jim.
And so on...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sibling Rivalry 2015 Style

Recap of the spring activities for my oldest grand, Miss E.  She is very crafty and makes jewelry, wall art, and is learning to sew.  A few years ago she used both my sewing machine and embroidery machine to make a placemat.  I think she was 10 or 11 at the time.

Here she is last year at the zoo with her older half-sister Miss R and her younger sister, Miss A.

Miss E was the lucky beneficiary of the Babylock sewing machine I won at the Midwest YaYa Sisters event at Nancy's Notions.  She's got a couple of projects in process. 

This weekend, not to be outdone, Miss A asked to come and visit me for a play date.  Understand that when that happens, I usually relinquish all control over what we do and when we do it.  Not on purpose, but she can usually find ways to 'help' me do exactly what she wants. 

This weekend we went into the sewing room, ostensibly to finish up a project I started for the church guild.  I was sorting through a bin of four patches, making piles of similar colors with the intent to put them into kits.  I was also cutting the 2 inch strips required to round out the numbers.  You know how you do that, you sew twos together, then cross cut them into two inch by 3 1/2 inch sections, flip and sew together for a four patch, pressing as you sew.

I chain sew these pieces and parts together, and Miss A usually cuts them apart for me.  A while back I bought a gadget that helps with the cutting, and it goes fairly quickly.  Also it only cuts the threads so there's less of a chance of snipped off corners, or cut fingers.

I think it's called the Cutting Gizmo.
Miss E had always done the pressing.  It was a good system, we got whole quilts put together in no time with the help of this gadget.  But Miss E was elsewhere, and Miss A decided she was old enough and tall enough to take over the pressing.
I won't deny being nervous about it.  I have an Oliso iron and it's heavy.  She's not quite eight years old, but she's determined and interested.  I demonstrated pressing the little pieces with the seams to the dark side.  She actually got pretty good at it.  We inspected the first batch and there were way more that were really good than were sent back for fixing.  I was just a little nervous about small fingers so near the hot iron when I remember I bought these at Nancy's Notions on Sewing Weekend:

The smaller two were the perfect application for her thumb and first finger.  She's very proud of herself for using a grown up tool and doing something before her sister did it (she reminded me that she's two years younger than Miss E was when she started ironing!)

Now if I can teach her to do blouses... 

Sew on!