Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bath Time!

From the Detroit News...

He came, he saw, he spent

By Henry Payne / The Michigan View

In the latest stop on his “Recovery Summer” tour, rock star President Barack Obama landed in Holland, Michigan Thursday, insulted its congressman, handed American stimulus dollars to a Korean corporation, and proclaimed Obamanomics a success even as Michigan has lost 94,000 jobs since his Recovery Act was enacted.

All in all, another day in the life of an increasingly unpopular president who seems to be living in an alternative universe.

That universe insists that government is the source of jobs, and so Obama was in Western Michigan to declare another victory in Washington’s mission to create a new green economy.AdTech Ad

But the green economy looks like a lot of green for the well-connected. The president handed $150 million in stimulus money over to Korean CEO Peter Bahnsuk Kim of LG Chem. LG Chem is an $11 billion Korean conglomerate that hardly seems a candidate for the American Recovery Act. No wonder the program is so unpopular.

Accompanying Obama was Governor Jennifer Granholm - Obama praised her as “one of the best governors in America” even as she presides over the nation’s second highest unemployment rate – who has been complaining that Washington Republicans are denying her the $500 million in stimulus money she needs to plug Michigan’s Medicaid budget hole. So here she was in West Michigan celebrating $150 million for Corporate Korea. Huh?

Obama said his benevolence would create 300 jobs in Holland – but that’s $500,000 per job. At least it’s a bargain compared to the $ $1.25 million per job Obama spent on two solar companies in Arizona over the July 4 weekend.

The president cheered that LG Chem batteries will go into GM’s electric plug-in Chevy Volt "so when you buy one of these vehicles, it will be stamped 'Made in America.’” But precious few Americans will buy the $40,000 Volt (that’s BMW 3-series sticker territory) as they are targeted at well-healed consumers making over $100,00 a year in places Silicon Valley.

West Michigan is suffering 12 percent unemployment yet President “Audacity of Hope” had the audacity to suggest that the stimulus “efforts we took we are no longer bleeding jobs." In fact, since his $1 trillion Recovery Act was passed a year ago, Michigan has lost nearly 100,000 jobs.

Obama couldn’t even get his manners right. Ever the partisan, he took a shot at his host, Holland Congressional representative Pete Hoekstra who was in the audience. Despite opposing the Recovery Act, Hoekstra attended the ground-breaking ceremony, he told The View, “out of respect for the office of president.”

The respect was not returned. "Some made the political calculation that it's better to obstruct than to lend a hand,” sneered Obama at the end of his remarks. “Now that doesn't stop them from being at ribbon cuttings, but that's OK."

And then the president jumped in his 10 mpg Caddy limo and headed to the next stop on his tour to transform what Americans drive.

Henry Payne is editor of The Michigan View

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sisters Quilt Show

Every year on the second Saturday of July, Sisters, Oregon is blanketed in quilts. Literally. Quilts from all over the country are displayed outside on the buildings. This is quite possibly the largest outdoor quilt show in the world, but don't quote me on that.
I took the kids and we left about 9:15am. We hit a bit of traffic as we entered Sisters (Nothing like what was coming from Bend - that was really backed up!) and parked at 10am. I met up with two other ladies that I met through QATW. I had brought the bookcase quilt with me to show them. When I unfolded it and held it out, suddenly we had a group of other ladies surrounding and whipping out their cameras. I felt like a rock star! I may just have to make another one of these and display it at the show next year.
We stayed in Sisters until 4:30. Arthur didn't walk around looking at quilts with me the whole time. There is a nice little playground in a lovely, shaded park which we visited a couple times. It gave a chance for Arthur to just run around with other kids, for Abigail to stretch out on a quilt on the ground and for me to take my sandals off and rest my feet. We did see a lot of quilts and Arthur had fun pointing out the ones he liked and thought I should make. (Yeah, right, kid!) Because he liked them, he insisted he needed to be in the pictures.
There was raffle for a pretty cool bike, but I sadly did not win. However, I did come away with sore feet and newly burned arms. It was a good day and I just hope Abigail sleeps through the night tonight. I need to sleep!Veronica

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Latest Finish

After many posts and a lot of work, the bookcase quilt if finally complete. It only lacks a label, but I'm waiting for instruction on what exactly should be on it.

I really enjoyed making this quilt. It was a bit intimidating at first because I didn't have an actual pattern. In doing some web surfing, I did find someone who gave some general instructions on how to make the books. I'll have to work on making slanted books as those gave me the most difficulty. I felt like I was doing everything backwards and I never did seem to cut the fabric correctly.

The quilting for the background came easy: a meander using black thread. On the shelving I used a tan in the top and black in the bobbin. I really struggled to find the right way to quilt the books and knickknacks on the shelves. After much thought and some discussion with a woman at the local fabric store, I decided to use invisible thread in the top and black in the bobbin and do stitch in the ditch (or outline) for the books, etc. It was the best choice for showcasing the books without fear of the quilting taking away from the piecing.

Now, to pack this up and send it off. Boy, I wish I could keep it! I'm very happy with how it turned out.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More than I could chew....

A few months ago I thought it would be a fun idea to blog every day about my quilting experiences. The ultimate goal was to keep me quilting so that I could finish several UFOs (unfinished objects) and not feel overwhelmed by it all. It was a fine idea. And for a month and a half, I was able to quilt and post about it consistently.

Then, I was nearly fired from my job.

"You have a job?!"

Yes. My title is wife and mother. Now, some may poo-poo my role in the household as degrading, unfulfillable, chauvinistic. And when I start to have a pity party and become very selfish, I begin to agree. However, being a wife and mother is completely the opposite. There is nothing more satisfying than to see a clean and organized home, a happy husband and children excited to do things with me.

So, how did quilting nearly get me fired? Trying to quilt every day became a very self-centered activity. Those dishes would pile up in the sink and begin to spill onto the counter because I would rather quilt than wash them. The kids would get one less story at night because I wanted to rush them into bed so I could quilt a few minutes in the evening. My husband would wander around with shorts and *gasp* black knee socks because I thought that HE should do the laundry once in a while if he wanted his other socks washed.

My internal argument was that quilting made me happy. I need to quilt every day to stay happy. But, I wasn't happy. My household was falling apart. I was feeling despondent by the piles of laundry, dishes, clutter, cleaning encroaching on every thought. Plus, Abigail decided that evenings would be her time to be cranky, clingy and not go to sleep until midnight.

I can hear some shouting, "What about that husband?! Make him do the dishes!" And it's taken me almost 10 years to unfetter myself from the shouting throng. When I take my focus off myself and what I want to do and the "rights and privileges" I'm "missing out" on, an amazing thing happens. I'm happy doing my housework and spending time with my family.

Does this mean that I won't do any more quilting? Not in the least! Just for now, while the children are little and rely completely on me, quilting will be an occasional pastime when time allows. There will time for quilt retreats, sewing parties, lazing around the house later. For now, I have a baby to feed, a son to read stories with, a husband who desperately needs some clean underwear.