Wednesday, March 28, 2012
It has St Paul, Minnesota in it! I can’t resist from posting this one– besides ---it’s been a few days since I posted any kindle freebies at all.
Deadly Stillwater by Roger Stelljes is free today from the Amazon Kindle store, and has received an average user rating of 4 out of 5 stars based on 47 customer reviews.
Category: Mystery & Thriller
An abduction is just the beginning in a case of betrayal and revenge that will ultimately strike at the soul of the St. Paul Police Department.
The ruggedly handsome Mac McRyan, a fourth-generation cop, is faced with a complicated brazen daytime kidnapping, a media storm surrounding the case, and political scrutiny.
It is a case of betrayal and revenge that will ultimately strike at the soul of the St. Paul Police Department. From the searing streets of St. Paul to the murky waters of the St. Croix River, DEADLY STILLWATER is a book you won’t be able to put down until its last gripping minute.
Deadly Stillwater delivers...
GRITTY and REAL DIALOGUE... behind the scenes banter & slang of the detectives.
VIVID YET QUIRKY CHARACTERS... likeable characters faults and all.
A STORY THAT BUILDS...with clues that puts you in the middle of the action.
And just to update you on some often asked questions --- Yes, I read! Every night I spend about an hour diving into one of these books before closing my eyes for the night. But I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read, so – YES, there are a lot of books I’ve downloaded and posted about that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Some of them may be good, some of them might be ehhhh? All of them were free for me, and that’s all good.
What am I reading now? The Jackpot by David Kazzie. It takes place in Richmond, Virginia, a city I am quite familiar with, so it is fun to read about places and parts listed by name in this story. I’m not quite half done with it yet.
You’d have to wait a long time for me to update the blog with my OWN reviews on books I’ve posted here and my thoughts on them after having finished the books, and that’s not really what I want to take time to do---So I’m going to let you draw your own conclusions based on the reviews on amazon, and the book description given, as to whether you want to read it yourself or not ---
I read when I can, and often – but let’s face it – that comes AFTER I’ve sewn all I can sew in a day :c)
Be sure to check that whatever you are downloading is still FREE before you hit purchase. I post these as soon as I find them, because usually by the next day, even though they were free for EVERYONE when I found it – it might have switched to just free for “Prime members only”. I don’t have control over that ---after that it becomes a fully charged book for everyone with no rhyme or reason for how long it takes to go back to being a book for a price ---that’s why I say grab it while you can.
Enjoy your Wednesday Evening!
Do you remember me writing about the Tweens & Teens Quilt Camp at the Glendale Quilt show? Oh how I love to see girls SO EXCITED about creating and doing and making ---
One reader contacted me back with a story of her own and I’d like to share it with you, just for something to make you feel good this afternoon ---
It's lovely seeing all those girls making quilts or sewing. I teach children with behavioural issues, who've been excluded from mainstream school and most need anger management classes. I've been working with students and teaching them to sew.
One girl in particular, who was violent to the point of the police having to restrain her and keep in her a cell over night, has recently learnt how to quilt.
She will sit with me for two hours, absorbed with cutting material, stitching, ironing and making things. She's made a bag and a cushion so far.
She is so proud of what she's made and has such an interest that her parents are going to buy her a sewing machine.
I've attached the photo of her cushion,
I hope you like it.
This is what it’s about folks!
I know through my darkest hours, through heart-break, depression, fear, despair --- Just the opportunity to put the other senses forefront –TOUCH the fabric, SEE the color, LISTEN to the sound of the machine humming –even the SMELL of the iron hitting that fabric spritzed with a bit of spray starch or best press ---moves me far enough away from the things that are tormenting my soul to where I can let “those other things” fall into better perspective while I am simply putting the pieces and shapes of a quilt together.
Our young folks are there at an age where they are too young to do this, to old to do that -- choices are being made for them, and often times their frustration comes out in anger. I love how this story put her focus into working with fabric, and turned everything around!
Thanks for sharing this, J.C.! It made my day!
My allergies are all in a kerflunkley uproar.
Meaning – that I woke up at 2am with my eyes watering and itching so bad I got up, put in eye drops, and tried to go back to sleep, but it really never happened – I toss, turn, toss, turn…kind of doze, but the deep sleep didn’t happen until about 6am, and then someone called on the phone at 7:45am?
What ever happened to not calling before 9am and not after 9pm? We are such an instantaneous, want it now, call it now society!
And I know it wasn’t a time zone thing ---- Anyway, I’m up. Eyes are still swollen and itchy, and more allergy meds and eye drops are working their way into my bleary self.
Too much machine excitement! It will throw your equilibrium off, I tell ya!
I mentioned in last nights post about the Barbie Retrieval—that I took some time to do a walk around town. That’s the other thing I love about antique malls ---the people who work there are just as in love with history as I am, and in this case, the lady who helped me load Barbie into the car gave me an “in a nutshell” run down of the history of Belmont, which is deeply rich in textile heritage. In fact --- that sign you see there at the beginning of this post? Did you pick up on the THREAD CONE right away?
Settlement in the Belmont, NC area actually dates back to the Colonial days, around 1750. There was a fort built here, and though there were some mills in the mid 1800s, the big build up of industry didn’t happen until AFTER the civil war. At one time, this area had 100 mills.
Gleaned from Wiki:
Belmont was still a small town at the turn of the 20th century, with a population of only 145. The organization of Chronicle Mills in 1901 marked the beginning of Belmont's development as a textile center. It was founded by Robert Lee Stowe Sr. (1866–1963), his brother Samuel Pinckney Stowe (1868–1956), and Abel Caleb Lineberger (1859–1948, son of Caleb John Lineberger, who had founded Gaston County's second textile mill, the Woodlawn, or "Pinhook," Mill in Lowell, North Carolina in 1852). Chronicle was the first of the nearly twenty mills built in Belmont through 1930, expanding the town population to 3,793.
Mills in this area were a mainstay of life. Of course, they don’t exist anymore ---but I love seeing the thread spool there still as a symbol of what this town was built on! Oh, and get this? Their bowling alley is called “Textile Lanes”. HA!
Carolina Thread Trail?! It was a beautiful day and I followed the sidewalk right down main street to see where it lead. Admit it. You would have taken a pic of this sign just for the design on it too, right?! :cD
Right there at the corner of the park was a sign! Okay, I can do this – I have my running shoes on, it’s a gorgeous day ---let’s try the 2 mile route!
I walked up streets, some quite hilly --- going from one sign post, to another sign post until…OOPS! I couldn’t find sign posts anymore! But look at this lovely stately home with all the blooming just taking over! See how our tree tops are greening up? I love a North Carolina Spring!
Well okay…Here’s a sign, but is it pointing the right way? And why do we now have a 2 Mile Route and a 3 Mile Route…where did the 1 Mile Route go?! Never mind, keep walking! Can you tell by the street that things are quite hilly here?
Another sign…looks like I haven’t lost it all completely, but I could swear I’ve done at LEAST a mile already, and this was NOT going into the best area of town……do I turn around and go back, or am I close to being done? And on I go ---
I passed another park…these pink puffball trees were just so vibrant on the side of the road!
I just HAD to touch them, they are SO SOFT! What kind of tree is this, anyone know?
UHhhhh…OKAY then! Now I’m REALLY confused! LOL! Where the heck AM I!?
I know where I am! I am out by the hospital --- I passed this on my drive into town. Would you look at THIS blooming wonder of a sight? I also love seeing the old buildings in the background. And yes, that is a Carolina Blue Sky!
And yes, I crossed that lawn to get a better picture of the tree. Another week, it won’t look like this at all.
The dogwoods are just SAUCER SIZED! Do you think it’s THIS pollen that glued my eyes shut in the middle of the night?
It’s about 5:30pm now – I’ve been walking over an hour. The sun is moving westward as I walked down a street full of stately old mansion-houses. Look at how the light streams on this one!
What is THIS PLANT!? I got a glimpse along the fence of one of the homes….I don’t know what this is at all!
But isn’t it interesting in a very texture-y way?
Oh. My. Goodness. I’m ready for Scarlett O’Hara to walk out onto that veranda -----
But I guess by 1907 Scarlett would have been an old lady!
I think we need THIS one for Quilter’s Retreats, don’t you?
The blooming bushes next to this simple cottage were just SO bounteous!
Look at the pink dogwood on the far right ---even in their untamed wildness –nature can’t be stopped!
Houses of many gables always strike my fancy. Let’s sit and stitch out on this porch! Tall glasses of iced tea? Mint Juleps?
I have no idea if I did the 2 or the 3 mile Route. I probably did both. Which makes 5. And somewhere in there was the 1 mile loop, which I never found! LOL! But it was a great way to explore a small North Carolina mill town and enjoy a lovely late afternoon in March. What fun would it have been to just drive 80 miles to the store to buy the pink Barbie machine, and drive straight 80 miles back again? This made my day! It lifted my spirits, it gave me time to think, and I got in 2, or 3, or 5 miles of exercise along the way. I got to marvel at blooming nature, and see glimpses of history. All in all, a much better choice!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Just in CASE I needed ANY justification, or pushing, or prodding, or camaraderie or encouragement ---- LOTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT ---
Imagine me, setting my last post live right before heading out the door to the chiropractor --- yes the crazy one who has contests every EVERY holiday! ((No, I did not win on the count for the St Paddy’s day coins….but there is hope that I can guess the peeps, or malted milk eggs, or some such thing for Easter! I will HAVE my chance!)) and coming out to my car after my adjustment --- checking my phone…to see there are TWENTY comments saying “GO. GET. BARBIE. NOW!”
Well okay then! The hoard must be obeyed!
So, being the cautious think-it-through type person that I am, I called the Antique Mall, just to be sure the machine was still there. The answer was “YES” and I put the GPS on “previous destination” ((Isn’t that thing WONDERFUL!?)) and headed out 80 some miles to Go. Get. Barbie.
Did I think to ask them to plug it in and see if it worked before I drove 80 some miles? Nope! We hadn’t plugged her in after finding Marilyn yesterday so I kept my fingers crossed that all would be well ---
And so off I went --- of course DH calls when I am only part way there, and he, being the smart guy that he is can TELL that I am on blue tooth speaker phone in the car ---- and asks…”WHERE are you going?!”
Well ---I told him, that I needed anothermachinethatwascheaperthananewgolfclub and that I would see him after a while. Is it possible to actually HEAR an eye roll over the blue tooth speaker phone? If so --- that explains that sound I heard coming from the other end when there were NO WORDS coming through.
I got there about 4pm. I walked in, told them who I was, that I was after the “pink machine” that they were holding for me. She was still where we left her – in the basement. I asked the clerk if I could plug her in before we hauled her 40+lbs up the stairs to the register. We found an outlet. I took a breath, held it…and pushed down the foot pedal…..HUMMMMMMMMM!! WHiiiiiirrrrrr!!!!!! She runs great! I did a quick once over ---- bobbin and case? Check! Foot pedal? check…and even a bonus:
Some very cool old Boye needle cases -----
I was out of that shop by 4:15 and not wanting to deal with Charlotte rush hour traffic – decided to walk around town……I took pictures of houses I fell in love with the day before --- Pictures of blooming trees, and oh --- it was a lovely afternoon! I think I”ll save those pics for tomorrow. There is a quilt needing binding waiting for me on the couch upstairs….
These old cases are nothing much to speak of. Usually they are pretty grungy, and look like they’ve seen better days. The paper or whatever it is they cover the wood case with is wearing through and coming off. Why did they not just leave these plain old wood??
I took the lid off to show DH just what was worth driving 160 miles round trip for ----he got a very glazed over look in his eyes. “It’s Pink” he said. “It’s PINK!!” I said.
I moved her over to the kitchen counter to do a clean up with a damp rag. The light in the kitchen ALWAYS turns things yellow, so she doesn’t look “AS” pink here….but she is a very clean little machine! I was curious to see if she ALSO was stamped “Toyota” on her undercarriage ---
NOPE! But I do have a serial number and it says Guaranteed by The Manufacturer and Authorized Dealers EVERYWHERE!
Made In Japan
Is it possible that I already feel like I’m cheating on Marilyn?!
One thing also I’m giddy over – both of their lights work! Both machines are so clean, they must have been serviced at least somewhat recently ---I haven’t sewn on Barbie yet --- I”ll leave that for tomorrow. My hotrod featherweight is going to have to go in to the shop to see why I can not keep a bulb lit in her. I’m dreading that because rewiring could end up being a spendy procedure – But I’m planning on taking the featherweight with me to Iowa on Friday ---which means --- in the next couple days I’ve gotta get the borders for Florabunda kitted up and ready to go with me.
Oh, before I forget --- some of you have asked about the wooden extension table I’ve got for my vintage machines. I actually bought them several years ago from a man who had a business on ebay and is now nowhere to be found. I heard he isn’t making them anymore --- so I can’t help you there. Wish I could! I’ve bought them in 2 sizes…one that fits the standard Singer class 15 models ((Like my Wizard, and like Marilyn)) and one that fits my Singer Spartan and the 99’s --- which are smaller 3/4 size machines. I’d love to find someone who also makes them because I’d like a couple more. If I find out anything I’ll post it so you know.
And I’m rambling…..so I’ll send this now and go hand stitch something to calm me down from all this excitement! Two vintage machine acquisitions in two days? Next time I'll just buy them both at once and justify it by saying I'm saving the extra gas from having to drive twice, right?!
How could it be anything ELSE but Marilyn if her birthdate is in the 60’s? We aren’t quite sure yet, but everything points to it being somewhere between 1955 and 1968. I’ve got a serial number, I just can’t find a data base.
But I can tell you that Marilyn is SO HAPPY to be sewing! I took her out of her beat up old wooden case and set her into my table top extension table. I cleaned her well, oiled her up good….and you should see this tension on her zig zag when I let ‘er rip!
I put green bobbin thread, and lavender top thread, and you can’t see any purple dots on the green side, or green dots on the purple side even when sewing in zig zag. Nice even tension --what a GOOD GIRL!
I’ve sewn a couple bow ties on her for practice. It’s a bit different getting used to that needle not being center, but it’s nothing a few layers of well placed tape can’t cure! My blocks turned out right at 3.5”, right where I need them to be. I want to use the regular foot that came WITH her, as this foot was made for this machine to ride these feed dogs the way it is supposed to. A 1/4” foot would completely miss that second right hand set of feed dogs….Oh, I’m having fun with this! ((Don't you love the refection of the quilt on the wall in her chrome bobbin cover plate?))
Atta girl, Marilyn!
And it’s terrible to say so, but I’m kind of thinking of going back for her Sister, BARBIE – who is still waiting to be adopted ---she is straight stitch only, with the needle centered ---and OH SO CUTE TOO! What’s a girl to do with too many pink machines?
Oh, I loved her TOO, but do I dare?!!! LOL!
Did I tell you that this Modern Princess is wearing a CROWN!?
Someone better stop me before I wander back to go get her -----
My kids shake their heads at me just “KNOWING” I am going to be the crazy old lady with a house full of cats, vintage sewing machines, too much fabric, and old beat up quilts that no one else would adopt!
As Pati and I wandered the antique mall, I spied a pile of folded “quilt” looking items….making a beeline to where they were.
They were behind what I really would LOVE to have in my house, but it’s just not practical – where would I put a HUGE spinning wheel?! I don't even SPIN! And yes, I’m justifying my reasons for not having one, all the while stuffing every corner with vintage machines and antique quilts and MORE FABRIC!
I knew before even looking at the price tags that these were coming home with me. They are SO VERY indicative of this area. And I find it so sad that these ended up in an antique mall, but so happy that they can come live with me for a while!
What’s not to love about a vibrant radiant star? It’s got everything! Reds, Golds, Browns ((Which may have been green at some point?)) and triple not-quite-diagonal quilting. Rounded corners. It’s a fairly early quilt, even with the batting being this thick – it was made to be warm!
Look at how precise these points are!
One of the reasons these came home with me is that I can NOT see myself making these. You would have to shoot me because I’d rather be shot than be faced with making a quilt in two, three, or even four fabrics ONLY. But I love them! There are some rough spots in this one, a couple tears, some fading, but that RED! Oh, the red drives me!
THIS ONE! It’s a “cotton boll” design I haven’t seen before! ((Siobhan, have you?!)) And this is that tealy blue that I just love ---and the brown was originally what they referred to as “ox blood” in color. It’s faded out in the center and bottom edge, but several of the blocks still have the deep reddish brown. I just LOVE how the quilting texture shows against solid fabrics!
Look at that echo quilting! And the fans in the sashings….YUMMY!
A flip to the backside shows the unmarked fans…..Pati and I were speculating that there may have been more than one quilter on this…look how TIGHT the fans are on the bottom border, and then look at the left side….there are about TWICE as many rows of quilting in the bottom fans. Can you picture these old spinster sisters saying something like “SLACKER!! Put more rows in your quilting!” “No, YOU ease up a bit, you are giving me a cramp looking at your stitching” LOL! There is also a definite difference in the size of the stitches --- so I am imagining family and friends gathered around the frame quilting on this beautiful applique. But would I make this myself? NEVER! So this is why I bought it…..16 identical blocks out of the same 3 fabrics? JUST SHOOT ME!
Here is the Cotton Boll hanging from my front porch rail….if you look close you will see the indestructible poly double-knit log cabin on the front porch swing :c) See? There IS a place for those too!
So here is my exciting news ---I’ve got PDF copy of parts of the next book! My job today is to check for typos and errors. And the title and subtitle are approved ---even though they’ve been a “working” title since before Roll Roll Cotton Boll ---it’s not a done deal until the powers-that-be say so…and they LIKED it! They did! I’m so over the moon over this….
So for now, I’ll keep the TITLE itself quiet until we have a cover design, but what do you think about THIS as a SUB-TITLE?!
“Happy, Scrappy & Loving It!” :cD
The Morse machine doesn’t have a name yet….but I sewed on her last night and she has a great stitch! The only thing that is different is that she has a permanent LEFT needle position when straight stitching…she moves right to do the swings of her Zig Zag stitch – but straight stitch is at the far left. There is no way to position her front and center, so I’ve had to put tape to mark a 1/4”. No biggie! I’d love to sew more on her this afternoon.
I spent time looking up websites, I found that she was made in Japan, by TOYOTA! I’m looking for a manual for her – I followed a link that lead nowhere ---She threads just like my Blue Wizard does with the needle facing to the side, threading from the left to theright. She uses a regular class 15 ((large)) bobbin. I had to oil her a bit, loosen both her top and bobbin tension…..but after some test runs, COOL MACHINE!
Happy Tuesday, Everyone!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Regarding this mornings copyright post:
Some commenters think I should handle this like it’s CNN with a presidential debate and leave equal time for both sides to share their story? I'm not writing a term paper here. This is my blog for my thoughts. Sometimes straight out of my head to my fingers, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.
I read what I read. I posted my genuine fears on what I saw going on. A fellow author and designer was pulled into the midst of a nasty threat of law suit, demanded that 10s of thousands of dollars be paid, her books destroyed – you think that doesn’t upset me from where I stand? The legal letters and threats to her were REAL. In print, in her mailbox. How would you feel?
My opinions are just that. Opinions. Of COURSE there is more than one side. There always is. Is it my job to check them both out FOR YOU before I post what MY gut feelings are? No – that is your job. If you don’t agree with me, do more research. You are allowed your own opinion, but what I don’t need is for random strangers to belittle mine. You want to type your feelings for the other side? Please do it on your own blog ---this is mine.
The threats to Emily were quite real. I feel for her. It puts my stomach in knots. That’s all I was saying, right or wrong, one sided or not. It still stands as true ---
I can see it in the future – Oh, you hand dye your fabric for use in your quilts that are in your book? You didn’t name ((insert dye manufacturer here)) as the dye producer and you used our product, so now we are going to sue you. We live in a sue happy society, and it’s a shame. It really is.
I thought that maybe I would just go to using only SOLIDS in my quilts – but then, there could be someone that says --- “That’s our cheddar ---where are our royalties?”
I own my fears. You own yours. End of story. I don’t try to make you feel stupid for your view point, and I simply ask that you not bulldoze me into accepting that mine is wrong.
Likely we will never see eye to eye, all of us ---Remind me never to bring up Religion, Politics, Breastfeeding in public without a blanket over your shoulder, ((you had to be on facebook to catch THAT hornet’s nest)) and now my thoughts on sue-happy lawyers and fabric designers who …..never mind. I’m not saying it. I’ve poked the hornet’s nest enough today! Just for expressing my OWN thoughts and feelings with no malice or misinformation intended.
And just to make myself feel better ---I want to introduce you to the latest machine to join my fleet --- because THIS is what I do. I sew.
Isn’t she gorgeous?! She is a Morse, from the early 60s I think…need to do some checking on her serial number. Her dials are pearl toned! And she has zig-zag! I can’t wait to get to know her better…who wouldn’t want that lovely raspberry ice color? Pati and I found her in Piccolo Antique Mall in Belmont, NC. We wandered FOREVER in there, there is so much to see! I also brought home a couple other goodies, I will show those later --
As for this girl….she needs a name. And let me tell you, she is quite the hefty girl! I put her on the scale after getting her in the house….with her case on she weighs 43.9 lbs! LOL! I do love sewing on a solid heavy machine. Nothing feels like it.
Thanks, Pati for meeting up with me for an awesome day of fabric shopping, eating, antiquing and lots of laughing and catching up!