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January 24, 2023
Weekly update: two entertaining afternoons and another finish (and start) from With Strings Attached

It was too wet and cold for walks this weekend.   We had indoor entertainment instead.Saturday afternoon we saw  A Man Called Otto. It was wonderful--can Tom Hanks make a bad movie?  And Mariana Trevino as Marisol -- what a delight.  It complements the Swedish movie and the book.  

On Sunday afternoon we went to the College of Lake County to see The Great DuBois.Juggling and gymnastics!  The 350-seat Studio Theater is small and all seats had a good view. (The entry is at the back row and our seats were on the aisle.  Easier for Stevens to negotiate.  Mind ...

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January 17, 2023
Weekly update: RSC blue, the mini swap, and a gift from With Strings Attached


More mild weather this week meant time for several walks--Camp Logan (Illinois Beach State Park) and three forest preserves:Sedge Meadow River Trail, Raven Glen West, and Rollins Savanna.  

Top right:  milkweed pod. Center: "winter berries" is my generic name; moss is about the only green this time of year. Bottom: ground cherries; Indian hemp, aka dogbane, pods.  Here's more about dogbane.

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When I finished My Blue Heaven last month there were triangles and squares left over.  There were enough triangles for 210 HSTs as well as a lot of squares.  I was able to make 26 star blocks ...

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January 9, 2023
Weekly update: an anniversary, some walking, and a WITB surprise from With Strings Attached

Twenty years ago this past week (January 2, 2003) I began a new job as director of the Zion-Benton Public Library.    It was my sixth and final professional position.  It was a good move for me and, I think, a good move for the library.  (This appointment began with less fanfare than APL in 1982 and that was perfectly okay.)

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The week's been overcast and damp albeit snow-less.  After good walks last weekend it wasn't until this afternoon (Sunday) that I got out again.  Top:  the sun came out for a moment.  Left: a fringe of icicles.  Fungus ...

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January 2, 2023
Scrappy New Year! stash report, annual reckoning, and OMG for January from With Strings Attached


Fast away the old year passes . . . hail the new, ye lads and lasses!

We spent New Year's Eve watching 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone.  We've gotten caught up in the Dutton family saga.  I'm reminded of the epic movie How the West Was Won which made a big impression on me.  (It came out when I was 10.)  

While we watch I sew and I am pleased to report that I quilted and bound another one of the wheelchair quilts.   That's five out of eleven.  

The stash report for December:   fabric out, 81-1/2 yards.   Fabric ...

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December 19, 2022
Weekly update: ninth flimsy + WIP from With Strings Attached


The Lake County Symphony Orchestra's Welcome Christmas concert was Saturday evening.  Guest soloists sang recitatives  from the Messiah.    Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite was mashed up with Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Sweets -- the symphonic version vs. the jazz version.  The concert ended with an audience sing-along to Leroy Anderson's Christmas Festival.

There was a raffle to win a chance to conduct the orchestra in Anderson's "Sleigh Ride."  A guy named Bill was the winner. "Have you ever conducted before?" asked Ron, the real conductor. "Never!" Bill replied.  Fortunately the musicians knew the piece very well! 

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The beavers have ...

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December 12, 2022
Weekly update: the social whirl, Blue Heaven, and a burst of flimsies from With Strings Attached

Holiday gatherings this week were great fun.

Tuesday noon:  I was co-hostess for the Zion Woman's Club luncheon and used my vintage tablecloths on each table. In lieu of a white elephant gift exchange we each packaged "festive food."  (I gave a gift box of Penzey's spices and received four different kinds of treats from Trader Joe's.)    We collected hats and mittens for kids at Elmwood  School in Zion. 

Tuesday evening:  my P.E.O. chapter had dinner at a great Italian restaurant.   There was another festive food exchange.  (I gave Penzey's, again, and got a ...

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December 5, 2022
Weekly update: holiday concerts + goal progress from With Strings Attached

 There's a flurry of Christmas/holiday festivities the first two weeks of December and then things quiet down.   I had two luncheons -- GFWC District 10 on Wednesday and Lake County Women's Coalition steering committee on Saturday.  At both I sat next to women I'd met but didn't know well. The conversations were very pleasant.  
The huge cross in the Carthage chapel

Friday evening Stevens and I and our friends Debbie and Bill went out to dinner and then to the annual Christmas festival at Carthage College.  The concert has become a holiday tradition.   We noted fewer ...

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November 28, 2022
Weekly update: the blue bins from With Strings Attached


Both Friday and Saturday were sunny and warm. We enjoyed outings to Ray Lake and Pine Dunes.   

Lower left: a beaver lodge. Lower right: a ladder.   The trails at both preserves were 2.25 miles.  The more I walk the easier it gets!

A front came through and today (Sunday) was overcast and much colder.  After church we stayed home.  We put out the Christmas decorations.   The boys are back! (The biggest one never went away....)   These are all German nutcrackers (and four smokers) acquired over many years.  

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In the studio: 

The blue bin, home to fat quarters and chunks ...

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November 21, 2022
Weekly update: surprise revealed + unexpected development from With Strings Attached

 Brrr!  It's cold -- no walks this weekend.  I look forward to Wednesday-through-next-weekend when temps will reach 40.

The studio is in the basement where it's cozy in the winter and relatively cool in the summer (the effect of earth-sheltering).  I finished the  16-patch quilt that was under the needle on Friday.  I had in mind that either blue or green for the setting but I couldn't find a print that would go with both the light cream and the definite tan in the 16-patches. I did not want to make MORE 16-patches since the point of the ...

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November 14, 2022
Weekly update: a lot to report from With Strings Attached

I got my laptop back from Best Buy late Sunday afternoon. New hard drive, new MS Office, all the Windows updates.  Though I managed to get a fair amount done with the iPad, I'm happy to have the larger screen and keyboard of the laptop.

Not only was I up early Tuesday but I was also out to see the lunar eclipse.  I had to drive a ways to get to a place without street lights and trees.  It was worth it!   

We had a couple of  very warm (70-degree) days that were ideal for walking.  

(Unlike the man ...

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November 7, 2022
Weekly update: a flimsy and a quilt show from With Strings Attached

 My laptop hard drive crashed. While it’s in the shop I am using my iPad. I’m not sure I’ll be able to cut-and-paste to either Oh Scrap or Design Wall Monday.  

Here’s the Ladder Stars flimsy.  62 x 72, 6 yards. 

The Fine Art of Fiber is the annual collaborative show put on by Illinois Quilters Inc., North Suburban Needlearts Guild, and Weaver’s Guild of the North Shore at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  I went Friday morning, the day it opened. There was quite a crowd.   Here are collages of some of the quilts on ...

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October 31, 2022
Weekly update: Bunco returns, a berry nice walk, and a new start for month-end from With Strings Attached

We performed our civic duty in this year's important election and voted at Zion City Hall on Friday afternoon.  

On Friday evening the Zion Woman's Club fall Bunco party returned after a two-year Covid hiatus.  (There's something about rolling dice in a church fellowship hall....)  We enjoyed dessert, renewed friendships, and met new people.   I contributed this quilt to the silent auction.   I spent $20 on put-and-take (bag raffle) tickets and won a bottle of flavorful olive oil packaged in a ceramic bowl, two rayon scarves, and a travel tote bag.  We'll find out the proceeds ...

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October 27, 2022
Weekly update: golden autumn woods, lunch with friends, and piecing the back from With Strings Attached

 Here's the commemorative medallion I got for completing Hike Lake County 2022. That's a rusty-patched bumblebee which is a critically-endangered species.   

I do not have a wooden hiking stick to which to nail it, nor do I have an RV to which to glue it, but I do have a bulletin board. <g>

And I'm still walking!

There cannot be too many golden autumn woods photos.

These were taken at McDonald Woods (Thursday) and Lyons Woods (Sunday).  

Such a beautiful time of year!

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On Friday Stevens and I took our friend Pat out to lunch.  The restaurant ...

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October 17, 2022
Weekly update: it's a finish! from With Strings Attached

Fall colors at Van Patten Woods on Friday afternoon.  Left: sumac. Right: white snakeroot or bone set (gone to seed).  Center:  hickory nuts.  Bottom: Virginia creeper, fungus on a log. 

We enjoyed oldies sung by the Saddle Shoe Sisters on Friday evening at our church.   (The acoustics are better in the sanctuary than in the fellowship hall. And the pews are more comfortable than metal folding chairs.)

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In the studio:  it's a finish!  

The pattern is Entwined by Evelyn Sloppy from her book Forty Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts.

I used a batik and two hand-dyes (all gifts from a friend ...

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October 10, 2022
Weekly update: complete, twice over from With Strings Attached


Temperatures in the high 50's and abundant sunshine made this a brilliant fall weekend. 

On Saturday afternoon we went to Ryerson Woods.  The Ryersons were Chicago industrialists who built their weekend farm on 257 acres where they raised Arabian horses.   In 1966 they deeded the property to the Lake Co. Forest Preserve District.  There are several activity centers, including barns and open pastures with a demonstration farm,  Brushwood (the Ryersons' house) used as an event center, several cabins used for environmental education, and miles of trails in restored woodlands.  

How many sunlight-filtering-through-the-leaves photos are too many? 

Left: joe pye ...

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October 3, 2022
Weekly update, part 2: woodland walks and playing with scraps from With Strings Attached


This early fall weather is glorious -- lots of sunshine and blue, blue skies.  We went to Waukegan Savanna, Independence Grove and Old School, three of the designated sites for this year's Hike Lake County challenge.  

This is prairie dock, also known as Lucy Braun's prairie dock. Had the flower and the spent flowerhead not been on one plant I wouldn't have known they are the same.

Here  is more about the eponymous Lucy Braun.  

This pretty purple flower is brown knapweed, also called French hard-head (!).  I've only  seen it at Wadsworth Savanna.  Since it is invasive ...

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September 27, 2022
Weekly update: cemetery walk, a little progress, and flying geese from With Strings Attached

Saturday afternoon was sunny, breezy, and a bit cool -- a fine day for the Zion Historical Society's Lake Mound Cemetery Walk.   I was  among the ten people who portrayed historical personages who are buried in Lake Mound.  (Well, technically, nine. The tenth was a soldier who died in Italy in 1944.  The cemetery has his cenotaph, which is what is placed when there is no body.) I played Josephine Landon Kellogg whose grandfather was the first non-native settler in Benton Township.  Josephine lived at Hollyhock Hill, the successor to the family farm, all her very long life -- born in ...

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September 20, 2022
Weekly update: a meetup, variable stars, and scrap sorting from With Strings Attached

Lizzy accompanied her husband to a conference in Chicago last week. She had a free day Thursday and came up for a visit.   We met on the Usenet newsgroup Rec.Crafts.Textiles.Quilting in the late 1990's. It was such fun to meet her in person!   We enjoyed lunch, a tour of Zion, and a nice walk at Illinois Beach State Park.

The weather on Friday was ideal for the 22nd Annual Jack McElmurry Golf Outing -- our Rotary Club's big fundraiser.  

I bought $20 worth of tickets for the 50/25/25 raffle (50% to the club and ...

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September 12, 2022
Weekly update: scrap infusion and first draft from With Strings Attached

 Saturday was gorgeous!  I walked the 2.2 mile Dunes Trail   at Illinois Beach State Park.  The monarch migration is underway as this story explains. (In sharp contrast it's been raining all day today--Sunday. No walks! I'm catching up on homework at the computer.)

Saturday evening we enjoyed Sultans of String, the first performance of the season for the Lake County Community Concert Assn. in the auditorium at Waukegan High School.  

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"Would you like some scraps?" Barb emailed me.  She is helping our mutual friend  Dorothy downsize as Dorothy and her husband prepare to move to assisted living ...

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September 5, 2022
Weekly update: garage sale bargains and a new project from With Strings Attached

Sunny on Saturday when revisited Van Patten Woods.  
Cloudy on Sunday at the lakefront.  A northeast wind kicked up the waves!    

Bumblebee on liatris (blazing star), New England aster, a big mushroom.

Riverbank grapes, hawthorn, bottle grass.

Monarch on butterfly weed, lobelia, gray dogwood. 

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The first Corningware I got was in the late 1970's, a Christmas gift. Back then it was new and pricey relative to my budget.  I have used the 10" casserole a lot!  The stains won't come out and the glass lid is very dishwasher-etched.  When I found the same size, same pattern, never-used for ...

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  • design wall monday
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