Mac and Cheese and Mom

My mom is in the hospital, hopefully will go home tomorrow; she went in with chest pain, and I was afraid it was another heart attack. But, it’s pneumonia. There must be a pleurisy element to it; because it’s been very painful.

I made macaroni and cheese and brought her some for dinner tonight. No generic elbows for me, though: this dish had Vita Spelt penne pasta, Welsh cheddar with shallots, shitake mushrooms and a generous dollop of butter and milk.

If you’re stuck in a hospital, home cooked food tastes pretty darn good! I had some myself.

My Very Beautiful Bathroom Tile

Last week, my bathroom bath/shower was tiled and new plumbing fixtures were installed. The plumber came one morning as I was getting ready for work. When I heard him say, from the bathroom, “you’ve got to see this”, followed by him coming out to show me a cell phone photo…well, I knew my old house just yielded yet another surprise:  a shower fixture held in place with….duct tape.

Yes, that is duct tape (circa 1958) holding the old shower in place. No wonder it always wobbled.  I should send this image to the duct tape people as a testimonial to how long this stuff holds up. It was still sticky!

Here is the new shower, set considerably higher I might add; my old shower was for midgets.

Here’s the very cool and curvy tub faucet…

And here’s my tub, scrubbed nice and clean and white; I didn’t have the tub re-glazed as it’s held up well. Plus I’ve heard re-glazing involves very stinky solvents, which would certainly give me a migraine.

This is the view from the hall. I just love the tile, which is porcelain from Italy. The small white tiles are glass.

Eric from Absolute Installation tore out my old green tile from 1958 and put up my new tile. Several bricks fell out of the wall during the process (good thing this is a double-wall house) and he mortared them up just fine. I asked him to place random inserts of the small square white tile, and I just love the way it turned out. Even smaller tiles in the same color frame the window and the 2 small corner shelves. Eric was very professional, things were always tidy after he worked, and Bearbear just loved him. I wholeheartedly recommend him; it’s hard to find people who do great, honest, artistic work AND whom you can trust to have in your home.

Pincushion Update

The pincushion is coming along. Here’s the base, a large vitamin bottle cap with blue felt stitched around the sides with dyed silk yarn:

The base, in theory, will sit on some flower petal shapes:

Here are the shapes, the one the top is finished, the other three need to be sewn and have the bit of batting stuffed inside:

This is the painted rayon/silk fabric that will be stuffed with batting and stitched around the base to resemble something faintly round and will be stuck in the pill bottle top:

Since I have no bulk polyfill, and since today is a no-car day for me (bicycle only) and since I have no interest in pedaling to the fabric store, I chopped up some fusible polyester batting I have gathering dust (why would I ever use polyester fusible batting?) and I think a handful of this stuff chopped will provide an un-lumpy pincushion stuffing.

Pressure is on. Pincushion exchange is in 3 days! I just hope mine will measure up. I don’t want to have the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Pincushion.

I got some ideas for this pattern from this excellent (miniature) pincushion pattern:


Yes, this is really the beginning of a pincushion. It’s for my art quilt group’s Christmas pincushion exchange. The plastic white bottle cap will be the base for a pincushion flower.

As if cutting the felt wasn’t hard enough, gluing it on took for-ev-er.

This is what is really hard about being an artist. If you quit art making for any period of time, getting back into the process takes baby steps; and only after a few baby steps does the routine return.

More pincushion tomorrow.


Happy Birthday

Today is my dad’s birthday–2 days ago it was our friend Gloria’s birthday. So yesterday–the day in between–I went to Sonoita, where they both live, and brought  a chocolate cake I’d made, with both of their names on top. My folks invited some of their friends over to share:

The cake was very yummy. It’s the same chocolate cake I make every time, from a recipe from the Vancouver Sun from February 1986.

Here’s a picture of me and my dad; I picked a sunny spot indoors for the photo, with the net result being glare on my glasses:

On my dad’s birthday I also remember Uncle Bill, my dad’s identical twin, who shares the same birthday of course but who died several years ago.

Here’s to another yummy cake next year.