Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Monday Stuff (Okay, Tuesday) On the Way to Other Stuff: Home -- And It's Raining

We left The Mama's house yesterday...drove and drove. Got home at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. 

The grass is longer, a ton of weeds are sprouting, and the garden needs to be planted. A couple of loads went through the washer and are ready for the clothesline. But I'm not rushing on this -- it's been raining for a while.
      We get rain so rarely -- this is just wonderful. 

The list is a little brief -- I've been out of town for 2 1/2 weeks. But it will get longer next time! 

Ten times history changed -- because a single person got sick. (From Listverse)

47 insanely cool photos of shipwrecks.

Some of the prettiest braids ever -- plus how-to's on using them for your own hair.

Braid goals: Hailing from Norway, sisters Mia (left), 14, and Linda Sønvis Bech (right), 24, create whimsical braided hairstyles and post them to their Instagram account, Aurora Braids

Should you paint wood paneling? (from Emily Henderson)

A dusty little blue-and-white pot turns out to be hundreds of years old -- and worth millions of pounds.

Free tutorial to make a towel and swim tote. (Thanks, American Quilter's Society)

A DIY electric mountain bike? Sure, according to Mr. Money Mustache.

Have a great week.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


If you get a chance to see this wonderful play at Stratford, Ontario, do it...it's amazing.

Fog, lightning, weird witches and sword fights. (Not to mention a good deal about ambition, loyalty -- and guilt.) Yow.

(Gee, I shouldn't even be mentioning 'The Scottish Play's' real name -- it's dangerous, in theatre tradition.)

Here's an older version of this amazing play at Stratford. Yes, I used 'amazing' twice. It was worth it.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Canadians Are Great!

Still at the PAAQT conference. Today we learned more about:


    *protecting ourself as appraisers ('due diligence')

    *art quilts (from Lorraine Roy's viewpoint)

    *Northcott fabrics (Canada's biggest retailer)

and...modern quilts. (thanks to Bonnie Dwyer)

Tomorrow -- the Mennonite Central Committee quilt auction...one final stop at a museum. Plus PAAQT's closing banquet. 

Then zooming off to see Macbeth, courtesy of nearby Stratford.

I am just beat.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Do You Know About Personal Property Appraising?

I've been doing it for 19 years.  Well, quilts and textiles for 19; antique, vintage and modern Everything Else (dishes, furniture, accessories, books and other paper, collectibles, etc etc etc) for a decade.

And what do I know about it? 

Every time I study, I seem to learn about something else. So apparently -- I can always learn more. 

I'm at the PAAQT (Professional Quilt Appraisers of Quilted Textiles) annual conference, held this year in Waterloo, Ontario. (Yes, Canada -- eh?)

This area is chockablock with museums and other great places to visit, including an arts festival this week. Plus a Mennonite quilt auction to benefit MCC, a group we support and believe in. We've seen several interesting exhibits, and have more to go.

Plus I took a USPAP refresher course (you have to do this regularly to keep your training current) and will be in classes about all sorts of aspects of both textile history, and appraiser specifics. Like the three ways to determine values. (In case you're wondering, USPAP says it's by 1] price, 2] sales comparisons... and 3] whether it's income-producing.)

It's after 1:30 a.m., and we have breakfast at 8. Fortunately, the coffee is strong. Otherwise, I'd probably fall asleep in the plate. Bear in mind -- 8 a.m. to the Canadians here is 6 a.m. to this Westerner. The Californians have it even worse: it's 5 a.m. to them.

Back in a bit.


Monday, May 23, 2016

A Tile Photo -- For Not Much More Than the Tile

Do you admire these as much as I do?

Picture of Finished!

Now all you need are tiles, tissue paper, decoupage medium...and a printer.

Oh, and a great photo, too.

Instructions are here. Hop to it!

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Busy Busy Busy

...it's just not been on the Internet. 
     I've spent much of the week planting flowers for The Mama, including rosebushes and a boatload of impatiens. (This was made extra interesting by somehow managing to whack myself in back of one ear by a falling shovel handle. The lump is gradually getting smaller, but I wondered if I'd given myself a free concussion for a while there.) Meanwhile, the Brick has been 20 feet or so up in the air, putting in a new yard light for her, and nailing a chunk of soffit back in place. 
     It's nice to use muscles that haven't had much of a workout lately. The only drawback: we both creak and groan like old people when we get up in the morning. 

Several million in funds from the Clintons' charitable foundation goes to...their friends! Go figure.

Three climbers die on Mount Everest. (Apparently more bodies are on the way.)

A kayak, a paddler...and a fast-moving lightning storm. Yeowch.

Grass-fed protein bars. Sounds yummy, doesn't it?  At least you get a free six-pack if you buy $50 worth of other groceries from Thrive Market.  (Click here or on the link for more.)

Kick a bag...find three ziplocks full of cash!  (From Things I Find in the Garbage)

A flat folding chair that's easy to make -- out of one sheet of plywood.  (From Tiny House Design)

Flat Folding Chair v2 - Simple

Glow in the dark glasses. Make them yourself, thanks to Instructables.

Picture of How to make glow in the dark glass

Drive 2: The Uber Years.  Very silly...and very funny, particularly if you're a Ryan Gosling fan.

And now, from the Department of Worst Puns Ever:

Ella Vader  This should not be SO damn funny!:

Have a great week.

Shame on me -- this is one of those green JD things


No doubt Charley and Abby feel this way...we just don't understand what they must go through.


Saturday, May 21, 2016


Funny Animal Pictures Of The Day - 24 pics:

Not that dogs ever do this...

I'm Still Here...

...just haven't been in Internet range for the past few days. Will explain in a bit.

I'll be on more frequently now.  Meanwhile:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Monday (ok, Tuesday) Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Catching Up

In spite of gigs (thank you, Arapahoe Quilters -- it was fun!) and chores, we seem to be slowly gaining some ground. Could it be that someday in the near future, we could actually be -- CAUGHT UP? Hope springs eternal. Meanwhile, that means less time to wander around the internet, collecting stuff. Next week's version should be a tad fatter.

A car that drives itself -- it's really here! The Tesla is doing it now, with others on its heels. (From Mr. Money Mustache)

How to revenge yourself on an old employer who (unjustly) fired you. What do you think about this? (From Financial Samurai)

Saving money on clothes. Some good ideas here, including...buying fewer clothes, to start with!  (From Penny Thots)

A family of nine's weekly grocery list. (And some good recipes and tips thrown in...from The Encouraging Homeschool Mom)

Money Beagle has a temper tantrum over -- vending machines. Go figure.

A pastor sues Whole Foods for including a gay slur iced on his cake...only it's a lie.

22 charities that spend a lot more of their money taking than giving. And some of them are very prominent names. Word to the wise. (The American Red Cross has pulled more than its share of shenanigans, including giving its officers fat salaries and collecting for causes like Katrina -- then never sending the money there.)

Have a great week.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Talkin' About Civil War Quilts Tonight! (May 12)

I'm at the Arapahoe Quilters (locally in the Denver, CO area), showing lots of samples and yammering on. The Civil War era is an interesting period...with lots of misconceptions and some surprising truths, as well.

Come on over and join us!

Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at First Plymouth Congregational Church, 3501 S. Colorado Blvd, in Englewood, Colorado. It is on the southwest corner of Hampden Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. The doors open at 6:20 pm with the business meeting starting at 6:50 pm. Click here for a map to the meeting location.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Heading South...

...south, that is, to the Amundsen-Scott Research Station in Antarctica.

They have a cam that's live year-round. When I checked just a few minutes ago, the Northern Lights were very much in evidence.

Most Recent South Pole Image

Wow.  Go here and see for yourself -- maybe you'll catch a polar bear wandering around.

I found this site via Oddee, which has seven other live cams to watch-- everything from a batch of cockroaches (ewwww) to a 115-year-old bulb which still works!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Planting One On Ya

Or more than one, as the case may be... we'll be gone for a while soon, and I want to get lots of seeds in the ground. Plus a few trees. 
    The estate sale went very well, in spite of a nasty thunderstorm Saturday afternoon. I did this only because the client was a friend, but my skills and the ability to appraise seem to be suggesting I should try this again. Maybe this is going to develop into a regular business. 

The tiny video house series...this episode is on how to stain a subfloor. (I.e., plywood.)  Should be helpful learning for anyone remodeling their home. (From Ana White.)

Your Google and Yahoo information may have been stolen. Oh goody.

700+ people are claiming to be related to Prince... so they think they should get a share of his estate. If you haven't applied yet, better do it quick. (You'll have to prove it, though.)

How to root dianthus cuttings. Easier than you think. (From Mike's Backyard Garden)

A world record for a hoverboard flight!  More than 7,000 feet; the earlier record was less than a thousand. Maybe I can start thinking about flying myself to gigs...

Affordable vinyl tiles -- and why you should choose them. (From Style by Emily Henderson) Frankly, I admire the clever lamp display as much or more...but the idea of a $50 tile job is intriguing.

One mom's Mother's Day -- and a funny story. (From Thistlewood Farms)

When Mother's Day just hurts. I have a dear friend who would love to have children...and can't. I often remind myself of that on Mother's Day.  (From Moneysaving Mom)

Making a raised garden bed...how-to video included.  (From Frugal Upstate)

Is 'grit' what you need to accomplish things?    Or is that just another word for the same old self-help advice on discipline and determination?

Ten amazing details hidden in movie credits. We always stay and watch these...which used to drive our friends crazy, until they started staying, too. You miss a lot of stuff if you leave early. Really.

I must have itchy feet right now, because travel blogs like this one (A Pair and A Spare), just sound really appealing. This one is loaded with different ideas and tips, from how to save to what kind of wardrobe to take along.

Now, to get this other work done, so we can actually think about going somewhere else! 

Have a good week.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

For The Mama, who put up with her kids All The Time:

Let us carry you today, Ma.
             We love you.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dogs on Patrol

I'll be working the estate sale this weekend -- today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) Stop by for lots of good stuff.

    Meanwhile, Charles and Abby will be doing their usual vigilance. What I hope they're doing:

But this is probably closer to the truth:

Ah well. They're still super to me. 

Shipwreck Emeralds: Update on A Strange Treasure Story

Remember this post, back in 2013?

I'd forgotten, too.

Briefly summarized:  Two divers get a tip on a shipwreck, including a map and a pottery shard, from a homeless guy. The divers investigate, and over time find hundreds of pounds of emeralds, strewn across the ocean floor. (Plus some other stuff.)

    Now they're rich. Right?

Wrong. The Mel Fisher family gets wind of this incredible discovery, and promptly claims that the treasure is actually that of the Atocha, 'their' shipwreck -- and therefore belongs to them. (The fact that the shipwreck in question is miles from their current work is explained away by saying that the ship must have burst open and scattered her cargo. Which might be true, of course...but miles?!?)

    They take our heros to court -- and lose.

Then the Fishers try another tack: the divers actually salted the shipwreck with emeralds. And they were low-quality emeralds, to boot. So therefore the divers were fraudsters -- and therefore they should pay the Fisher family's lawyers anyways, because...well... they made the family take them to court to prove they (the divers, not the family) were crooks.

Confusing? Yes.

This was compounded by one of the divers, Jay Miscovich, committing suicide in October 2014. (Did he do it because he really was guilty...or he couldn't stand the pressure anymore? There's evidence on both sides.) Then Miscovich's company, JTR Enterprises, was sued by one of the investors. Whatever came of that lawsuit doesn't seem to have hit the news -- I'm guessing it was settled out of court.

The long and complicated version of this strange story, as filed in court, is here. This was the March 2015 version -- and the person filing it definitely thinks that Miscovich and his fellow diver, Steve Elchlepp, are guilty of criminal conspiracy. Or maybe Jay was the crook, and Steve the innocent (sort of) dupe. Who knows. (The story resurfaced last year when one of the lawyers, a former Clinton campaign official, argued that he should not be sanctioned by the court for getting involved in this mess in the first place.)

There are several different opinions about the emeralds. Some experts say they're quite valuable; others (including the expert the Fishers hired) argue that they're not much better than plain old green stones.

    Here are some interesting videos on the story, as well -- including an interview with Miscovich. (The story was profiled on '60 Minutes,' as well as other places, back in 2012.)

I wish I could tell you more, but the information pipeline dried up back in September of last year.  The truth, like the shipwreck, may never completely surface. Miscovich is dead. His company, I'm sure, has been bankrupt for years. And Steve Elchlepp probably will run screaming from the sight of an emerald for the rest of his life. The Fisher family, if they got anything, probably were stuck with bags of gems they'd already announced were near-worthless.

The lawyers, on the other hand, did very well for themselves.

Emerald crystal muzo colombia.jpg
the mysterious emerald -- courtesy of Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Celebrate Spring - Make A Quilt!

It's a combination of traditional tulip and star designs...easy to stitch, and it could really clear out your scrap bag. (Just separate the fabrics by color before you begin. Stick to roses and purples, with yellow as an accent, if you like this version: 4 rose/purples per 'star.')

Full directions are here. 

'Tulip Stars' was designed by Betsey Langford.

Thanks, Quiltviews, the AQS blog, for sharing!


Want to Attend A Great Estate Sale This Weekend?

You can...if you're in the Denver, CO area.

Our friend Agnes has lived in the same Denver home for more than six decades -- she actually helped her parents build it.
    She also has a home in Castle Rock, and has decided to move there permanently.

Which means she has a houseful of goodies in Denver that aren't needed.

Her estate sale is Friday, May 6        10-4
                            Saturday, May 7    10-4

Address:  600 High Street   in Denver (80218 zipcode)
    -- Look for the signs, especially along 6th Avenue.   (The house is at the corner of High St. and 6th Avenue -- a large brick residence with a fence around the property.)

There's plenty of vintage and antique furniture at great prices, but some special pieces, too.

Like this one -- an early Hitchcock-style Windsor rocker, with its original Heywood Wakefield label intact.

And this Stewart Warner antique console radio, purchased in 1936 -- but older.

An oak Arts & Crafts table -- and four chairs to accompany it. They're not old, but the table is.
    (No Stickley markings, so the price is especially reasonable.)

Rugs, accessories, dishes, you name it...we've probably got it. (Yes, I'm running the whole shebang for Agnes.)

Here's the Craigslist listing, with lots of photos. Stop by and say hi -- hopefully, we won't have snow!

Monday, May 2, 2016

What Are You Doing With Your 'Garden Junk?'

Why not do a "spilling over" effect with cans or planters, a la Funky Junk Interiors?

flowers seemingly spilling out of a metal bucket on its side / funkyjunkinteriors.net

How-to's are here. I'm planning on trying it myself -- as soon as the current snowfall completely melts off. Someday.

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: What Manure Can Do

Emma Thompson got a wild hair and decided to set up a bakery showing why fracking is bad. 

 Do you feel puzzled by this, too?

Normally, I admire Ms. Thompson's work very much. And I'm not that sure about the value of fracking, either. (Our Oklahoma friends were adamant that the increased earthquakes they were enduring had a lot to do with the high level of fracking activity in their area.) But tents, set up for baking demos...that's going to change things?!? 

Thompson and company didn't bother to ask the farmer whose field they preempted for their par-tay -- they just set everything up. That farmer expressed his opinion about this by driving over with a big, sloshing spreader of...
     liquid manure. 

Which he generously shared.

Voila -- the practical good sense of the farmer! Shame on her, and bravo for him. 
   Emma tried to explain it away, by saying her cause was just. I still think she and sister Sophie got what they deserved.

We got another big batch of snow over the weekend...but it didn't stick much. Only about 8" stayed on the ground, and that's rapidly melting, due to the warm sun. Does this mean that spring might actually sort of, kind of be here, after all? Who knows...

Where Britain's crown jewels were hidden during WWII. While we're at it:

Ten weird monsters sighted during wartime. (From Listverse)

Forget hoverboards -- now there's a hoverbike!  (I wish the Brick would get me one of these.)

Get a free breakfast sandwich at Subway, through this month. (May 2016)

A huge Roman coin hoard found in southern Spain -- more than a thousand pounds in weight. Yow.

Ten weird confession letters to crimes...that are still unsolved. (From Listverse)

Solo parenting survival tips. (From a pilot's wife.)  Both SILs, as well as my mother-in-law, were military wives whose husbands were gone for months at a time. I never went through this, because the Brick was a maverick...he only served 6 years in the Navy.   (Thanks to Red and Honey)

Chris Hemsworth shows up to celebrate National Secretary's Day...with a massage and tequila for a fan - who's also a secretary! (What a nice guy.)

Pirate libraries.  Knowledge centers that insist on sharing information FOR FREE -- shame on them! (From Atlas Obscura)

A ship lost in the Bermuda Triangle reappears -- 90 years after it went missing! UPDATE:  Oops, it's a fake. The ship is still lost. But just think how amazing it would be if  the ship really did come sailing up to shore:

What are some of the best places to travel...that few people visit? These are largely budget dream-makers, too. Don't miss the comments on Malaysia, especially. (From Quora)

President Obama's greatest regret from his presidency.

Five things Hillary Clinton revealed during her stint for New York's primary votes. Including the cold truth that Bernie Sanders and his supporters will get most probably... absolutely nothing.

Alex Lowe's body has been found...16 years after he and his photographer disappeared in an avalanche.

Can you fly with your pet as an 'emotional support' animal? Looks like you mostly can...take a look here, too.  (Some of the pets are bigger than Charley -- and he's about 125 pounds. Don't let him know -- he'd love to fly on a plane!)

And finally, from the "True, true..." Department:

"The truth is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself."
                                                                       --Augustine of Hippo

Have a great week.