Monday, July 28, 2014

Where have I been?

Thursday I watched the tour and then went over to my brother's house to help my SIL made food for all the musicians coming over for rehearsal with my nephew's band. We made stuff shells, garlic bread, sausage in cooked in sause, and she had bought apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

So half way thru rehearsal the gang came upstairs from the studio to eat. The stuffed shells were really good! Here they are in the studio.

Between everything going on I did managed to get the last two vests done.

Friday I watched Stage 19 of the tour, but before it was over I had to head over to my brother's to ride with them to the gig. I left the house at a little before 11 a.m. and I got to bed at 1 a.m. the next day. Yes, it was a long day. I help to unload the equipment and set up the merchandise booth. I had to sit at the booth so I brought entertainment. I finished unquilting my son's quilt that I am repairing from his dog ripping it, read a magazine, watched a DVD, and had a lovely conversation with one of Michael's buddies all about smart phones. I thought I took a picture of the booth, but I must of accidently deleted it.

While they were setting up on stage I was showing another brother of mine the fabric I used to make the equipment covers. He said he had been looking for a cover for his amp and asked if I could make him one. The drummer had a measuring tape so I took measurements and Saturday morning while I watched Stage 20 of the tour, I made David a cover.

Back to Friday night. The big show started at 8 p.m. David plays guitar and he was excited to be part of the show. Here he is on stage with Michael. Michael wore the red vest. The bass player is in the background. David did a great job and told Michael he would love to play with him again.

This was a special event because about 9:30 Jimy Sohns join in and did a set. Jimy wrote and sang the song "G-l-o-r-i-a".

Of course, it started to rain about 10:10 p.m. The crowd all looked at the weather on their phones and hightailed it out of there. By the time we went to load out it was raining pretty hard.

Saturday my friend came over to pin baste this wedding ring quilt on my table. I love the colors in this quilt! It was machine and hand piece and has quite a few puckers and areas with a lot of fullness. It is a special piece so regardless of the quality of the workmanship, the person wanted it finished. My friend did fix many places where the white sewing thread was showing and fixed where the stitching was coming apart.

Pin basting was going on inside while I was outside mowing. I had tried for 35 minutes trying to get my mower started. When my brothers came over to get David's amp cover they got the mower start on the second or third pull. We let the mower idle in the driveway as they visited. I didn't want to shut it off for fear I couldn't get it started again. My arm is so sore for yanking the cord!

Sunday I watched the final stage of the tour. Here are the four jersey winners lined up at the beginning of the Stage before they rode into Paris.

Peter Sagan won his third overall green jersey in a row.

While watching the final stage I worked on the ocean quilt - finally! It is taking me a long time to quilt the ocean part of the quilt. I have to think about which way my swirls go so I stop after each one to think about the next one. I was having trouble with my thread breaking on the batik fabrics so it was slow going. About 7 p.m. my right arm was so sore I quit, but I do have about half the ocean section quilted!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bought another sewing machine

This purchase was quite an adventure. I bought a Pfaff 1475CD just like the one I have owned for the past 17 - 18 years. I love this machine so much and I just wanted a back up.

I bought the machine off of ebay. The machine came Monday and as soon as I carried the box out to my car I got concerned. I took pictures of the box as I unpacked it (thank goodness I did that!) and was horrified of what I found or actually what I didn't find. There was no packing materials in the box! The seller just threw the machine in a box and shipped it.

The damage I found was the head cover fell off

The top cover came off

The light bulb exploded when I plugged the machine in and the base plate had gotten bent. See the crack?

With the base being bent I cannot open the bobbin case cover all the way.

Here is my machine and this is how the bobbin case cover is suppose to look when opened. The tension is also out of wack from the machine being dropped.

I contacted the seller and the lies and blame started coming. It was the post office's fault because they packed the machine - lie. fyi Mr. Seller the PO doesn't pack packages. It was my fault because I didn't tell the seller to put insurance on it. It was the PO's fault since they damaged it and I needed to take the box to the PO to file a claim. The machine was shipped parcel post with no insurance. I had paid enough they could have shipped it priority, but instead they pocketed the extra money. The seller said I could file a claim for $100 thru the PO. Not true. The non-existence packing would throw any claims out the window. The PO only offers automatic $50.00 insurance on priority mail and that is it - nothing on parcel post. I kept telling the seller these facts and that $100 would hardly cover the shipping to send the machine to my sewing machine repair man anyway.

The seller and I went back and forth for a day and a half over this. They continually blamed the PO and me, whereas I offered solutions. Their choice was a full refund including postage and shipping the machine back to them or a partial refund for repairs and postage. We went round and round and after I filed a case on ebay against them, the seller finally offered the partial refund. I now have plenty of money to get this poor machine fixed. So here is the machine getting packed in my special double walled heavy box I have just for shipping my sewing machine. Lots of bubble wrap and foam sheets and I will add air pillows to fill the box out. Snug as a bug!

Lessons learned:
1. question the seller on how the machine is going to be packed.
2. question the seller on what shipping class are they going to use. Parcel post take longer to ship and I don't think they are all that careful with the packages. I am going to ship mine UPS so I can track it.
3. Shake the box before you accept delivery. If you hear rattling that should not be there, you could have a problem. Since this was an non-returnable item on ebay I would have no choice but accept it and deal with it the way I did. The transaction was covered by eBay's buyer protection plan so one way or another I would not lose my money.
4. Take pictures as you unbox the item whether you hear rattling or not. I believe these saved me on this transaction. What caused the problem was obvious.
5. contact the seller stating only facts and try to keep emotion out of it. I did use the words shocked to see there was no packing and disappointed that the machine was damaged. State your case clearly and stick to your guns if you believe the problem is not your fault. In my case, the seller was a bully and would not take any responsibility. I called ebay and they said it is the seller's responsibility to ship the item that was described. If it wasn't damaged when you bought it, the item should not be damaged when you take possession of it.
6. File a case if you have to if the seller is not offering any solution. The seller did not offer me any solution and just kept handing out more blame in all their communications. I offered solutions - full or partial refund. It wasn't too long after I filed the case that the seller came back and offered me a partial refund for the dollar amount I requested.

I have bought many things on ebay - everything from a cast iron bathtub to thread. I have only had two problem with the items I purchased, the machine being number two, and in both cases I won because I documented the issues carefully.

I am ready to put this all behind me and get excited about having a second machine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Vest, purchase, and zinnias

I needed to get some house stuff done last evening like cooking and stripping the bed, so I didn't get as much done on the cream vest and I would have liked. Here it is all sewn together and clipped ready to be turned right side out and pressed.

When I bought interfacing for the vest last week I needed to spend a few more bucks and I could use a ten dollar off coupon. The Wawak Sewing catalogue is full of great stuff! I found some - hold on, here it comes - safety pins for pin basting at a great price! I should never have a problem running out of safety pins as I now have an additional 1,440 pins! I will have to open these when I watch a movie.

The Japanese Beetles are gone and the zinnias are blooming and multiplying. Here is what they looked like this morning.
Green Envy

Candy cane

Monday, July 21, 2014

Done & 3 of 5 done!

Friday night I got to work and made the three smaller equipment covers.

Saturday morning while I watched the tour and made the fourth cover. The hook and loop tape arrived on Friday. Yeah! This cover was 31" x 31" x 43" high with hook and loop tape on the front and back to make flaps.

Here they are all packed up and are now on their way. Done!

With the crazy weather swings in the tour, many riders are getting sick. They have gone from 55 degrees and rain to 90 degrees! This poor fellow got bronchitis and ended up abandoning during the race because he couldn't breath. He is hanging on to his tour director or else he would hit the floor.

After I took the package to the FedEx drop off, I started working on more vests for Michael. It takes me 3 hours to make a vest if I am totally focused. I spent most of Saturday cutting the four remaining vests out. They are lined and the interfacing came on Friday so I cut those pieces out also. I got the red one done and the gray one done on Sunday while I watched the tour. So that is 3 out of the 5 vests done!

While I had the iron on this morning pressing my clothes for work so I pressed the interfacing on the fronts for the cream vest.

This week's plan is to make the cream vest tonight, the navy vest tomorrow night, Wednesday is quilt group, Thursday I will be helping my SIL cook for all the musicians coming in town for the Streetsboro Family Days. Rehearsal is Thursday at my brother's house so we need to feed everyone! Another brother of mine is coming in for the event too. Friday Michael plays at the Family Days so I will be working the merchandise booth. It is going to be a busy week!

Yesterday afternoon, Michael played at the Italian Fest. There was a big crowd

Here is the view I had from the merchandise booth

And here is the merchandise booth. The fellow in the picture came to see the band on Monday and was back again. He asked if he could sit in the shade. It was hot in the sun!

My man Peter Sagan is still collecting those green jerseys! Today is a rest day for them and me! It is a lot of work keeping up with the tour when I like to watch the entire broadcast to see all the little things that happen.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vest, cover progress, and more pain

I got the vest finished that Michael needs for Sunday. Four more to go. Cross your fingers that the interfacing arrives today so I can work on them this weekend.

I worked on cutting out pieces I need for this second batch of covers. I still need to cut a few more pieces, but what I have done is a good start. I need to get these done and to FedEx tomorrow as the date the band wants them changed from the 25th to the 22nd. Cross your fingers that my hook and loop tape I need for one of the covers shows up today. They gave me their FedEx number so I don't have to worry about the cost. Here are the pieces staged with the drawing for each cover on top.

I worked at the museum last evening pouring beer. There were some different wines than we had before and one of them came in these beautiful blue bottles. I saved the two empties and will mail them to you Vicki if you want them for slumping. I just thought the glass was so pretty.

I speed watched Stage 12 of the tour and another bad crash. Del La Cruz's front tire blew out when he was going around a corner and down he went very hard on his right shoulder. He broke something for sure. He ended going to hospital and is out of the tour. This was his first time riding in the tour. How sad to have it end this way.

My man Peter Sagan received another green jersey!

This morning the hawks were flying about and two of them ended up side by side. They have a very white breast so in this picture the one on the right is facing front and the one on the left has it's back to the camera.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Courage and how to make fringe

Yes, an odd combination of topics, but I had to talk about a couple of TdF riders that showed such courage.

First, Alberto Contador, a Spanish rider who has won the tour twice officially and was in the group to possibly win again. He was going along just fine on stage 10 uphill and as he was eating he hit a dip in the road. He only had one hand on the handlebars so he lost control and crashed. He fell heavily on his right knee and was bleeding profusely. The doctor stopped by, wrapped up his knee, and he got back on the bike. He rode in the pouring rain for about 10 miles before he said goodbye to his teammate who had ridden with him to get Alberto back to the peloton.

Alberto had to abandon. He rode 10 miles with a fracture to his tibia below his knee! He said he stopped because he could not get any power out of his leg. Here he is getting off the bus to talk to reporters.

Next is Andrew Talansky, an American rider. Andrew had crashed three times and had hurt his back. On Stage 11 he just kept falling back farther and farther. He finally stopped and his back was killing him. Andrew sat on a guardrail while the race director for his team talked to him.

He sat there for about four minutes, had a bit of a cry, and he decided he wanted to get back on the bike. Meanwhile the race is going on and he is really behind now. He still had 48 miles with two climbs to the finish line. Andrew is his team leader for winning the yellow jersey and he was in the top 10 so there was still a chance for him to win. He had no teammates and rode by himself with a team car following the last 48 miles. He came in under the time limit so he is still in the tour.

The TV people had kept a camera on him which is unheard of. He was the last guy out on the road all by himself, but he is such an important rider that his ride was newsworthy. Meantime at the finish they were giving out the day's awards and Andrew was still on the course. Here is the split screen when my man, Peter Sagan, received another green jersey and Andrew is in the bottom right still riding. Andrew made it to the finish. Let's see if he can ride today.

Now the fringe for Michael's vests. I cut the fabric a bit wider than what I needed and cut it 8" high. I lined up the cut edge with the edge of my 24" ruler. I put on my brick weights to keep the ruler from moving and used another smaller ruler as my cutting guide.

I used the 1/4" marks on the 24" ruler as my guide for cutting the fringe and cut from right to left.

The rotary cutter can't go all the way to the edge of the fabric and it leaves me just the right for keeping the fringe in one piece and for sewing it on the vest.

Here is the fringe all cut and ready for me to position and sew on the vest. I did get the shoulders sewn and the vest topstitched last night. All that is left is to add the fringe.

I also got some pieces cut for the four covers I need to get made for the band. Three of the covers will have clear tops so I got those cut out. I am breathing a bit easier as the covers will not need to be to MN until Friday the 25th.