Saturday, March 17, 2012

We are not Irish and this is not about St Patrick's Day

To celebrate St Patrick's Day, we shared a single potato for breakfast and then emigrated to a house with more food.

Too soon?

Actually, this is mostly one of those posts where I've accumulated a lot of unrelated pictures and realized that I haven't posted for awhile, so whee!

Our house continues to function as the Geletka Home for Stray People and Animals. We've had a roommate, Stephen, since January and it has been a very pleasant experience, which is not something one can always say about roommates.

Just one of the family...

For a while Stephen's cockapoos, Hurley and Joey, were staying with us, but now they are living with their mommy Jen in the DC area (Stephen is living with us while he finishes his MA and then he will move up to join his wife and 'poos.)

A particularly unflattering picture of Joey

Hurley, hidden away somewhere behind his old man eyebrows

We're also dog sitting at the moment, our current charge, Diego, always kind of looks like this:

Can't sleep, people will eat me

It's a good thing that Nova loves us with the kind of enduring love that can only be produced by a very tiny brain.

It's finally spring here. Though it's been warm for a while, we've now tilted into the Season When Leland is Sweaty All the Time, which down here lasts from March through October. This coincides with the beginning of pollen season, when everything is coated with a weird green-yellow powdery pollen that looks like toxic waste and gets all over the cat.


Fletcher rocks the punk look with green streaks on his jaw and ears

And since two of Leland's project bicycles were stolen out of our carport (in retrospect, they probably shouldn't have been locked to eachother), I decided to throw him a bone and buy a new project bicycle off of Craigslist. Actually, that's not true, except for the Craigslist part. And the stolen bikes part. And the buying a bike part. So really the only thing that wasn't entirely true was the motivation for getting the bike. I watched a documentary about urban sprawl and started feeling guilty about driving everywhere, so I mentioned to Leland that I thought I might want a bike and the next thing you know we're giving some dude $20 in the Big Lots parking lot.

Leland is ridiculously excited that I might actually ride a bike somewhere with him. And I'm pretty pleased to be one of those idiots who managed to buy a ridiculously cheap and awesome old bike off Craiglist for $20. And I LOVE that this bike will be a forever souvenir of my time in North Carolina, since it's a Raleigh! To be exact, a Raleigh 3 speed from 1972, classic steel frame with wide handlebars, a flat leather seat, and bitchin' fenders. The parts it needs to become mobile were really cheap as well, so boom! New bike.

The rusted chain soaking in vinegar to revitalize it

Our conversations about the bike go somewhere like this:

"Now, this part of the wheel is called the rim, these are the spokes, and this is the hub," Leland says.

"Can I put a big basket on the front?" I say.

"This is the tire, and inside there's a tube - are you paying attention?"

"I want one of those neat round bells. And maybe streamers for the handlebars."

"Honey, you might need to know this. This is how you take the tire off the wheel. Use these special tools to -"

"I'm going to ride around with a big loaf of french bread in the basket."


And now for a great segue into my next topic. Aaaannndd... segue!

So it's National Quilting Month, apparently. I know. Why does there have to be a month for everything ever? Is this really serving some kind of purpose? And today is National Quilting Day! No I did not plan this! I am not that smooth! Since I have become kind of addicted to quilting, especially the buying fabric part of it (I think going into fabric stores makes me high), here's some of my latest accomplishments.

This is my first full size quilt, made for our friends Adam and Sarah. It's kind of a 'congratulations on getting married and having a kid and graduating from grad school and getting a grown-up job and being all-around awesome' kind of gift. I did not make up this pattern, I got the instructions here. (Warning, though - if you're a crafter, you may become addicted to this site. Also, I hate the word crafter.)

I think it came out pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

When Leland saw these pictures, he said, "whose bed is that? Oh, it's ours? It's so neat looking."

I'm also working on a series of four wall hangings. These are also a gift, which I usually wouldn't post while in the process, but I'm pretty confident that no one will guess what they're actually for/from (and if you already know, don't comment and blow it). These have been an opportunity for me to experiment with color and texture in a way I don't usually get to do. I feel all artsy and stuff. Maybe I'll open an Etsy shop and sell things I find in the yard.

And finally, I'm re-binding an old quilt that has been around at least since I was a baby. It's become Leland's quilt. It's clearly homemade, though I don't know by whom. I had to chop off about five inches all the way around to take off the parts that were frayed and coming apart.

It'll be much more sturdy when it's finished and usable for hopefully another quarter century!


  1. Your first sentence gave me exactly the good laugh I needed to brighten my day up!

  2. On second thought, does laughing at the plight of millions of Irish make me a horrible person?

  3. Ok so now I actually read your post (and thus this will be the last comment from me...I promise I'm not spamming you!), when you go into fabric stores you probably ARE getting a little bit high. My mom works at a Joann's and she said that everything that comes in is treated with all sorts of horrible chemicals to kill what ever bugs might come in from China hiding in the fabric. I'm sure that's exactly what you wanted to know. In happier news, that quilt is bitchin. That's right. I said it.

  4. I know what that top tapestry is I think!!! And if it's what I think and it's not for me you have to make me one because THAT'S FUCKING AMAZING!!!!

    On a side note, you may know this if you're on the web about this stuff but textiles are pretty hot in the art world right now and honest to god you could and should pursue that. The MN State Fair Fine Arts Competition would probably eat that shit up.

  5. Tom, if laughing at the Irish Potato Famine is wrong, I don't want to be right. And I always wash all my fabric because it is freaking nasty when you buy it! All stiff and weird feeling and no one wants to give someone a cancer quilt.

  6. That old quilt was made for you by great grandma Bernard. I think it's wonderful that you like quilting. Your work is really beautiful.