December 11, 2017
Been busy working on the newest addition to the Product Line. I've long wanted to put this project together but was first too busy and after I began losing the ability to see well, it just didn't seem possible.
But for the last few weeks I have been working on two projects: The Mini-Block Microwave potholders (see below) and Rebuilding the Mini-Block Instruction Booklet. Both will soon be available.
In putting together the potholder project, I discovered the Instruction Booklet was in bad need of rebuilding. So let me explain a little about design work. My original Instruction Booklet was built on my much older Mac and its graphic design programs Photoshop* and Quark*. Great programs that I rely heavily on.
But a funny thing happened on the way to my newer Mac. I didn't get upgrades when I needed to get them and then one day they were not available because Adobe, for one, went digital and put Photoshop into their Creative Suite that is now an online "in the Cloud" process. That means there are no more in-thee-hand programs (for one price), there are downloads that you can "rent" for so much a month or year.
Now, on the other hand, Quark has jazzed up their program to where it would seem I'd no longer need so much of the Photoshop features because they seem to have added a ton of graphic features that act like what Photoshop offered. The newest Quark program looks amazing BUT again the upgrades lapsed and to get the new one I'll need to come up with $850! Oh, how I wish I had a money tree in the backyard!
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY...
The projects have taken longer because I have had to switch between two computers: one to do the graphics and illustrations on and the other to write the projects up. Back when I first put together the Instruction Booklet , I used the Photoshop program to assemble the booklet, then each page had to be first saved as an EPS file and edited in a feature called ImageReady where I could save all the EPS files into the final PDF file. As it was, there was deterioration to the quality of the work.
Now I am working in am Apple program called Pages that is a bit more awkward to use than Quark for basic design purposes, but gets the job done, after a fashion. On the plus side, I should be able to go straight to PDF without any in between steps.
So very shortly a better version of the Instruction Booklet will be available to everyone. Those of you who purchased the Booklet or a pattern with it included will get a copy sometime after I get it all finished and uploaded.
All others who purchase a pattern with the old version included will get the upgrade in a followup email at time of purchase. As it will entail a great deal of trouble to transfer everything to a new PDF file, I'm leaving the patterns alone for the time being.
*All italicized names are either Brand Names or Trade Marked names.
The Mini-Block Microwave Potholders...
How often have you reached into the Microwave and didn’t realize the cup or bowl or plate was super hot? I did that once to the tune of a massive burn on my ring finger of my right hand. That was not only uncomfortable but it made me very aware that I use that finger to balance a lot of things.
It also made me mad—because I had a set of Microwave potholders within reach—and I didn’t use one!
What is a microwave potholder? It is a small potholder about 41⁄2 inches square that I made with scraps from a quilt — small bits and pieces left over from the construction. Little triangles and squares.
They turned out to be just the rightsize to handle a cup or bowl or plate just heated in the microwave. So much easier to use than a bulky regular sized potholder or mitts. And they can be made from scraps!
Or in this project’s case: Fat Quarters.
With the inner lining made of a heat-resistant “batting” (brand name: Insulbrite Thermal Batting) it is a really great tool for anyone’s kitchen.
Want a perfect gift for that person who has everything? Or for a special hand-made wedding or shower gift. Or any other occasion you need a quick gift.
Then you will love the Mini-Block Microwave Potholders Project. Every Mini-Block featured in the One Block Only patterns is made up as a little potholder just right for reaching in and getting a cup or dish or even a casserole dish out of the microwave with the bulk of a regular potholder and without fear of burning your fingers!
So, get read. I will be adding the project shortly after the first of the year! In plenty of time for getting a batch done for all those brides who won't have such a unique gift! Not to mention all your friends who needs a little surprise from their quilter friend!
Well, for the first time in quite a while I'm firing up my brand new sewing machine and going to work with the trial run on all the potholders (working out any kinks in the instructions) and making a set of red and black ones for a friend of mine.
Maybe I can feature Bill and Judy with their potholders in the page on the site by then. Judy brings home the "bacon" and Bill cooks it, so to speak!
So, if there isn't a new entry for a little while...
I AM QUILTING!
October 30, 2017
Last Friday I got together with my friend Dory. It had been along time since we had gotten together -- life had come between us. She's a busy lady, teaching and getting her doctorate dissertation ready. I believe the saying about if you want to get something done, get a busy woman to it should be changed to get an Irishwoman to do it!
Dory is truly a force of nature when motivated and sometimes that motivation is pure Irish. When she wanted to learn how to quilt (and sew for that matter), she asked me to help her. Her very first quilt is shown here. She informed me she has since then finished EIGHT!
Way to go, Girl! She said she never would've done it without my help with that first one. That was my pleasure.
One thing she told me was "The Bear has left the Building" has been happily well used. A fort, a magic carpet and many other things since it went to Ireland all those years ago.
October 23, 2017
I just finished the massive amount of work that has gone into re-doing the PayPal buttons for the items I have for sale on the site. Twenty-two new buttons that appear to be working.
What that doesn't show is the large number of pages that had to be
re-built, checked and re-checked to make sure links go where they are suppose to go. New copy on nearly every page.
A little note here: There are still some pages that need work, but I'm getting there!
Here are some new things:
On the Nav Bar (to the left) you will find under Projects the bar
entitled Beginner Patterns that bar will take you yo the individual
patterns with links to each succeeding page alphabetically.
On the first page of "A" Patterns you will find some information
about The New Purchasing Policies (see buttons below).
These buttons will take you directly to the purchasing option you
wish to use: 1) Purchase through One Block Only (aqua buttons) or
2) Purchase through PayPal
You may click on either button throughout the web site and they will take you straight to the proper page for ordering any item currently available from
One Block Only Beginner Quilting.
Not too bad for Ms MaGoo, here...
October 11, 2017
Fixin' up the Site
Now (see below) that I have time, time and more time... I've decided to tackle the repairs needed on this site. After the entry below and the problems with my eyes, I got kind of discouraged about a lot of things.
But lately the irritating, annoying and down right frustrating problems I've been encountering with PayPal has finally got me riled up. (None of the Quilting Cats will cooperate and give me a good grumpy cat pose to photograph so I can stick it in here.)
Here is a link to the New Payment Policy page that I will begin using immediately as I begin the repairs to the site. With all the great new changes SBI has put in effect over the past few of years I have a lot of re-learning to do! But the work is long over due.
As I pull the PayPal buttons and stick then on their own page, I will be replacing them with my own button linking to this new page. It is going to be "Old School" because I am sick and tired of paying a company a fee that basically ends up with them not do their job!
I pay a fee on every sale that goes through PayPal and they (for some reason) don't send my customers to the "Thank Your Page" that I had to build and set up specifically for the purpose of linking my customer to my merchandise.
Sometime, a while back, they made some changes which 1) dropped the listing of the buttons I had created (so I couldn't even go in and easily correct the problem on their site) and 2) the changes somehow messed up the commands that used to send customers where they needed to go to complete the purchase.
There arose the problem. Each time someone purchased a pattern I would have to go in to the email sent from PayPal notifying me of the sale and take the time to inquire if they got sent to the "Thank You" page for their link or, because so many didn't get sent there, I ended up sending another email that had the pattern attached to it.
If I missed an email and didn't know about the sale, then I got a complaint. AND PayPal even changed the process of addressing those situations. At one time it was relatively easy to correct the oversight and take care of the complaint. (Again directly contacting the customer with the pattern file attached.) BUT NOT NOW.
The last incident cost me many hours over three days before I got it resolved. I ended up sending four emails to the customer, three with the pattern attached. The last email was to make sure the customer knew they had to contact PayPal themselves to cancel the complaint because unless the customer contacts PayPal the issues is not resolved. No matter what the seller says.
I don't know how many emails I sent in to PayPal explaining the problems I was having with their "resolution center" and I still haven't answered their email asking me to rate my experience with their "resolution center". Maybe I should send them a link to this.
Well, I did see some progress today because I completed the page with all the pattern and specials that I had with PayPal on it. I also made my own button for how I want to do sales from now on. It was interesting to jump back into the old Graphic Artist mode and have to re-learn a lot of things I hadn't done for a long while. It's like that old saying about riding a bike...
But the bike has gotten really rusty!
I'd rather be quilting!
October 9, 2017
Well, to say the least... A lot.
First of all, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (thanks Dad). For someone who grew up always being "the Bolton" one, I sure inherited a lot of things from my Dad's side of the family and Diabetes seems to be one of them. Grandma Mac was diagnosed after someone found her passed out on her kitchen floor. She never knew she was Diabetic until only days before she died from complications of that kitchen floor incident. She was in her late eighties at the time.
My Dad was diagnosed in his seventies but didn't think much of it for a few more years until the nurse at the VA emergency room asked him (after some blood tests) if he was Diabetic. His answer? "A little." To which the nurse retorted, "That's a little like being a little pregnant."
It wasn't until he broke his hip and was (to his pure dislike of the matter) placed in a nursing home when he was 80 years old that he was put on medication to help it. It still took its toll and he died from problems related to the disease.
When I first became aware of the problem, I thought it was Type 2, but after the normal medications that should have helped me didn't, a dear friend of mine insisted I was probably like her and wasn't producing enough insulin naturally. So after a bit of discussion with my doctor, I got the wonderful news -- Type 1 -- and I had to take insulin shots twice a day which weren't enough so I get to take four shots a day just to keep it under control. NOT FUN.
That brings me to the second thing, the most annoying of all. My eyesight has been affected by this blankety-blank disease. Reading is now with a magnifying glass. Typing? Let's just say, I spell check a lot and proofread everything I type. It tsakrd me three times a long any just about anyone else to just send an email. Texting? Just don't do it.
The only way I get to enjoy reading a book is audio books these days. Thankfully there is Audible and George Guidall, among others narrating some of my favorite authors. Don't forget Gene Engene who is my favorite J P. Beaumont and Zane Grey narrator.
With the problems with my eyes, working on quilting is the thing I miss most of all. As I often say, "I'd rather be quilting."
* * * * *
Lastly, I managed to NOT die from pneumonia almost four years ago. That was in spite of the fact I was working myself to the bone trying to keep up my janitor job and my housekeeping jobs while having no money for a doctor. I spent several hours in an hospital emergency room running up a bill that was hard on the meager finances.
A few changes were made since then. One, I found out I qualified for Medicaid (on the spot when I applied because my income level was sooo low -- that didn't happen often in their offices). Then I finally got old enough for Medicare.
Life is so much fun getting old and messed up with all the bull that goes with old age!
Oh how I'd rather be quilting!
Earlier Blog entries...