Monday, January 25, 2016

Water...The Next Gold

You never realize how important something really is until you don't have access to it.  I think most people take it for granted that they have clean drinking water at their disposal anytime you need or want it.  Growing up, I had public water all the time and never really thought twice about not having water, or I should say clean water.  My parents' summer home had questionable water when I was very little, but we always brought drinking water over from the main house and used the tap water there only for washing and showering.  The water there eventually got upgraded to water from the county (versus the small village) and its been clean ever since.

Over the past few weeks of dealing with our water issues, I've become more aware of how precious water can be.  I also look at what is happening in Flint, Michigan, and it makes me grateful that I do have my own water supply that I can control (to some extent).  I don't have to wait for some town to figure out that the water is bad and to eventually fix it.  I can do the testing myself and fix it.

Which is where this post is going....

We got news just over a week ago that our water was not suitable for drinking.  The water appeared clean, but I think that's where people sometimes get tripped up.  After the well drilling company next door messed up our well, we drank the water for two days before I said I wasn't comfortable doing it and we switched over to drinking bottled water until we could get test results back.  We knew ahead of time that our well had sulfur, iron and a bit of methane.  Our original water "system" had a chlorination system (sulfur, iron and chlorine bond and can be filtered out in something like a Brita filter) to take care of the sulfur and iron.

With the changes caused by the hydrofracking, we have a significant increase in the amount of methane in our water.  The hydrofracking also introduced coliform (bacteria) into the water.  Thankfully, the chlorination system is killing the bacteria; however, with the huge amount of methane we have now, there are two major problems.  First, we have a tremendous amount of water hammering now (i.e. gas buildup that causes pipes to rattle).  Long-term water hammering actually damages pipes and appliances and can cause major water issues as the pipes can break from the change in pressure.

The second issue...due to the insane amount of methane (and the fact that we chlorinate the water for sulfur and iron), we now have a chemical in our water called chloromethane (chlorine and methane bonding).  Chloromethane is toxic for humans.  It causes nervous system problems and if ingested by someone who is pregnant, will cause severe birth defects in the fetus.  I'm very glad that I made the cautious decision not to drink the water until the tests came back, as this is BAD STUFF!

We had three companies come to the house last week to quote water systems to fix our new issues.  We ended up picking one of them and they are installing a system this week.  Thankfully it is all fixable.....for a price.  Due to the cost of it, we also sent a letter to the well drilling company explaining everything (including all of our water test results) and that we expect them to cover our expenses for the new water treatment system since it is a direct result of their poor decision to hydrofrack.  We are not sure whether we will get anywhere with them, but we have to try.

So at this point, its at least another 4 weeks of using bottled water until we can get a new set of water tests back.  While the new system is designed to take care of these problems, we want to make sure that it does before we start drinking the water again.  It will be nice to be able to drink water straight from the tap again.

On the crafty side though (and because I want to include a picture), I've started a new cross-stitch pattern.  I've temporarily given up on the last one and put it aside as it was just REALLY slow going.  This one will be faster to sew (a bit smaller) and I'm more excited about this one.  Here is the next project:


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I'm really liking the reds, golds and oranges in this one, which is a nice change after doing just blues and greens.

Hope everyone is doing OK after the storm that came up the coast this past weekend.  We didn't get a single snowflake, but I know other areas got hit really hard.


Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, January 11, 2016

Water Saga

Another post without pictures... but a post nonetheless.  :c)

For anyone who is new, just prior to Christmas, we had some problems with our well water.  All the gory details, and a few pictures, are posted here.

The well driller did put in a filter to catch the sediment and we're waiting for our water tests to come back at this phase to make sure we still have clean water to drink.  However, the water straight out of the well (non-filtered) is still cloudy.  It is definitely better, but not crystal clear like it used to be.

This is where it has gotten a little annoying.  The well driller calls us once every week or two and says "I've sold that filter and I'm going to need it back".  Our response all along, and they agreed when they put it in, was that it will stay until we have clear water.  Thankfully, our neighbor (who is ultimately paying this guy) is on our side and has also called the well driller to tell him no, he can't take the filter yet.

The good thing... the filter is inside the house.  They can't come and get it without us letting them in to take it.  :D

The bad side... we're getting tired of the phone calls.  AND.... we found out the neighbor's well is only producing 2.5 gallons per minute.  Code in our area is a minimum of 3 gallons per minute.  So we don't think he's done messing with his well yet since he needs to get at least another 1/2 gallon out of it in order to put a house there.

We are truly hoping that there hasn't been any major damage to the quality of our well, but we really won't know until we have clean water and we go through a hot and dry summer.  Then we will know if our well is truly stable again.

I do have some crafting/quilting stuff to post again.  I've been doing a lot of clean-up of boxes of scraps.  Eventually I will use all my extra fabric for some scrap quilts!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

At the start of a new year, I typically do not feel different or invigorated to try something new.  No New Year's resolutions for this girl!  I usually try to make it a point not to do something "special" for the new year as I want the things that I choose to do to be things that I want to do regardless of what time of year it is.

That being said....

This year I do want to be better with blogging.  I got out of the habit of regularly posting last year, and I'd like to try and change that this year.  I may not have pictures to show on every post, but I'm going to try to share a little more of what goes on here in my little world.

The last two weeks of the year were busy to say the least, but I'm glad I was fortunate enough to have two full weeks off from work.  I used the time to visit with family, spend time with my spouse, and in general just unwind for a hectic work schedule.

I was able to get a few quilting/crafty things done over the break, but most of my time was spent visiting with family and just generally enjoying life.  I'll be sure to share some more of our winter-break adventures this week.  :c)

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Water Woes

I've been quiet lately with a lot of things going on both at work and home.  However, I felt the need to share this one...

Our neighbor has been trying to put a well in for a few weeks.  They are down to about 400ft and still no water.  Our well is only 250ft deep and we have great water.  It really comes down to WHO you use for digging a well.

Anyway - the well-driller next door decided the next route was to do hydro fracking.  This is a standard method that's been done for years for water wells, but apparently there are no real "rules" around how close you can be to an existing well without impacting it.  On Friday, they started hydro fracking and the only reason we knew was because my husband was home that day.

We thought everything was fine until we woke up Saturday morning to discover that our clean, clear water was now murky grey.  The hydro fracking opened up a fissure into our well and disturbed everything.

Thankfully, we still have water in the well, but we were pumping it out continuously over the weekend to try and clear out the muck.  The picture below pretty much tells the story.

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Thursday night we had nice clear water and Saturday morning you couldn't see through the glass.  The picture of the glasses was taken this morning (3 days after the water was put into the Saturday morning glass) and the sediment in the water STILL hasn't settled.

We ran the well all day Saturday and Sunday, which is why the Sunday night glass is somewhat see-through.  On Monday, the well driller came and put in a temporary filter such that we can use our water again.

We honestly don't know if our well looked as murky when it was first dug or not.  Our builder ran if for a week straight just continuously dumping the water out of the well to flush out all the junk.  We weren't trying to live there at that point, so it wasn't a big deal.  Now that we live in our house, it is a big deal when you don't have potable water.

Thankfully, both the well-driller and our neighbor are being very good about this and making sure that our water gets fixed.  We spent the weekend using bottled water and doing laundry at a laundromat versus in the house.  An inconvenience, but was OK for a weekend.  I'm definitely happy to have decent water back.  We still have to test every few days to see if the unfiltered water is coming in clean yet, but we have the filter (free of charge) in place until the water is clear.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Bit of Quilting...

Its been a while....

again....

Time has been getting the better of me again and its been almost two months since I last posted.  I seriously don't know where the time has gone.  It seems like I was just home visiting with my older sister, but that was at Halloween which is 6 weeks ago now.

To show how things have been going....

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This was what happened one morning...before I had my coffee or tea.  I was trying to take the slow-cooker out of the pantry and the cat treats when all over the place.  It was a fairly easy pickup since most of the treats landed on the lid, but it just goes to show that coffee needs to come first before anything else.  :c)

I have done quilting and even finished a quilt!  I know... crazy that I actually finished something this year.

It didn't take long to quilt this one once it was loaded onto the frame.

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Even as I was quilting it, I could see the texture starting to show.  I really like this panto and its great for a kids' quilt.  Its called Celebrate.

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Of course, right when I got to the last line of quilting.... the bobbin thread ran out.  And it wasn't even the start of the last line, but with only about 20 inches left.  Grrr!

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Here it is all finished though.

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The angled view on the frame gives a nice view of the quilting and texture pre-washing.

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On this particular quilt, I didn't know the baby's name, so I only put my standard generic label onto the binding.  Instead of doing a label on the back of the quilt, I embroider it right into the binding.  Its less obtrusive I think and it would be pretty hard for someone to remove it.

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After washing, the quilt has that beautiful crinkled look to it.  I love this batting (Quilter's Dream Cotton in their Supreme Loft).

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I also really liked the backing on this one.  The polka dots were really cute for a baby quilt.

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And one last shot of the texture along the length of the quilt with the fading sun of a winter afternoon.

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Hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for Christmas!  It will be here before any of us know it!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, October 19, 2015

Heat Wave!

I wish we had a heat wave right now.  As it stands, we've had to use our fireplace the past few nights to take the chill off the air in the house.  Sunday we definitely needed it though as the overnight low was down to 24F and the daytime temp only reached about 45F.

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We even had it... S N O W!!!!  I was not happy to see these little babies on the porch and the little white things flying in the air.

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So what's a girl to do???

Stay inside and quilt!  I purchased Judy Laquidara's book Nine Patch Extravaganza several years ago and even bought the fabric to make her quilt called Heat Wave.  I decided to finally pull it out and get to work!

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I have similar colors to Judy's original quilt and started cutting up all the pieces I needed.

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My "OCD" factor is coming up high on this one while I was cutting things out.  LOL

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And all the pieces cut for the center portion of the quilt and the non-pieced borders.  All neatly lined up and ready to go.  Sometimes when I stack this stuff up, it makes me not want to do anything more so I can keep it in the nice and neat little piles.  Thankfully, that feeling doesn't last too long!

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I have about 20 of the 80 flying geese blocks made so far for this quilt.  There are a lot of bonus HSTs as part of making those flying geese, so i'll have to figure out something to do with the tan and gold-ish HSTs.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Friday, October 2, 2015

Baby Quilt Progress

I know its been a while again since my last post.  Life has been busy around here.

I've been focusing a lot on work and my health lately.  On the health front, its no major issues...just trying to be more health conscious.  I picked up running over the summer and still try to get in two or three runs every week.  With cold weather and dark evenings on the horizon, I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to keep up my running routine.  I can easily run 3 miles outside in 30 minutes without much effort, but once I get on a treadmill.... good bye.  I feel like I'm dying after the first mile or so.

I don't know whether its boredom with being on a treadmill or if I just find it hard to run on a treadmill.  I know I will still look forward to my weekend running that I can do outside for as long as I can!  The good thing is that with running and paying attention to myself over the past year or so, I've gone from a size 8 or 10 down to a size 4 (sometimes a 6 if the style is really trim cut).  I'm now holding steady around 126 or 127 pounds, which is something I haven't been at for about 8 years, so I'm really pleased with that.

Anyway - on to the stuff you really want to see... the quilting!  :c)

A friend of ours is having a baby (boy) this fall, so I went about making a cute quilt for them a few weeks ago.  Here are the fabrics/squares all laid out in my OCD fashion.  LOL!

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It was quick work to sew all the pieces together, especially since it just had to be random for the most part.  I did line up the larger squares as well as the 3-piece strip sets on my design wall to make sure there wasn't too much of one color family in any area of the quilt.

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All the strips came together quickly and I think I got most of the top done in just a few hours.

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When it came to sewing the longer strips, I sewed the strips first and then laid them out on the wall and moved things around as needed to try and minimize having the same colors next to each other.  The image below is missing some of the white sashing pieces, but it was only up there so I could see how the colored squares went together.

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And here is the middle of the top... only one large border to add...

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Ta-da!

One happy quilt top all put together.

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I prepped the backing yesterday and hope to get it on the frame and quilted this weekend.  The backing material is a really cute polka dot that has similar colors as the front of the quilt.  I have a deep blue that I'm using for binding.  I wanted to use the green and the blue to give it a slightly more masculine feel since the baby is a boy.

I hope everyone is enjoying their fall.  I did see on one blog that Alaska is already receiving snow! September is a little early for snow...even for those of us who enjoy the snow!

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations

Monday, August 24, 2015

AQS Quilt Show - Syracuse 2015

I had the opportunity to go to the AQS Quilt Show in Syracuse, NY this summer.  The show was held in July and it was my first "real" quilt show.  I've gone to fairs and local guild shows, but never something as large as this (and this isn't even large compared to the Houston or Paducah shows).  I ended up going to the show with my Mom and we had a great time and took a lot of photos of the great quilts there.

"Hurricane" by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga from the Netherlands.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

"Petals" by Marcia Baraldi from Brazil.
2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


"Red and Black Illusion" by Kaiko Ike (I think that's the right name, my picture is a little blurry to read the text on the card now.)

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

"For Ewe" by Janet Henshaw
2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

"Weighed in the Balance" by Marilyn Smith

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

I don't have a close-up of the name of this quilt or the quilter.  :c(  It was a beautiful quilt though.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


"One Cake, Two Cake, Red Cake, Blue Cake" by Linda Neal.  This quilt had a wonderful whimsical feel to it.  It was really creative and I loved the different types of quilting on it.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


"Byrne's Spiral" by Beth Nuler.  There were a fair number of quilts with grey as the background instead of pure white or cream.  It was an interesting change to see that type of background.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


"Georgia On My Mind" by Diane Evans.  Since I'm a music fan, I loved the music symbols surrounding the center section of this quilt.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

This next one was the Best of Show.  "Stars on Mars" (I can't read the name of the quilter off the picture).

Again, this used a dark background and the quilting detail was fantastic.  I'm not surprised one bit that it won Best of Show.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

I loved the use of colored thread in the next picture on the border area.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

There was also a red and white exhibit (non-judged.  The quilt below was "Uneven Nine Patch" by Linda Lasco and quilted by Judi Madsen from Green Fairy Quilts.  Judi does fantastic work and this is no exception.

2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse


2015 AQS Quilt Show Syracuse

Overall, I really enjoyed the show and it gave me quite a bit to think about in terms of my own quilting and where I want to go with it.  Hope you all enjoyed the pictures.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah at upstateNYCreations