Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Here’s more of the Mariner’s Compass quilt seen underfoot in the boots picture in my last post. This quilt has had a bit of a journey, including having languished as a forgotten UFO for several years.
At least ten years ago, I took a class with Chris Kirsch on drafting and sewing paper-pieced Mariner’s Compass blocks. I was deep in my Smithsonian phase then and loved the process and the blocks so much that I made four of them. I finished this top, and then folded it up on a shelf where it got buried in the pile of to-be-quilted-eventually projects.
A couple years ago, I ran into Chris at an area quilt show. She told me she was submitting a book proposal on the paper-pieced Mariner’s Compass technique, and if it were to be accepted, could she use my quilt in the book? I said, “What quilt?”
Gradually some little remote nagging memory began to surface. I dug through my UFO pile and what should I find but a queen-sized completed Mariner’s Compass top. I had to do the old forehead slap. It really takes an exceptionally addled brain to forget a quilt that was as labor-intensive as this one was.
But it needed work. The original outer border had matched the bedroom curtains, and in the meantime, the curtains had faded badly and had been replaced. I knew I needed to replace the quilt border before quilting it.
Some quilt shops stock all the newest fabrics and turn over their stock quickly. But thank goodness there are shops around that hang onto older fabrics. My favorite shop of this type is Quintessential Quilts in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. It’s in an old house filled with room after room of fabrics old and new. A friend and I trekked to Reedsburg (two and a half hours from here) and I found enough of one of the original fabrics (from RJR’s first Smithsonian repro collection) to make the border. Things were falling into place.That particular shop has saved at least three quilts for me thanks to their tending to hang on to some older fabrics. There are those who say that running out of fabric is a design opportunity, and it can be that. But sometimes you need what you need.
And that’s the story.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Lovely, glorious new red boots. I knew when I first laid eyes on them that they'd be just the thing to keep my mental health at optimum levels throughout the fall and interminable winter ahead. I know I will have magical powers at my beck and call every time I wear these boots.
This was a long, long, long day. Will was flying back on the red-eye from Las Vegas last night (trade show out there) and needed a ride into downtown. Mr. Kathie agreed to do the driving but I was appointed to wake him up. At 3:45 a.m.
Those who know me will not be surprised to learn that there was no way for me to get back to sleep again, and I was up and launched into the day by 4:15 a.m.
I'm off to collapse with a row or two of the Kimono Shawl.
How to Drive Yourself Crazy. OR, Why I Get So Little Accomplished
1. Buy a piece of really cool fabric. Let it sit for about four years.
2. Think about this fabric.
3. Decide to make something. Let’s say…a jacket.
4. Rummage through the eight or ten different jacket patterns you’ve purchased, with this fabric in mind, over the last four years.
5. Choose a pattern.
6. Change your mind; choose another pattern.
7. Note that it’s a VERY EASY pattern; think how simple this is going to be.
8. Smile smugly at your cleverness and envision wearing the completed garment in, oh, a day or two.
9. Decide the fabric needs to be underlined with lightweight iron-on interfacing. Check stash and discover you don’t have enough, necessitating a 40-minute drive to the fabric store.
10. Think about how much nicer the jacket would be if it were lined.
11. Figure out how to modify the pattern to allow for lining. One glimmer of good fortune: several yards of black lining fabric are on hand.
12. Begin to lay out the pattern on the fabric on the kitchen table.
13. Decide the stand-up collar would work much better if it were cut on the bias.
14. Experiment with pattern layouts.
15. Realize that this bold print needs to be treated like a plaid fabric—the pattern needs to be matched on the various garment pieces.
16. Try eight alternate layouts.
17. Decide that the front pockets need to be cut so that they exactly match the part of the design they’re sewn onto.
18. Try several more alternate layouts. Worry about having enough fabric.
19. It occurs to you that some of the seams would look great if they were piped. Go into sewing room and rummage through boxes of leftover piping, on the off-chance the exact right thing will be waiting to be found.
20. The jury is out on that, but leave it all spread out on the sewing room table while you prepare dinner.
21. Pick the whole fabric/pattern mess up and move it from the kitchen table so that dinner may be served.
22. Decide that you just don’t have the energy to face this project today.
23. Leave the whole mess as is; now taking up tables in two rooms.
24. Go and watch TV.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Sue's house is out in the country--waaaay out--and the setting is idyllic and lovely. Even though it was raining hammer handles, AND since a bridge was out we had to detour out into the territory where Jesus left his shoes, we were not deterred. A group of quilters determined to reach its destination is a force to be reckoned with. And our determination was well-placed. The day was a pure treat. It's so good to be out among others who speak the same language.
Lots of show and tell, a great chick lunch, and presents for all. It doesn't get much better. Kind of like Christmas, only no icy drive home.
Some of the highlights:
Mary A. showed the extremely labor-intensive New York Beauty she's been working on for at least a couple years now. Two words: WOW-EEE.
So, wherever in Mary's house that NYB ends up, it will have a little quilt-buddy to keep it company.
More in tune with Mary's usual style are these hand-pieced Seven Sisters blocks. She has fourteen completed, each as exquisitely perfect as these.
Characteristic of the gifty things is this Log Cabin piece which could be used as a wall hanging or as a tray.
Meticulously made by Cheryl G., it will stay at Sue's house, and will fit right in.
Diane brought this completed top for S&T, a Winding Ways. Is this not fabulous?
This pattern offers up so many possibilities, both traditional and contemporary, it about boggles the mind.
Now it can be revealed. The super-secret project I was working on a couple weeks back was this.
This is the Booga Bag, only smaller. Though the pattern was written calling for three skeins of Kureyon, this bag was made with two skeins, becasuse that was all I had. And Noro seems to discontinue dye lots fairly quickly. I bought this yarn about three years ago, and couldn't find any more for sale anywhere. I just cut everything down by a third, and had enough yarn left over to experiment with knitted flowers.
Anyway, this bag ended up going home with Diane. Which is kind of funny becaise Diane has never made any secret of the fact that she doesn't care much for purple. Oh well.
I ended up with Sue's handiwork, a cute quilted bag. She tells me it's intended as an Ott Light bag, but I could think of lots of other uses too.
Bonnie was Up North this weekend, either playing golf or cards, depending on the weather. She sent a gift which went home with Casey--a very cool beaded fabric basket.
Casey is the perfect recipient.
This account just scratches the surface. There was much other S&T and other great gifty items. More pictures are here.
The blogging community is the greatest. Since my last post, I've had some good suggestions for how to get my hands on those Japanese books. Thanks everyone. It's going to happen, friends. They will be mine. Oh yes.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
The bounty above is courtesy of a generous co-worker. It made a gorgeous pasta sauce.
I have been seeing some extraordinary Japanese books on various blogs that I need to own. The fact that I don't read Japanese is totally beside the point, but the fact that they're unavailable through any U.S. sources I can find is clearly a problem. I had hoped to find some interesting Japanese titles at the IQA show in Chicago earlier in the year but all the big book vendors could produce was Kumiko Sodo books, which are great, but not what I was looking for.
Lisa's blog displayed one very cool home dec book. None of my Interlibrary Loan skills could turn it up in any U.S. library. And take a look at these. And look at this one that I'm dying to explore, maybe more than any of the others. All these people have retail access to Japanese books and other goods. I have none of that. Sigh.
Has anyone taken the leap of faith into the great unknown that is Amazon Japan? Yvonne at yvestown has very generously provided a tutorial on ordering from Amazon Japan. And I screw up my courage and think, "Yes. I can do this." Then I search an ISBN and get this. I am just not that brave yet.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
"Just go into your sewing room for 15 minutes, find something small to to do, and then very likely you'll stay longer and actually get something accomplished."
I'm thinking it may have been Lesley Riley . Thank you, Lesley--what a sage! She is so right. I got me some stuff accomplished tonight.
A coworker's birthday is tomorrow. She's the thoughtful type who always is finding just the perfect gift for everyone. So I couldn't let her day go ungifted. I had another of the Moda totes finished except for sewing on the handles. I figured that was doable for tonight--a fifteen minute job, tops.
This one is cut from another bit of vintage upholstery-weight fabric from my grandmother's house. It'll be lined with a leafy print cotton and bound in a pink wobbly stripe. The colors aren't true here--the main fabric is quite white and the pink is fuschia. Perhaps flash would have been good. Oh well.
Anyway, this bag will be quilted.
I layered the fabric with a scrap of batting, then thought I'd spend a minute or two to try out some rayon thread just to see how it'd look. Suddenly it was an hour later and the whole piece was quilted. And with luck the bag will be done by the weekend. Yippee!
So thanks, Lesley. Or whoever.
Saturday the Seams gang is getting together at Sue's house in Whitewater for lunch and S&T. Looks like I'll have something to show and talk about.
News from the crane front--we found two other windows with blood on them. Some action is needed. We're going to put some tape crosses on the windows, just about at crane eye level. Hope we can dissuade the macho crane guys from any more window pecking.
And good family news from DC--my daughter landed the externship she had hoped for. Yay Caro!!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Well, let's see. What's new around here? We have a lot of this going on:
There's about another month of this action to go before these guys pack up their tents and head south. I hope we still have windows left by then.
Last night I worked late, came home, put the jammies on, and retired to the couch to work on the shawl. Tonight I finished work, then went to the gym to work my way through the circuit (after the crane incident). I'm loving being back at the gym. I'm a worthless physical specimen but I feel like I'm doing myself some good and investing in the future.
Right now there is a high level neighborhood Architectural Board meeting going on downstairs, with Mr. Kathie presiding. The Board members are deciding whether legal action is called for to undo the shenangians of the former Board. This is an ongoing circus, dating back more than a dozen years now. A former Board Member, an attorney, was able to establish deed restrictions that disallow just about everything and tie a lot of knots in what ought to be straightforward procedures like helping fellow homeowners get building permits. He's departed from the Board now. But the question is how to undo what he did, at the least amount of expense to all the homeowners. The concept of freedom, and one's-home-is-one's-castle is kind of laughable around here. Our property is 4.25 acres and we are prohibited from adding most kinds of improvements.
Kathie's sage wisdom is this: think very hard before building a house in a subdivision, even a subdivision with five acre yards. You may find that you aren't as free as you might have thought.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I'm following Tonya's lead and showing the view from my front door. This is a golden oak secretary, pretty but of marginal practicality. It sets the scene for a home full of old stuff, which is just how I like it. The display on top varies from season to season. It's literally used as a jumping-off point for Boris the cat, so I have to stay mindful of that. He's easier on things than he was when my daughter's two thug cats lived with us. There were occasional fireworks among the kitties and a few things got broken, accompanied lots of yelling and carrying on from me. Life is a bit more peaceful now that those other cats are half a continent away.
Zooming in a bit, here's a bit of blue and white, and a little china honey dispenser, along with a photo of my dad cutting a dashing swath through the Bradford, PA. of the 1930s.
See how the stitching doesn't all go the same way?
Saturday, August 19, 2006
The pricing makes absolutely no sense but why should it?
The picking is getting especially good on mid-century items--the funky dishes and glassware of the 50s and 60s. For one thing, I saw a black and pink vintage hors d'oeuvre set that would have made 50s fanciers hyperventillate. That's not quite where my head is at. And I inherited quite enough hammered aluminum from my mother and mother-in-law. Don't need to buy any more! Well....unless the piece is really outstanding...
I did buy a couple silver bracelets. There's a very nice vendor who always has the real thing at fair prices. She also was selling embellished pillowcases and I bought two sets.
These are perfect. I actually have a bedroom that seems to be heading toward green and orange as a color scheme.
My other purchases fell into the ever-popular (with me) genre of blue and white, which makes them instantly fit into my house.
When I mentioned crazy pricing, those blue and white plates are a good example. They're virtually identical, in perfect condition, and were sold by the same vendor. And yet one was priced SIX TIMES HIGHER than the other. Both were marked half off, so it was a deal for both of them.
My main reason for needing to hit Maxwell Street today was to find a gift for the too-rapidly-approaching Christmas gift exchange with my college gang. It has to be a gag gift and it has to be cheap. And, oh my, I had such spectacular success! I can't post a picture here because prying eyes might see, but I will say that tackiness and tastelessness still reign supreme. And thank goodness for that.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The outer fabric on the top one is a great graphic African polished cotton. As I remember, this one came from the Rosemont show a couple years back. Or else maybe a Bead and Button Show. And yes, there is fabric to be found at a Bead and Button Show--you just have to know where to look! The lining is some great lipstick-y lip fabric that I've been saving for just the right place. This bag will go to a co-worker who's leaving us. She's a young mom with little kids--she can use something bright and fun. Wrapped up inside will be a copy of Ann Lamott's wonderful Bird by Bird. The recipient is an aspiring writer and is working on a book.
Presenting two more of the Moda totes. These will be gifts for co-workers at a staff meeting followed by dinner out tomorrow night. These were stash reduction projects, I'm happy to say. Although I'm not pledged in to this August-no-buying-fabric business, I'm with all of you in spirit. I could get by just fine through several more lifetimes without buying any more fabric EVER.
And how many copies of Bird by Bird have I given as gifts? Lost count.
The bottom bag is denim, lined in gigundous polka dots. I can't remember what collection that fabric was from , but there were lots of very funky prints in the group. And I have many of them!
The pockets on the outside are recycled jeans--I have bags of those. I can never get enough of jeans detailing. This bag is for our library director who's celebrating a birthday. It will be filled with candy.
The week is progressing along. I've walked and hit 10,000 steps every day. I've also been to the gym twice. So glad I rejoined.
The knitting has been sadly neglected this past week. I thought it would be simple to get that Kimono Shawl finished by mid-September when we go up north? Once again I overestimate my working rate and time allotted. Sigh.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
He's a deeply spiritual man and he delves deeply into that spirituality in order to get in touch with his creativity. Each morning's workshop session began with a guided meditation. And he had little to say to me when I asked for some advice on working out a quilt that I might add I'm STILL trying to get made. (See what I mean about overthinking and working the idea to death??) David said, "Keep making quilts and one day you will have made one about these feelings you are trying to express." It seemed alien to me then but was probably some excellent counsel.
He referred to many, many books in the class. And Kasia and I couldn't wait to stop at a bookstore on the long drive home from the class and shop for some of them. It's funny how she went for certain titles and I went for others.
Just lately we were talking about this. Kasia's choice among the titles David recommended was Marry Your Muse by Jan Phillips. This wonderful book is filled with inspiration and practical advice for living the artful life and bringing your creativity into full flower. The book contains Phillips's Artist's Creed. Kasia has this Creed framed in her studio and is very positive about its empowering meaning and value in her life.
This book had slipped off my radar but I have a copy from the library right now and I know I need to purchase it.
My take-home book from among David Walker's suggestions is Everyday Tao by Deng Ming-Dao. This book offers a Chinese ideogram on each page and offers brief reflections on each word illustrated, relating each to the movement of all life and to our place in the grand plan. I love this book and have referred back to it often. It has led me into more extensive reading on Eastern thought over the past couple years and it's opened some doors in my life. I feel very strongly that Eastern spirituality has much to teach us about knowing ourselves and our place in the world.
How interesting to leave a quilting workshop with a reading list, and to have the books not be about quilting topics. I agree so strongly with David Walker's approach. The spirituality of craft and of creativity speaks very clearly to me.
Monday, August 14, 2006
It's funny how we work best under pressure. At least I do. I lazed around all weekend, and then this morning before going in to work at noon, I got more productive sewing done than I'd managed to accomplish the rest of the weekend.
The results, above are two more of the Moda tote bags. These are going to be gifts for people at work. The one in the rear is a going away present and will contain a book; the other is a birthday gift and will be filled with candy. Both will be ready for a dinner-out-with-the-workmates on Thursday. Better pictures when they're all done, I promise.
Big computer system upgrade today. I'm glad to have missed the panicked early morning part of it all, when things were glitchy and not good. By the time I arrived, things were somewhat under control. As for the upgrade, a few changes were for the better; a few more just have me puzzled.
Don't get me started on that topic...
Friday, August 11, 2006
Playing with ideas here. I used up some bits of Noro Kureyon teaching myself the ins and outs of knitted flowers using this pattern from Knitty. I'm liking them! The funny morning light makes them all look kind of blue in the photo.
Home from work last night, sitting in front of the nightly news with Mr. Kathie, catching up on the day. We have the feeling we're being watched. Yup, it's those cranes again--this time it's Junior, right up at our family room window, looking in at us, knocking on the glass, and flapping. He gives the impression of being bald-headed, as he hasn't yet developed the red head his parents have. I never thought that four foot tall birds beating on our windows would get to be commonplace but that scene is the norm around here at this point in time.
Over at Superhero Journal, the talk this week was word allergies--words and expressions that make you cringe and squirm. It's fun reading, and don't miss the comments. It got a lot of people talking! The consensus seems to be that a variety of words with the vowel combination oi hit a lot of people wrong. Words like moist and doily and ointment. Lots of people dislike panties and cutesy shortened words like preggers for pregnant and prezzies for presents. A couple of my un-favorite words made the list--I strongly dislike hubby and 'puter (as a short word for computer). I hate hearing signs called signage. That goes back to my days in retail display. They're just signs, OK? And supermodel: just what exactly is a supermodel anyway? It seems like all models nowadays are supermodels. Totally meaningless.
I was happy to see that pronunciation matters to a lot of the commenters--people HATE nuc-u-lar (as Bush says it), libarry, axe (for ask). It makes my skin crawl when I hear supposably for supposedly. I also once knew someone who always pronounced it supposingly. AAAARRRRGGGHH!
I could go on and on. It's fun.
This week, Melody Johnson of Fibermania has been inspiring me with her exploration of some new directions in quilting. I all but gasped when I saw this. This marriage of color and form with the freeform looping and swirling of the quilting lines makes my heart sing. Fabulous!
It's Saturday morning, with two lovely weekend days stretching out ahead. Have to make a multi-errand run to Brookfield this morning, and I intend it to be as quick a trip as I can make it. Forty minutes each way is not exactly quick but I have to work with the geographic cards I'm dealt.
Then on to more tote bag making. Have to produce two of them by mid-week.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Pictured above--my neon pothos, a souvenir of a field trip in Baraboo, Wisconsin, while I was at the Glen retreat in June. It was purchased at a fun and quirky floral shop called Wild Apples. The funky magenta sisal pot is so crazily out of sync with everything else in my house, and the color contrast between the chartreuse of the leaves (which really don't show very well in this photo) and the pot just make me smile every time I see it.
I've spoken here about getting more committed with my walking this summer. I've walked pretty regularly since about the late 80s--indulging extreme wimpiness in the coldest of winter but being pretty good about it otherwise. That pedometer was a great purchase and has kept me very motivated to take the stairs, to park a bit farther away, to take the long way. I've been journaling my walking faithfully since I bought the pedometer and each week's tally has averaged out to more than 10,000 steps a day since I started using it.
Today I took another step, no pun intended, and rejoined the local health club. Caroline and I had joined a few years ago, when she was living at home, right after graduating from UW. And I used the gym regularly until my job became full-time just about a year ago. I started going less and less. I just didn't think I could spare the time and finally dropped my membership last fall.
Every time I drove by the place I had twinges of guilt and self-recrimination. Walking is all well and good but I know that maintaining good bone density requires some weight-bearing workouts too. Last week I found out they had a special offer for members who had recently left and I decided the universe was sending me a loud and clear message. Rejoin.
So I did. The aim is to make it there at least three times a week to work the weights and machines. I imagine that, come winter, it may be more inviting to walk there too.
Feeling very good about this! I've managed to drop a decent amount of weight this year but I've kind of been slacking off this summer: maintaining but not losing. Time to get back on the program.
The super secret project is progressing but photos will have to wait for a couple weeks yet. I've also committed to making gift totes for a couple work-related events--a birthday and a goodbye. So those will get made this weekend. Good stash-reduction projects--I may drag out the box with the long-buried upholstery samples and dig into those for the totes.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Everyone’s entitled to a Stupid Day every once in awhile and I had mine Monday.
I was getting ready for work with half an ear on the TV news. They were reporting on a nasty accident on one of the area’s main highways, resulting in a huge multi-county traffic snarl. I was thinking about Mr. Kathie, on his way back from The Yoop, sitting for hours in stopped traffic. That wouldn’t be good for his blood pressure, or his sunny disposition. Not a pretty picture.
So I called and left a message on his cell, warning him and saying he might want to exit the highway early and drive overland to get home. Just as I was hanging up the phone I realized that he would be coming home from an entirely different direction and wouldn’t be affected by these traffic issues at all. Duh. One corner of my brain knew all this very well, but it wasn’t connected with the corner of my brain that was watching the news.
Oh well, my heart was in the right place.
My brain wasn’t working much more efficiently at work either. Just imagine sending a personal email out on a statewide listserv. Yup, that’s what I did. Now, people in libraries all over Wisconsin are in agreement—Kathie is an idiot.
Among my friends, a stunt like this is known as a Firdi, named for one of us who several times has sent emails to unintended people, with unfortunate results. We all need an ABORT button in our email programs for those occasional lapse in brainpower. And tell me it's never happened to you...
I’ve been working on a small super top secret project. We’re having a handmade gift exchange at our next Seams gathering. It’s a non-birthday, non-Christmas event. I can’t say anything or show any WIP pictures because some of the Seams group lurk around this blog. And never leave comments either, I might add. The guilty parties know who they are.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
But my sewing time was devoted elsewhere. I've had quite a hankering to make some tote bags, using some of my vintage fabrics. And that's what DID get done this weekend. Voila--a little brown barkcloth tote, made from 1950s fabric from my grandmother's house.
When we were at The Glen in June, my friend Nancy arrived with gifts of handmade totes and bags for everyone. Several were made from this pattern, originally a giveaway from Moda Fabrics. Somehow I missed out on this pattern and Nancy kindly lent her copy to me. It's a nice, fast sew. There's no cumbersome turning right-side-out to do in the construction. Instead the top is bound with piping. Simple is good.
The handles are sewn down inside the bag, allowing the bag to be carried with the cuff flipped down or else turned up for even more toting capacity.
I stuffed the piping to give it a full look. The piping on the next one may be even fatter. With the vintage fabric, the cartoon-y look is kind of cute. Have to include a plug here for my buddy Liz Lois, the original Nearly Insane quilter and intrepid fabric designer. The piping here is part of her Spring Fling line for P&B Fabrics. Yay Liz!
Got sidetracked by a phone call from one of my kids tonight or I would have gotten another bag made. Getting to talk to my son is a very good kind of being sidetracked.
My walking has been good for the most part. The pedometer does keep me motivated. That said, this morning I only got in about half my walk--thunder started rumbling. That makes me nervous. So I'm at only about 7000 steps for the day.
Friday, August 04, 2006
But hey, Thursday was a high point. The woman who had made the big ugly scene at the library last winter has resurfaced and is making nice. She had even pulled her husband into the original fray--he wrote a nasty letter, which we all read and promptly consigned to the deep.
Strange. I thought young women had benefited from all the "I am woman, hear me roar" business a generation ago and were tough enough to fight their own battles without sending their husbands to do it for them. But apparently not. At any rate, time has softened emotions, hatchets appear to be buried, and she's back. That's a good thing.
But back to the topic of men fighting the battles for their wives. A man came in right before closing tonight to settle a year-old score. He assured me that his wife had never checked out the book that's on her record as having never been returned last year. Never had it. And he had no intention of paying for it.
Hmmm.. It's a small child's book, and isn't that a small child I see with him??? Oh no, she NEVER would have checked THAT book out.
This is the library version of being at loggerheads. I have no choice but to say, OK, we'll waive the charge, since you "never had the book". He may not be aware that I know that this is the second time he's done this sort of thing. And that this information goes in the famous Permanent Record.
Such is the life of a Library Enforcer. I'm not quite as dogged as Bookman on Seinfeld, but someone has the unenviable task of dealing with these people. And by default, at our library it seems to be me.
Mr. Kathie and I toasted the end of the week with a nice dinner at Estella's. In Wisconsin, on Friday even the little Italian trattorias smell like fish fry. And that's exactly what Mr. Kathie, a native Yooper, had for dinner. It IS Friday, isn't it?? And speaking of the Yoop, he is heading up there this weekend for a community picnic in the town where he grew up.
I'm staying behind and I'm gonna sew!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Not much going on here but hot weather and work. The cranes are still hanging out. We filled up a washtub with water and they have been enjoying splashing their beaks in it. But mostly they spend their days along the shady edge of the woods, about 500 feet behind the house
Summer Reading Program is OVER at last. We had a carnival-type party for the kids tonight with a fish pond, a maze, ball rolling, and prizes for everyone. It was fun--the kids were all so cute and eager to play all the little games. The little boy above had just won Bubbles, the beta fish that's been spending its summer at the library. Was his mom as pleased as he was? The jury is out on that question...