Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bags and More Bags

I spent the day making Christmas gift bags. I have a dozen of them made now! I didn't think I had that many Christmas fabrics, but as I looked through my stash, I found that lots of fabrics qualify. They weren't made specifically for Christmas, but they work great. Next time I make some bags I see I'll have to look for some yellows and golds to add to the mix.

Quilting them was so much fun! I'm starting to feel free to go a little wild with my quilting and see how it turns out. I had a blast experimenting!

On this fabric, for example, I decided to kind of scribble sharp lines up and down in the grid portion and to mimic the sun/star shape in that portion.

Then on this red bag I did more of those sun/star shapes in red. I decided to make one in yellow so it would stand out better. Of course it happened to be my least good example, but I'm trying not to criticize myself.

I've also been playing with this shape in machine quilting... loosely patterned after Tonya's fans that she does by hand, trying to see how I can make them and/or distort/embellish/change them as I play on my machine. This is the quilting I also did on my most recent top (not yet photographed).

So that is what I accomplished today. Tonight I am going to take down the tree! We've had it up since the day after Thanksgiving which was way early for us. We've never set it up that early before, so now I'm ready to have my living room back to normal.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Getting Things Done

I've been busy trying to make sure my quilts will be done in time for the show in Feb. I'm going to be a featured quilter! Not that I'm such a star quilter, but the position makes its rounds through our guild. Guess it's my turn this year. I've had to spend most of this year finishing UFOs so I'll have something to show. Usually I give away most of what I make. It has been quite fun to see my UFOs turning into completed quilts, although I do miss making the kids' quilts.

This brown quilt is one I made a couple of years ago when my son got a new bed. Even had it machine quilted, and then my son started using it and even washed it. I finally got the binding on it tonight. Whew! It feels great to have it done.

I quilted another top today (no picture yet). It's going to be in the show. I've been experimenting with a new style of machine quilting on my domestic machine and am pleased with how it turned out. I'm happy to say that my requirements for perfection have relaxed, and I am content with what I produce even though it may not be perfect, whatever that means. Tonya has helped me learn to ignore the quilt police.

Right after Christmas I started making Christmas gift bags. If I keep plugging away at them through the year, I'll have a decent collection of them by next Christmas. These are my first attempts. I've made plain bags before, but these are quilted! It's kind of like making a bunch of small to medium size tote bags. These are also inspired by Tonya! She has been a great example and teacher to so many of us.

The tag isn't attached yet. It's just sitting there. I've made several tags and am experimenting with style on those, too. It's fun to play!

I have 15 quilts registered for the show. I think that'll be a good number. They range in size from about 8-inches square to queen size. Not all of them are done yet; some are in production at the machine quilter's, some are waiting for binding, and I still have one left that I need to quilt myself. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, and it feels great. Not that I have completed all my UFOs! I still have many of those to enjoy in the years to come. I'm just feeling relieved that I got done as many as I did and that I think I'll have enough to put on a decent show. I'm sure as the time draws closer I'll be sharing more info and pictures. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Secret Santa Surprises

I participated in Chooky Blue's Secret Santa Swap, and it was a lot of fun. I got this beautiful bag from Anita in Australia. She also sent some chocolates and a couple of fat quarters.

I sent this wall hanging to Yvonne in Norway. I was so late in getting it done that I didn't add any extras like I meant to... maybe some buttons on Frosty and maybe a smile on his face. I hope Yvonne feels free to add those things herself if she wants to.

This is the picture Yvonne posted of the stuff I sent her. I sent her on a trip to Paris -- well an imaginary trip that she can write about in her book anyway. Who doesn't dream of going to Paris some day?!?

Chooky had all of us trading with a country other than our own home country, which I think was loads of fun. I like to think of all those quilty objects criss-crossing the planet as they moved through the mail to get to the happy recipients. I sent a small white-chocolate-covered pretzel to Yvonne. To my surprise, she said she had never eaten pretzels before! They are a very common snack here in the U.S., so I assumed almost everyone would have tried them. Live and learn!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Snow

We had a great Christmas... lots of fun company, laughs, and good times. This little guy was the center of attention, understandably. He is the sweetest baby! He is my great-nephew who was a preemie back in late July. He weighed 2 lbs 12 oz at birth. Now he weighs 12 lbs and is doing super! He's very mellow and content.

On Christmas Day as we sat down to eat dinner, a lovely, soft snow began to fall. It was the perfect Christmas mood! It snowed softly all day. My brothers-in-law and husband went out to shovel. This morning this is how a shovel and broom looked, after collecting more snow overnight. During the day and overnight we probably accumulated another six inches of fluffy snow. It is so beautiful outside!

Look... our neighbor is pretending to be in Florida. He has a palm tree in his yard. Do you think it is fooling him... or anyone?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Away in a Manger

This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland... very Christmasy looking, don't you think?

I'm showing you my manger collection. I guess I've never called it a collection before, but I am sort of drawn to manger scene ornaments. These two are with a musical angel that I found at Goodwill for about $2!

The one on the left is something I have had since 1959! I got it in Sunday School when I was 7 years old. Maybe this is the one that got me started "collecting."

This is the creche set that my mother gave me. It was made in the Holy Land. I have added to it over the years. Did you know, for example, that there was a giraffe at Jesus's birth? And an angel (on the right) who knew sign language? She is signing "love." There also was a pine tree glistening with snow. Believe me, they were pretty amazed at that in Bethlehem! They also loved the floor-size quilt that magically appeared in the stable. The animals promise not to poop on the quilt.

This is a fold-out scene that was sent with a Christmas card. The picture is me with our son when he was one day old, 21 short years ago.

Christmas dinner, being enjoyed by a huge woodpecker in our back yard! This is the best picture I could capture of him, and unfortunately it's the one on which I forgot to turn off the flash. He was a little camera shy and didn't want to pose properly for a truly great shot of him.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Getting Ready

We are winding down on Christmas preparations. The gifts are wrapped, food is planned and mostly purchased. Now I'm working on picking up and making the house presentable.

To reward myself I took some time to make a couple of blocks. These are for the Yahoo Block Lotto that I play. For December we were to make any 12-inch star blocks, any color. I had fun with these and wanted to make more, but I just couldn't take the time.

Hope all my readers have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy happy smiles and laughter with friends and/or loved ones... even those who are in mourning. It's not disloyal to laugh again. 'Tis the season of joy! May it fill your heart!

P.S. in response to a question about previous post showing the aprons that were demonstrated at my guild meeting, here is a link to the instructions:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More on Big Bag

I thought I should show pictures that depict the size of this bag a little better. It almost doesn't drag on the ground when I carry it, but I'm taller than the two people I might give it to.

Big Bag

I found out a couple of additional people will be with us for Christmas. So last night I sat down and made this tote bag. I wanted to give it to one of the additional folks... one is in her 90s and one is in her 20s. What do you think? For whom is this more appropriate?

It turned out larger than I expected (about 15" x 18"), and I made longer than usual handles. It works well to put it over one's shoulder, but if just carrying it, it'll drag on the ground.

Would it be appropriate for a shopping bag replacement (save a tree)? Carrying books? Or should I keep it myself and make something else that is more obviously useable? Decisions, decisions.

BTW, the little star pocket is something I unstitched from an apron that had one too many patches on it. The apron looks better, and I gained a little patch to put on the bag.

I made a couple of pot holders, too.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Carpenter's Apron

A couple of women in my guild came up with this great idea. I didn't even know I needed one, but now I have one and love it! These are modeled after tool aprons one can get at Home Depot. We sometimes use these at guild on show set-up day, for carrying around tools such as wire cutters, cable ties, etc. But we had always had those ugly ones that Home Depot makes. Trish and Gerry realized we could make them prettier and more personalized! Some of the best ideas are such simple and obvious ones, aren't they??

I made mine and quickly realized how nice it is to have my tools right at hand. I carry these in and on my apron: scissors, tape measure, seam ripper, straight edge, magnifying glass, pin cushion, and even BandAids. After I made mine, I made another to give as a gift.

I wonder if I'll wear this so often that I'll forget, and I'll head off to the grocery store wearing it. I've done that a million times with my scissors fob attached to my shirt.... come back from a multi-stop errands run and realize I was wearing my scissors the whole time.

An added bonus... if I'm out and about and realize I'm wearing my apron, I can always put it on this way and just tell people it's really a scarf!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A House and a Car

I don't know if my readers know this, but I used to post a daily photo blog. I move around the city quite a bit during my work day, so I started taking pictures during my travels. Using the idea of other bloggers, I posted a new photo every day. After doing that for a full year, posting over 365 pictures, I stopped doing it. Sometimes, however, I catch glimpses of events or places that I would have loved to post on my daily blog. The pictures I am showing you today are daily-photo-blog-wanna-be's.

The first is a tree house! Isn't that a great one?? The child in me just about jumped for joy when I saw this! I would have totally LOVED having this in my back yard!

The next photos show a scene I stumbled upon when I emerged from a grocery store. A car fire in the parking lot! It wasn't far from where I had parked. For a moment there, I had a bit of a scare.... but walked closer and realized it wasn't my own. That would have been weird! Can you imagine coming out of a store and finding your car in flames?

It's cold here this weekend. I plan to stay inside as much as possible. Be warm, everyone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Good Night's Sleep

We had a good night's sleep under our cozy, new quilt. I tried to get a photo that would show the quilting a little better. For some reason I'm just not capturing the light quite right. Darcie is going to post a photo at her blog, too. Maybe she'll be more successful at showing the quilting.

Now we're off to make our second attempt at sleeping under this quilt and see if it still works. Nighty-night!

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Strangely Appealing Day

I'll explain the title of this post in a bit.. first, my goodness what an odd (but strangely appealing) day it was! I started out having a FUN first couple of hours at work -- a success my student experienced, and it put a happy grin on my face for several hours.

Then I stopped at my post office box on my way to the next assignment... I received my Secret Santa gift!! Fun! They did not lose it! It is from Anita in Australia. (Hi, Anita... Thank you! Can you see me waving at you??)

Also at my post office I received a quilt from Darcie of the Mavericks ring! She did the machine quilting for me, and I LOVE it!! She suggested Baptist Fans, and I agreed and am so GLAD that I did, because it's perfect, and I *love* it.

OK. I was feeling rather strange today. I had run out of some meds I take (from forgetting to order and from procrastinating), then started feeling really weird and blecchhy. Today I finally got more meds and took one. I felt better almost right away, but still weirded-out for the rest of the day.

After work I had to haul in my two big packages, some Christmas shopping I had done, the mail, we got a big package at home, too (mail order Christmas stuff), and groceries (yes, we spoil ourselves and have groceries delivered). Uffda, that was a lot of stuff to haul in. And on top of feeling halfway weirded-out, and being eager to tear into my boxes and see the quilt (I picked it up at 11:00 a.m. and didn't get to open the box and gaze at the quilt until nearly 6:00 p.m. - can you imagine??) I was just exhausted from my strange day. After hauling everything in and stumbling into the living room, I opened up the quilt, flopped it on top of me and took a nap! It was so warm and cuddly right away! Some quilts are a bit stiff at first and take a while to break in. Not this one! It's great!

Anyway, here are the photos of the beautiful quilt. This is for our bed that we got ourselves for Christmas a year ago! Isn't the quilting great (although I know it's hard to see much detail)!? I worked on the border HSTs while at our guild retreat, and another member of my guild said about one of the fabrics, "I find this one strangely appealing." She wouldn't have chosen it for herself, but she liked the way it looked. I think I'm going to name this quilt "Strangely Appealing!" Because it is odd, in an appealing sort of way, and I like having strangely appealing names for my quilts. :-)

And my day was strangely appealing by having such a mixture of happy times and feeling weird and rushing around and having lots to do and not being able to open a quilt box until 7 hours after receiving it -- the whole thing was Strangely Appealing!

Now here is another story about my day. I have been very determined not to open my Secret Santa gift until Christmas! I even felt superior when other people expressed temptation when their packages arrived. "I won't," I thought very self-righteously, "because I know I'll want to have an extra surprise at Christmas as I already know most of what I am getting. It'll be fun to have an unknown under the tree, therefore I am far superior to all those others who are tempted and must ask husbands to hide their presents. Harumphfff."

I opened up the mail packaging, because I knew the insides would have Christmas wrapping on them. BUT THEN THE TERRIBLE THING HAPPENED! I saw that the mail handlers along the way had been squeezing and poking this package, wondering what was inside and wishing they could see it. In the process, they ripped the wrapping paper!!! I could see and touch the pinkish fabric! Look at it and tell me you would be able to stick this under the tree and calmly wait 15 days to open it up!!! NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU! You would give in, and just help that little tear go further. I know you would, because that is what I did! Oh, my, it went way farther than I meant it to go! Oh! Ooops, the whole insides of the gift fell out of the wrapping!

Looky here, ladies and gents, I received this fantastic tote bag with the beautiful hand embroidery work on it! Two Aussie FQs, and some Aussie chocolate! WONDERFUL!! Thank you so much, Anita. I just love it and know I will use that bag. It's a good, big size that will be great for hauling Show and Tell to guild meetings, and lots of other uses, too. Hubby and I enjoyed some of the chocolate and might save some to share with our kids (wink wink... hmmm... they no longer live at home -- they won't know if we eat it before they get here ... what do you think are the chances??)

Well, what a day. After all that, it's already time for bed. I am going to put our lovely, new quilt on our bed so we can sleep under it tonight, even though it's not bound. (Hasn't stopped me before. Does it stop you??)

May you decide that a sort of OK but somewhat strange day ends up being Strangely Appealing!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Another Long Day with a Little Quilting Accomplished

The days should be long enough to get lots done. I just don't seem to be able to get it all together. I had a melt-down tonight when I was trying to make a DVD of some of my quilt pictures so I can be sure to have them saved somewhere other than directly on my computer. And I do enjoy making them into a "movie" that makes me feel like a star! The problem comes when I try to burn it and I just cannot understand the crazy verbage and directions these computer programs think you should understand. I had a near melt-down (or if you ask my hubby, it might have been a full one) from getting so frustrated. He saved the day for me and I now have a DVD of my quilts. But this whole frustrating process made it feel like a very long day!

Do you like those ads on TV, "Hi, I'm a Mac."(cool guy) "I'm a PC."(dork) I think those ads are so funny! I used to be a PC person all the way, but I think with time Macs have surpassed PCs in being much more user friendly in lots of ways. Like making DVDs, for example.

Anyway, I did manage to get this quilt top put together. It will be for Wrap a Smile when I finally get it done at an unknown future date.

As usual I have stayed up too late, and tomorrow, another work day, will be here all too soon. So off I go to beddy-bye (how do you spell that anyway)??

OH -- AND HOW COULD I FORGET??? Karen, the "I Said the Donkey" creator, sends along this comment: >>Karen thanks all your blogger friends for their uplifting comments. They are very encouraging and sweet.<<

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Said the Donkey, by Karen

I love this song! Do you know it? "I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown. "I carried his mother up hill and down. I carried his mother to Bethlehem town. I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown. Click here to read the verses and hear the tune.

My friend, Karen, is my high school pal... now we are both grown-ups and both quilters. It has been so much fun to re-connect and to have this hobby in common. Karen watched us taking Tonya's winter class and decided to try some letters on her own. She claimed she was struggling... also asked me what I thought she could do to represent this cute song about the donkey. I sent her a sketch that I came up with, but little did I know she was already creating her own beautiful quilt! I just love it, don't you?? She doesn't seem to be struggling an awful lot! She's just too humble, that's all

Karen doesn't have a blog, so I'm posting her work of art here. She said "no one knows me, so it'll be OK." ha! Karen reads this blog, so please post messages here about her quilt. She can read them and find out if we think her work is "OK" or not.

Finally Traveled the Ring

I have not visited all the Mavericks in the longest time. Last night I finally took the time to visit each blog. I just couldn't leave many messages, because (1) I'm in awe of all the talent the Mavericks possess, but I wanted to make it all the way through the ring, and writing messages to each and every Maverick would have taken too many hours, and (2) some of you are becoming so well-known, you already have piles of comments and don't need a goof-ball comment from me. But, I did enjoy the trip through the ring, and feel so inspired by all of you.

Several Mavs are doing Bonnie's mystery, including me. As everyone else has said, I need another project like I need another hole in my head, but who can resist a free Bonnie design? I may have to buy a little fabric to fill out what I've chosen from my stash, but that's OK. I have done pretty well using up my stash this year, either by putting it in quilts, or sharing it with scrap users in other ways. So I allow myself to buy fabric without feeling guilty about it.

Last night our son stopped by, unannounced, with his new girlfriend. We are always happy to see him! She seems very nice and I'm excited for them both. You know how fun it is when you can see that your child is happy, and so is the friend? They look at each other with sparkles in their eyes, which is a very good sign. I was so embarrassed, though, because our house is a total armpit right now. She saw it at its worst. But she seems very non-judgmental, which is great. I've been meaning to clean up all week, but I chose to sew and to work on our Christmas cards instead. We got our tree up last week... way early, for us. And we have wrapped gifts under it, which is also way early.

I finished my top made in Tonya's winter class. It is bound and labeled and hanging in our living room! I think I finished this one in record time. I tried posting it SIX times and each time it had these terrible extra colors. Most of them were so bad, you couldn't even see the quilt. I gave up and posted this one that only has the extra pink stripe on there. How annoying. Does anyone else ever get this problem? I can't figure out what is causing it.

It's pretty cold this weekend (below zero F. overnight), but I ventured out today to give blood and to finish up a little bit of Christmas shopping. I'm nearly done, just have a couple easy things left that I can do in no time at all. Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Did You Send me a Package?

On Mon., Dec. 3, I received a note in my PO box stating that I had received a package (or "large envelope") on Saturday, Dec. 1st. Unfortunately, the clerk could not find my package. He knew who had written the package notice and asked him... that clerk also couldn't find it, although he did remember it coming in. He said it was about 12-15" square by about 2" deep (I got the numbers from guessing at the shape he indicated with his hands).

I have no idea what the package or envelope might be. It has not shown up, and no one seems to know where it is. As far as I know, I didn't order anything that would have arrived on Dec. 1st.

Does anyone know about this package? I'm taking a long shot and asking my blogger pals if you might have sent me something. If it wasn't a surprise gift that you can identify and duplicate, I hope it was some junk mail, because I don't think I'll ever lay eyes on the mystery package. I'm curious about it but am trying not to be too upset about it, as there is nothing I can do. I guess the one in a million package that gets lost has to belong to someone! This time it was me.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

For Tonya

I made this for Tonya. What do you think happened to my R - it's so tiny!? Or is it the A that turned out so huge?? Oh, well. It is what it is. At least the colors are bright (brighter than they appear in this picture).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wow, This is Fun.

I'm so excited to have space for posting again, I just can't stop! I wanted to show you that I did finish my Secret Santa project and got it all mailed off... oops! I can't show you. But look. You can see how it looks all wrapped up. It's flying off to.... I can't say where. A country outside of the USofA. You go east to get there. Although I suppose you could go west, too. It would just take longer to get there. I hope the airplane carrying the package went east!

Merry Christmas to all the Secret Santas! It was fun to play the game.

Second Snowfall

Looks like it'll definitely be a white Christmas! Today we got our second accumulating snowfall of the season, already (total in our driveway approx 8-9 inches so far.. some shoveled out, some not yet). I stepped out my front door and snapped this shot.. it's blurry, but it shows our snow. See the red Christmas lights? At first I had them on the low bush in the front.. but the snow weighed it down so much that the lights were on the ground, under several inches of snow. It made kind of a cool soft pinkish effect through the snow, but no one could see them unless peering right at them from inches away. So I pulled them out of the snow and tossed them onto this other bush. It's not the most artful display, but what the heck.. call it Liberated Lighting.

And now I shall attempt to answer Tracey's question about space for photos on Blogger. Not that I understand it totally, but this is what we figured out. (I had to have my computer geek husband sit by me and listen to my whole history and see what I was describing and hope that he could help me figure it all out.) Bottom line is, each picture uses up space. Once you post the picture, it takes a certain amount of space. At one time I had about 4 blogs going, including my St. Paul Daily Photo blog which used up a LOT of photo space (at least 365 photos in the year, plus extras that I posted at a secondary blog).

Once I realized I was running low on space, I completely deleted my Daily Photo blog as I was no longer posting there. However, Blogger has this all figured out. My photos still count against me. They are somewhere... on some obscure server somewhere, or floating around the earth in cyberspace or something, so they still count. Even though I deleted the blog, they are still in the permanent record of blogifications. Whatever.

We searched and monkeyed and tried to find the loophole, but there didn't appear to be any. So I gave in and bought more space. The original space that I used up was 1 GB. And remember, I had several blogs going and posted lots of pictures. This blog is coming up on two years old. So it does take a while to use up the 1 GB, especially if you have only one blog. It'll be a nice long while before you run out.

I bought the lowest amount of extra space which was $20 for 10 GB. That's $20/year. I enjoy blogging and posting, so I went for it. With that much space I can keep doing this for eons. Aren't you thrilled you'll get to keep reading my blatherings for a good, long time to come???

My Winter Top

I finished my top for Tonya's winter class. Here it is! I'll add a star above the manger (so technically it's not finished, I suppose).. and after quilting I will add some knitting needles reincarnated as drumsticks.

I finally gave in and bought more space so I could continue to post photos here. Hopefully it won't be an issue again for a long time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Let it Snow!

I have been working on a project for Tonya's on-line winter class. I got my top put together, but might do some frog stitching and change a couple of things. If you want to see what people are working on, check out this blog (my assembled top isn't posted there yet):

I tried to post a photo and was told I had used up my allotted space, so now I have to figure out what that means.

My two+ week old cold is finally leaving, ever so slowly. I still cough a little but am feeling almost normal. Can't sing, though. Good thing I'm not scheduled to sing a solo.... in fact, that's always a good thing. I'm not a soloist!

Happy winter! (We're going to get snow overnight. Yippeee!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Keep It Secret, Please

I am participating in this secret Christmas exchange. I would like to NOT see a picture of whatever is being sent to me. I plan to wait and open the gift on Christmas Day.

I'm making progress on the gift I'll be sending off... I think I'll work on it tonight, in fact. I hope the person I send it to will like it! (I will post a photo of it after Christmas.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yay! I'm Alive!

What a week! I was sick, took Tuesday off work, thought I was getting better, but Whammo! It came back at double the force and I was miserable from Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning.

Friday I decided to have the doctor check me out, in case I had something that could be treated with antibiotics. I was on my way to a quilt retreat and thought it would be good to get some meds, if I could. Couldn't, though. She said my lungs were clear and I just had a doozie of a cold. I apologize to the other retreat attenders... having to listen to me cough all weekend. I'm sure it wasn't pleasant for them.

The good news is, I feel loads better today (Sunday), and I'm home again which feels great, too. I'm alive again! I got a lot done at the retreat, so I'm glad I went. Remember my HSTs?? DONE! Attached to quilt! WooHoo, big celebration on my part! That one will soon be in the hands of a long-arm quilter and shortly after that will be on my bed!

Here are some more tops I got done or nearly done. Notice anything strange about this first one? You are right, it has a "broken right arm." I ran out of fabric I was using for the border and will have to figure out how to fix this little problem. These blocks, by the way, were all gifts to me over a couple of years. While I hosted an on-line block lotto, some of the participants sent me gift blocks along with their official entries. Wasn't that nice of them? So this quilt will definitely be one I keep for myself.

This blue one is also a result of a block lotto. I won these! Aren't they just beautiful? They make a nice wintery-looking quilt. I am contemplating adding a border to make it a little larger. Then... keep? Donate? Haven't decided.

This is my first-ever Irish Chain. I love it! This was made from fabrics I got free and promised myself I would donate this quilt. So once I get it bordered and quilted, off it will go to a child somewhere. And I do plan on making another Irish Chain at some point. They are fun to do and turn into something great almost by magic!

All of these were UFOs, sitting on my shelf for years, waiting to turn into these beautiful quilts. Why did I make them wait so long? Now I'm very excited to have them getting close to done. Like me, they finally feel alive. :-)