Saturday, March 31, 2012

Proud Mama

My son Curtis, of HopHeadSaid (and also of the new covers for my eBooks, and other wonderful graphic art) has started recording videos for his blog. This first one is a Style Profile of a Pilsner beer. If I say so myself, it's pretty darn good.

I can't imbed the video here, but this link will take you there.

And if you're in SoCal, check out his Beer Trail Map for lots of wonderful breweries and pubs along the 101.

Friday, March 30, 2012

For the Straight-Line Impaired

I highly recommend free-hand quilted squiggles.
 I mean, look at this: no eyeballing straight lines 1/4" from anything (a skill I simply do not possess). Just lots and lots of quilting along printed outlines, and then wandering wherever I please. More than one person has commented that the quilting around the stars looks like constellations. I love that notion. The only thing I'm sorry about is that my friend Ann V didn't mention that such a thing as glow-in-the-dark thread existed until I after I had already started the handwork. How cool would that have been?
Here's a much clearer shot of the backing fabric, chosen only because I had enough of it on hand and we no longer have a store that sells fabric within 43 miles and I wanted to get started. It'll do. The front border fabric was chosen for mostly the same reason, though that particular tan shade is echoed in the design panel, so it looks good. I will have to buy fabric for the binding, and I don't know yet whether to go with orange or green. I'll have plenty of time to contemplate the choice, I think.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

AI Season 11- Top 9 Elimination, 03-29-12

We get Steven, JLo, and Randy voice overs as clips and assorted candid shots of the kids are played: Anyone can win/babble/mumble/gush.

JLo is wearing an inexplicable dress with a short dark poofy skirt, something that looks like a blue feather-print vest, with blue knit sleeves. There are also cutouts and open spots, and other strange things. Randy is in a leather aviator jacket. Steven is all cream- pants, shirt, jacket- and a leopard print scarf. Ryan is evidently going to wear a dark suit and tie for every single show. How boring.

Tonight's guests are Nicki Minaj (an unholy combo of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and a circus clown), and Scotty McCreery. JLo is not the only judge who has something to plug- Aerosmith is going on tour this summer. Say what you will about Steven Tyler, the man is a genuine superstar.

Ryan addresses the kids, telling most of them that their Idols tweeted about the performances last night. Everyone, he says, except Deandre. But then Eric Benet comes out, and Deandre is blown away. That was a lot of setup for a 30 second reveal that means absolutely nothing.

The Fordmercial song is I Wanna Rock, wherein the kids load lots of vintage TVs into an Escape, and then watch themselves rock out in 80's costumes. Jessica, in particular, looks hilarious in her wig.

This week, the kids moved from their motel to the mansion in Hollywood Hills, within sight of the big sign (and maybe more random dismembered bodies). The place is huge- there are bathrooms, bidets, bathtubs, beds, a gym and a pool. And lots of stairs.

Ryan stands at the chrome podium, and calls down Elise (in a solid- purple version of the horrible dress that Erika wore last week. This one also has one shoulder, and is anchored under the boobs. It's truly terrible), Phil (black shirt...totally Phil), and Hollie (green sleeveless tunic that is so sleeveless that she has to wear a black underthing to keep from falling out of the armholes).

Iovine (I) is pleased with Erika's performance and reminds all of us that 28 is not actually old. He says that Stevie likes Phil, and that's enough for him. He thinks that Hollie lacks experience and has no soul.

Without screwing with them, Ryan says that Hollie is in the Bottom 3, and Phil and Elise are safe.

Nicki Minaj is going to sing her song, Starships. That explains the pink UFO animation that flies around the stage before she enters. Nicki has on a blonde wig, and a rainbow halter that barely contains her bazooms. She's also wearing a rainbow sparkly mullet skirt. There is not even a hint of an actual human voice in this song. The backup kids dance around in their undies. One of the guys appears to be wearing white shorts with a built in penis shelf. Someone should mention to La Minaj that when one's boobs are so precariously restrained, one should not bend over. After the performance, Nicki begs to be a judge and JLo looks very skeptical.

Commercial Note: Hey Jordin Sparks- when someone loves your music that much, it's not nice to look at her as though she smells bad.

Next, Ryan calls down Colton (in the same filmy gray tee as last week. I actually find that sort of endearing). I says that Colton is good but not great, and that breaking down in the middle of the song is Not A Good Thing. Joshua is in a cream jacket buttoned up over a red check shirt. For a change, the jacket looks like it's the proper size. I says that Joshua has a lot of talent, but he needs to control the over-emotion. Heejun (windbreaker jacket over a blue and gray striped tee) impressed I by taking it seriously, but it's probably not enough to save him.

Ryan does not torture Colton this week- he sends him back to safety right away. Joshua is safe. First he hugs Heejun, and then he rushes over to hug Elise, which unsettles Ryan. Ryan does not like improvisation. Heejun is in the bottom 3.

Scotty McCreery, last year's winner, is here to sing Watertower Town. I had forgotten exactly how deep Scotty's voice is. It's deep... really really deep. This song has a lot of words, 75% of which I can't understand. Scotty does a little less of that side-mouth singing that he perfected last year, and I think he's grown a bit taller. Iovine comes out and presents Scotty with a platinum record. Scotty is overwhelmed, as well he should be.

Next down is Skylar (it must be One Shoulder Night on American Idol. Skylar is wearing a white lace one shouldered dress with a wide leather belt, and cowboy boots.It is no more attractive than Elise's dress, or Erika's before her.) I likes her personally but doubts Skylar's song choices. Deandre is in a black tee and unbridled hair. I neither loves nor hates Deandre, but thinks he needs more experience.  I is amazed that Jessica (slinky sparkly silver pants, very very high heels, white blouson top) has that kind of range and control while only being 16 years old. I think all of us feel that way about Jessica.

Jessica and Deandre are safe, so the Bottom 3 are Skylar, Hollie, and Heejun. The Hub and I think that the Judges might use The Save for Skylar, but it turns out not to be necessary. Skylar is safe.

And Hollie is safe. Heejun seems okay with this. And as is often the case, he sounds great on his singout. In fact, this is probably the best he's ever sounded. JLo is crying as she watches, so the verdict is certain.

I like Heejun, and I wish him well. I think he'll land on his feet on some stage somewhere.

Thursday Tab- Saalfield #1715 Baby Brother

I think I might have had this set as a girl- or one of my sisters did. He looks mighty familiar.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AI Season 11- Top 9 Performance, 03-28-12

We open with old home movie clips of the kids, most of which we've seen before (I will, personally, never get tired of  seeing teeny Deandre in his own itty bittyDrum Major uniform). Over a Stevie Nicks song, we see new clips of the kids that have been sepiaed and faded out to look old. Oh- there's Erika. And a couple other people who've already been eliminated, whose names I've forgotten, and whose faces I barely recognize.

JLo is wearing a white jumpsuit with pleats at the waist, and the bodice has very very deeply cut sides. So deep in fact, that unless she's using a bucket-load of double sided tape, we're going to get a good view of side boob tonight. Her hair is up in a soft French roll, and she has nude lipstick, which washes her face out completely. Randy is in a black leather jacket that must be really ordinary looking because the only other note I wrote was: red glasses. Steven is in a blue wool Civil War coat, and bell-bottoms with narrow, glittery silver stripes. Ryan is wearing solid color, wide tie tonight. Also a suit, but he wears a suit every night this season.

The Top 9 enter the stage. The camera pans the audience. There's Jordin Sparks, and a guy with s sparkly jeweled neck brace. You don't see one of those every day. Ryan makes several Hunger Games references, and then says the kids will be singing their own idols's songs.

Tommy Hilfiger holds the kids hostage and restates the mantra of his life: Style is Everything.

Stevie Nicks is the mentor tonight. Well lookie there- Jimmy Iovine used to sing with Stevie. We see several vintage clips with Stevie and a dark-haired Jimmy wailing.

#1. Colton- Lifehouse, Everything.
Jimmy (I) & Stevie (hereafter: S) are impressed.
Colton is wearing a white jacket with lots of buttons on the sleeves, over a brown tee. His stupid hair is stupid again, though he's wearing his frosted bangs down this week (with the rest of the faux-hawk pointing to the heavens, which is probably symbolic, given that he's singing Contemporary Christian). I know even less about CC music than I do about mainstream pop, but this is a quiet song. So quiet that I don't understand a word for the first half. But Colton builds, and gets louder and louder, and then finishes singing on his knees, and wiping his eyes. The kneeling and weeping may be genuine and heartfelt, but it looks like pandering from here. But all three judges loved the performance.

#2. Skylar, Martina McBride, didn't catch the title
I&S: S sings along with Skylar, but both of them think that she may be in trouble.
Oh my, let me see if I can describe what Skylar is wearing- high heels (actually, you can assume that every girl wears very high heels every time one of them is on stage, because so far, each of them has), tight black pants (they may be leggings, and the tightness is unfortunate, if you get my drift). Over the pants (but not over enough of the pants), she's wearing a loose mullet top (shorter in front, longer on the sides and in the back) that has a wide beige bottom band, and then a much wider black band, and then it abruptly changes into bright red with hoards of shiny gold embroidery and detail. Over all of this, she's wearing a short black leather jacket that was rescued from the Great Bedazzler Explosion of '83. And she's wearing shoulder-length wind chime earrings. Skylar's bling has nearly reached Critical Mass. The song? Well, there's not a whole lot of melody, though many of the words are gun-related. Skylar is energetic as usual, clomping up and down the stage and having a wonderful 'ol time. Everyone in the audience seems to be enjoying it as well. JLo comments on the audience, but does not mention the singing. Randy reminds Skylar to tell the story with the song (this will be the last semi-sensible thing he says this evening).

Rather than giving us a break and cutting the show down to 90 minutes, since there are only 9 kids singing, we're also going to be subjected to trios. First up are Colton, Elise, and Philip, singing a Fleetwood Mac medley. Colton is in a black shirt with a dark gray asymmetric vest, Phil is in black on black, and Elise is in black sparkles and fringe. Colton sounds plaintive, Elise is squatty, and Phil growls. That said, these three don't sound bad together.

#3. Heejun, Donnie Hathaway (hey, that's no more random than anything else Heejun does), A Song For You
I-S: Pleased with Heejun, and happy that he seems to be taking things seriously. Finally.
Heejun is wearing a pale gray blazer which has been painted with gold roses, over a gray shirt. He has on a black knit cap, and tonight, his glasses have lenses. Well, I guess Heejun decided to remind us that he does have a voice- his accent is creeping in, and there are a couple of off notes, but overall, this is lovely. Good for Heejun! The judges definitely appreciate the effort, and they give him a Standing O!

There's Dionne Warwick in the audience!

Ryan says that Coke is having a song writing contest for a collaboration with Jason Derullo. To which I say: Who? Ah- he's the dude with the glittery cervical collar. Turns out that he broke his neck, and he's writing a song about his injury, and the lucky winner of the song-writing contest gets to help. So if you've ever had the hankering to write with a guy who would go on TV wearing a sparkly neck brace, now's your chance!

#4. Hollie, Carrie Underwood, Jesus Take the Wheel
I-S- S talks about her own losses and is moved to tears by Hollie's rehearsal.
Onstage, Hollie is wearing a short white dress with cap sleeves, which appears to have been constructed from latex. She has straight hair tonight, and excellent makeup. Honestly, I find this song to be totally ridiculous (my guess is that Jesus would tell her to steer into the skid, just like every Driver's Ed teacher has said since the dawn of Driver's Ed classes). It doesn't matter which song is chosen, it's always risky to tackle Underwood, but Hollie is doing just fine. Randy faintly praises, JLo disagrees with Randy, and Steven is in the middle- he loves Hollie's voice but didn't love the song choice.

Ryan pretends to vacuum the fake snow up off the stage. Yeah, right.

#5. Deandre, Eric Benet, Sometimes I Cry
I-S: I tells Deandre that he's wearing Stevie's old hairstyle. S tells Deandre to slow down. I thinks Deandre may be in jeopardy.
Deandre, with locks loose and curly, is wearing a long gray leather jacket which either has elbow-length sleeves, or the sleeves are pushed way up, over a collarless gray shirt and a black scarf. This song is almost all falsetto- parts are nice, and parts are pretty awful. JLo looks to be in pain, so I think she's going to criticize, but it turns out that her I Like This But Not at GOOSIES! Levels face also looks like her This Is Awful face. Deandre gets another unanimous Standing O.

Ryan's mom is in the audience. Also Jessica's sister.

#6. Jessica, Beyonce, Sweet Dreams
I-S give Specific suggestions on the singing of this song, and then they banter back and forth. It's pretty cute, actually.
The camera focuses on a harp, and then pans to Jessica as she comes through a red door that has been set in the middle of the stage. She's wearing her hair pulled up and back. Her dress is gray satin with an overall black print (it looks like brocade, except without any texture) with short puffy sleeves and a short tight skirt. There is a waterfall of chiffon cascading from the back waistline, to the floor. Jessica's voice is better than Beyonce's, and evidently she's doing something *different* with the song (I don't know the song, so I wouldn't know if The Hub hadn't said so) (he listens to the radio at work). Jessica sounds better than she did last week. At the end of the song, she leaves through the red door. She does not get a Standing O, which is interesting, though she does get high praise from all three. And then Randy babbles: I say this all the time and no one believes me, but stars are born... Good to know Randy, we thought they were hatched.

Next trio is Deandre, Heejun and Joshua, singing Michael Jackson songs. All three are in dark jackets (black, blue denim, black) and hats (I'd call the hats stupid, but it's obvious that they're going for an MJ Vibe, so I'll give them a pass just this once). Again, they sound just fine together. Color me amazed.

#7. Phillip, John (Lynn? Lyne? Line? Lynne? beats the hell outta me), didn't catch the title
I-S: Stevie would have hired Phil to sing with Fleetwood Mac back in the day.
Phil is wearing a brown blazer over a brown shirt, and he's playing his guitar. I have said this before, and I will likely say it again, but if Taylor Hicks had been allowed to play his guitar during his season, people would have an entirely different opinion of him now. Phil writhes and makes even weirder faces than Taylor ever did, and he's being lionized- it's the guitar, y'all. I don't know this song, but it's a Phil-song, sung Phil-ly, and even I can tell that he's doing a good job with it. JLo and Randy stand immediately, and after a bit of hesitation, Steven follows suit.

Ryan talks to Dionne Warwick a bit, and then hints that Jordin and Sparkly Neck Brace are an Item. This is what happens when you slot 2 hours for a show that barely needs an hour.

#8. Joshua, Mariah Carey (What?), Without You
I-S: S tells Joshua to stand up straight, and both of them worry that he won't pull this song off.
On stage, Joshua is in a black and white print jacket (the print looks like chain mail) that is, once again, too small for him. The top button alone is buttoned, which is not a good look. Even when Joshua isn't singing Mariah Carey, he brings out the Mariah Carey Reaction in me (a fervent wish that someone would make him just sing the damn song). Joshua starts out low and quiet and slow, but very quickly, he cranks it to Joshua Levels. He gets another Standing O. Gah- I just don't get it. At all. Randy, however, is thrilled to have the opportunity to Name Drop Mariah for awhile (another result of an overlong show- Randy has far too much time to talk).

Hollie, Skylar and Jessica sing Madonna songs for the final trio. They're in black and white, white and black, and white with just a teensy bit of black. Only Skylar is wearing a hat. Skylar sings that that we keep on pushing her love over the borderlan. Hollie sounds a little weak, and the light actually shines through Jessica's ears, making them glow red. Skylar finds ever more creative ways to dress badly.

#9. Elise, Led Zepplin (seriously?), and Whole Lotta Love (jaw dropped)
I-S: both surprised that Elise even knows this song, much less intends to sing it. Stevie harmonizes with Elise, and they sound great together.
Sometime during the evening, Elise stole Steven Tyler's pants. She's also wearing a black hippie-top with an asymmetrical hem and silver sparkly fringes. Since she's singing last, I assume that this is going to be a good performance, but damn! This is a great performance. I would never have guessed that Elise could do this song justice. WOW! This is one Standing O that was absolutely well deserved.

So, tonight was really unusual- no one biffed it, and there were some very good performances. I would prefer that Joshua go home, but that's just because I don't like him. I would guess that Deandre is in danger, and Heejun. And probably Elise, just because she's in the bottom every week, though she absolutely deserves to stay.

Tomorrow night will be interesting.

Quilting, and spring

It took awhile to get the baby quilt bordered and
 sandwiched (and sorry for the less than optimal photo- sometimes my phone takes wonderful pics, and sometimes it doesn't... which probably means that the problem is the photographer)
 and basted. You can't see it but I basted lines every 4"-5" around the center.
 I had intended for this shot to illustrate my inability to eyeball a straight line and sew at the same time, but all you're going to be able to see is that the backing is a vaguely brown print. (Darn phone).
 I didn't get a lot of quilting done last night, but this is what I intend to do with the stars- just quilt in random squiggles around them. There are a LOT of stars, so there will be many many random squiggles. I'll quilt the outlines of the design elements, and whatever portions of the insides I feel like quilting. This is probably the least regimental project I've ever tackled.
I love love love my little stickum leather thimble. Keeps my finger almost entirely unpunctured.

American Idol is on tonight and tomorrow night, so it'll be Friday before I get more quilting done (I only quilt/knit/sew in the evenings- during the day I... get ready for it... work...), but I'm sure I'll post pics. More pics than you'll ever want to see.

We're having an exceptionally early spring. The grass is green, and leaves are popping out everywhere. I know that to most of you, the timing is nothing out of the ordinary. But we generally don't get leaves until the first week of May. I'll repeat: no leaves until the first week of May.

And how warm and weird is this weather?
We were too lazy to clean out the garden last fall, so the remains of the Brussels Sprouts are still in the ground. That green you see? Those are re-sprouts. The Brussels Sprouts not only survived the winter, they're growing again. And those other little green things sprouting? Well, some of them are weeds, but easily half is dill.

Like I said, weird weather.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not so wordless spinning...

I have another project that I want to start, but The New Me (the one with a Work Ethic) tries to finish WIPs instead of abandoning them.
 So I finished spinning the matching singles for Sunday's yarn. I was able to divide the Twisted roving in half almost perfectly, but the lighter roving (above) wasn't divided quite as evenly. I ran out of this bobbin while plying it to the Twisted single (though there was some left from the first *half*, so I was able to finish plying the yarn).
The 2nd hank is 4 ozs and 309 yards, for a total of 7.7 ozs and 552 yards of 2-ply, self-striping yarn. The hanks look matching, but they're not going to line up perfectly when knit because one hank has more yards, therefore the stripes are going to be wider. That's not a disaster- spinning matching self-striping yarns is difficult, and this was an experiment that didn't actually fail. It just didn't turn out exactly as I hoped it would. Regardless, the yarn itself is gorgeous. I hope to make either cabled or lace socks (and there will be plenty left over). Or maybe gloves. Whatever I knit with it, it'll be a pair of *something* anyway- I went to a lot of trouble to make these skeins vaguely matching, so I might as well take advantage of it.

By the way- this WIP was the spinning of the yarn. The knitting of the yarn is an entirely different project, which is definitely not IP. Nor will it be IP for awhile because I have the urge to do a little quilting.

Not patchwork. Hand quilting.

 I bought this beautiful one-yard fabric is called Firebird. It was designed by ceanirminger through Spoonflower. I am going to add a cream print border, but otherwise it won't be pieced. I just feel like doing some decorative hand-quilting, so I'm going to sandwich this with batting and a plain backing, and just sew wherever and however I please. A good friend became a Grandma for the first time last month, so this will be an At Gramma's House Blanket.

And of course, I'll post pics.

Friday, March 23, 2012

AI Season 11- Top 1 Elimination, 03-22-12

I was out of town last night, so I recorded AI, and outside of checking to see who was eliminated (I'm human, after all), I studiously avoided any other recaps or reviews of the show so this is all new stuff for me.

Last night (well, really the night before, but I'm not going to keep reminding all of us of that), the kids sang Billy Joel (and not all that well). Someone has to go home, Home, HOME, HOME!

Randy is wearing a fairly ordinary and boring black jacket. Steven is in black leather and a frown. JLo is in a long fuchsia dress with an Angelina Jolie leg. And a slick ponytail. Ryan is in a tie again (I thought maybe he'd skip the tie, since he wore one on Wednesday).

Tonight Lana del Rey (who?) is on. Also Haley Reinhart. Ryan reminds us of the Judge's Save, like they're actually going to use it this early in the competition.

The Group Sing is Longest Time, and that's about how long it lasts. The kids line up, each with an individual mike on a stand. Evidently they're not lip-synching tonight because there are many many bad notes. Skylar hasn't seen it for the longest tam. Amazingly enough, the only ones who sound okay are Joshua and Heejun. At least they end with the Pointy Pose.

The Fordmercial is You found Me. It's an elaborate game of Hide and Seek, and the only interesting thing is that Erika still had her old, bad hair.

Ryan announces that the Top 9 will move into the Mansion. He uncharacteristically stumbles a bit over the delivery of that news.

Ryan calls down Hollie (glittery purple dress that only needs fairy wings to turn her into Tinkerbell), Skylar (pants, embroidered Hippie Blouse and a shiny vest), and Elise (again with dress made from 70's bedding).
Hollie: a retroactive prediction of a bad performance
Elise: still thinks no one knows that song (I do- why do I know it when no one else does?), but killed it. Got GOOSIES!
Skylar: Not her best performance. Needs to change it up

Hollie is in! Skylar is in! Ryan screws around with her for a bit, but Elise is in too!

Lana del Rey takes the stage. I may have mentioned that I am unfamiliar with Lana del Rey. She has very long and lustrous hair, and is wearing a white dress with a gathered skirt. She has a very quiet, little girl voice, and she mumbles her song (Video Games) directly into her microphone and never raises her eyes to the audience. Oh- she's wearing a skirt and a shortie blouse, not a dress, and her posture is atrocious (she has one of those hip-forward stances). Frankly, I cannot understand a single word of this song. She may not even be speaking English. This song goes on so long that I check my e-mail, and still she's not done.

Joe Perry surprises Steven Tyler by singing Happy Birthday on stage. Given that the members of Aerosmith have heretofore ignored AI, this is a pretty big deal, and Steven seems to be genuinely touched by the gesture.

Ryan calls down Deandre (hair pulled back, brown henley), Josh (beige ribbed pullover), and Jessica (sparkly blue shorts over black leggings, lemon yellow stilettos, a shortie top, and a vest. This outfit is blindingly terrible. Where the hell is Tommy Hilfiger when we need him?).

Deandre: too peppy
Josh: not impressed, no connection to the song, uses the words *oversinging* and *Darth Vader* together
Jessica: great job!

Jessica is safe (like there was ever a doubt). Joshua is safe (ditto). Deandre is not.

Haley Reinhart is in a birdcage, a huge birdcage. She's wearing a slinky red dress and has very big, very curly sideswept hair, held in place with some huge, dumb barrettes. Well, this song showcases everything that I hated about Haley last year- it's nasal and affected, and once the birdcage rises, we see that her command of the stage has not changed (lots of stomping and squatting). Now that I get a clear look at her dress, I can see that it's actually a sheer overskirt with a long slit over shorts. Sigh.

Next down:  Phil (in a Plaid Phil Shirt over a Phil Tee), Heejun (black jacket over possibly black track pants with suspenders down, and a knit cap), Colton (in a really thin, drapey tee shirt. I'm not kidding, this shirt looks almost transparent), and Erika (oh dear- Erika is wearing a one-shouldered, drab print dress that is anchored under her boobs with some sort of studded belt. It may be the single ugliest and most unflattering thing she's worn yet, and that's saying something. I still like her new hairdo, though).

Phil: I defends his purpose on this show even though Phil seems to be doing just fine by listening to himself
Colton: Billy Joel e-mailed and he liked the song
Erika: brave to change her entire look like that, loved the song and voice and performance
Heejun: agreed with Steven that Heejun is just screwing with all of them (note that we see a screen-in-screen of Heejun watching this critique. He seems mostly unaffected, and later declares that he is pleased with himself).

Ryan messes with Colton as usual, but he's safe. Erika is in the bottom 3. She interrupts the show to run back and collect some maracas from Elise. Ryan is a little rattled by this bit of improvisation. Phil is safe. Heejun is not.

Deandre is moving into the mansion. So is Heejun.

Erika looks resigned. She knows that the judges are not going to save her,  no matter how well she sings I Believe in You and Me. And she sings it really really well. There are at least two kids in this competition who should have gone home before Erika (Heejun and Deandre).

But, of course, Erika is going home. She can barely pretend to be okay with this as her video journey plays. I think Erika should have tried out for the X-Factor or America's Got Talent- both of those shows are much more welcoming to women who don't fit the Disney Princess (or Carrie Underwood ) mold.

The Artist, At Work- Part 2

I mentioned in Part 1 that The Hub used *good hard pine* boards for the strips which now make up the curved window trim. I sort of glossed over what it takes for him to decide that a board is good enough (I'm trying, oh so hard, not to let the words *hard* and *wood*, and a few others, get next to each other... I'd like to keep the snickering to a minimum)(writing about carpentry with a straight face is hard, y'all).

Anyway, I have sat in the pickup, knitting or reading books on my phone for well over an hour, while The Hub examined every stud (lordy, here we go again) in the bin at Menards, eyeballing (sigh) and jiggling over 200 2x4s (or whatever dimension the lumber is- oh, and did you know that a 2x4 is not 2" x 4", it's really 1 3/4" x 3 3/4". No dimension lumber is the actual width or thickness of its name)(you don't live with a carpenter for 41 years and not pick up a bit of arcane knowledge)- so where was I? Oh yeah, he might pick over 200 boards in order to find 10 or 15 that suit his requirements.

The Hub is an easy going fella, even-tempered, mostly always cheerful, he puts up with me (I am not High Maintenance, but I venture to say that I am Maintenance) and my general lack of income even when income would be a welcome thing. He is good-natured when I make gentle fun of him on Facebook (the man set all of our clocks back an hour a week or so ago when the time changed. This is not the kind of mistake he usually makes, and I could not resist broadcasting it). But when it comes to the quality of the materials he uses for work, he's The King of Cranky. He has been known to reject an entire shipment of lumber because it does not meet his exacting standards.

The man knows Good Wood (resistance is futile).

Okay, back to the Window Trim process. The bent and glued trim has been tightened to the jig (did I mention that a jig is a template?), for 24 hours. The glue is now dry.
 He unscrews the boards with the plastic spacers that helped to keep the glued strips level while drying.
 And then he unhooks the restraining strap. The glue is dry, and the trim does not expand or move.
 It actually can't move, excess glue holds it to the plastic covered table. Remember the plastic? The Hub did- which is why his beautiful bent wood window trim is not permanently stuck to the table. He lifts it slowly, unsticking it bit by bit.
 The bottom side- the part that was next to the table, is the *right side* of the trim. It is not perfectly even, and there are glue globs everywhere.
 The Hub uses a hand planer to shave the unevenness and the glue off. He has a large, standing piece of equipment called a Thickness Planer which does the same thing on a large scale, but it's built for straight lumber, or very small curved pieces. These pieces have to be planed by hand (well, not by hand- The Hub is not a Pioneer, he is quite fond of electricity).
 But just because he's using a machine, that does not mean that there isn't a danger of messing up the whole thing. If he does not maintain a uniform pressure on the planer, there will be gouges. And many bad words. (I guess the fairies where visiting when I took this picture- see all of their ghostly globes?).
 Look how beautiful and smooth the trim is now. You can see every strip, and yet it's now all one piece. The glue has to be removed or stain will not penetrate evenly (not that this piece will be stained- the woodwork in this house is all natural, varnished pine).
 After planing, the piece is sanded
 and the edge is routed (made smooth and rounded). Again, the potential for disaster at this step is enormous- one slip and the entire piece is ruined. The Hub has, to my knowledge, never ruined a piece. That is why they pay him the big bucks.
I like his handmade router box- it's about 45 years old, built when he was a teenager and not nearly as picky about good wood...
 See the difference between the un-planed/sanded/routed trim and the finished one? Amazing, no?

Here's a side-by side with a trimmed planed/sanded trim, and one just out of the jig (he's making 2 different sizes, if you were wondering).

I don't have a picture of the trim in place, because it's not in place yet. But I promise that I'll post one when it is.

Did I emphasize that this is the first time The Hub has ever made bent-wood trim?  For many many years, I have seen him puzzle over some work-related construction issue, and then watched him invent a solution that is not only workable and practical, but often-times elegant as well.

Seriously, The Hub is not just an Artist, he's a Genius.