Friday, December 23, 2005

Hooky Day!!!

Since our trip to Threadbear last week was postponed due to bugs (stomach and head), I played hooky from work and Jillian played hooky from her family and we made the trek yesterday. It's always fun to see what the boys have done with the store. Everytime I'm there, I swear they can't fit anymore yarn anywhere and when I go back, they have. An overwhelming feast for my color and fiber starved (ha!) self.

They had tons of gorgeous, new Schaefer Yarns. These are the 2 skeins that followed me home. At one point, I had 7 skeins in my arms before I dropped them on one of the infamous black tables and sorted through. When I made my final selections, J looked them over and said, "You know, I think you have that one in Mountain Colors..." It's pretty sad when my friend can remember what I have in my stash better than I can.

Do I need any more roving? No, but I like to encourage vendors to have things that I want to buy (yeah, that's it). Are these gorgeous? That orange/yellow/pink ball is destined for socks. I picked the blue up because I'm currently in a blue phase. Can't wait to spin it up!

Last, but certainly not least, what's this?

It is the yarn for a Vivian Hoxbro sweater that I have affectionately called the Histogram sweater for close to a year now (Vivian has actually named it the Trip-Trap Jacket). I love this sweater and J reminded me yesterday that I had finished my first term of school and I needed to buy something to celebrate (like I ever need an excuse). I believe, between the spinning and sleeping, I'll be knitting on this for the next week or two. Now if I could only convince my family to bring me food and Coke while I knit in bed, I would be a truly happy woman!

Here's a picture of the back of the Trip-Trap Jacket:

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What makes the holiday all happy??

I give to you my grades for the first term of Graduate School:

Class Grade
Calculus B+

Microeconomics B

Values&Ethics B+

History of Public Policy A

I was worried about Calculus when I applied to the program. It's a required course and I hadn't been in a math class since spring 1983 - longer than some of my classmates have been alive (no kidding). While it wasn't painless, it was much more clear than I expected it to be.

What's my favorite gift for X-mess this year? That B up there in Microeconomics. A serious gift. I hated this class with the firey burning passion usually reserved for ex-husbands and mothers-in-law. The professor was entertaining and quite friendly, just not a very good teacher.

What's in store for next term? Statistics and the cost-benefit analysis part of Microeconomics. Can anyone explain to me what the hell chi-square is????

Spindle Ho...

Guilty! This is my newest. It's a Tom Forrester Granny Spindle that I bought from Gemini Fibres after I saw the one Jillian got on her most recent excursion to Toronto. When she thrust hers into my hands and demanded that I spin - I was a goner.

It's a little lighter than I usually buy (41.2 grams/1.45 ounces) so the resulting yarn is thinner than I usually spin - but change is good. The best news is that it spins and spins and spins. Apparently these little babies fly off the shelves so fast that Gemini can't even get pictures up on their website before they're gone. I sent an e-mail asking what they had in this style and got a very prompt (and extremely friendly) reply in just a few hours. They had 7 to choose from, but no pictures. I picked the rock maple whorl with a black walnut shaft (10 holes in the whorl).

The fiber is some that J shared with me, but my brain is still dreaming of Calculus, so I can't remember where she got it from. Normally, I rip off a hand of roving and just start to spin - it works for me. Someone is a fiend for pre-drafting, so I'm trying that. As much as I hate to pre-draft, I must admit the spinning is very enjoyable when all I'm worrying about is putting in the twist. The yarn seems to be much smoother too. Even the joins are smooth! I guess it pays to have your world shaken up a bit and be forced to think about things in a different way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What's This?

Remember back a bit when I went to the Sewing Expo? Well, I forgot to take a camera with me. (Usually, when I go somewhere with Jillian, she remembers to bring all the stuff I've forgotten, but she couldn't go with me that day.) Anyway, my table-mate, Lorraine, had one of those one-shot dealies and she told me to go and take any pictures I wanted with it. She promised to develop the pictures and send copies to me. Guess what came in the mail yesterday?

Yes, that's me at the feet of the master. He deigned to look up and smile.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm still alive!

Plus, I just finished my final assignment. It's a paper based on what has to be the most needlessly long novel in existance - All the King's Men. If anyone tells you that it's the greatest American political novel, look them in the eye and tell them they're full of shit.

I have lots of things to show and I'll have more when I'm back from Threadbear with Jillian on Saturday, I'm sure.

For now, amuse yourself with this:

Microeconomics professor
Circle I Limbo

General asshats
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Circle IV Rolling Weights

People who are mean to my kids
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

People who drive slowly in the passing lane
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Sexist asshat men
Circle VII Burning Sands

My brother's wife
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

My mother-in-law
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just do it

In light of my recent birthday, on Friday I had my first experience with the mammogram. I don't care what anyone says about it being fucking hurt!!!. This from a woman who gave birth with no drugs, twice.

But you know what, it's a damn site more comfortable than what Twisty is going through. I'll take the mammogram. Have you scheduled yours for the year??

Friday, October 28, 2005

Birthday Loot

My husband has never been good at surprises. He usually gets a good one in every 4-5 years. He got me this year. I was convinced he hadn't bought anything for my birthday and prepared to hold it over his head for a good long time. {Come on, it was a BIG birthday!} Apparently, he conspired with my mother, to buy this:

It's a Russian lacquer box. The soda cap is in there for scale (okay, that was a mistake, but it does provide scale!). Several years ago, my mother, sister, and I went on a Baltic Sea cruise and discovered these little gems. They are the most exquisite pieces. The masters paint with a single hair from a squirrel tail. It's a perfect gift - and the best part was he surprised me!

Here's what I bought for myself. It's a Kundert handspindle.

A friend of mine was spinning on one at the last spinner's guild meeting I went to. (Her's has the checkerboard pattern on it.) I ordered it on a Monday and had it by the following Monday. Spins like a dream - I love it when my tools are this gorgeous.

And how's this for potential?

A woman who took the Lynne Vogel workshop with me decided to do a huge order and several of us went in on a bunch of dyes. I have an amazing amount of dyes in every color of the rainbow. If I could just squeeze out a weekend, I may get to this before spring!

My mother entered the 21st century and bought a bunch of books from my Amazon wishlist and my sister made me a kick-ass coconut cake. It was a good day.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Back the bus up

A knitted rabbit...a dead knitted rabbit...with its entrails leaking all over the mountain...that you're supposed to climb...and be happy about this giant dead rabbit. Please forgive the ellipses, I'm gobsmacked. Just because you can...

It's in the new Knitnet, down at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Don't Hate Me Because I Have Beautiful Fabric

Can I just say that when I saw this fabric online and in catalogs, I thought, "Ewww, could that be any uglier?!?" In person, it's gorgeous. The colors have a depth that just doesn't come across in a flat photo. I told Brandon what I thought when I saw the pictures and he looked a little shocked, but agreed with me that they're so much more pretty in person.

More of the paperweight fabric with some glorious flowery stuff. I would have walked past this, not being a flowery kind of girl. The woman in front of me at the cutting table had it and when it was all spread out, it sang to me. To be honest, I would have bought more of every fabric the woman in front of me had, but I did go with a budget. She got a yard of everything (at $8-9/yard!!).

And because I'm a ho for the orange, I had to have both of these. I love stripes. It's the symmetry. The oranges just glow. {As an aside here, does anyone else remember H.R. Puffinstuff and Witchiepoo who sang the song "Oranges, Poranges" - I think of her dancing around every time I think of orange.}

More stripes. Kaffe has 2 different stripes, the wider and the narrower (I'm sure there's a more 'marketing' type name, but for the life of me, I can't remember it). I loved them all. I'm telling you, it was a very tough choice.

So, now I have a fabric stash that is the equivalent of single balls of yarn. I can't wait to finish school, so I can put all this time I've been studying to really good use.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

American Sewing Expo Loot

I can't remember now if I promised to show what I bought at the American Sewing Expo market or not. Anyway, here they are, and prepare to have your socks knocked off. The market wasn't as big as some show markets I've been to, but it was overwhelming in its own way. I'm a very beginning quilter, so almost everything I saw was new and I quickly went into over-stimulated after the first aisle.

Is this fun, or what? The woman had a very small booth, but it was chock full of really cool primitive-type fabric. She even had mud-cloth, but I couldn't figure out what I would use it for, so I didn't buy any. I love the tie-dye effect and all the 'happy people'.

This is a silk blend fabric. The amazing thing about this fabric is that the warp and weft are 2 different colors. You can't tell in the photo, but the fabric switches from one to the other when you move the swatch. The depth in these is so amazing. I think they'd make nice, sturdy pillow covers - but I don't want anyone putting his head on them!

At the same booth as the above silk swatches was this gorgeous stuff. It's Japanese indigo dying - it also looks ikat to me (and maybe it is, I didn't think to ask). They actually had yardage of this, but it was well over $30/yard and it's only about 21 inches wide. I was so tempted to buy yardage, but had absolutely no idea what to do with it, so contented myself with fondling it instead. I was checking out with the silk and saw they had little "try-me" packs of it for $10. I rummaged through the basket and each packet was more beautiful than the last. Since I couldn't decide which one to buy, I literally closed my eyes and just stuck my hand in.

Homework calls, give me another day or 2 and I'll post the grand-daddy of all fabric designers' swatches.

Friday, October 14, 2005

What's this??

You read that right...85. I didn't believe it myself. Still don't. Must be all the good living I'm doing. {snort}

Monday, October 10, 2005


is Lifegem???

Carbon of your loved one?? Ewwwwwwwww.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Brandon Mably is God

Last Friday I took a day off from work and school and just knit. This was the result:
Okay, so I didn't just knit, I took a class with Brandon Mably. This is Kaffe Fassett's Persian Poppies pattern.

Jillian saw that The American Sewing Expo was coming to a town near us and twisted my arm into signing up for the one and only knitting class that was being offered. Then her husband was called out of town. There really wasn't anyone else that I wanted to spend an entire day sitting next to, so I went on my own.

Brandon was warm and funny and referred to everyone as his friend. As in "Oh, my friend over at that table has the most gorgeous color to add to your ball. Come with me, my friend, and we'll get you some." All in a wonderful British accent. He was constantly complimenting people on what they were knitting and encouraging them to step off their personal color paths and "be outrageous, my friend."

We also had a guest lecturer, none other than Kaffe Fassett. He spoke about using color and experimenting before we started knitting. Then he encouraged us to listen to "our" Brandon and "do what he tells you to do."

The market was overwhelming. Since I'm just starting to quilt, a lot of the stuff was beyond me. I did manage to pick up some gorgeous fabrics and the newest Kaffe book Quilt Road. When I came back from market, Brandon wanted to see what was in the bag. When I pulled out the book, he grabbed it and showed me his gorgeous quilt based on the umbrellas in My Fair Lady. Both Kaffe and Brandon signed it for me.

It was exhausting and I spent a lot of the day mentally elbowing J, but well worth going.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

76 Trombones in the Big Parade

That's what my mother always sings to him. She played trombone when she was in high school (about 1,000 years ago, when trombones were still made from stone). This picture was in our little town newspaper and didn't have his name on it, but doesn't he look handsome? Okay, as handsome as you can look with a trombone sticking out of your mouth?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dear Microeconomics

It's not you, it's me. I'm sorry to do this in a letter, but you don't seem to listen to me anymore. All you do is talk, you never stop to see if I'm with you, you just keep going and expect me to be there. Well, I can't do it anymore. I'm tired of beating my head against the wall. It's over.

Please stop calling me, I've met someone new. It's the funniest story, how we met. He coughed all over me in Math Camp, without once covering his mouth. Now we have something in common.

Best of luck to you. I hope I never see you again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

It's Official

I am now officially a fabric whore. This is a photo of the fat quarter Amy Butler packet I picked up on eBay last week. I must say, the fabrics are very pretty in the pictures I've seen. It didn't prepare me for how gorgeous they are when you hold them in your hands. They are luminous. I bow down before the genius that is Amy Butler. These may become a permanent part of my collection. I don't know that anything I make from them will ever measure up to their promise.

Jillian showed you the yarn we used at our Yarn Tasting at Threadbear on Saturday. I also took a picture, but apparently I can't quite use the digital camera as well as I thought. I'll try again tonight. You'll just have to satisfy yourselves with the purchase photo.

This is Adrienne Vittadini Trini and Great Adirondack Texas Bighorn. The Vittadini is a cabled merino and is lucious to knit with. Not terribly expensive in individual balls (I don't remember how much, but under $10), but it only had 71 yards. The Texas Bighorn, on the other hand, comes with a whopping 325 yards! It was a comforting, easy knit on US 9s. J picked out the color for me - you can't see the orange that's hidden in this skein. It's beautiful.

And what's this? My very own orange calculator. It has all the higher functions needed to figure out how lucky you are to have a friend who listens to you when you whine and commiserates about how miserable things are right now. And then assures you that graduate school won't kill you and it will be over sooner than you think.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Every morning I listen to NPR on the way into work. I breathed such a sigh of relief when New Orleans was passed over by the hurricane. It seems now that they were spared the storm, but really are taking the brunt of it after the rain and wind has stopped.

I grumbled this morning about paying $3.25 for a gallon of gas and then bit my lip when I thought about the mothers who were worrying how and what they were going to feed their children.

Etsy is a clearing house of sorts for us crafty types. You can have your own store and sell things from their site. Many, many crafters are donating items with the proceeds going to the Red Cross hurricane relief fund. There are tons of cool things ranging from yarn to jewelry to beauty products.

Also, if you're of a mind, America's Second Harvest is a worthy place. No one should be hungry on top of everything else.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Graduate School

I went to orientation yesterday. Guess what you get for shelling out lots of $$$ (or in my case, borrowing lots of $$$)...this

but wait, there's more!!

The best part? I also received an invitation to Math Camp. That's right, Math Camp. It is the place where all the math-phobic, didn't take an undergraduate math course, suck at Algebra pretty people go. There is no campfire, no mixed drinks, no filthy, cute guy singing with his guitar. On the upside, I get to sleep in my own bed at night and don't have to take communal showers.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Now I Remember

What it is I've always hated about sewing: a Photo Essay.

I finished the last couple of blocks for the Kimono quilt and Sassy and I spent a few minutes moving blocks around to find the best placement. I was so excited to start the sashing...the first set of blocks held together with sashing:

Ooooh, aaaaaaaah - to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, "Yeah, that's always how it starts, 'oooh, aaaah'. Then pretty soon, there's running and screaming."

Here, I give you 2 rows held together by horizontal sashing:

But what's this?

Um, a slight mismatch in the blocks, leading to this:

Fuck. Where's my knitting?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

A Few More Snaps

I had pictures of these the other day, but either forgot to upload them, or Blogger ate them. Here are the last 2 kimonos for the quilt. I really like these 2 because when I first put the fabrics together, I thought, "ewww red and green - like Xmess." When they were finished, they were much more subtle than that.

These are the fabrics for the last block. My plan is to make 2 and then play with the placement of all the blocks. I only need 9 to complete the piece. Since I'm still a little ambivalent about the flowery blocks, I may chuck those and make a couple more in different fabrics. I can see how this quilting thing can get out of hand..."just one more block".

Jillian made the suggestion that I farm out the quilting part. I believe I will do that for my queen-sized bed quilt. I feel like I have to do at least one - to understand the whole process. Will I do it by hand? No, I do not have the desire to understand it quite that much.

From her August 16, 2005 post, Carolyn's suggestion is to practice, practice, practice. She says "Get a bunch of muslin and some batting, and a can of spray baste. Spray baste some 18" square practice quilt sandwiches and just try it." This sounds like a good plan to me, besides, I like the sound of spray baste.

So this is my plan for the day - finish those last (ha!) 2 blocks and give quilting a try. I'm sure you're dying to see how it all turns out.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Things I Love

In no particular order:

1. The financial aid department at UM. Seriously, the Public Policy department let me in a little later than everyone else and I've been playing catch up ever since. I didn't know where to turn in my financial aid documents and as a result they were late. I missed all the deadlines for grants, so I was only applying for loans. They came through for me. The year of hell will be paid for up front. I'll be paying out the back end for a long time, but at least I don't have to worry about where the $$$ will come from while I'm trying to get my brain around Calculus (obsess much?).

2. Little Big Man. I sure hope he realizes that for me to go to a football game to watch him play in the band at halftime is a huge sacrifice. Especially since the last time we went to see him play, I accosted no less than 2 dozen people about their atrocious public behavior. Does Miss Manners answer questions about how to stop overshares from strangers in the bleachers?

3. Auntie Twister: If you need something to make you laugh out loud, check out this blog. Hub walked away from me last night, mostly because I was reading it out loud to him, but he couldn't understand what I was saying.... I was laughing too hard.

4. Harry Potter. Am I the last person on the planet to take this little test?

How cool is that? I lurve me some Hermione! Go take your own HP character quiz.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Better late than never...right?

Finally, I finished my bag from the Lynne Vogel workshop. Here it is in all its twisty goodness. I was a little worried as the yarn sat on the bobbin a little long (still less than the 4 days or bust period), but it didn't look so twisty while I was kniting. Fortunately, I can't tell where that bit of knitting is on the finished bag. This is from my Early Pumpkin Patch roving dyed in class. I love the colors, but wish there was more of each one - I guess so the stripes would be wider. I'm looking for a pumpkin charm to put on the drawstring. Sassy loves it and wants to claim it as her own.

Have you seen Jillian's twisty project? Go have a look and let her know how gorgeous her barberpole yarn is.

Here's what else I've been up to in the last 2 weeks. The Kimono quilt pattern calls for 9 kimonos. I have 8 finished. What I tried to do was have them be complimentary, so I used 3 fat quarters for each pair. One of them has a fabric for the kimono and a complimentary fabric for the obi and the other switches them. The third fat quarter is used for the long strip down the front of the kimono skirt and short strips on the bodice.

I love, love, love the red fabric in these 2. It's got darker red ginko leaves printed on it with a gold leaf scattered about randomly. The pieces are so small, that I had to work to get a gold leaf in every now and again. I'm not sure I was entirely successful with that - but I'm happy with the squares.

These are a little busy I think. I didn't like them at all while I was putting them together. Hub said, "they aren't so bad." Um, thanks for that bit of confidence. I told myself to keep going and if I really hated them at the end, I could call it practice and make a couple more. I still think they're busy, but not in a terrible way.

These are my favorites. They're also the first 2 I did. The orange-leafy fabric is so beautiful. I was tempted to go and get more of each of these fabrics and make all the kimonos the same. Good sense prevailed. How many places can you hang an orange and purple quilt?

I have a gray/black fabric for the sashing and 3 more fat quarters for another pair. I think I'll make 2 more and use one of them for actual quilting practice. I think Sassy's Kit doll will enjoy a small quilt for her bed.

Does anyone have any tips for the actual quilting? I find that the closer I get to that part, the slower I'm beginning to work. I've had no trouble cutting and sewing, but the quilting is intimidating me. I think I'll be machine quilting in the ditch, but what color thread do I use? Do I buy eleventy-thousand different spools to match all the fabric? What patterns? Do I outline the kimonos, put something inside them? Has anyone else been paralyzed by these choices or am I the only freak?

Monday, August 15, 2005

I'm Exhausted

I never knew it was possible to be this tired and this content at the same time. Lynne Vogel is a Goddess. No, seriously, GODDESS! She came in on Wednesday night to stay at my house. {A Goddess stayed at my house!} There are very few people I am at ease with instantly - count Lynne among the handful. We talked constantly (almost so much that my throat hurt).

I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with an incredible group of women doing something I truly love to do. Best part? Sitting next to Jillian for 3 whole days. We mumbled, we laughed, we sang, we's good to have a great friend.

Friday, we spun. Saturday, we dyed. Sunday, we spun, knit and compared notes like crazy. I have no pictures as Hub took the camera on vacation with him. I'll snap shots of my roving and my knitting tonight and have them up in a flash.

I love it when my expectations are exceeded so far that I won't be able to take a class for a while because this one was so good. I couldn't sleep last night despite being exhausted because I had too many things in my head. There are so many colors, fibers, things to knit. I don't want to have to sleep ever again.

On a related note, Lynne wanted to go to Trader Joe's because she loves the place and there isn't one near her. You wanna know what ambrosia is?

I can hear the angels singing now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cranky with a Side of Stream of Consciousness

Man, I wish I was anywhere but here today. I'm thinking of all the things I could be doing at home and wishing I was there.

Do I need another new hobby????? I asked Jillian the other day what a good starter cookbook was. She recommended How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. I immediately went to my favorite book sites and nabbed a used copy of this tome. I knew I could trust her, she has every cookbook known to woman at her fingertips. This book is amazing. I pulled open the package and skimmed through. Then sat down and opened the book at the very beginning and started to read. How very 1950s - sitting down to read a cookbook. You gotta love a man who tells you that you don't need to spend $3,000 getting the best of everything before you can cook edible stuff.

And because once I'm obsessed with something, I take it all the way...I've been perusing food blogs for a couple weeks. I can't tell you how hungry this makes me. All that good food and I have to live with the cafeteria upstairs. Anyway, someone recommended Pie, by Ken Haedrich. It came yesterday. Who knew there were this many kinds of pie? Really. My mother makes apple (with 2 kinds of top crust), blueberry, pecan, and pumpkin. This morning I found a recipe for fig and grape pie. Fig. And. Grape. Pie. Have I mentioned my obsession with figs lately? Now if I could just find a receipe for goat cheese and fig pie...

I finished registering for graduate school yesterday. Yes, ma'am, I said Graduate School - at the renowned Ford School of Public Policy. It's a one-year program that I'm sure will age me 10 years. I have to take calculus. Let me just explain that I have a BA in English Language and Literature. I managed to go my entire undergraduate career without ever having to take a class from the mathematics department. Calculus. Does your head hurt yet?

One thing to look forward to this weekend. Lynne Vogel is coming to do a workshop that yours truly organized. She'll be here for 3 days - allowing me to spin, dye, and knit like crazy. What fun. I will say there's a special place in hell for anyone who commits to something and then backs out at the very last minute. Suffice it to say that the woman who did this will not be invited to attend an event I organize again. Ever.

Did I mention I was cranky?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Dang! What the hell happened to my week? Okay, here's what I got done on Monday:
These are 2 stairs to the left of the photo I showed a couple of days ago. They go from the landing right inside the back door up to the hallway. Hub put all these stairs in when we re-did the kitchen. He was looking for the "distressed pine" look. I love them. There are marks and indentations and the scruffed up pine took the stain beautifully. Now I just have to put eleventy-million coats of polyurethane on them.

I managed to get only 1 complete door polyurethaned on Monday. When I started the door to Sassy's room, I saw watermarks all over it (like a wet dog shook near the door). I had a fit. Hub said, "Well, just put the varnish on and we'll see what it looks like."

I said, "Fuck that! You think I want to re-do what I've already done????"

He called the lumber company and they've ordered a new door blank.

Here's what I spent all day Tuesday doing:
Hub was working at his mother's house and when he came in to get water I said, "Hey, I've been using my rotary cutter" (in an effort to distract him from no varnish smells). He said, "Cool." Never mentioned that I'd taken the week off to finish up home improvement. The man is incapable of throwing guilt. It's a good thing I can take care of that on my own.

And, ummm, yesterday? I put all those blocks together - and knit a little bit. So, today, I've taken myself firmly in hand and said, "Self? It's time to get some WORK done. Get busy."

Yeah, when I'm done surfing the blogs.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Promise of a Whole Week

I took the week off. On the surface it was because both Sassy and Little Big Man have day camps going next week. Sassy will be riding and LBM will be at band camp. (I have been torturing him for the last week or so that he will come home and say, "This one band camp...".) So, I will be ferrying them around, but I also have my own agenda at home. Herewith, I present my photo essay of what I'll be doing this week.

1. Get rid of books I've already registered with Book Crossing:

I really love leaving this things all over the place. I'll admit, I'm vain enough to leave them in places where I can go back and check to make sure they've been rescued. It's fun thinking that someone gets to read a book I liked and it beats the hell out of pricing them for a garage sale.

2. I've been looking at this nightmare since we re-did our kitchen (about 3 years ago):

They are the stairs that lead from my back door down into my basement. Hub pulled out the old stairs and built these new ones. I should have stained and varnished them 3 years ago. I did not. I'm paying the price now. They need to be sanded to get all the ground in dirt off and then stained and varnished.

3. I have 8 of these mothers staring me in the face:

You can see that this representative door has been stained (Minwax Puritan Pine) as are the other 7. However, now I have to put 2 coats of polyurethane on each and every door. My excuse has been that it's been so hot that I can't get proper ventilation - if I open the windows the heat and humidity seap in and the polyurethane will NEVER dry. Time's up - they will be shiny and sealed this week.

Will I kill enough brain cells to prevent me doing something fun with these?

I cannot resist the allure of the fat quarters. Hub and I took Sassy in to get heeled shoes for her camp (some sort of stacked heel prevents the foot from slipping through the stirrup). Well, there's a JoAnne's right next door and I just slipped in for a minute. I scored a self healing cutting mat for $7.50 (50% off a clearance price of $15.00) and also a rotary cutter - seen in all its rotary goodness above.

Sassy's camp goes from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. I figure I'll work while she's camping and then have fun after I pick her up. It's a good balance, right?

One last shot. These are the initial fabrics I've picked up for my Kimono quilt. I signed up for the class and the first one is on Sunday. I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quilt Blocks and a Fugly

What do you think? I think Carolyn was right. {Ignore the small swatches of white you see under the blocks, that's the paper still attached.} While I like the above blocks (and maybe the white pillowcase wasn't the best idea I've had today) there's something wrong with them. I'm not sure what - they don't hold me somehow. The blue below somehow pops the red and orange off the background and is soothing at the same time. Thanks Curlypurl!!

The more I look at these blocks, the better I like the pattern. I will say, however, that it's a real bitch trying to pin the fabric to the paper in such a way that the seam allowance is 1/4" AND the chunk of pattern is covered once I've done the sewing. I won't bother to tell you how many pieces I've screwed up. My very first blocks were done by just eyeballing the paper piece to be covered and then hacking out a piece from my fat quarters. My anal-retentive nature didn't work too well with this approach.

So I measured the pieces in this new pattern and figured in the seam allowance. In my zeal to be master of the rotary cutter, I cut up a bunch of pieces that are exactly 3" x 9" and while they stack beautifully and look lovely on my table, they really should have been 3.5" x 9" - but then I would have gotten fewer pieces from my fabric! At the time, I thought, "how hard can it be? I'll just move them around until I get the placement figured out and do it the same way every time" Yeah, it so doesn't work out like that. Anyone have ideas on how to measure and cut these pieces so they fit without wrestling?

And in the category of Back away from the crack pipe I give you...

What the fuck was he thinking???