Monday, May 30, 2005

Groovin' on a Monday Afternoon

Here's how I spent my Monday afternoon, remember it was a holiday, a time for celebration:

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night

Due to the fact these colors are BRIGHT!

Above you will see blocks 1 and 2 of the 63 Squares Crochet Afghan. Block 1 is Single Crochet on the left, Block 2 HalfDouble Crochet to the right.

Above you will see Block 3 to the left, Double Crochet, Block 4 Treble Crochet on the right.

Block 5 is shown in the first pic at the top of the page, the one not in the pile to the right but all alone on the left. It's crocheted using a front loop-back loop half double crochet pattern.

So I did make some progress this weekend and I am now two blocks ahead of where I was 8 months ago using colors that didn't make me happy. Granted this afghan may not be what one would call classy when it's finished but it will be a joyful blend of wild & wacky colors that make me happy and who said class is all it's cracked up to be right? Sometimes tacky is fun.

On the Bedside Table

The Martini Diet is a current read thanks to Stasia's Place Of Grace. No it's not about living on Gin Martini's but it is about being good to yourself and realizing that you deserve the best life has to offer. On deck is French Women Don't Get Fat, also recommended by Stasia. If you aren't familiar with her blog check it out. It always inspires me.

I'm also reading Susan Wittig Albert's A Dilly of A Death.

Listening To

Sugarland-Twice the Speed of Life
Aqualung-Strange & Beautiful
GreenDay- American Idiot


Napoleon Dynamite
Law & Order Marathon on TNT


I didn't have to work tomorrow

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Weekend Update

Well the long weekend has gotten off to a nice and lazy start. Those are the best. Friday morning I went and got my hair cut. This is my first professional haircut in 19 yrs. I'm not kidding. My stars did it feel good! I felt like new woman, like I was younger and thinner. It was fabulous beyond words. We will not discuss the struggles I'm having with round hair brushes and pomade-here's hoping I spelled that correctly. I"m slowly getting it all figured out.

In Crafty News

I'm almost finished with block three of the 63 Squares afghan. I think these colors will work well for this sampler afghan so I'm excited. I think the end product will be pretty and happy, hopefully not horrible. I hope to take some pics tomorrow of the squares I've completed so far, it's kind of dreary out today but I may just pop them on the scanner later on and do it that way.


Today I ran over to Circuit City because they have Napoleon Dynamite on sale for $12.99. I've been wanting this DVD for a while. It's a family favorite and DS#2 is so much like Napoleon that it's bizarre. So why am I bummed you might ask? Well I also found Season One of the Gilmore Girls and just couldn't justify spending the $50 on the box set. I hate that. I pouted all the way home but we are trying hard to budget and DS#2 has to have his summer basketball fees paid this week to, so it's one of those weeks where it's one or the other. The Other won. I'm keeping my fingers crossed it'll still be there next week. Season 1 is hard to find around here.

Speaking of the Gilmore Girls, I am so mad at the ABC Family channel right now. They aren't showing the Gilmore Girls tomorrow so that they can show stupid movies! Don't they know that I live for the Gilmore Girls on my days off? That I watch them twice a day? That my life is empty without my Gilmore fix? They aren't preempting the 700 Club, so why must they preempt The Gilmore Girls? Why can't their stupid movies start at 11am instead of 10am? Why can't they show the Gilmore Girls in place of the 700 Club? What are they thinking?

Sorry rant over.....

Plans for this evening, finish up square three, start square 4 and find my little box of tags I purchased to use to number my squares so I don't get all confused about which block is what number.

Monday, May 23, 2005

63 Squares C-A-L Revisited

I've been following everyone's (Doodle-blog, Yarngirl) progress on their 63 Squares CAL and pulled out my squares and decided part of my problem was that I really don't care for the colors I chose. So I thought about what I had here at the house and what colors made me happy and I decided to pull out the trusty Red Heart Kids Lime, RH Bright Yellow, Orange, Lilac(or is it Orchid?) & Pinata(a variegated) and start over. I like these colors and will use Lime as the edging color for all the blocks. I may be making a few trips home to Memphis over the summer since my grandmother is pretty sick, and this would be a good carry along project. I guess I need plastic hooks for the plane? I bought the Crystalline or whatever plastic crochet hook set that Walmart had over the winter so I think I'm set for crocheting on planes or in airports or even at my mom's house. I don't care for the plastic hooks too much though. I like the feel of the Boye hooks better. I guess it's just what I'm used to using. I'll more than likely restart this using the plastic hooks so that my guage will be consistent throughout the project.

I also pulled out Vanna's Favorite Crochet Gifts book over the weekend and plan to kit up Ode to the Amish and Make a Statement. I'm going to kit both of these up using Caron Simply Soft. I thought about using a mix of WoolEase and Microspun, but honestly I can't justify the extra expense when I can get the Simply Soft $1.37 a skein through Herrschnerr's right now. Even with the s&h charges it's still cheaper to use the Simply Soft. The Caron Simply Soft is also a nice yarn, especially for that price.

I tried to readd the CAL button to my side bar but for some reason my computer won't recognise the file. Arrrgghhh! Not in the mood to try to figure it out this morning either.

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

I hate it when I just throw away a weekend. We did absolutely nothing this weekend. I didn't pick up a needle once. I tried starting the HeartFelt Angels - Beth's Little Star Afghan but I'm having a problem getting started, so I thought I might just do a round ripple and well I'm just not in the mood to work on it at the moment, I think it's my clover bamboo hook-not enjoying it with the Cotton Tots yarn for some reason and can't find my Boye H hook. I didn't want to read, didn't want to go the beach, didn't want to clean. I did manage to do three loads of laundry, but no major cleaning like I had originally planned. I hate it when I get the blahs like this. Seems like days go by and I don't enjoy life and then a few weeks later I can't believe I just threw away precious days feeling icky and not wanting to do anything. Such a waste of a life. I know that sometimes down time, just vegging out, is a good thing but it seems so wasteful. Life is too short to piss it away. Which is what I feel like I did for the last three days. This morning the DH called and wanted me to meet him for lunch but I don't want to. I want to stay here in my messy cave and cry. I don't want to drive anywhere, I don't want to see people, I don't want to brush my hair. I just want to be left alone. I know that all this is very much PMS related and I hate that I let it control my emotions and make me crazy but it does. I've started taking some Super B Complex and Black Cohosh Root so maybe by next month my PMS won't be so severe. I can hope anyway.

Fairy Grandmother Progress

My grandmother, as I mentioned above, is pretty sick. I've been working on Fairy Grandmother for a long time, almost a life time it seems. I need to get it finished. I'm still a long way from having her finished even though I'm beyond the halfway mark. Apparently I did all the easy stuff first because I thought coming into the homestretch stitching all that brown that makes up the forest would be boring, so now I've got a gazillion confetti stitches all over the place. NIGHTMARE! I'm hoping to get her finished soon but I don't know. I'm worried about my grandmother and there is not another human on the face of the earth more deserving of this piece of needlework but at the same time every time I work on it and think about my grandmother I start to cry. This probably has a lot to do with my current mood swing also. Anyway please send some good motivational thoughts my way in the hopes that I can get down to really focusing on this project and get her finished. I need all the good vibes anyone can spare.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Crochet Question

Ok, maybe it's early and my brain isn't sufficiently supplied with caffiene or maybe I'm just dim. I can't figure out these instructions for the HeartFelt Angels - Beth's Little Star Afghan.

Round 1 reads: "Chain 7, dc in first ch, *ch 3, dc in first ch. Repeat from * 2 times. Ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of beginning ch to join, ch 3. (5 spaces)"

Ok, I have followed the instructions, I have this chain with bumps scattered along it. So first question, when the pattern says, "chain 7 dc in first ch", I assumed this means the chain closest to the hook, not the very first chain off the hook. Is that correct? Then when it says "*ch 3, dc in first ch. Repeat from * 2 times, I assumed that meant that I dc in the first chain off the hook after each ch 3. This of course gave me the little bumpy chain....

Then Round 2 says, "2 dc, ch2, 3 dc in first ch 2 space, *shell in next ch 2 space. Repeat from * around. Sl st in 3rd ch of beginning chain to join. (30 dc/5ch-2 spaces)"

OK I attempted this and when I joined my round, I had two chains hanging off the end of the round because of the instruction about "sl st in 3rd ch of beginning chain to join". Somehow this just seems wrong to me, I assumed this meant the 3rd chain from the beginning chain. Am I making any sense? Either way I had way more than 30 dc and 5 ch-2 spaces. This has to be something very obvious, this pattern seems pretty simple so I know it's my brain malfunctioning. I may set it aside and work on something else for a while until the fog clears.

But sometimes I wonder if the fog ever clears in my brain.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Danielle of The Peacock's Feather tagged me for this book meme. Hope you all find something new to read from my selections.

1. Total number of books I've owned?

Easily a thousand, but I've gotten to where I can let some books go. I don't have to keep every paperback I've ever read anymore. Moving a few times really helps one learn to let go.

2. Last book I bought?
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Other Boelyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory, Salem Falls, Plain Truth and Second Glance all by Jodi Picoult. Yesterday I orderedForeign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China by Rachel DeWoskin and am hoping to pick up French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasu by Mirielle Guiliano.

3. The last book I read?

The Glass Castle : A Memoir by Jeannette Walls and I'm slowly working my way through Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon

4. 5 books that mean a lot to me?

1. Wild Mind : Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg. I found this book by accident many years ago, it gave me permission to write. Another book that means a lot to me also by Natalie Goldberg isWriting Down the Bones. Short chapters and ideas for writing practice. A writing workshop in a book. I *heart* both of these books.

2. Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne LaMott. Another inspiring book. (Check out Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year and also Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith)

3. Stranger in a Strange Land Robert Heinlien. This book is so much more than scifi. The main theme of the book is the corruption of a pure soul. The book jacket may say something about an earthling born on Mars but that's just the setting, the story is so much deeper.

4. The Travis McGee novels by John D McDonald. Sure these books are mysteries but they are filled with such a sense of place. He writes so lovingly of Florida and is filled with sadness at her environment being destroyed by developers. These books were written in the 1970s but unless a price is given for a meal or a hotel room they could have been written yesterday. They are timeless.

5. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

Honorable Mentions:

Anything by Louise Erdrich-especially The Beet Queen and The Birth Year.

Feminine Force: Release the Power Within You to Create the Georgette Mosbacher-after reading this book I thought there was nothing I couldn't do.

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye(her memoir Summer Afternoon or something to that effect is also good)

The Tokaido Road : A Novel of Feudal Japan Lucia St. Clair Robson. Wonderful book.

The Artist's Way Julia Cameron

Little House on the Prairie series, Laura Ingalls Wilder. These books, what can I say? I have loved them since I was a child. I still read them when I need comfort. They are an old friend, like a warm blanket or a hug.

And finally, Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak. I read this book as a child and have bought it for each of my boys.

I'm sure there are other books that deserve a mention but my mind is blank at the moment and these are the books that first popped up in my mind when I read the question.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Glass Castle

This weekend I read Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle : A Memoir. It's the best book I've read in a long time. It was painful to read because it's true but I couldn't put it down.

End of School Year Blues

Disclaimer: the following paragraph is a personal whine, please scroll down for Crafty update:

It's that time of year I dread the most. The end of the school year. It's when my job as mom becomes not just mom/maid/chef, cruise director gets added to the job description. The wild ones are already whining about how "bored" they are. Could someone please tell me how in this world of 24 hour tv, 5,000 channels, books, video games, dvds, living less than three miles from some of America's most beautiful beaches, one can get bored? I just don't flippin' get it. Can someone also tell me how I managed to raise three of the most selfish, ungrateful kids on the face of the earth? I tried to instill good values in the them. We don't buy them a plethora of junk. Christmas and birthdays don't come but once a year. Occaisionally if we come into extra money we treat them to an extra video game or dvd or something like that and usually that's not enough. For the last few weeks all I've heard come out of their mouths is "I need money" "Buy me this" "I want that" it's wearing me down and making me feel like my children are deprived when I know they aren't. They have a roof over their head, they have clean clothes and most even happen to be hip, they have food, there's a tv in each bedroom(which is more than likely the problem-I know this) what the hell else do they want? It's frustrating and putting me in a foul mood. I completely understand wanting things. I have a wish list a mile long of the things I want. What I've been trying to teach the boys is that wants and needs are different. You can live without something you "want". You might not like it but you'll survive. The "needs" well that's a whole different area. You need food, you need clean clothes-you don't necessarily need the $60 tshirt, etc. Anyway they are wearing me out, the DH and I are arguing over money and for most of our marriage we have never let money be an issue. The finances are what they are and we suck it up and deal with it. But the kids are in my face constantly about what they want, there's never enough money to make them happy so then they get in DH's face about it and then he and I start arguing. I hate it. Money is a stupid thing to cause so much turmoil in a family. I saw that issue destroy my parents marriage coupled with my dad's extracurricular liasons. I made a promise I would not let money be a major issue in my marriage. DH and I have managed over the years to stick to that philosophy. Now though it's in our face every day. I tell the boys no. When they whine about being bored I tell them to read a book, watch tv, let's go to the beach but you know what? "I'm bored" is secret kid code for "I want you to spend every effing dime you make on what I want and really don't care that every dime you make goes to me and God forbid you get to enjoy spending it and if you do spend it on yourself, don't think I'll ever let you hear the end of it when I wanted that money spent on me." Yes, that's the realization I came to over the weekend.

Crafty Pursuits

Well I have yet to start the star baby afghan. Tonight I am going to the store we love to hate and purchasing a couple of balls of Bernat Cotton Tots and getting started on it. I have to go the store in another town because the one closest to me didn't have a very good yarn selection the other day. I don't know if it's the time of the year or just low inventory. Not sure how many balls of I will end up needing but only 4 are in the budget at the moment. I'm considering doing it all in the pink color and using the variegated for the final few rows and then maybe attempting a pink picot edging. Then again that may look as good as I hope it will and will have to go with a variegated strip then more of the solid pink then the edging. I really think too hard about all this don't I? It should be really simple pick an afghan pattern, choose a color and crochet the flippin' thing.

Last night I flipped through Hip To Crochet and I want to make the afghan in the back of the book. I pulled out the trusty Patternworks catalog and they only stock three of the colors in the afghan. Then I thought well let me try the Opulent Pillow. It calls for a lot of different fibers but Patternworks seem to only stock one color of the Berroco Cotton Twist that the pattern needs. I'm going to try both of my LYS and for the afghan it will take a while to gather all the supplies which is secret code for this is going to be one expensive afghan! It calls for 14 skeins of Classic Elite's La Gran Mohair in black, it's $7.75 a skein, you do the math. Then another 14 skeins or so of several other colors in the same yarn. YIKES! But I'm wanting to do a couple of afghans in some other fibers. This mohair isn't supposed to shed so I thought it might be worth the expense. Also I won't start it for a while so I can slowly gather all the supplies I need for it, then when I sit down to start it it will be like it's free because I gathered supplies over such a long period of time. I'll do the same with the opulent pillow and probably substitute a lot of the recommended fibers. I wonder if Red Heart's Cotton Twist will be a good substitute for the Berroco? Also I wonder if my Micheals stocks the RH Cotton Twist?

I'm still on House #5 on Houses of Hawk Run Hollow, it's my second house on the piece, lots of filling in still to do. Those blocks are a lot more work intensive than the chart or picture would lead one to believe.

Fairy Grandmother is coming along slowly as per usual. I don't see me ever finishing this piece. It's killing me. I mean I will finish it but at the moment I just don't see me finishing it, if you know what I mean.

Project Planning

What is it about the summer that makes me want to start a gazillion projects? The new Stitchery catalog was in my mailbox the other day along with the new Nordic Needle catalog and I started yet another wish list. I love making lists. I really love scratching the items off as I am able to purchase them(DS#1 is the exact same way). I carry my notebook with me and look at my list and every payday see what I can splurge on. If you read the above whine then you know lately I haven't been able to spend $1 on something I want(EQ5 was a belated Mother's Day present from DH to me even though I'm not his mother). Anyway, I tend to think it's the old pioneer spirit. I'm harvesting for the long hard winter. This stuff is all going in to my root cellar. It won't spoil. Well that thought process works for me.

I'm toying with the idea of a doing a single or double crochet afghan in a summery color, tourquoise maybe or maybe a variegated like RH's Ocean(I love this colorway and have been looking for a project to use it in) and then do the edging using octogonal motifs or some kind of shaped motif, maybe a decorative granny square border in solids that picks up colors in the variegated. But I am color challenged and who knows how hideous this just might be? I'm not sure there are a lot of solids that enhance the RH Ocean. I was flipping through Vanna's Favorite Crocheted Gifts and there was an afghan in a solid color with a decorative block border and I can't get it out of my head. I really love dreaming about future projects. I so want to have pretty afghans all over the house to give it that cozy feel. I already know where I want to display the afghan from Hip to Crochet, I'll lay it over the back of my great grandmother's rocking chair and have it near the front door so it's the first thing anyone sees when coming into my home. As expensive as that afghan is going to be you don't think we'll actually cuddle under it do you? Well of course we will but being Florida there are only a few months out of the year when it's cold enough to snuggle under a mohair afghan. So the rest of the time it can just add beauty to my home. I sure talk big for someone who hasn't even started purchasing the hunderds of dollars worth of mohair don't I? Believe me I'm researching for less expensive options. I just love it as it's shown in the book and well you know me and changing colors. Usually that's a road to disaster.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Piecing Tutorial or Maybe Not

Old School Quilting 101

A friend recently asked me how I piece a quilt. I am not one to do things the easy way. I'm an old school quilter because my sewing machine and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate it and it loves to torture me. So I took a few pics of how I start the whole quilt process. Yes the fabric is wrinkled. At the time I traced the templates it was fresh and crisp but I have a lot of cats a cat or two. I made the mistake of leaving the fabric out on the sewing table and they had a party on it, thus the wrinkles. I will iron it before continuing with the whole quilting process but knew if I waited for that to happen before taking the pics I'd never get around to ironing and never get the pictures taken. So please before starting any quilting or piecing wash and iron your fabrics.

The picture below is of a template on fabric. The hole's punched in the template are to make dots where one can then connect up the sewing lines if one sewing by hand.

This is a picture of the traced template, and a small see thru quilting ruler. I love this little ruler I bought it almost 18 yrs ago and have taken very good care of it. I tend to lose things so this is sort of a modern day miracle. So the dots are connect and now there are sewing lines and a very obvious 1/4 inch seam.

Here are the triangles all nicely traced and ready to be cut out.

Here is the fabric piece all cut out and ready to be sewed, this is the back side of the fabric. Did I mention that all tracing is done on the wrong side of the fabric? Well all tracing of templates is done on the wrong side of the fabric and if you are using dark fabric there are nifty white dressmakers pencils that are great for tracing onto very dark fabrics.

Now below you see the right side of the fabric piece a little blurry but you get the idea.

So Sharon-I hope this helps you understand a little about how I hand piece quilts. Remember use only 100% cotton fabric and wash and iron it before you start tracing your templates onto the fabric. Then again make your quilts out of whatever fabric you want to. The 100% cotton is the best for handwork but anything can be a quilt. There are supposedly rules to quilting but I see them more as guidelines. ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I've been tagged!

Frogging Out tagged me for this meme:

Choose 5 and complete the sentence...

If I could be a scientist . . .
If I could be a farmer . . .
If I could be a musician . . .
If I could be a doctor . . .
If I could be a painter . . .
If I could be a gardener . . .
If I could be a missionary . . .
If I could be a chef . . .
If I could be an architect . . .
If I could be a linguist . . .
If I could be a psychologist . . .
If I could be a librarian . . .
If I could be an athlete . . .
If I could be a lawyer . . .
If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
If I could be a professor . . .
If I could be a writer . . .
If I could be a llama-rider . . .
If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
If I could be an astronaut . . .
If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

If I could be a bonnie pirate-It's sounds cliche but I would retire to my own private desert island somewhere in the Caribbean but no where near Kenny Chesney. Raise a big family, and laugh over all the books and stories being written about my days as the world's most famous of female pirates. I would laugh at all the embellished tales and be surprised at how close to the truth many writers managed to get. Those were some wild times!

If I could be a farmer-I would be an organic farmer. I would spend my time away from the farm trying to educate people about the dangers of pesticides and how one can make a success of a farm without government aid because the head of the farm refuses to put poison on their crops. I would refuse to grow anything that is supposed nurture yet covered in toxins that most people can't get off the fruits and vegetables no matter how well they wash it.

If I could be a architect-All my buildings would be a bit on the wonky side. Why? Because even with the most expensive ruler in my possession I can't seem to draw a straight line.

If I could be a painter-I would be so bad that some NYC art critic would see my work and start singing my praises. Only I would know that these are just blobs of paint on canvas with no deeper meaning than that was where the paint managed to land on the canvas. People would pay thousands of dollars for my *art* and I would become rich off their pretentiousness.

If I could be a writer-I would hope to write stories that inspire and offer hope yet manage to be fun and full escapism. Books that readers enjoy and can set aside and not feel like many hours they will never get back were wasted. I hope they are full of lines that people quote constantly, some that make them sound smart, some that make them sound funny, and some that end up as trivia questions on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

*I would have loved to write about being a Llama rider but I'm sure the "Tina you fat lard" references have probably been over done. But I would love to have a llama and I'd be very unoriginal and of course name her Tina and maybe even get her a boyfriend and name him Napoleon.

*bonus answer

Weekend Things

A friend asked me recently about quiltmaking. I explained to her that I do everything the hard way and took a few pics of my old school quilt making process, Photobucket seems to not be playing fair this afternoon so I'll save that painful pictorial for tomorrow. It might be possible to get the pics uploaded at 4 am. Why do I refer to it as "painful"? I have discovered that there is an art to taking photos for the old blog and I am not endowed with those skills. Working on them but let's just say I'm a good ten thousand light years away from taking decent blog photos.

We went to the beach yesterday and I forgot the camera. It was a beautiful day, take my word for it. I even got a little pink. Very nice. While subjecting my body to UV rays I read Jeannette Wall's The Glass Castle. It's a very good read. It's painful due to the fact it's her memoir and not a work of fiction, but it's the best book I've read in a long time. I found myself torn in regards to her parents. She writes about them with such love and affection that as a reader I found myself becoming fond of them, at the same time I wanted to punch her dad and slap her mother to bring them out of their fogs, to see the fine line between letting your children be free and not conform to society's expectations and the horror of them eating out of trash cans.

I've done a bit of cleaning here and there, filled up two garbage bags. Where does this clutter come from? The more I throw out the more I find to throw out. I know that's a good thing but you'd think eventually there'd be an end to the piles of junk I have everywhere. I'm getting so much better at throwing stuff out. Junk mail is tossed out immediately. A lot of it goes unopened. That is a huge step for me. I usually open it, set on the table and leave it there for an undetermined amount of time before I finally decide it's served it's purpose and can now be thrown out. Now I throw it away almost immediately. What a difference that makes. I'm also doing better about throwing newspapers away the same day we get them.

I haven't done any stitching but did find a star afghan crochet pattern for a baby blanket(think it's linked in the previous post) and while I wanted to do something along the lines of
Hazelnut Latte's rainbow star afghan(because even though they say it's a girl I'm never 100% sure until it's born) I think I'm going to go with all pink. I live in an all boy house, not a lot of pink to be found under this roof, so tomorrow when everyone is off to work and their various schools I plan to make a trip to the store we love to hate and buy some nice soft baby yarn and start on the star baby afghan tomorrow. I'm going to go with pink and white unless I find a varigated baby yarn that will work. I like using variegated yarns with a solid because I think they add interest. I saw one somewhere a few months ago that was pink and had a few rows here and there of a variegated yarn and it looked so sweet.

To Yarngirl-yes Julie, I'm constantly looking for crocheted items on tv shows. I'm dorky enough to freeze frame the scene if it's a show I taped and write down the colors used in the afghans and if I recognise the pattern. I'm so color challenged that any help I get from any source is appreciated. I also make a note if I see crocheted pillows and doilies and try to find patterns that resemble the ones on tv.

To Doodle-blog the EQ5 software ROCKS! I'm still learning how to use it and am not happy to discover that DS#1's Tropical Ohio Star is going to look horrible. I scanned in my own fabrics and have been playing around with the Ohio Star quilt block and these particular colors, ick! One or two of the color layouts look nice(the rest make me want to throw up they are so horrible), so I may just resign myself to the fact that I will do 20 squares that are all just alike because the colors don't seem to work too well any other way.

Note to self: get some books on color quick. This chick is not blessed in anyway with color sense. I'm beginning to wonder how I manage to get dressed every morning in anything that remotely matches.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Getting My Life Back

Today was glorious. No work, kids in school, new computer software! Does it get any better than this? The DH(definitely stands for DEAR) picked this: Electric Quilt up for me at the Cotton Loft in Destin. How do you think I spent my day? If you guessed playing around with this new program then you are 100% correct. I also napped, watched Def Leppard's Historia video. Found it in the video cabinet and had to watch it. Can't seem to find my Live From the Round tape though. I am so very much like the mom in this song:


Can I help it that I'm a child of the 80s? That I still love Def Leppard & Motley Crue? Prince? No Parking on the Dance Floor, You Dropped the Bomb on Me?

After searching for a while I found the pattern for this baby afghan:

HeartFelt Angels - Beth's Little Star Afghan

My favorite niece is expecting her third girl in a few weeks so I plan to make her one of these afghans. Here's hoping I get it started and finished before the birth of Barbara Alexandra or Alexandra Barbara-they haven't decided exactly which order the names will go in on the birth certificate but she will be called Alexandra. I also found a pattern for one shaped like a flower Angelcrafts - Round Ripple Baby Afghanthat I plan to make and give to older sister Laney. The oldest sister Harleigh received afghan from me last summer. Of course I'll make something else to send along to her so she's not left out. Not sure what yet. I thought about one of those flower shaped pillows I saw online somewhere or I thought about making a flower afghan along the same lines as the pillow, I saw it as a rug but thought it would make a neat afghan now to just remember where I found the pattern and hopefully I've already printed it out or it's possible I have the pattern in a purchased chart somewhere around here.

Four Day Weekends Rock!

My summer work schedule kicked off this week. It's fabulous. I work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.Four day weekends all summer. Am I one lucky chick or what? Life is good, if it can stay this way. After my kids get out of school for the summer my Wednesday shift will be a night shift but I wanted to be home more with the boys so we can do some stuff during the day and they aren't stuck at home whining about how bored they are and how summer sucks and all that stuff.

If all goes well I may have some pics to post this weekend. Not of any finished projects but progress on a few things.

I'm so excited because I see myself having time to work on all my projects for a change and enjoying that time instead of being stressed about how I'm not making any progress no matter how much time I get to stitch. Being rested and able to focus and just get sucked into the rythmn of the needle, the hook, fabric.....ahhh, life's simple pleasures. The best part,my kids don't get out of school for a couple of weeks so Mondays and Fridays are all mine for a little while. What a gift!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The View from the Ranch

Is smokey. How can that be you might ask? How about a fire in the cab of the truck. Yes, it's a neverending tale around here. I brought home towels from work to wash because the owner has been out of town since last week. I tossed out all the ones full of cooking oil, I washed them not once but twice, I constantly checked on them in the dryer, I waited until they were completely cool before removing them from the dryer and placing them in a bucket to take back to work. I put them in the cab of Chuck, my truck, to keep them clean, about two hours later my neighbor knocks on my door and tells me my truck is on fire. I run outside in my so not cool nightgown, the cab of my truck is full of smoke, much like Scooby Doo fog if you know what I mean. I run to the passenger's side and of course I keep that door locked, run around to the driver's side, open the door, grab the bucket and throw it on the driveway, the air of course causes flames to ignite and I have a full blown bonfire in the driveway at 8:00am. Another neighbor runs over with her fire extinguisher, I am turning on the water hose. What a mess! I did every thing right, was so friggin' careful and now I have a nice three inch sized melted hole in my dash under my glove box. I know I'm lucky that was all that happened but damn. I'm so sick of every thing I have to do becoming this huge ordeal. I really can't take too much more. Right now one of the aprons I brought home from work is wrapped around the agitator of my washer. I can't get the agitator off so I'm doing laundry around it for the moment because the one thing I ask my DH to do is get the apron unhung from the washer and does he do it? No. He's tired. Well that's a news flash. I'm tired too, what the hell do I have to do for a little help? My house looks likes one of Saddam's palaces after the bombings. It's not pretty. I'm gradually getting the laundry off the kitchen table because it might be nice to actually be able to sit down and eat for a change. My laundry room is wall to wall laundry, I need to move stuff out of there and give it a good cleaning but everytime I think about it I get overwhelmed, my knees go weak and I just want to cry. I've managed to fill four garbages bags over the last couple of days so that's a good start, but it just keeps piling up and piling up.

I'm taking a page from Flylady's book and trying to just work 15 mins in an area. 15 mins is not that long, and I'm always amazed at what I manage to get done. I just try to keep from looking beyond that area and then overwhelming myself.

My cleaning goals for the weekend are to get the kitchen very, very clean and keeping it that way. I need to reorganize some cabinets and throw out broken appliances and I'm hoping it won't be as big of a job as I'm imagining it to be. I also would like to have the living room company ready all the time. Not easy considering my sewing machine is set up right in front of the window, cross stitch stuff is on the chair, and a basket with an in progress crochet afghan is on the floor. Did I mention the piles and piles of newspapers and magazines, not forgetting the school papers, library books. I can't keep up.

Anyway, I'm keeping the goals small so maybe I'll have some time to stitch, quilt and crochet this weekend. I have a four day weekend and will all summer except when someone might want a day or night off and then I'll gladly help out.

I so need this break and Friday I'm treating myself to EQ5. The money is in my wallet, not spending it on anyone or anything but this software. But the way my luck is going the LQS will sell their only copy of EQ5 before I manage to get there Friday morning. Trust me, it can happen.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday: A Day of Rest

Not! Been very busy here. I've been trying to finish up DS#3's quilt. How many years have I been trying to do this? Well I'm kind of stuck, I don't think I have enough backing fabric so I'm trying to decide, do I just stretch the hell out of the fabric when I'm trying to bind the quilt or do I buy more backing fabric in a different print? I'm opting for the former. I can make it work, really I believe I can. That's where sewing ignorance comes in. What I don't know can't depress me and since I don't really know what the heck I'm doing I can fake it. This isn't a real quilt, it's a hug for my kid you know? It's his throw on the floor, in the yard, snuggle under on the couch blanket. I'm not even going to quilt it, I'm going to cheat and tie it. One way or the other that quilt/blanket, whatever, is going to be finished this weekend.

Today I discovered a new quilt shop. It's the Cotton Loft in Destin. It's fabulous! Why is it fabulous? They have the EQ5 software and the EQ5 Simplified book. It's also $20 cheaper than the price I found for it in a catalog. I'm kicking myself now for not buying it while I was there, but I'm hoping to get back over there this weekend and picking it up. I should have bought it, but it's so pricey and even though I want it pretty bad and have been wanting it for a few years, I had to think about it on the drive home, so I did and decided I have to have it. Unfortunately they close at 6:00 tonight so no chance to get back over there this evening. The fabric selection is the best I've seen in local quilt shops. Uh, there's only one or two, so not really a lot of competition it's just great to see someone opening a speciality shop and knowing what people want. Lots of fabric choices. I'm going to start collecting red, black and white fabrics for DS#2's quilt, those are the colors he requested. I don't really start a quilt with much of a plan. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to start working on his I'll have plenty of red, black and white fabric hoarded away. I have cut out one block on DS#1 Tropical Ohio Star quilt, I need to sew a practice block to see how the colors are going to work together. I decided I need to add a few more colors to his quilt, maybe in shades of colors I'm already using to add some dimension to his quilt. The star points are going to be yellow, the background lime green, so the only area to really play is in the center of the star but I do have another green fabric, a little darker than the lime I'm using for the background and I may mix it up some just to see how it might look. It may be a mistake but if you can't play around with your fabric and blocks where's the fun? I also have a different yellow that I plan to mix with the main one to mix up the points a bit so it doesn't look so planned. I'm going to have to make at least 20 blocks. I want his quilt a little bigger than twin size, but not super huge. Can you tell I'm really faking this whole quilting thing?

What does $75 at the LNS look like?

How about two Victoria Sampler accessory packs and the new issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly. Not a whole heck of a lot let me tell ya! Yeah I know the drill, think of all the hours of needlework enjoyment these purchases will bring me. I get it. Doesn't mean I wish the bag was a tad bit fuller when I pulled out of the parking lot.