Thursday, December 9, 2010

Accomplishments and Nail Biting

I'm feeling rather accomplished today, despite the fact that I have yet to even venture near a sewing machine today. So why do I feel like I'm just about at the top of a mountain?

Well, we've made our first steps towards Christmas decorating around the house. We went to Papa Noel and bought our tree yesterday, a nice fat Fraser Fir which will fit nicely in our house. My brother even seems to have brought out a number of our boxes from the attic. Yay No. 1!

As of right now, I'm also almost entirely done with my Christmas shopping. The only person I still actually need to procure something for is my dad, and as soon as I can get an Amazon search in with my mom that should be all taken care of. Yay No. 2!!

And finally, I got Tiffany's quilt in the mail today! Yay No. 3! This is, however, where the nail biting comes in.
This quilt has a decent number of firsts built into it. It's the first quilt where I bought all the materials involved, the first one I've ever made for someone else (full size that is, I did make a wall hanging for a friend's birthday), and the first one I've ever put in the mail (please don't lose it please don't lose it).
The guy helping me out at the post office asked about how much it would be worth if I needed to insure it and I kind of blanked on how to explain to him how much it can cost to make a quilt. With any luck, the extra couple of bucks I paid for insurance on the package won't be needed.

Here's to hoping the quilt arrives safely in Louisiana. :D

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Macro Monday

Yes, Monday. Despite the fact that I already acknowledged it being the 7th by wishing a friend Happy 21st Birthday, I fully intend to maintain my Monday mindset.

I've been partaking in a break from blogland for the last week, partly due to 'Oh hey, can you work another four hours today? How about tomorrow as well?'  and partly due to simply being tired in general. But I'm all back now and ready to attack Monday.

Or at least sort of. This is pretty much the sum total of the day today.
Post obliged me by falling asleep in a near perfect pose against my leg this afternoon. It's so much easier to get a clear picture of him when he's not scampering about. Fancy that.

We also managed a family trip to the movies today, taking advantage of my day off and mum's canceled workout to introduce my parents to the Alamo Drafthouse and HP7.0. Somehow, I don't think they quite grasped why we, my brother and I that is, like the theater so much. Maybe because they didn't get to see as many awesome shorts beforehand.
My dad almost successfully grasped the plot of the movie, which is quite good for him really, seeing as how he has a terrible memory and hasn't read the books. And anytime a clip featured in the trailer came up in the film my brother leaned over and sang the corresponding lyric from this version of the trailer, sending me into fits of giggles.
Let's just say it's a very good thing we were almost alone in the theater...

In other news, last Thursday our fledgling local quilt guild had a Christmas party in the middle of our meeting. I ended up winning a pretty poinsettia in the day's door prize and Mom and I both came home with nice White Elephant gifts. (Yeah, I kinda chose to 'steal' one of the very presents that we had brought when it was my turn ^_^)

And finally, if you haven't yet checked out the blog over at Let's Bee Together you definitely should! We've got not just one, but two groups of brilliant quilters ready to make beautiful quilts together. Unfortunately, we're a lady or two away from the full number we need, so y'all should definitely check out the group and see if you'd like to join. :D

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And so, we come to the end - NaBloPoMo Day 30

It is now the last day of National Blog Posting Month, and I thought I might semi-cohesively ramble about how I think it went.

I did in fact manage to write a new post every day. Unfortunately for those posts, my day day does not normally end at midnight, meaning a number of them seem to be dated a day later than they technically were in my head. Maybe if I change my timezone to something further west, for Seattle or maybe even Honolulu, it might get almost close to my actual sleep schedule.

xkcd knows exactly how I think.
The success on that point hasn't necessarily translated very well though to others. My highest aspirations for the month would have involved thirty days of interesting, well written posts on both quilting and books, detailing the large amounts of sewing and reading I got done during that time. And then I got a job (which is awesome by the way) that took me away from the sewing machine and my comfy reading chair. I would have liked to be able to show off more things I completed in the last month, but hey, things definitely interfered.

I'm very glad I did this though. And I did enjoy it. I may or may not do it again at some point next year, we'll see, but I definitely am happy to have done it. And in the future?
I love the Macro Monday feature I thought up. To be honest, I had the lightbulb for it that first Monday of the month, thinking it would be an easy way to have a fairly wordless post each week. But really? It's far more an excuse for me to take fun macro pictures of things, mostly of the projects I've been working on, but also just of neato things I see. Super close up pictures are fun!

I think I'm going to write two or three posts a week besides Macro Mondays, depending on what I get done each week and how much time I spend at the bookstore.
Definitely the greatest benefit of this has been me coming to check my bloglist each day. I'm actually on top of things on the internet! Huzzah! And speaking of...

I've joined a virtual bee!! I'm ridiculously excited about it, and am already trying to plan out what I'll send out to the other ladies when it's my month. ^_^

So hooray for Blog Posting Month, and hooray even more for now heading back to my sewing machine and its current project :)

PS> I so very much wanted to title this post "Here, at the end of all things" just to please my LotR obsessed self, but I figured the end of a month straight of blog posting is really not that comparable to the eruption of Mount Doom, so I didn't use it. Oh well

Macro Monday - NaBloPoMo Day 29

 On this week's edition of Macro (it's still) Monday (on the West coast), we're going to take a look at some of the quilty things that filled up my day off and made it a delight.

 A legitimate quarter inch foot. Not just the 'I know the quarter inch is about two millimeters in from the edge' foot I'm accustomed to using, but a real one, with a guide bar and everything. ^_^

String piecing, which not only lets me sew 128 Oriental squares together in a flash, but will keep them nicely organized during pressing.

 Seams that go together perfectly. My Oriental BOM from Shibori Dragon is now halfway blocked. I'm surprisingly decent at keeping up with the block making too. Yay! 

A beloved fabric as it peeks out from a quilt top. I didn't really expect to cut this one up so quickly, or I probably would have bought more than a quarter yard this summer. Every time I spy it in this project I like the fabric more. Yeah, definitely gonna need some more.  

And finally, the project that I'm just not sure how to finish. The tops of these placemats are sewn, but I'm stuck as for how to quilt them. Something kind of French looking maybe? The toile, which is also going to back the set, has a very French countryside feel to it, but I have no idea how that can translate into quilting.

And that's it for this week. Hope y'all are having success in your quilting ventures today :D

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! - NaBloPoMo Day 28

Out of the catalog of American musicals, that song is not actually one I particularly care for, but it does have an appealing turn of phrase to it.

Cause I do love tomorrow. Not in a general way, but rather two specific ones.

1) Tomorrow the store starts its two weeks of employee appreciation, meaning I get to pick out what presents my parents are getting me for Christmas and save money on them. Plus I get to shop for my friends and figure out what I'm going to get for each of them. I have bits and pieces figured out, but not everything yet.

Oh, speaking of gifts for friends, I should probably remind myself to get Tiffy's quilt in the mail. Would probably be helpful if it got to Louisiana before she moves up to New York. Maybe...

2) I have tomorrow off! So I'm going to wake up on the early side of sleeping in, probably do a bit of cleaning at the bottom of the stairs so that we have a place for a Christmas tree, and then shall spend the day sewing away. I might attack my Shibori Dragon BOM, or could get to sewing on Oriental Quilt 1, or could even try to get Molly's quilt top completely finished. We'll see! Either way, it's a day off with no other responsibilities or commitments, one that I can fully enjoy at my sewing machine. ^_^

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Moving On Up - NaBloPoMo Day 27

My mom headed out to the local quilt shop the other day and ended up coming back with a mighty present for herself. As she puts it, this is basically her Christmas, anniversary, and birthday presents for at least a year, if not two. It's comparable to when my dad bought himself a fancy grandfather clock, or when he suddenly decided he needed to spend over a thousand dollars on a small painting he saw in a shop in Arizona.

So what did my mom buy?

A Brother Quattro 6000D Sewing and Embroidery Machine.



This thing needs its own theme song. It's absolutely ridiculous (both in what it has and how much it actually cost *wince*).

She actually bought it a few days ago, but we only just dove into the many packages involved in bringing it home. Technically we only brought out the machine itself and its almost basic accessories, the feet and toolkit. Which have their own little plastic case by the way. We haven't even touched the embroidery accessories or the technology and software that came with it.
She also got a rebate to get a free mini-laptop to use with it. Not joking. An emoticon can't even convey how much this machine makes my eyes goggle. O_O times a thousand.

And the neat part for me in all this?
See that machine in the back there? That's my mom's previous machine, a Brother (insert numbers here, I'm not sure what they are). She bought it when she started quilting and has loved it, heck I've used it quite a bit as well and I love it.
I normally use a machine passed on to me by grandma. It used to be her back up machine, the one she had to work on when she flew from Washington down to Arizona for the winter. She let go of the house there a few years ago and didn't have a need for the second machine anymore, so she gave it to me. It's a Kenmore machine from Sears, purchased no one knows how many years ago, and it does pretty much anything I might need for basic sewing.
Ooo car analogy!
My machine's kind of like your old Plymouth van from the nineties. It takes care of your basic driving needs as long as it has gotten its regular tune-ups, but it can't particularly handle curves or any kind of fancy driving.
"Ooh, a new playtoy!" says the cat
My mom's previous machine is a BMW. It's fancy, gorgeous to look at, pretty dang nice in every way. Does everything you might want your regular car to do. It's the car she sometimes lets me borrow for special occasions, as long as I make sure not to get any nicks on it.

And this thing? This is a Porsche, a Lamborghini, and a Ferrari all rolled into one. It's the supercar of your dreams, the one that deserves to be driven through Monte Carlo and along the Autobahn, the one you never thought you might actually be able to drive. And now we have one. Squee!!

Right, the point!
So, now that my mom has a super shiny new machine to use, I'm going to be getting to use her lovely Quilter's Choice machine. I'm moving up from the Plymouth and will be using the BMW on a regular basis. Yay! *fireworks*

Hand me downs RULE! ^_^

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's November?? - NaBloPoMo Day 26

That's pretty much what the weather has been saying this entire month, at least up until during the wee hours of last night. Suddenly, the weather in South Texas actually feels like the right time of year.

And now that it's the end of November, it's just about the right time for all the shiny Christmas bits to come out of hiding.
Well, except for my mom's Rudolph figurines. Those are a year round feature in our curio cabinet. BUT! My ornaments get to come out. I can actually hang up the wall hanging my grandma made me. We can start to lay out the music boxes, the random fake poinsettias, and most importantly in my opinion, my nutcrackers. I'm so excited about getting to put them out!

Oh wait. I might want to clean up bits of the house that I've made a mess in, seeing as how those are places where pine trees and presents are supposed to go. Oops. :D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving America! - NaBloPoMo Day 25

I've seen quite a few bloggers out there listing the things they're thankful this Thanksgiving, and frankly I see no reason not to follow the trend. Here goes.

Above all else, I'm thankful for my family.
For the love and support they give me on a daily basis. For all the money they spent to put me through college. For the shared interests that bring us together as the years go by. For the way my dad has taken complete care of me for years and my mom's support in helping him see that I'm not a little girl anymore. For my mom's generosity, buying fabric for me even now that I have money of my own to spend. For my brother's willingness to geek out with his little sister.
For the continuing health of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I'm thankful for my friends, the old ones, the new ones, the ones that I still have no idea how we got to be so close but wouldn't give up for anything.

I'm thankful for the internet, for helping me link up with geeks, book lovers, and quilters all over the world. And for keeping me informed of the world around me.

I'm thankful for having a job. And then there's another level of thankful for that job being one that allows me to spend hours a day surrounded by books. And another for shifts in the evening, letting me enjoy sleeping in on an almost daily basis.

I'm thankful for college, and for it being over. I loved the three and a half years at UT and the semester in Scotland. I loved every football game, every basketball game, almost every rehearsal with the Longhorn Band. I loved being able to learn new things on a daily basis, something I hope will continue even now that I have my degree.

And then the abstracts! I'm thankful for creativity, for the kindness of strangers, for the sense of wonder that I hope to never lose.
For tiny shinies and waking up with a cat snuggled against my legs.

Finally, I'm thankful to be alive. Sure, there are bad things about the world today, but I really do think they are overshadowed by the amazing thing that is this planet we live on. Basically, boom de yada boom de yada.

The world is just awesome.

Oncoming Food Coma - NaBloPoMo Day 24

Yes, day 24. Because this is really the first time today I've sat at the computer and therefore I still mostly consider it the 24th of November.

Today I went up to Austin! I met up with a couple of my friends at their grocery store, took advantage of their kitchen to put together a salad, and made them a delightful batch of fudge in thanks. And according to multiple sources, it was an especially delightful bit of fudge. :D Then I went to the third annual TUBA!Giving, which was a rousing success.
A couple of years ago the UT vs. A&M game got moved back a day to Thanksgiving day, meaning people in the band didn't get to have any turkey with their families. But the sections in Longhorn Band are like their own little families, so we decided to have a potluck turkey meal the day before the game for the TUBA!s and NTF's (Non TUBA! Friends). Tonight was our third one in a row and if I may say so myself it was a rousing success. :)

Now to sleep, and get ready for another day of cooking and food.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost But Not Quite - NaBloPoMo Day 23

As in, today I almost had an entire day off, but not quite, since I will be going in after dinner for a five-ish hour shift. And then two full days off, one of which I will spend up in Austin, before the craziness that is likely going to be Friday.

And I even managed to do something productive today! Something completely unrelated to quilting, or even to books. Amazing!
However, because I am hoping for a look of astonishment on my dad's face when he attempts to nag me about it in the coming week, he will not be informed that I already took care of getting my car inspected. He's only going to find out if he goes out to my car to get a look at the sticker, which I find highly unlikely.

All in all, I think the day so far can be pretty accurately summarized by this. ^_^

Monday, November 22, 2010

Macro Monday - NaBloPoMo Day 22

Life lately has been chock full of books. Not so much getting to read books (unfortunately) but still pretty dang full. Oh look! We have a theme!


Have a shiny day of books and quilting y'all! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Knock Knock - Your Strippers Have Arrived! - NaBloPoMo Day 21

There's a threesome of ladies in our strip club who always announce their presence with this phrase. Not that my mum and I hear it that often, since we're usually some of the last to arrive at the store on a given Strip Club day.

The third Saturday of every month, one of our favorite semi-local quilt shops hosts a Strip Club day. Jeanne, the owner of the shop, puts together a collection of fabrics and cuts them into a jelly roll for each of the ladies who signs up. Before we collectively Ooo and Aaah over the pattern for a particular month, we have a group show and tell of the projects we've all been working on.
This month, our show and tell turned out a lot more interesting than often happens. A much smaller fraction of the ladies decided to make last month's Dear Jane quilt, partially because of the reproduction fabrics themselves and partially because of the pattern Jeanne had picked out. Two ladies besides Jeanne made the intended quilt, one with a neat, fairly busy background fabric and the other with a lovely piano keys border. Two further used the Dear Jane roll with patterns from previous months and another two used the intended pattern but made their quilts with bright, colorful jelly rolls that completely changed the effect of the pattern. I would show y'all pictures, but then again I'm a silly person who forgets to actually take any.

I will however show y'all pictures of our completed strip quilts at some point in the future. ^_^

Saturday, November 20, 2010

*noise of exhaustion*

I'm too tired to blog right now. The combination of strip club this morning and an unexpected extra four hours at the bookstore has me just about ready to collapse. Tomorrow we can talk about the early morning strippers in Castroville, but right now the only thought my mind can really handle is blleeeeeeeeerrrrrgh.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Fresh Start - NaBloPoMo Day 19

That was all I needed to go from being completely annoyed with the design wall to in love with it all over again.
I went back to the wall this afternoon and decided to rebuild my layout from a completely different point. Thanks to my lovely little digital camera and the pictures taken to get perspective on my layout, the rebuilding really didn't take much effort (yay!). The main chunk of that particular quilt is all set up now and I'm just waiting for mum's soaps to finish so I can get her opinion before taking it to the machine.

And I still have over three hours before I go in to work today! Whee!

In other news, Harry Potter 7.0 (the mathematically correct decimal representation for this one) was surprisingly good. As with any adaptation movie I have some small quibbles, but I really think this was a pretty dang good movie, and definitely the best Harry Potter movie in years. Plus, we were at a local Alamo Drafthouse, meaning we had a lovely selection of HP themed cartoons and shorts to watch before the film, including Potter Puppet Pals and this fantastically awesome version of the HP7 trailer.

Also, Retro Mummy is having a lovely little giveaway of Sweet Broderie fat quarters. If you happen by here, you might as well click the link and deliberately happen by there. ^_^

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Setbacks - NaBloPoMo Day 18

Well, the shiny happy day off has so far turned out slightly less than shiny, at least as far as my creative attempts go. My nerd t-shirt upscale is looking like a failed experiment (two failed trials actually) and my attempts to play on the design wall were effectively derailed by the actions of one small four-legged feline.


Oh well. I'm gonna go get all clean and snazzy for midnight and then have another go at the design wall. At least my fabrics are all still pretty!

And that kitten is still adorable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bookstore Overload - NaBloPoMo Day 17

Well, I had intended to be able to post tonight either about playing around on our design wall or the experiment I'm going to undertake with my It Came Out of Nowhere shirt (which will not include making it bigger on the inside), but then someone called in sick and my bosses asked me to stay on a few extra hours to cover. Meaning I didn't actually get home until after 10:30 and have been too dead on my feet to do much more than eat some ice cream.


Tomorrow is my lovely day off, which will not change no matter who calls, and I won't be going in again until Friday evening. Which is perfect, because there's a lovely little event happening right smack dab in the middle of my time off of work. Do you know what it is?

I would totally credit this if I knew who it was from.
That's right! A midnight screening of Harry Potter!
Of the second to last HP movie ever!
Which will be a much better adaptation of the book than the previous movie! And which will not have me leaving the theater absolutely steamed about the way the production has handled important parts of the plot! It won't do that, because it shall be awesome.
Or else I'll definitely have something to say about it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Design Wall Experiments - NaBloPoMo Day 16

We all have our favorite part of the quilting process. Picking the fabric, cutting it up, making our blocks, arranging the blocks, sewing on borders, or quilting it all together, but there is only one part of that process that brings together everyone in my house.
Yes, even the non-quilting boys, and that's playtime on the design wall.

Our particular setup is less of the wall, more of the almost freestanding bit of fabric on a frame that the younger cats love to play around. It leans against our perpetually unused fireplace in various states of togetherness, surrounded by chairs and the remains of previously planned out projects. I think currently there's the unused block from my Yellow Brick Road and some of Mom's computer design experiment printouts.

So say I'm laying out a quilt on the wall. Sometimes it's an individual process, but more often, on both my quilts and my mom's, it's a group endeavor. Mom and I take turns moving blocks, experimenting with their positions and changing the whole thing round at least twice, if not more.
Then Dad wanders over on a break from poem writing and makes a comment about a particular chunk. While we're trying to figure out exactly what it is he's trying to say, Post or Mira decide to just go ahead and start changing the bottom row of the quilt. And my brother...
Well, my brother has to be asked for his opinion most of the time, but when the recipient is one of his friends he is willing to get up from his computer and give it.

Maybe it's the experimental part of it. The chance to find new and different combinations, simply by rotating a few little blocks. All the pictures in today's post are close ups of some of my less than successful experiments, the ones that I got a condensed view of on my camera and ended up not liking so much. Pretty, but not right and interesting, but still slightly off.
I wonder what results I'll get in my next design wall experiment. ^_^

Monday, November 15, 2010

Macro Monday - NaBloPoMo Day 15

Today's Macro Monday features the bits and pieces of my two in-progress Asian quilts. Both are ready to be plotted out on the design wall, waiting only for me to find a free afternoon.    Which will hopefully be tomorrow after I get off of work. :D


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Everyone's getting books! - NaBloPoMo Day 14

Unless I actually make and finish the wall hanging that's in my head for Suzie Q's apartment, every single person I might possibly give a Christmas present to will be getting a book. Possibly a movie, but a book or book related item is the far more likely gift. And why is this?

Because the bookstore loves its employees. That's right, they love us. And they want to give us the opportunity to save our money.
Or maybe they just want the opportunity for even more money - if they give us a nice, fat discount for Christmas, we're all likely to buy more of our gifts at the store, therefore bringing in money that would otherwise have gone elsewhere. So that discount might actually be business motivated.


Nah. They just love us. ^_^

Saturday, November 13, 2010

GAMEDAY!!! - NaBloPomo Day 13



Football day.

That's pretty much all there is to say. ^_^

PS> The \m/ is a fantastic little text symbol for the Texas hand gesture. Hook 'em Horns!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fabric Friday! - NaBloPoMo Day 12

Well I've been trying to find a picture of this fabric online so I could share my glee with you, but apparently it's been out in the world long enough to no longer anywhere to be found on the internet.

Anyway, glee! Our most local LQS added a discount on end of the bolt yardage, meaning I was finally able to let myself buy this gorgeous teal, purple, and gold Oriental floral that I've been eying probably about as long as I've even been going to that store. So for about three years. No doubt I will have pictures of it to show at some point in the future, but right now we just have my glee over its purchase.

Not to mention the fact that I found fantastic sashing and border fabrics for my Oriental Turning 20. Both of my Oriental quilts are ready to be laid out on the design wall! Yay!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day of wha... - NaBloPoMo Day 11

So not much happened today. At all. There was some sleeping, some rather unsuccessful shopping for work shoes, and then a few hours of running around at work, but no chance to do anything I'd enjoy writing about.


Let's just end this with some cuteness eh? 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Hundred and Twenty - NaBloPoMo Day 10

Different fabrics, that is. I've gotten everything cut, counted through them again, and as of right now, I'm pretty sure that's how many different Oriental fabrics are going into the quilt I'm starting for my cousin Katheryn.
It's this quilt here, Japanese Yen, from one of the books we picked up on our shop hopping over the summer.
It will be getting a better name, one that's not entirely redundant (no one else uses yen, silly book author), but the part about this particular quilt that currently amuses me is definitely the number of fabrics used in it.

The entire book is about making quilts from scraps of varying sizes, but in all honesty, I really don't have anywhere near that many scraps yet. So instead I went to my collection of Oriental fabrics, made mostly out of fat quarters, and cut a piece from almost every one.

Yep, almost. Hence my amusement. I cut from 120 different fabrics, and still have more that I didn't even touch for this project. Granted, a lot of them are quite close to being solids, and therefore wouldn't work as well in this quilt, but they're still gorgeous bits of cotton that I can't wait to use in other projects.

Time to get to half-square-triangle-ing so I can get things up on the design wall. ^_^

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Last Page - NaBloPoMo Day 9

Some people use their days off to do chores around the house, or maybe to run errands across town, but me? I chose to finish a book.

Technically I chose to finish two. =)
When I woke up, I stayed in bed and finished the Mercedes Lackey book I've been reading before going to sleep. I've read it before, which is what makes it perfect for night-time reading, but I could have sworn that it had a different ending.

Then I came downstairs and finished the book I have on loan from the store - Rick Riordan's newest The Lost Hero. And man, that was definitely a good read.
The Percy Jackson series put a smile on my face, first for its own storyline and second for the wonderful way it played with and utilized Greek mythology. It's a series that makes my inner Classics nerd smile. And this new book?
Even better. It not only answered one of the lingering questions I had from the first series (of 'Umm, where's the Roman mythology in all of this?'), it took that question and turned it into the focal point for an entire new series of books. It's a fabulous book in its own right, and the moment I read that last line, I wanted to dive into the next one.

Which won't be out till next fall. Boo.

But see, that's one of the differences between a good book and one that's just okay. The Mercedes Lackey book is kind of part of a series, but only kind of. Those other books establish a universe that's interesting, that makes you want to read the books again and again. This one takes place in that universe, but it doesn't take advantage of it, and in the end it just fizzles.

The Riordan book on the other hand? Makes me want to reread the entire first series, AND the Egyptian series he started last spring. It makes me want to go paw through my mythology books, relearning the myths used in the series. It makes me want to spend as much time in that world as possible, which to me is one of the hallmarks of a truly good book. ^_^

Monday, November 8, 2010

Macro Monday - NaBloPoMo Day 8

Today I'm going to start a new feature, which I'll try to stick to even after I finish this month's posting extravaganza - Macro Monday! Featuring entirely macro photos, nice lovely large close up photos. Today's selection is coming entirely from my own camera, although the subject matter varies across the spectrum.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Long Days of Books - NaBloPoMo Day 7

I want to quilt today, I really do. But I spent nine hours on my feet both today and yesterday and somehow, I just don't think it's gonna happen. Tomorrow though, tomorrow I don't work until late in the day, meaning I can spend a fairly long period of time quilting to my heart's content.

In the meantime, there's a new GO! Giveaway on the horizon. Linda over at Lavender Ridge is giving away one of these fabulous cutters and three dies to use with it. If anyone happening by here would like the chance to win one, head over to her blog sometime before November 10th. Good luck to us all!

And now, I'm going to thoroughly enjoy being off my feet for a good, long, enjoyable period of time. ^_^

Paychecks and Peaks - NaBloPoMo Day 6

There's a certain magic about being officially employed. It's not about the nametag (although mine is nifty), it's not about the benefits (although that loan program is ridiculously sweet), it's about a little thing known as a paycheck.
And now I have one!
*happy dance of the employed* ^_^

In other news, here's a little sneak peek of a project I'm working on right now.

PS> This very much counts as my Friday post because hey, this is the first time I've been on the computer the entire day. Yeah, it was a long day. Also, Daylight Savings Time basically makes it technically before midnight. Woo!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fabric Buying - NaBloPoMo Day 5

We had good intentions today, especially in regards to the buying of fabric, but our intentions stopped meaning anything pretty much the moment we walked into the quilting store this morning.

A new area guild, one that we're kind of even members of, had a little quilt show of their own in Castroville today - their "We're Not in Houston" show. It was adorable, with about 45 really delightful quilts of all sizes and tasty cookies. And to help draw people in to the show, the store was also having an end of the bolt sale. Opportunity calling my name!

 The plan was to look at the quilts and then see if there was a pale gold/cream fabric that would work for both the Oriental quilt I'm starting and the sale. Well, as I was realizing there wasn't one, Mom started picking out end-of-bolt blenders.

And then she found a pale green. And a periwinkle. And an orange. And a-oh honey, you might as well see if any of their Orientals are nearing the end while I go check out the purple.

Needless to say, we didn't exactly make it out of their in a timely, and cheap, fashion. ^_^

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fabric Love

Well, I'm cutting it a bit short for NaBloPoMo today, but it's been a very non-computer day up until about an hour ago, with some fabulous reading and a visit from a friend. But now that the busyness has wound down, I can get back to my love affair with Oriental fabrics.

I started cutting into some of my fat quarters the other day, distracting myself from book impatience by playing with things I love. But there was a problem for me. I love my Oriental fabrics so much that it's very difficult to start cutting into them. As in I'd almost rather just hoard them indefinitely (which would be a very bad idea, heh).

And then I found a solution - my fabulous little digital camera!

So here are some of my gorgeous Oriental fabrics, soon to be featured in a sashed Turning Twenty quilt, which I will start, just as soon as I find the right pale creamy gold to sash them all with.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Day Montage - NaBloPoMo Day 3

Today has been a great day. Probably a fantastic day.

The only problem is that I don't have a song for my montage! Which sounds silly, and probably more than a little bit weird. Let's follow the thought process here to show that my logic is mostly like our normal Earth logic.

In one of the least beloved episodes of the new Doctor Who, there's a portion where that episode's main character has a good day montage. Well, it's really more like a good series of days montage, but the point is that it's set to music. It's set to this one really catchy song that is currently stuck in my head, but that I also completely don't know.
Here's the kicker. That song also gets confused with a happy day song from an episode of CSI. The trace tech Hodges has an especially lucky day, tries to use his luck to help Grissom analyze clues left by a killer, and then has a great montage when he explains his reasoning to one of the other characters.

So now I need a happy day song for my montage. This montage will go over today's high points
- getting to wear my new trousers to work
- The Shepherd's Tale coming out at the comic book store
- getting to work the information desk
- seeing my name on the bulletin board as last week's mvp of membership sales
- being complimented on my good bookseller potential
- getting to check out a copy of Towers of Midnight, so I can read it now without having to wait for my brother
- picking up dinner from one of my favorite Italian restaurants
- and continuing to work with my pretty pretty Asian fabrics.

Yup. It's been a good day ^_^

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's finally here! - NaBloPoMo Day 2

Today is the day I've been waiting for. The one I've been looking forward to for at least a year now. Really for longer, since we're getting close to the point we've all been waiting for ever since this whole journey began.

That's right! My book came out today!
Wait, what? A book? This isn't about a quilt? No, today we're taking a break from quilt talk to highlight a book that has sent me into literary jubilation.

Or, I suppose that will send me into jubilation once I get to actually read it.

This is Towers of Midnight, the thirteenth book in the Wheel of Time series by the now deceased Robert Jordan. Yeah, he's dead. And still being published to boot.

Or at least kind of. See, Robert Jordan died three years ago, after battling cancer for a long time, and with only one book left to go in his epic series. One very long, very involved, and very dramatic book that was already planned out in detailed notes and probably about half written.

Luckily for the thousands of fans around the world, his wife and editor decided to get in touch with an up and coming epic fantasy author named Brandon Sanderson in order to ask him to finish the series. He said yes, broke the one enormous volume into three books comparable in size to the rest of the series (ya know, only about 800 pages each) and got to work.

The first of these final volumes, The Gathering Storm, came out last year and was amazing. In a series of over 11,000 pages, lag is pretty much inevitable. There's going to be a few slow bits. There was a good chunk in the second half of the series that kind of fizzled, lacking the punch of the earlier novels. But an explosive event at the end of the 9th book got the train rolling again, and it's been widely acknowledged that with last year's Gathering Storm the series once again reached its highest peaks.

But today is even better, because the majority of Towers of Midnight revolves around one of my favorite characters and his quest to rescue a character we've all thought dead since the fifth book. She's not dead! Nope, in fact Mat (the character I really like) and Thom (a minstrel made out of bad-assery and song) are going to go save Moiraine and make sure she's there to keep main character Rand from destroying the world in the next book. Not to mention the fact that Perrin, the third of the main male characters and the one who I've thought has been a sappy git for the last few books, is going to return to the days when he was awesome with wolf powers. And Loial gets to-yeah, I should probably stop before I start writing an essay about the reasons I'm excited for this book.

The only problem is, I have to wait. Not because the bookstore didn't have it or anything like that, but because my brother has to read our copy first and he's kind of a slow reader. He actually bought our copy, so he gets first reading rights. Just like with the Harry Potter books, except opposite since those are all mine and everyone else had to wait to read them after I did.

Oh, if only my brother read with the same kind of speed I do! But, until he's done, I'll just be sitting here, bouncing in anticipation, occasionally shooting the book longing glances. Oh to have money to spare on a second copy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

What's the Japanese word for ladder? - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival
Welcome internet travelers! I hope you're enjoying this online quilt festival, organized by the fabulous Amy of Amy's Creative Side. I'm ridiculously new to the online quilting community, but I thought I'd introduce myself with a quilt I recently made for a friend of mine.

Blame it on my grandma. Not just this quilt, the whole thing really. The story of how she got me hooked on fabric is one for another time, but the story of this quilt starts with her, and with boredom.

We go up to Washington a lot for special occasions, but once my cousin's wedding festivities were over this past May, my mom and I decided to stay with my grandma for an extended visit and sent the boys home to get a bit of work done. Unfortunately, after a few days of staying at her home doing nothing, I got bored. Very bored.
My marker-ed plan
 So I started planning. I copied classic patterns out of my grandma's books, I confiscated her graph paper and some markers, and I planned. Mostly I thought about a very in-depth project for another time, but I also started thinking about a Jacob's Ladder for my former roommate Tiffany, who's getting ready to move to New York and pursue a theater career.

Oddly enough, without even trying to make it so, the (mostly Oriental) fabrics I ended up picking out for the quilt match my markered plan almost perfectly.  Weird.

I put the quilt together once I got back to Texas, first at home in between trips to Austin, and then in Austin, in between trips home. It's been sitting at the front of the house for a couple of months, waiting to have its picture taken, but it's just about time to send it off now.

I absolutely love these fabrics - a pale yellow ridiculously small check, a blue/green bamboo, a purple wood grain, and the fabulous red Oriental from which all the other colors were derived. Plus, I was able to find the same print in a different color wave for the back!

I hope y'all are enjoying the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and I hope you come back to visit some time in the future. Happy quilting!

PS> If any of you have helpful tips for getting color spots out of a quilt, I would dearly appreciate the advice. Despite the fact that I pre-washed all my fabrics, when I went to wash the completed quilt, hoping to get as much cat hair out of it as possible, I ended up with blue/green/purple spots on a fair portion of the quilt. Help please!

> NaBloPoMo Day 1 Complete :D