Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quilt of the Week - Week 3

I'm so busy these days that I forget to blog! I love that!

Here's the big reveal:

This is a basic "goose in the cabin" layout using a Bali Pop (Cappucino) (have you ever met a batik you didn't like???) and some of my hand dyes. I love to dye fabric - you never know what the results are until it's been washed and ironed. I don't dye often (boy, that sounds weird when read out loud!) but when I do, I'll do 30 or 40 yards - in half-yard pieces.  Once I drag out all the stuff needed for fabric dyeing, I figure I may as well "use it hard" before putting it back away again.  Of course the problem with that is the rinsing, washing, and ironing of all those pieces.  Still .. the results are always worth it!

Here are a couple of close ups: you can see the wonderful mottle-y-ness of the hand dyes. Yum!

See that teeny little stripey inner border? I've used that on a couple of quilts lately and it's soooo effective. The only problem is cutting it. The pattern makes your eyes go crazy! It's one of those fabrics I've had for years and years: I guess it finally aged enough to be used (fabric IS like fine wine, you know! It needs to age!)

Most of the quilts I make are made simply for the joy of making them - no plan for their final place in the Universe. But occasionally one speaks to me while it's being made. This is one of those, and it said it wanted to live in ________'s house - so it shall!  As soon as it gets to its new owner, I'll fill in that blank for you.

Gosh, retirement is awesome!!!!!!!! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

QOTW - Week 2

So much for my efforts to blog every day. Seriously - my life is not all that interesting that there would be daily news! I finished this quilt last week:

I'm just about finished with the blocks for this week's project.  I'm trying to get a few quilts "ahead" so I'll have some in reserve while I travel around the US. I'll definitely be sewing "on the road" but am not so sure I'll be getting in enough sewing time each week to make a quilt, so ...  "spares-r-us" for the next couple of weeks. (Maybe I shouldn't tell you the get-ahead plans and instead let you think I'm a perfect time manager that can sew a quilt a week AND travel 7000 miles.) (well - 7000 miles so far. I keep adding to this up-coming trip; who knows when I'll decide to come home?)

The dudes are still siding. Just one more day of pounding - but not today: there will be rain soon. All the STUFF is off the walls and mantle so it will be nice to put the house back together again once the vibrations of the nail guns have stopped. (I did have a massive book slide in my knitting closet ... whoops.)

So that's all that's going on. Home improvements (much needed, rather than serious add-ons). Sewing. Trip planning (I DO love to drive!) The photo taking sort of fizzled out - I never was much of a presentation-oriented person. The pic above is enough for me to capture the quilt even though it's wonky and weird. One of these days "take better photos" will get to the top of "The List"!

And that's it for me. I hope your days are exciting and eventful, and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wait ... What happened?

Two days of no blogging???  So much for the 2012 goal of blogging every day! Well - it's a goal, not a mandate. Tuesday I fell asleep on the floor while stretching the kinks out of my back. Carpet. Padding. Concrete. Definitely not the most comfortable place to sleep - I must've been awfully tired! Wednesday - I simply forgot I was suppose to blog!  So here I am on Thursday!

So where was I? Oh yes. The top is together, waiting for borders/backing/binding. The house is still being ripped apart at the seams, but is looking good! Nothing like a nail gun going all day to keep you awake!

Yesterday I spent the vast majority of the day planning travel - California/Seattle, and France/Italy. That was fun! I'm going to dive into Rosetta Stone Italian and see if I can converse while we're there. Anybody know anyone I can practice with? If I pick up Italian OK, I'll give French a try.

So I've been listening to music (rather than books) on my walk for the last few days and wow did my time decrease! I went from 2:20 for 7 miles to just under 2 hours!!! I'm amazed! (and happy). I thought I was walking faster, but was shocked to see how much faster. So I went from a 20 minute mile to a 17 minute mile just by changing what I listen to. Lesson learned!

And that's pretty much what I've been up to! Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My House is Naked!!!!

The exterior dudes started today. The windows are all replaced now, and the siding is in various states of disrepair. This is a two week project - I think I'm gonna need some really good headphones! When I walked outside to no fencing and naked house parts - wow - it was quite disorienting! But I'll sure be happy when it's all done. Having to move so much stuff for the siding and windows has let me (more like "forced me to") clean out areas that have been inaccessible for a long time. If I thought my CDs were dusty .......... (I think that counts on my "declutter" calendar for the day/.)

So while the guys worked, I sewed. Here's a sneak peak of this week's project:

I need to learn how to adjust color in photos, because this fabric is very pink! This is a variation of the Cheech and Chong pattern by Lynn Provencher. It's one of my favorite quick quilts (and a quilt a week has to be quick).

I decided I needed to go back and rephotograph "glass", so here are some fun things.

I found this bottle on the beach a number of years ago. It has some Chinese writing, is triangular shaped, and is just a very cool bottle. I keep my olive oil in it now. See the thing that looks like a smiley face on it? .....

Check this out! This is the kaleidoscope option on the standard iPhoto editor.

And here are some fun CamWow options.

Now I'm satisfied with my "glass" prompt.

I got in some reading time today as well. I finally finished "The Litigators", started "The Colorado Kid" (the SyFy series "Haven" is based on this book. I love the series so want to get the background.) I'm still reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" even though I should be starting "Catcher in the Rye". I'll catch up! Also still reading "The Passion of the Western Mind" (philosophy junkie that I am).

And that was my day! Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Still sewing!

Today was as gorgeous as yesterday was grey! My walk this morning passed so quickly that I was surprised to find myself already back at my house. I must've been in the zen-zone!  Today was also the first get-together of our small book group (hopefully it will grow). We read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" last month (OK - some of us read it).  Our focus will be the classics, but that won't be a hard and fast rule. We had good discussion - about all kinds of things! This month we'll read "The Catcher in the Rye".

I did manage to get some sewing time in today - working on this week's quilt. I'm still not at a picture point - maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow ... when the siding gets ripped off the house, the windows get replaced, fencing gets replaced ... not all in one day, but over the course of a couple of weeks. I'm glad the majority of the chaos will be on the outside (except for the window replacement time)! I can sew while  keeping an eye on the work progress. This company seems really dependable - and the owner brought me grapefruit (from his tree) a couple of weeks ago. How awesome was that?

The goals are still progressing. I'm decluttering in the fabric room at the moment. Seems like fabric never stays neat. That's probably a really good thing - it means I've been playing in there, using up bits of my stash. I should take some pics of my stash now, and what it looks like after declutter, and what it looks like at the end of the year after make a quilt a week. Hopefully I'll be able to tell I used some of the stash by the time I've made 52 quilts!!! Oh, and for those of you asking - yes I'm still doing the pound-a-week thing. I've been "stuck" for the last couple of weeks, but have definitely been losing inches - it's almost time for new clothes again! (But I'm trying to wait till late February, just before I leave for California.)

And that's about it for my day. Guess I should get back to posting pictures again soon, huh?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Will I make it?

I gotta write fast to get posted before midnight! Still in my theater clothes as I write. Went to "Wicked" tonight and didn't know it was so long. Yikes! Really good show, though. The Wicked Witch was very teary-eyed during the ovations at the end; how moving!

Fortunately there's not much to write about today because all I did was sew. The whole day.  It was wonderful! It was raining this morning, then kinda gloomy most of the day with occasional bursts of sun - a perfect day to sew and listen to music. I'm replenishing my music supply, keeping iTunes in business for this month! I really HAVE enjoyed listening to my music again.

Nothing else was accomplished today. No decluttering. No pictures. No sketching. Zilch. I stayed with my favorite hobby and enjoyed the heck out of it. And that was my day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday notes - nothing interesting

I'm so tired tonight that I wasn't sure I'd have the energy to write a post! I have been sewing and listening to music all day. There was a really TERRIFIC Sade CD - old - that I found hidden in the dust bunnies the other day when I decluttered there. It is most certainly among the best music of my listening day. The second best was (ready for this?) Englebert. (Humperdink. Remember him?) Funny how some of these old CDs are still just as enjoyable today.

I'm working on another quilt already. No pics till next week though: sneak peeks r-not-us!!

Only 6 days into the new year and I'm already discovering which of my new goals/resolutions are interesting to me and which are going to get tossed. In my Morning Pages I wrote "it's a goal, not a mandate" - remember that, everyone! Tossing goals with no remorse is also one of the good things about getting older. Realizing that there's a whole lot more time behind me than there is ahead of me is very freeing, so when you see me stopping some of my goals you'll know why; not enough time to keep doing  things I'm not passionate about.

I'm still passionate about "gettin' ridda stuff", though. I'm finding myself replacing a lot of the daily tasks on the 'official' declutter calendar with tasks of my own because the task of the day is either already done, or is not applicable to my household. This works! I had already decluttered the kitchen cabinets and have a "donation station", so I've been replacing those kind of tasks. It really does feel great to get rid of stuff that bogs down your brain just because you know it's there.

And I'm incredibly passionate about quilting. I envisioned retirement as follows: wake up "whenever", have coffee while I do my Morning Pages, go downstairs to sew and sew till it's time to go to bed. (Yes, I enjoy it that much!). Reality, of course, is drastically different and I find I have only a few hours to sew on any given day. Of course this is a lot more than I had when I was working, so that's a good thing.

So for another week or so, I'll continue to see if the passionate parts develop as they have this past week, then I'll make some tweaks to my 2012 goals/resolutions list. Life is good!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

OK maybe it's not so bad

I finished the purple top today. I think the borders saved it. It's still got color problems, but it works now and I'm over my angst about it. So ... here's the first quilt-of-the-week for 2012:

I'll work on taking a better pic of it over the weekend, but you get the idea.  Funny thing about this quilt ... the very first seam I sewed was wrong. Maybe that should've told me something. :) But it's behind me now and I can move on to the next thing on the list.

All my Freecycle stuff got takers. It's great to get rid of stuff by giving it to someone else rather than putting it in the landfill. I'm always amazed at what gets passed along in Freecycle: I'm convinced there's only one set of moving/packing boxes in Jacksonville and they just keep getting moved from one person to another. If you've not tried it, is where to go. Then just drill down to your city.

The walk to day was nice and warm. Good ol' Florida - too cold to walk yesterday, and plenty warm today. Ha!

Here's the photo of the day (glass) - in puzzle format just for laughs. Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

That dang quilt is STILL ugly!

The quilt. The purple quilt. The not-very-pretty purple quilt.  The quilt is not turning out well. So "not well", in fact, that I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of today's progress. The top needs 2 more seams for the inside to be done, then I'll add borders. I sure hope that helps! Chances are pretty good that it won't, but here's what I know: it's a good quilt for studying "what went wrong"'s a quilt that will be donated..someone will love this quilt because it's a quilt and will not have angst over the imbalance within it's borders. So the quilt will continue it's journey to completed-quiltdom.

Here's a pic to distract you from the sad purple quilt:

They're still gorgeous, even after all the freezing.

Today's photo prompt was "texture". I tried tiles, towels, and a few other things. I finally settled on the house siding (which is being replaced next week). Taken with my camera this time (not the phone) -

I took a bunch of pics after it got dark. I think I've found a new "thing"! I love the way the pics look with no background distraction. (The lemons made it through the 2 nights of hard-freeze.... yay!)

Decluttering continued today with the CDs. Whoo-wee, there was a pile-o-dust on some of those! While decluttering, I put more of them into iTunes. Eventually I'll have all my CDs copied. It's a hit or miss project - not something that's a high priority to me.

I did blow off the walk this morning - I was too cold! I walk most days and have no angst about the days I decide to skip it. I also got a bunch more stuff listed on Freecycle.  I tried a new recipe I found in  Pinterest - roasted brussels sprouts. They were very yummy!

And that was my day. I will post a pic of the quilt once it has borders.  It is, after all, my quilt-of-the-week for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And running around was done by all .....

Busy day running! Passport stuff. Groceries. Guild. I'm  just making it in under the wire!

The walk this morning was .. ahem ... brisk (isn't that kind?) I couldn't get that 7th mile in - had to turn around at the 3 mile mark. Still - 6 miles is excellent! I'm thinking surely I MUST have burned more fat because it was so cold, right? Right???? Tomorrow morning is suppose to be colder ... yikes.

I didn't get all the big 9-patches done today, but did manage to do 10 (16 total are needed).

 I "unmatched" the fabrics and mixed it up, hoping to spread the drastic purple-love around the quilt. I think I can catch up on the other 6 blocks tomorrow. Boy, that top left block stands out like the inside of your cheek right after you bite it, doesn't it? There's more dark to come, but I dunno .....I'm not liking what I see right now.

The photo prompt today is "lunch". Oops. I should've read the prompt earlier. I ate it. So here's dinner. Ribs for lunch - really I wasn't hungry this evening, so just tossed down these couple of sweeties to get some C for the day.

Same pic with the cherry pop flash (yea, more Hipsta fun)

Everything else is moving right along. A kinda boring day here on the ranch. Hope I didn't put you to sleep!

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gettin' ridda StUFF

Wow, what a day! Stuff flew outta my house like cats running away from a sprinkler! I put a bunch of big items up on Freecycle and they were picked up today. I had other stuff for friends, and delivered all of that. So much room in my house now! (More room for fabric!!!!!) (kidding!)

All the plants had to be covered or brought in - hard freeze in northeast Florida tonight. I have two humongo ponderosa lemons still green and growing, so I covered the tree (bush) well and will hope for the best.

My sewing day consisted of finishing all the small 9-patches for the purple quilt I posted yesterday.

Wowza, the purple is so dark you can hardly tell it's purple! I listened to a bunch of good music while sewing - Lou Rawls, Johnny Mathis, Mariah Carey - old stuff, but great stuff! Before I knew it, all those little 9-patches were done - all 80 of 'em. Sometimes I forget how music can move me. Tomorrow I work on the bigger 9-patches (shown above, unsewn).

The photo prompt for today is "light": here's what I chose. (all taken with the phone).

Looking down at the candle - I think this looks cool!

Plain ol' lens

Plain ol' lens

Hipstamatic Roboto Glimmer Lens
 Hipstamatic Lucifer 6 Lens

I seriously wanted to photograph Luke Skywalker's light saber, but since I'm not consuming - and I don't know anyone with one laying around - I went for this "light" instead. I guess that means I won't be photo'ing Darth Vader for the "dark" prompt, either, but that tells you how my mind works. I also thought of Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter, but don't you think Dumbledore would better represent "light" than would Harry?

I almost - ALMOST- bought a Noro knitting book from Amazon but caught myself before proceeding to check-out. Cheesus, it would've been pretty funny if the un-consumer part of my resolve pooped out after only one day! And seriously, I already have more knitting books than I'll use (of course that has nothing to do with the price of eggs....)

The decluttering calendar is current (and then some, after today!). It's really so easy just doing one small task each day. Who knew? Of course it's been exactly 2 days. By the end of day 3 I may weaken!

Yummy steak for dinner. 6 minutes on the George (Forman Grill - too cold to cook out!). I love good meals that can be prepared fast.

So that was the day for Star Date -311004.87. How was yours?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Number One

Well, I said I wanted to blog every day this year so I better get going!  I did finalize my 2012 goals/resolutions this morning after I finished Morning Pages. Forget the moon - I shot for Jupiter! Go big or go home, right?  The two biggies are (1) to become the un-consumer, which leads to #2 -  make a quilt a week for the year.

OOOOO. EM. GEE!  Did I really just put that out here to the blogosphere????  I did. Now I'm accountable.

I'm also doing a couple of photo challenges (in an effort to improve my photography) and a year-long de-clutter "challenge" (no further explanation needed!). Since I'll be traveling so much this year, I'm doubling up on the de-clutter challenge. It's really kind of awesome - just do a little every day.  (Find the clutter challenge here.)

Today's photo prompt was "street". I took these with my phone on my morning walk (no sunglasses needed this morning! The fog was pea-soup thick!!) Here's the first pic:

And here are a couple more (same view, same time), playing with Hipstamatic lenses.  I have no idea what I'm doing but intend to learn! I like this app so far. Lots of funky stuff to play with.

Here's the start of this weeks' quilt (also taken with the phone). This quilt is very purple!!!!!

I also downloaded the Camwow app - look at this funky stuff!
Here's the "original" (all these following were taken with my Ipad)

And here are just a few of CamWow's effects, still taking the same pic:

I love this sepia one!!!  The app is free; I think I'll pay the $1.99 to get rid of the watermark - it's fun and crazy!

So there's a part of julian date 2012001. Lots of sewing, music listening, and now I'm watching "The Dark Knight" as I blog away. It was a good day - I hope yours was too.

Thanks for stopping by!