Friday, December 30, 2005

Ta Da!

Ok, I am here to unveil the top of the quilt. Ahem. The top sans border. I even have a picture to grace you with. I'm not sure I'm crazy about the mauve combo (it looked much less pinky in the store) but overall I enjoy the effect.

Patriotic colors

Quilt Progress: Very little. I got one more strip done. It’s the longest strip though so the work is all downhill from here. I was determined to get it done last night, but fate intervened. I accidentally sewed one seam so crooked there was no way I could fudge it. That was torn out and resewn. That took a big bite out of my time allotted. Then half way through sewing the new strip on, my bobbin ran out of thread. I bought extra bobbins not too long ago so I wouldn’t have to deal with the inconvenience of refilling the bobbin so often, but I hadn’t filled any up and I didn’t feel like going to get the new bobbins from the closet so that I could fill up a few extra. I do have a cold, you know. Give me a break.

But I’m determined to finish it tonight. I will prevail.

I know. You’ve heard that before.

In other news: I’m reading a fabulous book that my best friend gave me for Christmas. It’s about the history of quilting and how it helped to shape female America and such. I think it is called Hearts to Hands, and is a very interesting read. I haven’t finished it yet but I now feel I should be putting some subtle political statement in The Girl’s quilt. Maybe I’ll add something about the war in Iraq. (Which, by the way, I do not support.) Well, I should revise that statement. I am fully supportive of the men and women of this country who are serving their patriotic duty and doing what they are told to do in Iraq. I do not support our commander-in-chief, who seems to think that his lies are fooling the American people.

Ok. So his lies are fooling the [majority of voting] American people. He did get re-elected, didn’t he?

I fail to see how our previous president was almost impeached on the basis of a lie about two consenting adults having a sexual rendezvous while this president gets off scot-free when his lies send (literally) thousands of innocent Americans to their deaths. And maybe the war was justified. I mean, come on. Commander-man keeps his cards close to his chest. I’m sure there was a really good reason for it. Right? Please? I hope so?

Naturally democratic rule in an oppressed country would be a really fabulous result. I often hope that this is the nugget of truth that the WMD façade so loosely covers. Americans would never support a war that was simply to free people from tyranny. No! We’re freakin’ AMERICANS, man! If we could stand up and throw off the shackles of our suppressor, then anyone can! Get over it, you wimpy Iraqis! Uh, Never mind that our suppressor was across an ocean, and WMD’s weren’t lurking in mobile trailers.

[Ahem. It is not my opinion that Iraqis are wimpy. I was stating what I consider to be a traditional American attitude. The ‘Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ mentality, if you will.]

Unfortunately I seriously doubt that anything other than money was behind the war in Iraq. But if they could throw out some tyranny, too, I think maybe I could manage not to condemn Commander-man to a lifetime in my Bastard-Book. He might get off with just a decade or two.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


In a fit of usefulness, I managed to start sewing the quilt top blocks together last night. The blocks get sewn into seven rows and then the rows get sewn together. I have three rows sewn together into one cohesive unit. And, even though I am biased, I think it looks pretty darn good. Oh I know there are flaws in it. It’s certainly not perfect. But I like the way it looks. I took pictures but haven’t downloaded them. Eventually I’ll post some.

So. I have 19 more seams to sew. Then I can get started on the border. The border is made up of stripes, which I don’t expect to be a big deal, and four blocks that are different from the blocks in the middle of the top but use the same fabrics. I hope those blocks don’t take long. I suspect though that they are going to be a little bit of a hassle.

In other news, when you hear people say not to use water to put a contact lens in, listen. It’s not good mojo. This morning my contact lens was bothering me and I went to the restroom to remove it and put it back in. I didn’t have any solution so I used water. It seemed like the lens lost its shape. I kept putting it on my finger to stick it back in my eye and thinking it was upside down. Eventually I figured it was my imagination, then stuck it back in. Two points:

1) This was extremely painful
2) The lens immediately traveled off my iris into unknown regions.

After about half an hour of trying to fish it out while feeling like I had a giant needle jabbing me in the eye and not being able to see, I called the eye doctor. So I wasted two whole hours of comp time getting my contact taken out by a professional and going to get my glasses so I could come back to work and be productive. That’s dedication.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

And the craft of choice is...?

My aunt gave me a Crochet pattern-a-day calendar for Christmas. I have already gone through all 365 days of the calendar and put aside several projects I’d like to do.

And my mother-in-law asked me to make truffles for a cousin’s wedding shower in March. So I’ll have to practice making them, and probably figure out some way to package the truffles as a tasteful favor.

It is not looking good for The Quilt. Maybe tonight I’ll be able to sew a few rows of the top together. So far I haven’t even touched doing that. I suppose the long weekend could help me out, but I’ll definitely miss my goal.


But maybe the actual quilting of the quilt will be faster than I expect it to be. Maybe it won’t take six months to do. Maybe I’m dreaming altogether.

Oh, and the other day I was thinking of trying to make a dress and matching vest for the cousin’s wedding for The Girl & The Boy. I did enjoy making The Girl her baptism dress. It was quite simple: traditional length, with five single pleats in the front under the bodice, a Peter Pan collar with a simple lace edge, short sleeves with a gentle pouf & elastic arm openings, and a little bit of lace around the edges of the sleeves…very nice, really. At least until the very end, when I was ironing it to prepare for sewing the button holes in the back. It melted. No kidding. A big giant hole, right there in the back. I cut out the burnt area and sewed in a patch, but it wasn’t the same. It didn’t hang right in the back after that. Good thing all the pictures are of her front.

FYI - I am on a mission to lose excess flab before our trip to Disney later this winter. So I am happy to report two things: 1) I jogged some this morning, though admittedly not my usual route; and 2) I managed to resist some yummy-looking cookies some other weight-desperate soul left in the common area at work. Ok, I didn’t totally resist. I told myself I could go back in an hour and if there were any left I could have one. Let fate do the dirty work for me, you know? Anyways, it worked. They were gone.

So I’m now sitting at my desk, lunching on my drinkable soup cup (which I don’t drink – I use a spoon. How fun is it to drink your lunch?) and thinking on all the crafts I wish I had time to do. I should just quit my job and become Martha Stewart. Except for the convicted felon part.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Potty break

I am going to take this opportunity to vent on the total lack of manners people display in a public toilet, specifically the toilet everyone uses at work.

Ok, so you gotta go. That's ok. Everyone does it. Go ahead, go to the bathroom. It's all good. Well, not really. What is good is going in the bathroom, using it, cleaning up after yourself (and I don't mean mopping the floor and scrubbing the sinks--I mean, don't freakin PEE on the toilet and leave it there, or POOP and "forget" to flush,) washing your hands (WITH SOAP) and going on your merry way.

For some reason, I work in a place where people seem to think that going to the bathroom is just like standing in line in the cafeteria. Sure, I want to converse with you while my pants are down and I eject bodily waste. I barely know your last name, so why the heck not?

Yeah. So obviously I don't like it when people converse with you while you are going to the bathroom. You know why? It's because what you do in the privacy of your stall is just that. Private.

And while we're on the subject of private: I especially hate it when you are alone in the bathroom, and someone else comes in. There are eight stalls. Guess which one they pick? Yeah. The one right next to you. As if you need kinship. I am always tempted to ask them to move to a more private stall. Or barf on the floor so that it splashes on their shoes. That is, if I had to barf. I won't force myself to barf just to make a point.

I have principles, you know.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Approaching the goal...

I finished the last appliquéd block! I don’t have to work tomorrow so maybe I can begin sewing the blocks together. Hurrah!!!

Kitchen update

Oh, and we finished the kitchen. It looks FABULOUS. Thanks to The Husband. Kiss kiss.

I'll post a picture on some other less hectic day.

Merry Christmas!!!

I think I am going through withdrawal. I haven't had the chance to post in two or three days and even though I am supposed to be napping before the big family extravaganza (which thankfully is not at my house) I am called to my pc by the siren song of blogging.

Anyways. Merry Christmas to everyone, or happy holidays if you aren't in to that. The Boy was quite excited to see that Santa was here, though disappointed that Santa wasn't still here this morning. I guess maybe we weren't thorough enough in our explanation of Santa's visit. At least this year we could use the old "Santa's watching!" phrase when he was misbehaving.

The Girl was also quite excited to get gifts, though I think she only opened one and that took a lot of coaxing. Eventually I opened them all up for her. She adored her new baby doll and was happily strolling her around the house in the baby stroller. She also fed the baby from some tea set dishes that her Godfather got her.

The Husband and I exchanged small stocking gifts. This is because we decided to get each other a new dining room floor. Our old floor used to be carpeted, but we knew there was hardwood underneath. In a frenzy of home improvement one day about six months ago we tore up the carpet and revealed hardwood floors that have seen better days. We could of course get it refinished or refinish it ourselves, but we question how good it will look with the hundred or so nails that the previous owner drove into it. Ack. So this way we get a wood look, get to pick our own color, can do it ourselves, and all for a cost we can handle. We (ahem, The Husband) did it already in the kitchen so we know what we're in for.

So. I hope everyone out there is having a beautiful, peaceful, loving Christmas. God bless us, everyone.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Brush with er, greatness

Yesterday I had lunch with the president of my company.


A coworker and I had just come from a roundtable meeting in which he [The Prez] comes down from his mountaintop in Kansas City to make a token appearance to us peons. During the meeting he basically told us that we should stop whining about stuff like our dress code and how many vacation days we get and just get stuff done. He thinks we should be throwing off the mantel of paperwork thrust upon us by our management because “we shouldn’t just do stupid stuff because we’re told to” and that we should show a backbone to our customers.


Here is someone who is totally out of touch with his organization. Someone who says he cares about us in one breath and dismisses our concerns in the next, and who apparently doesn’t have to deal with a management structure that is constantly pointing the blame to some other nameless and faceless entity.

So anyway, he sits down with the coworker and me. And he turns to me and says I was quiet during the roundtable, and asks if I’m shy. It happens that I am shy around new people, but I simply told him that I’d asked my question during his inaugural visit some months ago. Really? He says. What was your question?

Eek. My question was about what he intended to do about our low morale.

So I simply say, I asked the morale question. Oh, he says. So has it improved? This is where I sort of laugh and shrug, and The Prez looks to the other peon and he also makes helpless gestures. Ahh, says the astute Prez. So it hasn’t improved.

I point out to The Prez that it is hard for an organization to be taken over by another one and for all to go on its merry way. He nods. My VP has also seated himself with us and he chimes in to say the culture is very different.

Thankfully the other peon gives some specific examples to The Prez while I gnaw on my cold leftover eggroll and hope I don’t spray anyone with spittle. I corroborate one example and The Prez seems both annoyed and interested overall, though he offers no real solutions to the morale problem. The subject finally turns to The Prez’s family, and since I’ve finished my eggroll, the pressure is off.

That was my excitement for the day, and also why I didn’t post yesterday. I missed blogging. I am not sure what to think of that. Does it make me a geek? Or just someone who can’t keep my thoughts to myself?

Last night we painted half of the kitchen with a second coat. I think two coats will do it, then touch-ups, tape removal, and cleanup. Shwew! I still haven’t finished the last leaf appliqué. Maybe goal-orienting my hobby is not a good idea. All this pressure to get it done just doesn’t seem right for something I’m supposed to be enjoying myself with. I do enjoy it while I am actually doing it--I’m not making a case for cutting off the hobby. I’m just saying maybe the goals take the fun out of it for me because in the back of my mind I have this deadline mushrooming like a nuclear cloud over my project.

Though the second birthday is a deadline I can’t do anything about. So if it is going to be done, I’ve got to start working on it more.

As soon as the Christmas Flurry is done.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Mm. Poop brown.

One coat is complete. It’s brown. A lovely brown, really. But brown. The Husband started calling it poop brown but really it’s nowhere near as dark as poop. I should mention that he is partially color blind.

I still like the color but I’m not sure if I’m crazy about how it looks with the cabinets. However, it needs a second coat, touch-ups, and the blue edging tape taken down to get the full effect. So I’m keeping an open mind and giving it a good six months before I decide if I like it or not.

In other weekend news, we celebrated Christmas at my mom’s house yesterday. The Boy had a blast unwrapping presents and playing with the cousins. The Girl loved her Care Bear gifts but hasn’t quite caught on to the tear-open-the-paper concept. I guess we do spend a lot of time trying to prevent the destruction of items around the house, so it is foreign to be given a pretty package to go wild on.

And I just got word that The Boss is home sick today. Merry Christmas to me. Not that I wish illness or disease on The Boss. I mean, he’s nice enough as an individual. And everyone eventually has the thought that their boss is a moron. That is the nature of being bossed. I just would like to not have to feel on guard. You never know when The Boss will drop by the cubicle and start asking questions which you may or may not be prepared to answer. It sort of reminds me of my dad asking me if I was doing drugs as a kid. I didn’t, probably to the point of being a goody-goody, but that didn’t stop me from feeling funny about it.

In quilting news, I don’t have much to report. I am almost done with the last leaf. That’s it. Once I finish that I probably won’t get any farther this week because of the painting/entertaining/present wrapping crush that is about to swing into full gear.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

When will it be done?

I am still working on the last applique block. I re-sewed the first leaf for the third time and it still isn't right. But I give up. This leaf is just going to look more randomly placed than the others. I can't face ripping it off ever so carefully and sewing it back on again. And the shape of it isn't bad, it's just a little cock-eyed placement-wise.

Though I think I figured out why I had such a tough time with it. The freezer paper didn't fall off of this one. Fancy that. The paper did what I wanted but the fabric wouldn't. Let this be a lesson to me. The cooperation of the fabric is much more important than the paper.

We went to a Christmas party last night where I tasted the most awesome truffles ever. I was gushing over them when the maker (who happens to be a fireman) came into the room and claimed them as his own. And, La! He surrendered the recipe. I couldn't believe how simple they were. So get out your pencils, boys and girls. I am about to tell you the recipe for a treat guaranteed to impress and with only three (count 'em, 1, 2, 3) ingredients:

Fireman Oreo (tm) Truffles
  • 1 box of regular Oreos
  • 1 bar of cream cheese
  • 1 lb of chocolate

Crush the Oreos. I mean, really pulverize them. Mix in the cream cheese until a dough-like consistency. Form into balls. Melt chocolate & dip balls in chocolate. Ta-da! You're done.

Happy non-baking on that one. See ya.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

On your mark...get set...paint!

It’s official. The kitchen is getting a coat of paint. Last night we put up the first coat of ceiling paint (yes, ceiling white, though it used to be yellow. And not yellow with age, the actual color yellow) and today The Husband will be putting up coat two. Normally we’d only do one coat of ceiling paint, but that yellow is hard to cover.

So I’m on the official prowl for a color. It’s pretty much got to be picked out today. I found a cool color on the Home Depot site in the Behr colors. I liked Caramel Sundae, Copper Mountain, Chai Spice, and Tiny Fawn. Sometimes I pick a color by the name, which I admit seems stupid. But I’ve had some luck with that. Once I picked out colors with candy: I liked the way two colors of Star Wars Milk Chocolate Jedi-mix M&M’s coordinated and I painted our dining room the two colors. It turned out awesome. So don’t be knockin’ my selection methods.

Though there was that one time I selected a mint green for our bedroom and it turned out looking like a hospital room. Oops. But the replacement color looked questionable on the card and turned out awesome on the wall.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Not a quilt blog?!

Question of the day: is it wrong to wish you are an Oscar Meyer wiener?

Last night The Husband told me that he finds my blog funny for two reasons: “it’s funny, and the blog claims to be about quilting, but barely talks about it.” Huh. I thought I was at least mentioning it most days. I guess maybe this isn’t a blog about quilting, but about whatever happens to be streaming through my mind at any random moment.

Ok. So I admit it. Not much quilt talk going on here. But wait--I have an update! Last night our guests left earlier than I expected (was it something I said?) and I got some work on the last appliqué block done. However, yesterday’s version of work stunk. On my first try the leaf was lopsided so I took it off. The second time I ended up with it wrinkled up. I took it off again.

So now it is carefully arranged and today I will make quality workmanship a priority, instead of watching VH1’s 100 hottest hotties list. Which, while we are on that topic, I have to say: Ashton Kucher has absolutely no business being on that list, and certainly not in the top 10. How can you tell me that he ranks anywhere near Johnny Depp? He is a goofball, with old taste in women (sorry, Demi, but you know it’s true). The Husband’s comment on the show (SPOILER!): “How does writing a song about your butt make you number one material?” [That was in reference to Beyonce, who is number 1.]

I guess he doesn’t think she’s that Bootylicious. I thought she seemed pretty enough, but being a female myself I can’t really gauge her absolute level of hotness. And when asked, none of the fancy ladies on the show seemed to want a lesbian moment with her. So, maybe The Husband is right. Something to think on. Who will write a butt song next year?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Temper, temper

I am about to have a fit. I’ve got at least eight different systems that I log in to at work, and I try to synchronize them so that I don’t have to remember eight different passwords (because heaven forbid you should write them down) and every system has different rules for what the password can be. I get almost all of the systems synched, and one won’t accept it and I have to start all over. Right now one system is blinking an annoying and extremely unhelpful ‘invalid new password’ message at me. Ok, so what’s invalid about it? Can you at least give me a CLUE????

If I were privileged enough to have a cube by a window, my monitor would be outside in a snow bank right now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Oink oink oink

Yes, that's right. I'm a pig. But so is everyone else that I work with. It's our annual Christmas Goodie Day. Everyone brings in treats and we literally spend hours grazing through it while crumbs fall in our keyboards and sugar levels skyrocket.

Usually I plan pretty far ahead what I am going to bring. Last night I was scrambling. At the last minute I found an easy truffle recipe and figured I'd go with that.

Ater dinner, I got my concoction all melted down and mixed up. I put it in my Bea-u-tiful Kitchen Aid stand mixer and let it go crazy to thicken it up before chilling.

And then The Husband came along.

I gave him a spoonful and of course he loved it and wanted more. So he stuck the same spoon back in there. To give him credit he did pause for a minute and say he should get another spoon. At that point though I was tired and indifferent and figured I'd tell the people I like not to eat it. Oh well. And I shrugged. So in goes the double-dip spoon. In seconds flat the water in his spit changed my velvety smooth yum-yum treat into chocolate-colored vomit.

I had to throw it all out. The Husband was very apologetic and wanted to make it up to me, but I didn't want to go to any more trouble for it. He may have saved me, who knows. If the mixture didn't set up right or turned out to be a pain to form into balls I would have been upset, too. So I'll just assume it all turned out for the best and leave it at that.

And since we watched the taped Survivor Reunion I didn't get to work on the quilt. Tonight I'll be cleaning up the house for guests tomorrow, so I am imagining another two nights of non-progress. The month is rapidly coming to a halfway point and I still haven't finished the applique. I'm beginning to worry about my deadline.

Monday, December 12, 2005

And the winner is...Danni!

Survivor is complete! Danni is a new was-a-millionaire-until-the-IRS-came-along. I suppose it is possible that she could have enough money lying around to still be a millionaire, but somehow I doubt it. Anyways, great to see Danni win the game like a pro. And while I wish it could have been Rafe to win the 100k instead of Steph…well, he did make sort of a dorky mistake by releasing Danni from her promise. I was surprised that he did that, and floored that he held it against her. Moral compass, my butt. He managed to maintain my favor the entire game, even when he was getting emotional. But when he released Danni from her promise, and held it against her when she took him at his word…sorry. Revenge doesn’t pass any moral compass test I know of.

Anyhow, I did manage to stuff all the Christmas cards but didn’t get to finish addressing the ones that I had to track down new addresses for. Plus I still have no stamps. I didn’t get to work on the final appliquéd block. I hope to start on that tonight. But, I did manage to get dinner in a crock pot before I left for work this morning. Mmm. Thai Pork Stew will be smellin’ up the house by the time we get home.

And the water at work still tastes bad. Though now there is an added bonus: chemical taste on top of filtered-through-an-old-shoe taste. Yum! I may have to drink pop for the rest of the day.

Opinion poll: would one of those no-sew fleece pillow kits be an acceptable gift for an almost-five year old girl? Her mom says she likes crafty things, and they have a pillow with a princess theme that I think she would like. I’m not sure what exactly you do to make one of those pillows. I guess I’ll try it and see. I’ll probably head out at lunch to fetch that. I really need to make more progress on the ‘ol Christmas list.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Ultimate Survivor Day!

I'm so excited that tonight is the Survivor extravaganza. We'll be celebrating with a cozy fire and a chilly Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Ok, so we're simple people. Sue me.

Go Danni!!! Or Rafe. Not Steph. Woohoo!

Pictured here is my finished gingerbread house. For my first try I don't think it is too bad. I could have used a little more variety in the candy-covering department. I doubt I'll do it again. It was a lot of work and I am unable to convince anybody that it won't taste good, so I'm pretty sure it will be destroyed in short order.

I also hope to include some laundry (but not all, that is a physical impossibility. Unless we walked around naked) and possibly get the Christmas cards done among accomplishments for the day. If only I could remember to buy some stamps.

Also I am happy to report that so far I have not had any hysterics and/or shouting fits as a result of my late night at work. Thanks to The Husband are due since he got up with The Kids this morning and let me sleep until 10. I can't remember the last time I got to do that. Maybe next time I will actively seek to be on duty for a failover test.

Happy Survivor day, everyone. I hope your favorite wins. Ok, that wasn't entirely true. I hope my favorite wins, and that it happens to coincide with your favorite. If it doesn't, then I still hope my favorite wins. Kick butt, Danni!

Middle of the freakin' night...and I'm at work.

It's failover testing night, weeeee! So here I am at almost two in the morning, drooping over my keyboard on a conference call and hoping someone will soon tell me I can go home.

On a good note, in between tests I managed to finish appliquéd block number 5. And though I thoroughly enjoy sewing, I am glad none of my coworkers noticed and/or commented on my time-killing task. Most of them are guys and it just wouldn’t do for them to think of me as motherly. Then they start expecting you to do mothering things for them, like bring in cookies and pick up their jackets. Even though I'm more like kid-sister age to most of my coworkers.

One more appliquéd block to go. Unfortunately I still haven’t done anything to the gingerbread house. I hope my icing hasn’t dried to yummy cement.

Today The Husband started working on patching up some walls in the kitchen from where we tore down an old backsplash. We recently got new cabinets (installation courtesy of my Uncle & Dad) and a beautiful granite countertop (courtesy of my Dad, who is a stone mason.) He says he wants the room repainted by Christmas. I don’t think he realizes that is only one weekend away. Yikes.

I guess I better hurry my butt over to the paint store and pick a color.

Have a good night.

Oh, and I just saw on that Richard Pryor died. I have a really great memory of my Dad taking my sister and me to see The Toy on Christmas Eve while we waited for my mom to come home from work. I am truly sad to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Algae water? Ew!

I just saw an article in the paper stating that the reason the water tastes bad is that it has algae in it. Gross! At least it's not from old shoes.

Applique status

I finished number 4! Only two more to go. Maybe I can finish them and the gingerbread house this weekend. Well, in my imaginary world, anyway.

Friday, December 09, 2005

They're right when they say the filling is hot!

I just burnt my chin on a drip of gooey filling from a Lean Pocket. That label on the package that so clearly says 'Filling will be hot' sure is right! I hope I don't have a big goofy burn mark on my face.

2 out of 4 that I'll like the Survivor outcome...

It’s a new day and my two favorites to win Survivor are still in the game. Hurrah! It is a shame they couldn’t get rid of Steph (she had immunity) but I’m mostly ok with that since I still have a 50% shot at being happy with the result of the show. The Big Episode is this Sunday, and The Husband and I will be snuggled up on our couch with a Blizzard from Dairy Queen to celebrate the occasion.

Oh, and I really have nothing against Lydia. She is Switzerland in the game of Survivor. I don’t think she has done anything special to curry favor, but she has managed to last and hasn’t been a big fat meanie.

Hopefully Steph won’t win because I don’t want to puke up my Blizzard.

In other news, the gingerbread house is partially assembled. It has four walls and a partial chimney. I had some trouble with the icing (I blew out the seams on two vinyl Wilton bags! Crap. Now I need new icing bags) before I decided I’d better thin it down some. Also I had two walls fall over. I almost cried at that point. But The Husband kiss-kissed it better and after I thinned the icing and improvised an icing bag with a cone of parchment paper it all came together. Unfortunately I put it on a cake plate with a rimmed edge and the front wall ended up against the edge of the plate and the back wall has all this extra room. I should have started with the front, but I was afraid my first wall would look sloppy. Oh well. It’s still cute, and live & learn, etc. etc.

I only managed about an inch of appliqué last night. But here’s a question for you seasoned quilters out there: why does my freezer paper keep falling off? I’m able to continue without it (albeit somewhat nervously) but my first few pieces the paper really stuck well and gave me a good guideline. All of a sudden my freezer paper is detaching after only a few stitches. Is my iron not hot enough? Too hot? Too steamy? I am finding it a little frustrating.

The water at work today tastes like it got filtered through an old shoe. I wonder if that is why I didn’t like the peppermint tea yesterday.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Survivor Day!!!!

It's Survivor day and of course I am jazzed. I can't wait to watch it. Hopefully The Kids go to bed with only small amounts of resistance. The Girl actually goes to bed very well. The Boy is a master at drawing it out, however. I hope he is sleepy tonight!

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to plug my support for DANNI and/or RAFE who are both worthy of the final million. Don't get me wrong. Normally someone like Danni would not appeal to my sensibilities. She has made her life's work from something I don't much care for (sports) and she quite honestly seems to have bones sticking out of her that starving Ethiopians don't even know they have. However, she has managed to persevere when the cards are stacked against her, and she's done it without too much underhandedness. She's smart and playing the game well. So to her I say, Bravo!

Of course Rafe would not normally appeal to me, either. He seems a bit indoorsy for someone with such an outdoorsy occupation. (Maybe his hidden talent is acting. If so, he deserves a big fat Oscar award.) Mainly what I object to is...well, I'm not sure if he actually is gay, but he really seems to be playing into the stereotypical gay guy role. I'm not too keen on that. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against gay people. If you swing that way, so be it. It's just that I hate to see that stereotype become the norm for gayness on TV. That aside, he is also playing very smartly and stepping up for the challenges when necessary.

In other news, I just drank a mug of peppermint tea. I would just like to say: I don't like peppermint tea, and won't be drinking it again. At least until I forget that I don't like it.

Oh, right. The quilts. Why I'm here. I have three triangles appliquéd, and am 3/4 of the way through the fourth one. I probably won't finish it tonight though because I'm working on assembling the gingerbread house as well as watching Survivor.

And at 9 I turn into an old lady and go get ready for bed.

The gingerbread house is turning out good so far. I hope the pieces all come together. I'm not sure what I'll do if they don't fit.

Have a great Survivor day. :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Still working...

I wish I was quilting!!!

Can Friday get here soon?

Today has been one of those days. Being a programmer sucks at software release time.

But staying on topic. I finished an appliquéd piece yesterday, and started on another. It’s not a good TV night so maybe I’ll get to finish it. But wait! Another project has cropped up in the wings: a gingerbread house. I made the dough this morning and tonight I’ll cut out the pieces & bake. Maybe I’ll even make the frosting. Then assembly can start tomorrow. I’ve never made one before so I’m excited. It of course is inspired by the uber-wonderful Gingerbread Snowflake cookies. Thanks, Martha!

Bad news for the Snowflake quilt, though. The Husband has requested that I make a quilt for The Boy first. I made him one that is quilt size before he was born, but that must not amount to a hill of beans. At first I was pretty annoyed with this request. It’s my freakin’ hobby, dammit. Can I at least have control over my own hobbies? But then The Boy noticed me working on the flower quilt and he asked me what I was doing. I told him I’m making a quilt. And in the cutest little hopeful voice ever, he said, “For me?” My heart is aching because I realize The Husband was right. The Boy needs my creative energies directed at him as well. And of course that is way more important than the Perfect Project.

So. I started browsing around for some inspiration for The Boy’s quilt. The Husband wanted me to make something with trains on it or with a cutesy fabric but I’m not into that. If I’m investing all this time in it, then he is going to be stuck with this quilt as a symbol of his mommy’s warmth & love for him FOREVER. And he’s not going to go off to college with a choo-choo quilt for his bunk.

Obviously The Boy is really into trains, so when I happened across a pattern called “Take the night train” I found more of the classic momminess that I’m watching out for. At one time I had actually considered making it for The Husband but then I found the pattern for the quilt I did make for him.

This quilt has a bunch of Ohio Stars in it and a sashing made up of strips of the colors in the Ohio Stars. I am wondering if the pattern name is a fresh one or if it is a classic name that has existed for awhile. Does anyone know?

Anyways, I’ve got to start collecting fat quarters of green prints for the stars. That’ll be fun. I like picking out fabric, though I know my beginner status shows through because I like to shop at JoAnn Fabrics (or Etc. or whatever the heck it’s name is) for fabric. And I’m sure that must be the lowest quality crapola available. I do occasionally go to a local quilt shop but they don’t have a huge selection and it’s kind of expensive. I should go there, though. Help the local economy and all that.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas: 20 days away

Well it's a good day in Zegiville today. I managed to get my butt out of bed and out for a snail-jog (I am super-slow) this morning. It was cold and snowy but thankfully not windy, and really a nice morning for a jog all around.

I didn’t get much quilting done this weekend. I got ½ of my next appliquéd block done. That wasn’t a lot of progress. But I did go to the annual family cookie baking party. Between me, my mom, sister, and cousin, we had about a dozen kinds of cookies and goodies to share. We each bring our own dough to the party and spend the day baking & icing and of course gabbing. Lots of fun, and I made the cutest snowflake cookies. (I sense a snowflake theme developing here.) It was a recipe I got from a Martha Stuart cookie magazine. They are gingerbread with royal icing piped on, and sugar sprinkled on the icing for sparkly-ness. They look fabulous. I am very proud of them.

And while we’re mentioning Martha—isn’t she a model to convicts everywhere? She doesn’t seem to have missed even a half step in her merchandising. I suppose it helps to have the backing of a huge conglomerate. And lots-o-money.

The other weekend accomplishment was the Christmas Tree. We went with The Husband’s family to pick a tree out and cut it the ‘ol fashioned way. The Husband cut it down with a non-power saw very efficiently and dragged it back to the car like fresh kill.

It’s in the stand, lit, and decorated. Last night I put my only UFO quilt (that’s UnFinished Object) top around the bottom as a tree skirt. I would like to finish someday it but The Husband doesn’t want me to. It’s actually the first quilt top I ever made. Really I guess I’ve only made three, not counting The Girl’s flower quilt.

Anyway, I made this random nine-patch quilt when I decided to make The Husband (who was then The Boyfriend) a quilt as a wedding gift. I made the nine-patch quilt top as practice. I never quilted it for two reasons 1) I realized I was running out of time to make The Boyfriend’s quilt, which wasn't finished for the wedding anyway; and 2) I sewed on this God-awful border that I should have recognized as ugly before I even bought it and I’ve never gotten around to ripping the the damn thing off. Last night I got one and a half of the border sections off before I gave up and put it under the tree. Maybe I’ll remove the rest next year.

Oh, and the reason The Husband does not want me to finish it is that he thinks if I make it into an actual quilt I won’t let him use it as our tree skirt anymore. I offered to make it into an actual tree skirt but he didn’t like the idea of my hacking it up, either. So it remains unfinished. Sigh. But I am not letting it bother me too much since I don’t actually have time to finish it right now.

Friday, December 02, 2005

2 Down, 4 to go

Now that it is lunchtime and I can take a break from the horribly frantic smatterings of work, I have the joy of reporting I have finished two of the six set-in triangles for the flower quilt. Each of the triangles has a a set of appliqued leaves.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to say that I hope Danni wins Survivor. I would be really ticked off if Stephanie won. For one thing, I don't tune in to watch the Stephanie Show every week, though the producers apparently think so. For another, she is a sore loser. And not very gracious when she wins, either. Go Danni!!!! Or Rafe. I would be happy if Rafe won, too.

Perfect Project update

I checked last night during a Survivor commercial (hit the road Judd, and don't ya come back no more, no more, no more! What a hypocritical jerk he is.) and checked: the Perfect Pattern was from a Quilters Newsletter Monthly (December 2005) and is called "Quilter's Snowflake."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Perfect Project Found!

Didn't get much accomplished on the flower quilt blocks last night because The Boy (our son) stayed up late to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I got a few inches of a leaf appliquéd but nothing more.

However we made a trip to the library and after paying our usual fines (why can’t we get books back on time?!) The Husband watched The Kids in the children’s area while I went to the periodicals room. I came across a quilting magazine that had a pattern that will be PERFECT for my next project. I am so incredibly excited.

Of course I can’t tell you what the name of the magazine was. Quilter’s Monthly, maybe. I can’t even tell you the name of the quilt. It is square and has a large center square with a pieced snowflake, and smaller surrounding squares with a star in each of them. The whole thing is done in two colors, with a binding of a third color. It is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to get into working on it. I think I may try my hand at hand-piecing for the first time on this one. This will be the first project that I am making solely for my own pleasure. I can’t wait to get started.

But first thing’s first. I must finish the flower quilt blocks, sew the top & quilt it. Maybe I could get some shopping in for the snowflake quilt on the side…