Sunday, January 31, 2010

greetings from Little Britain

Well, I was going to start with something else, but Blogger won't let me rearrange my pictures so you get the sock! Before I left town on Friday, I finished the first of the Pyroclastic pair. This is a top-down pattern with a somewhat oddly shaped foot (pattern available free on Knitty or Ravelry) and it took a couple of emails back and forth with the designer to figure out what on earth she was trying to convey in her instructions... I love the color of the yarn, but it's a tad heavier than what I like to use for socks, (Mountain Colors Bearfoot) and it was a real pain to see what I was doing because it's so dark. Note to self: lighter socks!So, I'm on my annual work trip to London, with a couple of days to play at the beginning and a day in Munich for work at the end. The pillows in this hotel are standard, but this is what I was faced with in the shower this morning, slightly jet-lagged:
Huh? It makes perfect sense once you figure it out, but what ever happened to the old "2 knobs, one spout" setup? (bottom knob is water temperature; next was on-off for the tub; next was for the wand; and top knob turns on the shower head -- couldn't they have included discreet little labels?)

I had a fun time this afternoon wandering around Hampton Court, and a quilt shop, with Kate and her daughter Olivia. This photo was taken towards the end of the day when we were all slightly frozen --
Kate was very good with history, and pointed out that the Tudors were known for their interesting and varied chimney designs...
I, of course, discovered quilt patterns in odd places:
and was amused by the shrubbery! We dubbed this "the Hershey Kiss" --there were several rows of these mushroom-shaped trees --
and even when many of the perennials have faded, these sentries remain!
So -- thanks to Kate for taking time out to play! It's always fun to hang out in person with "virtual" friends when the opportunity arises.

Monday, January 25, 2010

what is your type?

Sophie had a cool little app on her blog this morning -- you answer 4 questions and it tells you what font best represents you. My font is Bifur -- a jazzy French typeface from the '20s that looks a lot like a set of dishes I once owned! I love the detail:

You can play here -- the password to enter is "character": what type are you?

(if you want to post a picture of your type, you'll need to take a screenshot -- alt/PrntScrn and then paste it into Paint; then you can select the part you want and save as a jpg file)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

UFO challenge report

Well, I made it through month #1 of the UFO challenge (see sidebar) by finishing up this scrappy flying geese baby quilt. I wasn't thrilled about it while it was going together but it's better now -- and for some reason my DH really likes it! It will probably be given away to a charity unless someone we know gets pregnant in the near future...

I received my swag from the 3 Creative Studios drawing, and here are some pictures. Not shown are the Somerset Studio Journaling calendar and a book on blended background quilts.

Close-up of Vicki's super hand-dyed fabrics and some of Kumiko Sodo's prints
And this little collection of wool felt beads. I have another set that I bought in New Zealand when we were there, and haven't quite figured out how to use them. Are there any bright ideas out there in blogland?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wild Ride

They're doing a block of the month over at 3 Creative Studios, and the blocks are a little more interesting than some, so I thought I'd jump in. I joined just in time to be in their January drawing for some very cool stuff -- hand-dyed fabric, thread, a book, and more... and I won! Can't wait for the package to arrive...

Anyway, here are my five blocks so far. I do love color, but have to admit this goes a bit beyond my usual palette! I started by pulling that multi-color stuff off the shelf and its working title is "Wild Ride". The bonus is I've finally learned out to use my Tri-Recs ruler set.
We've had a series of heavy rainstorms the last few days. In between downpours on Monday I noticed a crowd of robins on the wire outside being "poked" by a bluejay. There were way more robins than this, and you can see the jay at the left. That flying saucer is just a reflection off the window, by the way)
Here's another view out the living room window at the lovely assortment of wires across the street. They were promising to "underground" the wires in our neighborhood when we moved in 12 years ago... ha ha ha... it's still at least 10 years away and the cost per household will have increase at least 10x by then.
We've even had several thunderstorms here, which is pretty unusual for the Bay Area. Bucky and I are being brave about it while DH is out of town this week.

Friday, January 15, 2010

good stuff

Crafters are, on the whole, incredibly generous people. Witness the two new buttons to the right...

Craft Hope is an ongoing effort to provide things for people in need; they've done scarves for teens in foster care, blankets for homeless children, and other initiatives like that. Now, Sarah has set up a CraftHope store on etsy. Craftspeople are donating pieces to sell, with all proceeds being donated to Doctors Without Borders. The last time I looked, 53 items had sold already! There are quilts, clothes, knitted things, jewelry, and decorative items -- new things keep showing up...

I've decided to donate this mini leaf quilt, so you'll be seeing it there soon. Each of the leaves is just over 2" square. Click the blue button and check them out!
Also, the Yarn Harlot has an initiative to encourage her readers to contribute to Doctors Without Borders, too, and reportedly has raised well over $50,000 in the last couple of days -- there's a button for that one, too.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

something done!

This is the year of the UFO for me (yeah right -- I say that every January!) and to prove it, here's my first finish!
Now that it's all done, I'm not sure how much I like it, though... I started out thinking the border fabric was perfect, but now it almost seems too much. Maybe it will grow on me, or maybe I'll put it in the silent auction at the next guild show.

I did some simple geometric quilting -- here's a detail:I joined the UFO-a-month challenge on Patchwork Penguin -- see the list in the sidebar -- so hold on for some exciting finishes in the coming months! Along with the birthday blocks, ATC swap, and a little round robin project that one of my mini-groups just started. Is it time to retire yet?