Monday, September 24, 2007

Autumn is Here

In today's mail I received my quilt from the Four Seasons Quilt Swap -- this came from Darcie in North Dakota, and it is fabulous! I couldn't get the photograph to show the background color correctly; it's actually darker and a bit more burgundy than the pink you see here. The fabrics are hand-dyed and the leaves are outlined with paintsticks and then quilted. It is just wonderful. I'm already thinking about what "winter" might look like -- can't wait!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

home again; mysteries of (computer) life

This is Akaka Falls, on the east side of the Big Island, just a bit north of Hilo. The falls are something over 400 feet high, and quite hypnotic...

We made it home from Hawaii late last night. Our United flight from Kona to San Francisco was cancelled due to mechanical problems and since the airport is so small, they had a bit of a meltdown trying to deal with everyone. We were lucky enough (after racing around and standing in line for more than an hour) to get seats on an Aloha flight to Oakland, which is actually more convenient for us. So, we had middle seats in a smaller aircraft, and got in at 11:30 pm instead of 8:30. I'm a total zombie today -- feel like I'm hungover, even though I just had one beer on the plane!

I did manage to get out and do a couple of errands; of course I ran into all the traffic for the Cal football game because I never know their schedule. I'll probably start feeling alive right around when it's time to go to bed tonight!

Computer mysteries: can anyone answer these questions?

- on my home desktop, when I download email into Outlook, it shows the date the message was originally received; when I do this on my laptop, it shows the date the message was downloaded to Outlook. Where is the setting to change this?

- on my laptop, when I start to fill in my user name for blogger (for instance) it gives me a couple of options as pre-fill; when I do this on my desktop, it doesn't -- where is the setting that controls this?

- one of the pre-fills is wrong, from when I made a typo one time. How do I delete the pre-fill?

And now for something completely different: socks! I finished my first sock a few days ago, and here's the proof:

I do wish I'd chosen some more interesting yarn; this purple is sort of boring after a while. I did get one of those novice's gaps on one side where all the different angles come together, so I need to work on my technique. I think I remember Jenni from Fairybread talking about this with her first pair...I have started the second sock, and it's about 4 inches along. I was thinking it would be cool if you could knit both at the same time so that you don't run into knitter's ennui when it comes to finishing the second one... actually, I know that Silver has an online class on a way to do this, but it's pretty much over my head at the moment. Has anyone tried it?

I'm dying to get the sewing machine out and SEW SOMETHING for the first time in more than 2 weeks. What to tackle first?

Monday, September 17, 2007

99 bottles of beer...

Blogger says this is my 99th post. It's taken me quite a while to get here... when I started out I thought I might write every day or two or three, but that certainly hasn't happened! Maybe I'll get to 200 in less than another year and a half.

(for those readers not familiar with it, "99 bottles of beer on the wall" is a dumb counting song that people sing when driving to (supposedly) make the time go by faster. )
We've moved from Kauai to the Big Island for a few days. I love Kauai because on the north shore there's almost always a little sea-breeze and it doesn't get very humid. The last couple days on B.I. have been another story... there's been cloud cover and it's been very muggy. I'm spoiled, living in Northern California, and I don't understand how anyone can tolerate the weather east of the Rockies or anywhere with humidity! (no offense to any readers, of course -- maybe you just have to grow up with it!)

Here are a few photos from our last day on Kauai; first the ubiquitous gecko -- I love the smoothness of those big leaves:
These are taro fields in the Hanalei Valley. I think they look quite quilty, and I'm thinking about how to create an actual quilt from this.
This is a detail showing the texture of some of the newer blocks and the reflections on the water.
I really like the layers of light and shadow on these palm fronds. I've been reading Ruth McDowell's book "A Fabric Journey" which explains her process of turning photographic images into her fabulous quilts, and I'm trying to save photos that might inspire me to try some of her technique.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

silly games

Here's a fun game from Nicole -- creating names for all your different personas! I'm not an ordinary drudge, I am a DIVA, and my name is "Anne Hillside" (my middle name and the street I first lived on -- well almost... "Anne 38th Avenue" just doesn't sound right!). She said that Monica (Happy Zombie) started it. Here's how it works:

I). YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet and current car)---Sally Camry

2). YOUR GANSTA NAME (favorite ice cream flavor and fave cookie)--- Coffee Ginger

3). YOUR FLY GUY/GAL NAME (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) J-Wal

4). YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)---Blue Rhino

5). YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)---Anne San Francisco

6). YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)---Wal-Ju

7). SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)--- The Green Campari

8). NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)--- Myer Harry

9). STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)--- Sublime Mocha Truffle

10). WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) --- Kastle Stephen

11). TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)---Hollis Hanover

12). SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)--- Autumn Rose

13). CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Apricot Shortsie

14) HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)--- Banana Linden

15). YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) The Quilting Clouds Tour

OK, now it's your turn!

lazy days

Gratuitous art-shot of wild rooster!

Today is laziness to the extreme. Al took off with the car at 5 am to do a 7-hour boat excursion that leaves from the complete other side of the island, about an hour's drive. I don't do boat excursions very well -- especially when the brochure says "if you are prone to sea-sickness, take the necessary precautions". For me, the necessary precaution is to stay on land!

I thought about driving him down there (and picking him up) so I'd have the car for the day, but I decided to hang out, do a tiny bit of work I need to get done, walk up to the post office and ice cream store, sit by the pool.
Yesterday I did a bit of stash enhancement -- first stop was the "'Discount Fabric Warehouse". There are several of these scattered around Hawaii but I'd never really been in before. Al pointed out an ad in the paper showing fabrics for 77-cents a yard. Yeah, right... there was one table of stuff at that price, outside the front door, and it wasn't even worth a glance.
They had a big wall of quilter cotton, and some nice prints, but much of it was obviously second-quality fabric. Designs I'd seen in my LQS were here, but they felt like homespun compared to the LQS stuff! I did buy a couple of pieces that felt nicer.
And then... Kapaia Stitchery! They had a big table of 1/2 price goods, where I managed to find a bunch of good stash-fillers. And their selection of batiks is SO amazing that I was somewhat paralyzed. I picked up two reds that jumped out, but I felt that if I really started pulling bolts off the shelf I would end up doing serious damage! (I think I have a self-regulating system that limits me to about $100 -- even if I'm not consciously adding it up in my head)

The red on the far right reminds me of volcanoes... you always have to find a "souvenir" fabric, right?

Since I'm spending two weeks without a sewing machine, and I don't "do" applique, I decided to learn how to knit socks. Here's where I am so far:

I'm working on the heel. I really have no clue how to turn the heel or how the instep and the heel come together... but it's a "beginner" pattern and I'm confident (hopeful) that if I follow the directions it will all work out! I'm using big (sport-weight) yarn 'cause I thought it would be easier. I've made a couple of tiny glitches, but all-in-all I think they're looking okay.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Greetings from Paradise

Probably not much quilty content for a couple of weeks, as we're on vacation in Hawaii. This week on the north shore of Kauai, the garden isle. We've been here several times before, so there's no need to run around frantically trying to see everything! Short list:
  • Kapaia Stitchery (fab quilt shop with lots of batiks and asian designs that they develop and then have printed in Japan),
  • some great silk-screen t-shirts from a shop on the way to Poipu that I can't remember the name of,
  • a drive up the canyon,
  • a stop or two at Tin Can Mailman (funky used book store),
  • way overpriced drinks on the deck of the Princeville Hotel while awaiting the sunset (and hoping for the green flash!)
  • some snorkeling!
We were kept up last night by a rooster crowing outside our window, starting at 2:15 a.m. The wild chickens are all over this island. At 6:30 he started some other loud activity with a bevy of hens -- I felt like I was hearing a porno film! Luckily they were all in or under a big tree so I didn't have to decide whether to watch...

Having a lazy morning now, enjoying the wi-fi and some Peets Coffee that we found in the local supermarket. I promise more photos when it stops raining.