Friday, December 28, 2007

I am such a winner!

A little while ago, Vicki celebrated her bloggiversary by drawing names for some hand-dyed fabrics... and I was one of the winners. My fabric arrived today, along with some metallic thread and beads for embellishment -- and it is so wonderful! I asked for jewel colors, and here they are. Vicki added some metallic painting/stamping to a couple of them. I'll have to think long and hard to come up with a worthy project to use these in. Here's a photo of my favorite holiday gift that Al and I received -- it's a clock with no hands. The red ball is magnetic, and travels around the hours (i.e. in the photo it's 2:25 or so). I'm getting used to it, but it's pretty strange for the first few days!
One last gift to show you -- this is a little "purse-nickity" bag that I made for my hairdresser. There's a second, matching one that's just a little pouch for jewelry or other small stuff, without any quilting. She's at the gym all the time and I thought they would be useful. In fact I (finally) joined a gym myself and I'm making one of these for me!
Tomorrow, after my much-needed haircut, Al and I are going to take a drive to a marshy area in Marin that is supposed to be a great place to see migrating birds -- hope to have a few good photos to show you all. Then it's a big cooking and baking push for our annual "chili fest" on Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

this one's for me!

If you ever look at my sidebar, you might have noticed that "a Frenchy Bag for me" has been on my list of things to make, ever since Nancy Near Philly blogged about making one a few months ago. Well, I finally did it -- ta dah! It's made mainly from a fab batik I found at a brand-new fabric store nearby, but the contrast and the lining are from stash. It's an Amy Butler pattern. I took it into the store to show it off today and they oohed and aahed over it -- always nice to have that happen. I keep thinking it would be fun to teach some purse classes, so maybe I can create a little interest there.

And, I got up-to-date on the NYB blocks -- here are the 14 so far. I smooshed them all together in sort of a random order and I'm liking the flow!

I have just one more small present to make, but it doesn't have to be done until the 29th. I'm going to try to concentrate on de-cluttering my desk and sewing space tomorrow and Monday.

p.s. people in San Francisco hate to hear it called "Frisco" or "San Fran" -- do people in Philadelphia dislike "Philly"? if so, I apologize!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm getting there...

Blogger is being difficult today... or maybe it's just me. I hit some key or other that caused it to "publish" with just the title and no post! Oh well. It must be the rainy weather.

Here's a picture of my finished "Holly Jolly" table-runner. This is a gift for a friend on the Friends of the Library board who's been an incredible mentor for my terms as president -- I would have been an abject flop without her! I gave it to her yesterday, rolled up and wrapped like a Christmas cracker; she didn't open it because we were with other people. Maybe she's the patient sort who will actually wait to open it on Christmas! For backing, I used a print that looks like leather-bound books, since she's a book fan like me and works at the library. I'm very happy with it, and will probably make the pattern again with other fabrics. It was quick and fun to do.

Speaking of quick, (not), here is current progress on my NYB block of the month. This shows the 12 blocks through November. I have one of December's blocks done, too, but I'll waiting to take another photo until the second one is done.
I wonder if my husband is sneaking looks at my quilt books behind my back. The other day he stopped in front of the design board (can't help it, it lives in the dining room most of the time!) and looked at these blocks for a bit and said "they remind me of the Statue of Liberty". Gee, maybe that's why they call them new York Beauty blocks? He did the same thing a couple of years ago with a quilt I made from a pattern called "super nova".

Monday, December 10, 2007

Robin returns

I recently received my blocks back from a row robin swap that was started here. These are 6-inch blocks -- I provided the green/blue geometric print fabric and asked for variations on log cabins -- my original intent was that I'd slash them at odd angles and insert a narrow strip of black in each block. Now that I have them all back, though, I realize that they're busy enough "as is" and an additional strip would get totally lost! I think I'll mix the arrangement a bit (right now they're in rows arranged according to who made the blocks) and add some very narrow black sashing -- I really like these!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Winter blahs

Maybe it's just that I've been fighting off a cold, but I seem to be having a hard time staying motivated lately. It's so easy to park in front of the tv with my knitting! Al went to London for a week for meetings (after giving me his cold!) , so it's not feeling too festive around here.

Then the cat decided to disappear for 24 hours -- maybe he got locked in someone's garage, or maybe he was paying me back for leaving him alone for a few days at Thanksgiving. He sauntered back in, demanding food, about half an hour after I had created a "missing cat" flyer to post around the neighborhood the next morning. I was starting to have fantasies about getting new furniture in the living room that wouldn't be cat-scratched to death, but I'm happy he came back, instead...

I did manage to make a couple of pot-holders for the gift exchange with Al's relatives -- it's one of those things where everyone gets one name to send a gift to; this year everything is supposed to be handmade or recycled.

And I've made a little progress on the NYB blocks (Al walked by the other day, paused and looked at them, and said "they remind me of the statue of Liberty". Is he sneaking looks at my quilting books behind my back? Yes dear, they're called "New York Beauty" blocks)

And, a couple of friends came over to sew this afternoon and I made good progress on the Holly Jolly table-runner that was posted here. I promise a photo as soon as it's put together. The best part of the day was that I did a little trunk show of my unquilted tops (there are a bunch of them!) for my friends, and decided that there were several I was ready to donate to "Blankies for Grownups" -- this is a local group that makes comfort quilts for seriously ill adults. Bonus: I can bust some stash by making backings for them, too! And I got re-energized about a couple of other tops, and vowed to make a serious effort to get more of them finished next year.

And now a question for those more computer savvy than I: I figured out how to create a signature, and I figured out how to add it to an individual post -- but is there a way to permanently add it to my blogger template so that I don't have to copy/paste every time?

Monday, December 03, 2007

you are what you eat!

I borrowed this meme from Sophie -- please help yourself!

How do you like your eggs? over medium, or poached with the whites cooked solid

How do you take your coffee/tea? strong, with milk!

Favorite breakfast food: depends on if I'm trying to be healthy... old-fashioned oatmeal with dried fruit in it, or bacon & eggs...

Peanut butter: crunchy, and preferably without added sugar or oil

Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but rarely

You’re feeling lazy. What do you make? If I'm alone -- lean cuisine! If DH is there, scrambled eggs with whatever vegetables are around

You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? We hardly ever have pizza... more likely to run out for shrimp burritos.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? Some kind of stew

Is there a food you refuse to eat? eggplant, okra, oysters and any innards except chicken livers

What was your favorite food as a child? Grilled cheese sandwich

Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love? most kinds of fish

Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate? fish sticks, and plain Cheerios as a snack food

Favorite fruit & vegetable: Apricots and Asparagus

Favorite junk food: anything served with guacamole

Favorite between meal snack: corn nuts

Do you have any weird food habits? probably, but I don't know what they are!

You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? salad & frozen yogurt

You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? really good macaroni & cheese

How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? mild

Can I get you a drink? Campari and soda with a twist

Red wine or white? either, depending on the variety

Favorite dessert? cherry pie; devils food cake

Sunday, December 02, 2007

clarification... or backtracking?

Okay, okay. Some clarification of my previous post about the obnoxious fabric swap: I wasn't really complaining about receiving ugly fabrics. As my faithful readers hastened to point out (LOL) I did ask for the stuff! It was more that I was sort of marveling at the fact that manufacturers would make, and quilters would buy, some of these hideous prints and colors. That's all.

(pause while I whack my computer monitor a few times... it's developed this nasty habit of going black and sort of flashing. After trying a variety of cord-jiggling, and a different power cord, and half an hour on the phone with Dell {your warranty expired in 2005} -- my husband discovered that the way to get it working again was to soundly whack it a few times on the top edge. I sense a a trip to Best Buy in my near future)

Everyone in blogland has been showing their holiday decorations, so I thought I should drag mine out. We usually do a pretty minimal amount of decorating. I do have the rag wreath back on the front door (photo from last year is here) and the trees quilt in the hall. Once in a while we get a real tree, but usually at the last minute! However the Gumby Claus's come out every year and have a place of honor. I think I made them about 20 years ago, when I was involved with the mycological society (i.e. people who study mushrooms) -- note the Amanita muscaria on Mrs. Claus' apron! The bag o' toys was originally filled with mushrooms.