Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Oh well... wherever I end up, I'll have cute feet.
When I got to the point where I needed to kitchner the first toe I had a very large cat on my lap and was disinclined to get up to get my trusty copy of Stitch & Bitch so I just faked it. I successfully got the toe... uh... closed, but it looked like crap... so I did get up to get the instructions for the second toe. These poor socks have suffered so much at my hands, there were several times I should have just stopped & ripped them back but I thought I could save them. Now, well, they're socks. But don't look too close!
I've also been powering through the Trash to Treasure quilt.
Fortunately the individual fabrics are all kinda blending together well. It helps that there's a pretty even mix of dark and light fabrics, although there's not quite as much contrast as I thought there would be, the pinwheel action is not that strong. But it works. I'm pleased.
Oh... and it's a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Well, it was bang on the measurements I'd sketched out in my notebook (surprising considering how loosey-goosey I was with the seam allowances - 1/8" here 1/2" here all balanced out I guess), it's just smaller than I had envisioned.
So there... no idea what to do about my career... but you know, crafting I can handle.
Monday, April 28, 2008
After sending in my check & application, confirming I had a spot in the class, requesting a 4 week leave of absence, spending two weeks training my replacements, the past few weeks working to get all my ducks in a row so that I could devote all four weeks to learning new stuff, I get down to the school and the receptionist tells me "We canceled the class - didn't you get the message I left on Friday?" ON FRIDAY???? No I didn't get the message! (I've double checked my answering machine at home and my 'missed calls' on my cell phone - there was no message).
So I don't know what kind of Mickey-mouse thing is going on here. If there was a genuine once-in-a-blue moon crisis (they said the students we would have practiced teaching on didn't get their visas approved), or if this whole thing is just a mickey-mouse kind of operation. No idea. I'd originally planned to take this course in February, but that plan fell through, when I'd sat down with the director for my interview she said there was a chance it wouldn't happen due to something or other and convinced me to sign up for the April course - because that one would happen for certain. :/ All I know is that my plans are now completely shot and I have no idea what I'm going to do now... go back to work and hope that the June class actually happens?
I really really really REALLY don't want to go back to my day job. I hate that job with a passionate fury and the only thing that's kept me going is that I was planning to take this class so I could do something new. I made that decision back in November, but first I wasn't quite ready, then the last class fell through, now this. I can't even handle the thought of calling my boss up and telling her what happened. I mean, we've sent out department wide emails about my leaving for a month, I've change my out of office message on my voice mail & email. For weeks I've been training my back ups, explaining to people that I'd be leaving. I just can't deal with telling all of them "Just kidding! I'm back.... indefinately"
I hate everything today.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
For one, I'll be starting the EFL course on Monday. The next four weeks are going to be spent trying to learn how to teach English. Eight hours a day of class every day, and then a couple hours of homework every night. Dude! Even in college, I wasn't in class 40 hours a week. So I'm pretty well freaked out. I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that I could really really be teaching abroad in a few months.... actually living in a country I've never even visited. In theory it's really exciting. I mean, every time I hear about someone else living abroad I think it sounds awesome. So why not me?? I guess I just need to take it one step at a time, and if I decide that I don't really want to go... then I don't have to. I know that should be obvious, but I do have to remind myself every once in a while that this class is just a bit of an experiment. We'll see how it goes.
Now, in other, less dramatic news... I've started cutting out the fabric for my Valerie Wells quilt. Due to a couple mis-cuts I just barely had enough of the polka dot fabric, and not quite enough of a couple of the fat quarters to make a center square and the outside strips. In any case, I've started auditioning blocks.
It'll take some time to figure out exactly which fabrics go best together. I may even decide to pick up another couple fabrics.... depends on how all these work out.
I don't know when I'll finish this one up. I don't expect to get much quilting done over the next month, and in fact I don't know how much blogging I'll be doing. So if it goes a bit quiet... don't worry.
Well worry about how I'm doing in class... but don't worry that I've fallen off the planet or anything. ;) Wish me luck!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I’ve enjoyed blogging even more than I thought I would. First off I love having a website I can go to that has links to all my favorite places online – even when I’m away from the “favorites” saved on my home computer. This has allowed me to keep up on the activities of other bloggers and that’s been a lot of fun – to watch a project from it’s genesis to it’s (occasional ;) ) completion.
Even more fun than watching other people’s projects has been having a place to keep track of all the things I’ve worked on... you know, my works in progress. ;) I don’t even want to admit how much time I spend reading my own blog… as my 9th grade English teacher once put it “Everyone loves the smell of their own shit.” (Yes – I was well & truly shocked that he said “shit” in front of students… he was soooo cool!)
So what did I do this year?
I knit three sweaters, a vest, five hats, and finished a three year old pair of socks! Of my knitting F.O.s I made and kept all but four hats for myself. I learned how to knit cables and quickly became obsessed. I’ve also learned how to use the Magic Loop for knitting in the round. There’s still a lot of room for improvement there… but those are too big steps. Something I really need to work on though, is knitting clothes that actually fit. Socks and hats are not too tricky, and they’re small enough to feel okay about frogging & reknitting if I have to. But the sweaters I have made haven’t fit quite right. Mr. Greenjeans and the Lorna’s Laces Everday Cardigan are both two short and too big around. So for future projects I need to pay a little more attention to issues like ease and body size vs. finished size. I think that’s going to be a little easier now that I’m in Ravelry, so I can look up patterns I want to make and see how people have adjusted it for their size & shape.
Knitting goal for the next blog-year – a top that really fits.
On the quilting side, I started my ambitious Flying Geese quilt and finished the top in short order, but haven’t progressed beyond that. I got a bit side tracked by smaller baby/lap quilts. I finished six quilts... four of which were given away. I’ve mostly been playing around with pretty fabrics… and that’s what I like about quilting, getting to play with pretty fabrics. So I’m going to keep doing that. But I’m going to do more of it for ME!
As far as being a record of all my crafty activities – I call the blog a success. But it’s way more than just a craft journal. The thing that makes a blog a blog is the interactive aspect. I love love love getting comments on my WIPs – I’ve gotten some good advice and lots of encouragement – which is really great. Ever since Jr. High I’ve been a bit of a crafty girl, but until recently I’ve never had friends who shared my passions. Now thanks to the intertubes I’ve got a whole virtual community of crafters who get it… who understand why I love petting yarn, and cutting up perfectly good fabric only to sew it all back together again. And that makes me very happy indeed! Let me take this opportunity to say thanks to my readers & commenters. I hope you’ve enjoyed my reading my blog.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
But here are a few of the Earth-Friendly things that I try to do.
Transport - I used to take the bus to work. This wasn't so much of a choice as a requirement since my work doesn't have nearly enough parking. But I moved closer to work and now I walk to work. I also try to take public transport when convenient. I don't take it absolutely everywhere... but if I'm just going downtown for fun - I'll take the bus more often than not (especially if there's going to be drinking involved).
Energy - I signed up for "Clean Source" with my energy company. It's not the greenest option, but it's a combination of wind-energy and other renewable sources of energy. It's a little bit more expensive, but not that bad because of the other things I do. For example, I live in an apartment. Apartment living in a city just takes up fewer resources than living in a house.
I keep my thermostat down pretty low too. Normal is around 50F. If I get cold I'll turn it up to 65-70F, but only for a few hours. There's no reason to be heating the house all day if I'm not home. Plus, knitting & quilting & a big-ol' furry cat keep me pretty warm.
As my light-bulbs burn out I've been replacing them with flouresent ones. So far - they work just fine.
I use recharable batteries in my camera. They don't last as long as I'd like, but for around the house pictures, I can swap them out whenever I need to.
Trash - little plastic grocery bags used to take over my entire kitchen. I tried to reuse them, but just brought way more into my house than I could get rid of. So a few years ago I switched to canvas bags.
These are clearly not the uber-chic new shopping bags that have come into vogue - but they work just fine. I picked these up at the Goodwill and garage sales pretty cheap. I keep in the trunk of my car. It's cut down drastically on the number of plastic bags I use... although every once in a while I do bring one home, it gets re-used as a trash bag.
I'm fortunate enough to have full recycling at my apartment complex. I don't sort out every single scrap of paper, but I do recycle my bottles, cans, papers & cardbord.
And just last year I bought a compost bin for my organic waste. It's going well so far.I mean... it takes up a solid quarter of my garden, which is far more than I need, but this was the smallest one at the store. If I were a cheapass superstar I'd make my own... but nope - I took the lazy way out.
Here's the decomposing goodness!
At times it's gotten as much as 3/4 full with leaves & garden debris, but it always compacts down pretty small. I don't think I'll be generating any really useful compost anytime soon. But instead of letting this material fill up the landfill, it's feeding worms and bugs and spiders - it's it's own little eco-system and that's what Earth Day is all about right?
Monday, April 21, 2008
This is her "In Imagio Dei" - In the Image of God... her self portrait.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
What Your Name Means
You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.
You are very open. You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily.
You are a naturally creative person. Ideas just flow from your mind.
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. You are very adaptable.
You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.
Tons of Energy? On a given evening I will spend at least two hours on the couch watching TV with a cat on my lap.
Strive for Perfection? Anyone who's seen my crafts up close know that's not true.
Bold & Daring... well, sometimes I wear flip-flops when it's raining.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Um... the tags are all outside - and it's cold there so... uh... the two plants in the back are shade-loving with white & green varigated leaves and tiny blue flowers. From there I just planted more of what survived from last year - a couple ferns, a couple primroses and some more vinca. I know it still looks sparse, but I'm saving room for impatiens when they come in.
Oh - exciting news! Some of my tulips bloomed!
I didn't get a single daffodil this year - I think the raking just came at a really bad time for them.
And after the garden store I went to Hawthorne St. to shop for a while. I actually walked down to Cool Cottons. At about 30th I decided I was only going to look. By 26th I was thinking... just a little something... a fat quarter maybe. By the time I started up the steps I was thinking. Ok - a yard... but no more than that!! Yeah... then I got inside.
It's only two yards though... so that's not sooo bad. And it's not actually for quilting. They had all these cute little capri pants and it was all sunny outside... how could I resist?
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
There was a serious bike accident at work today, and my coworker proved himself a bit of a hero (IMHO anyway).
Coworker was walking down to a meeting and came upon this scene:
There was a car coming up the hill, and a biker going down the hill. It's a steep hill so it's easy to pick up a LOT of speed... I don't know how fast he was going, but I've driven behind bikers going at least 25mph before. Anyway, he's going down hill and the car starts to turn left, but apparently the driver sees the biker and decides not to turn - witnesses say she just barely had her bumper in the other lane. But in the seconds of hesitation the biker starts to swerve to go around her, then decides to go straight when she stops - but over corrects & loses control. There's a lot of screaming and then SMACK he hits the road.
Coworker runs up to the guy and when he gets there the biker is non-responsive and bleeding... his face all messed up. Fortunately coworker has experience as an EMT and is currently taking pre-reqs to get into Nursing school. So he takes the guy's pulse, does first responder stuff, then runs the half block to the ER to get help. There were other folks (no doubt doctors & nurses) who looked after him. The ER team come out and did their thing - put a brace on his neck, put him on a board and onto a gurney to roll him down to the ER.
The whole time the poor woman in the car is seriously upset - people who half-saw what had happened were saying "Oh there's the car that hit him" which of course is not what happened. Fortunately there were actual witnesses who saw what happened, and they talked to the Police. Actually another two coworkers saw the aftermath, so it was quite the topic of conversation today.
Unfortunately due to privacy concerns we weren't able to find out anything else about his condition after he went into the ER. Hopefully there will be an update on the news. But man! I can only hope that if I'm ever in a serious accident it happens within 50 yards of an ER with an EMT and a few doctors wandering around!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Little known fact about Rebel: I love to sing. I was in Choir for all four years of high school… and church choir for a couple of years, and even a couple semesters in college. Times when my car stereo was broken (or stolen… I’m on my third stereo in this car!), I amused myself by singing… loudly. Ah… if only my love of singing was matched by my talent. Alas… no! Oh yeah… and I don’t know that many songs. So I tend to sing a) patriotic songs b) Christmas songs c) (when I get really desperate) kid songs.
Recently PBS did a special on Pete Seeger & folk songs. It really inspired me. I totally think there should be more singing in day to day life, more folk songs, more bar songs, more lullabies, more serenades. So all of that was mulling around in my brain when I read this post (Yes, I blame Pam!) and the few lines that I remembered from the Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack went on an endless loop in my brain. In between choruses of “Give me my colored coat, my amazing colored coat” the idea struck me – WHY DON’T I OWN MORE SOUNDTRACKS????
I set out on a quest to pick up the soundtrack to Joseph… but couldn’t find it (at the two or three places I remembered to look) so I went on Amazon.com and went… a tiny bit crazy. Just a tiny bit.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – my favorite musical of all time.
The Essential Pete Seeger – a great survey of folk music.
The Sound of Music – because I have confidence in confidence alone… but can never remember the rest of the words. ;)
Annie – ah… an important part of the American cultural experience, the musical that made an entire generation of girls wish their parents would die in a fiery car crash. ;)
Ecstasy!!! All my favorite musicals, wending their way to me. Oh, and since I spent so much – Free Shipping! Yay!
Except… free shipping is slow… sooo slow… agonizingly slow! I waited… and waited. Eventually three of them showed up… but Joseph was going to be shipped separately. NO!! I’ve still got half songs stuck in my head – it’s not fair!
Finally… finally… just today Joseph shows up. Ecstasy!
Except… phase 2 of my cold has also shown up – laryngitis! I can barely speak, let alone sing. So I’m stuck listening to my favorite sing-a-long music and the best I can do is lip sync. The irony…oh the irony.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Ok, most of the time Sewing with Nancy is a joke. Her techniques are great, but the actual garments she works on are dated at best, but usually really really tacky. Anyway on Saturday or Sunday (they all blur together since I've been sick) I was watching PBS and Nancy was reviewing a basic quilting technique - the half square triangle.
There are (at least) two ways to cut out a triangle shape for quilting. One is to use a template and cut several triangles and sew them each together. I'll actually be using that method for another quilt I've been thinking of. But when you cut out a triangle one of the sides is, by definition, cut on the bias, which makes it more likely to stretch & fray while handling.
So an alternate method is to make two triangles out of two squares - the half square triangle. I've heard about this, and knew this was the best way to go for my Trash to Treasure quilt, but haven't been able to wrap my little brain around it. Nancy's instructions however were extremely clear and she showed off a little notion - the half-square-triangle ruler. Basically you put the two squares together, lay the ruler down from corner to corner and draw a line on each and down the middle. This highlights where to sew both seems and where to cut them apart to make sure you've got two identically sized triangle blocks with a nice 1/4 inch seam on both.
Anyway I had cut out all the squares for this quilt, and separated them out as lights & darks. I was all ready to start marking them up... but I decided what I really needed was a half-square-triangle ruler like Nancy's. Nevermind that I have three different quilting rules already... I wanted a half-square-triangle ruler!
So on one of my quests out of the house on Saturday (primarily to get won-ton soup & chloraseptic throat spray) I went to Michaels to see if they would have one. Nope... and the Mill End Store next door to Michaels was closed. So I went back the next day to the Mill End Store, and they didn' t have one either. Finally today, even though I called in sick to work (my voice is pretty much gone, I can croak a few words but it hurts and I figured I would do better to just stay home and do what little work I could via email - anyway) I drove all the way out to Fabric Depot (I really need to move closer!) where for $2.99 (less 30%) my quest ended.
Now I'm matching up blocks, pinning them, and marking them with my handy-dandy half-square-triangle ruler. But ugh! This quilt is going to take aproximately 700 billion years! Maybe not... but I've got to mark & pin the squares then sew & sew again, then snip, and that's just to get the blocks. Blocks into rows, rows together into the top, then the quilting & binding. I guess I have to accept that this will not be a quick & dirty quilt.... because really, there's no such thing. Slow and steady.
I'm going to bed!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Here she is with the Good Sister last Saturday. It's a bit of an unfortunate angle... she's not really twice the size of the good sister.
Ok...I'm going back to being sick on the couch.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I'm siiiiiiiiick. And I know I brought it on myself because a few weeks ago all my coworkers got sick and I had to cover from them, and I was really jealous and kinda hoped I would get sick so I could stay home too. So you know... I had it coming.
Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, and when I got to work I started feeling really crappy. But I always feel crappy at work. I went and lay down at lunch time, but still felt crappy. Then I felt nauseous... so I knew I was really sick and went home. I made it as far as my mailbox before puking. Fun!
So now I'm home. Mostly sleeping. I made one outing to the store to pick up some Ginger Ale, chicken noodle cup-a-soup, and of course... seasons 1 & 2 of The Office. That *almost* makes up for all the hurting. My head hurts, my ears hurt, my throat hurts, my whole body hurts. I hurt too much to knit or quilt. Almost too much to eat (cup-a-soup goes down pretty easy). I did manage to do my taxes though... then I took a 2 hour nap. Then I woke up and relocated to the couch for the rest of the afternoon.
Now I know what it's like to be Sally.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
My sister and I have very similar body types, I actually gave her a top that looked better on her than it did on me. And we share a similar concept of time. When I suggested that we visit my office at around 1pm, we were both ready to go by 12:30pm. We got to the airport a good two hours before her flight. But that is about where our similarities end. She's a stay-at-home mom, I'm the single 'career gal'.
She stayed for a long-weekend, and I did my best to show her a good time. She was not at all impressed with the cake I baked & the flowers I bought for her. Nor was she the least bit interested in my knitting or my quilts. Oh and the first thing she said upon entering my apartment was "Man - that is one fat cat!"
I took her to all my favorite parts of Portland; NW 23rd, Finnegans toy store, Saturday Market, Multnomah Falls and to dinner at Kennedy School with some knitting friends. She went along with everything in good humor. But in the whole trip, the only thing she expressed genuine enthusiasm for was the moss. I'm not even kidding. She was very impressed with a neighbor's "use of moss in his landscaping" I laughed - you can't kill that stuff here! Tennessee is in the middle of a drought, so it makes sense... but I really pulled out all the stops for her.
And not that I planned this... I didn't even know about it... but when I took her to my office, former President Clinton was scheduled to give a speech there. We actually saw him enter the building we were in - not more than 15 feet from where we were standing. She's not a big fan of the Clintons... but still, it's not every day you see a former president in real life. When I took her to the airport she said "I know you don't think we did anything exciting, but really it was just good to get away." Dude! Dinner with my knitting friends is about as exciting as my life gets!
I know that what she wanted/needed more than anything was a few days away from home & kids. So I let her sleep in, I did all the cooking & cleaning, we watched a chick-flick together. And she did seem quite happy that she was able to the bathroom without her kids waiting outside the door. Overall I'll call it a success.
But I'm in no hurry to invite her back. ;)
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
And now, something I think all crafters should try at some point... a stash-nap.
I am quite tired from having the Good Sister over for the weekend. I'll have a thing or two to share about that later. But for now, just a quicky to flash my stash.
I think it would be fun to do a Flash-Your-Quilting-Stash too. Are any other quilt-bloggers interested?