Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I hate binding. Hate, HATE, HATE binding.
I took a two hour class on doing it and I'm totally list. Sure, I get the whole cutting the fabric on a 45 degree angle. I know how to piece each strip together so I have enough to go around the quilt. And I know how to press the strips in half lengthywise. But once there, I'm totally freaking screwed.
I don't get the invisible whip stitch. I tried doing it on a sewing machine. Still, it all looks like shit. Too embarassing to even post pictures.
So com'n crafty girls. Help me figure this out.
I'm not entirely in love with these, but I think that's because they haven't found their proper owners yet. (I'm waiting to finish them off until I have a recipient in mind.) But it's a great pattern to learn and goes by really fast. Plus, I'm all about the scrappy quilt look.
I did this one first. It's bigger and actually is growing on me, despite my blatant distaste for the mustardy color that seems to have overtaken it.
I did this one second and am planning to make the back a solid deep rose/pink with probably bright blue thread. It seems really fun, maybe for a kid?
I've been pretty diligent about posting pictures of stuff, but since I was making so many of my Christmas gifts, I had to keep some projects under wraps.
So, here's a picture taken my The Mother with her new Blackberry Storm camera phone (or possibly, her new digital camera, either way, the woman is wiiiiired) of the quilt I made for The Mom and The Dad.
It is the second quilt I ever made and it wasn't too complicated as you can tell. I tried to pick material that I thought they'd like, as well as one or two that had some Noodle flair. If you're interesting in making one of your own, here's the pattern. It comes together really quickly and even though it's simple, I think it's really quite nice!
Although, one caveat I'd recommend: It's big enough that you should use a design wall. I tried to lay out the squares of the floor, which The Mutt thought was a great fun game, so, there's some color and pattern bunching.
Those of you who are way more quilty than I am probably know about this and have bookmarked it long ago, but for those who are new to the hobby like me, check out Sew, Mama, Sew's Quilt Month compilation. It rocks!
Find it here: Click me for Quilting Greatness!
My lovely friend has a simply fabulous New Year's tradition that I wanted to pass on. Instead of making random resolutions, she creates an annual fill-in-the-blank to-do list and passes it around to a group of friends. We make our own lists and share among each other and at the end of the year, see what we've accomplished and what we haven't.
I LOVE this tradition and have kept my 2008 list handy on my desk all year, busting it out when I need inspiration.
Now, with her permission, I'm passing it on to you.
Here's how I filled it out. What will you write?
And for those who are REALLY curious, here's my 2008 list:
In 2008, I will:
1) Take a trip to a big wilderness.
2) Overcome my fear of staying out late.
3) Try Mongolian cuisine.
4) Take a stand on being a pushover.
5) Recommend the most amazing recipe to a friend.
6) Read at least of piece of great literature.
7) Quit ... (redacted for sake of parents.)
8) See a great foreign film.
9) Send a letter to my grandma.
10) Begin taking care of myself as well as I do my dog.
11) Learn to relax.
12) Continue being fabulous.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
Sunday, December 28, 2008
But now, the lovely thing is almost all done and all I have left to do is the binding.
Here's the back, which I pieced:
I sent this quilt out to a long-arm quilter (As the saying goes: You can quilt by hand, machine, or check book), and while I love (LOVE!) her work, I'm looking forward to putting my new sewing machine to work and learning now to do the actual quilting/stippling myself.
Here's a close-up of the quilt stitching:
I'm planning to bind it in the turquoise fabric with the small yellow polka dots.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I come from a small family. And so, as traditions go, there aren’t too many to share. (I’m going out on a limb and assuming you don’t want to hear about our annual Christmas tree decorating bicker fest about what ornaments are too God awful ugly to go on the tree…)
So instead, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about some of my favorite Christmas memories and about how our far-flung family celebrates my favorite holiday today.
“(Noodles)! Why don’t you go practice writing your name and telephone number?”
Christmas is different here _ no big living room, no brick hearth, no wall of frosted windows looking down the sloping wooded hills toward the lake. So we’ve recast traditions. We still cook an easy Christmas Eve dinner before church of fresh steamed lobster or make our favorite crab imperial, paired with a crisp bottle of Chardonnay and some veggies. It’s easy to make and reminds us of home.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Can't you hear her now:
"For the love of GOD woman, can't you just let me SLEEP without throwing some damn squeaky monkey in my general direction? Now go the hell away."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
As you can see...
... she totally played ball. (Or maybe, being the only grandchild on both sides totally gives me magic powers.)
Since I played the Grammy's Birthday Drinking Game too, I was a little sloshed and got camera happy. Here's some of the highlights.
Grammy getting her special fancy pants citation from the governor of Maryland for being 100:
The quilt I made her:
A picture of her looking at old pictures -- in this one, she's with my parents on their wedding day, 40 years ago:
And finally, here's the coolest thing ever. My parents got her some custom-made M&Ms. She thought they were cool. So did the waitress at the restaurant who a) recognized my grandmother from the YMCA, where apparently they both work out every day and b) thought the candy was so cool she wanted to take a few home to her mom.
For the record, I was sort of loaded at this point in the evening, which explains why I excused myself from the table -- camera in hand -- with a plate full of M&Ms to go to the lady's room because there was better light for my picture taking.
Yeah. I know.
Yes. That's a picture of her. On the freakin' M&Ms.
So, here's a toast to good health and more birthdays for the lovely Grammy. And, you know, that longevity is genetic.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm looking for a way to liven up my exercise routine. And by liven up, I mean completely restart from a state of total lazy-ass dormancy.
My super fabulous coworkers have been working inspire me and I've
So today, for the second day in a row (YAY!), I hauled my ever larger ass to the gym. I ditched my regular elliptical session for a 45 minute spinning class.
Now, I've never done spinning (spun?) before and I was fairly certain that I was going to drop dead in a pile of plus-sized goo about 20 minutes in. But you know what? It was fucking AWESOME. And I can't wait to go back.
Thanks to the endorphins, I'm shockingly giddy about the whole thing, even though I had to waddle down the three flights of stairs to leave the gym's locker room because my quads were so tight. (The Boy points out that perhaps I should reassess my enthusiasm tomorrow once the pain has set in. Bah.)
Anyway, it was really cool. And while I didn't put the resistance ALL the way up (seriously, at one point he had us going at 100 percent. Also, isometrics = EVIL.) I still felt like I worked my butt off. And, the icing on the cake is that the teacher said I kicked ass. I'm sure he's supposed to say that stuff, but he gave me a shout out in class (I confessed to being a spinning virgin at the start) and told me afterwards that I "rocked it." Hell yeah, I did!
So, here's a cautiously optimistic thumbs up!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
But I'm breaking my rule because I just had to share this.
We watched this tonight at my church's young adult group. Regardless of your thoughts on faith, this should really give everyone something to think about as the holidays approach.
I mean, seriously, we spend $450 BILLION a year on Christmas in the U.S.?? REALLY? WTF? Doesn't that just seem so utterly ... WRONG?
I sometimes get annoyed at people who are all, "Let's not forget the reason for the season." Ok, fine, totally valid point. But Christmas has also become so much more than that and it's not fair to discount that either. For me, it's also about tradition. And family. And friends. And sharing. And jammies on Christmas day while watching the same movies. And reliving great memories and making new ones.
But there's a really important point that the Advent Conspiracy folks make, too.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in it all that we really do lose sight of how materialistic we've become and how important it is for those who can to help others.
Which is why the video got me thinking and got the group of us talking well past the end of our meeting.
My BFF is known for her kick-ass gift giving skills. (Seriously, Currer Bell -- your jammies last year were the shizam!). But this year, she and her boy figured that there were other people (and things) that needed help much more than their friends and family needed stuff. So they're making donations to charitable organizations on behalf of everyone. They asked us which ones we liked best, but also offered up some of their favorites if we couldn't think of anything.
I'm not saying you need to stop giving gifts. Or return what you've got. I'm just saying that it's nice to be reminded of how fortunate we are. And to remember that quote my momma always rehashed to me: "To whom much is given, much is expected."
Enough rambling on my part. Watch. And let me know what you think.
P.S. I'm not endorsing this group, its message, or its cause. I'm just saying they raise a whole hell of a lot of interesting points that make you think. :-)
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Since I'm me, I'm all focused on the small stuff. Not, like, what I should sell, or how much I need to make before I post it online, etc. But, thanks to my super fab friend Sara, I have a name:
Pieces of Yay!
It's so totally Noodles it makes me want to scream with glee.
Advice -- solicited and not -- will be gladly accepted as I get this off the ground.
But, just a warning... it's LOUD. And completely uneffective without volume. So be prepared for noice or wear headphones.
Consider yourself warned.
Destress yourself (without booze) by clicking here.