Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Thanks everyone for sympathizing with me on my bad week. Knock on wood, everything has been going just fine since then.

I do have to add that the potato soup that I was making when I got the vertigo turned out HORRIBLE! I know I missed adding celery, but I must have missed something else also. I just can't think what it was. I forced myself to eat 2 bowls before I made the decision to dump it. Honest, it was bad!!

On a lighter note, I wearing my sweater today that I finished knitting about a week ago. I still have to sew on 2 buttons, but I need smaller black reinforcing buttons to go on the back side. I only had 5, so I have to go buy some more. I have 3/4 length sleeves on my shirt and then the sweater over the top. The sweater is made of wool, but I'm amazed that it's not itchy. It was very nice and comfy on my walk into the voting precinct this morning. I have 4 1/2 skeins left, but not sure what I'm going to do with it. I need to get a new picture of it finished.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This is just not my week! (A.K.A my time to whine)

This has been the week from hell for me. Healthwise anyway. I hope when they say that bad news comes in 3's that it applies to your health also. Cause if so then, I done!

On Tuesday, I woke up with a migraine. But you know I never want to admit that it's a migraine. Instead I got up and took 2 Tylenol and went back to bed. No surprise when I wake up an hour later and it's worse. So I finally admit, yep its a migraine. Then I remember that I have new meds, guess I'll see how they work.

When I went to the Dr. last time, I took in my old prescription for Fioricet. I just knew when he saw the label he was going to yell at me. They were slightly expired; as in 2001. Wow I actually heard you gasp at that. Anyway he took one look at it and said yeah he'd renew it since it probably wasn't doing me much good anyway. I said I usually take one and go to sleep; works great. To which he replied "We call that the Placebo affect." And boy he wasn't kidding. I took the new med and went back to bed. Slept for an hour before I woke up because my hand had gone to sleep. Don't think I move at all after I fell asleep, since my hand was still tucked up under my chin. Of course then I couldn't go back to sleep. The fan was on low and on low it rattles. So I turned it up; now it's humming annoyingly. Then the cats see me move and decide if I can move I can feed them. Hungry gluttons, there were still a few nibbles in the bottom of their bowls. I really should have tried harder to ignore these things, but no I discovered that my headache was gone so I might as well get up. The meds might have killed the headache but it blanketed the rest of my brain with a major fog. It felt like it took me 5 seconds to blink! I actually thought to myself a few times when I blinked "Ok you can open your eyes now." I got to work and my bossed asked if I should be driving. I laughed and replied "too late for that now." We had a 10am meeting scheduled and I figured it would be a major pain to reschedule (since I had all the info). I made it through the meeting, but ended up taking an hour nap in my car at 1:30 for lunch. By then it was only taking me 2 seconds to blink. Big improvement! Needless to say, I went to bed 2 hours early that night.

On Wednesday night after work, I went to dinner at El Paraiso's (little mexican Mercado /restaurant downtown). They have $1 tacos on Wednesday. YUM!! As I was getting back in my car (it was facing into the wind), the high winds that we had been having all day gusted and blew my door closed. Or well it tried to, but I was in the way. The top of the door hit be in the nose and the top of my lip. Saw stars! Luckily for me it didn't swell and I didn't get a nose bleed. However my nose has been so sore ever since. I can usually ignore it. Except for those times when my nose itches and I forget and rub at it. Then OUCH.

Last night started out pretty well. I talked with McKelle for a while. Just chatting, I hadn't touched base with her in a while. Life just gets in the way you know. I decided it was cold enough out to warrant a nice hot pot of potato soup. I know sounds good doesn't it. I was cutting up the potatoes when I started to feel a little shaky. Ahh I thought, my sugar must be low. So I drank some grapefruit juice and had a Chex Mix Bar. Felt a little better, so I didn't think much of it. The potatoes where boiling when I decided to look in the cupboard the lid for the pot. When I bent over the world started spinning. Damn, it wasn't my sugar at all, it was Vertigo! Crap Crap Crap!! I had plans for the night! So there I was trying to hold my head still so I could finish the soup, I needed it for lunch on Friday also, when my mom called. She asked how I was doing and I said that I was royally pissed. Why I whined? Because I'm in the middle of making the soup and I feel like I'm gonna hurl if I don't lay down. I obviously wasn't thinking to straight. She calmly says "So turn off the stove, put the lid on the pot and go to bed." Damn why didn't I think of that?!? So I did. It took a while but I finally got situated on the bed so that the world stopped spinning and my stomach decided it wouldn't empty itself. I slept for 2 hours, then got up to finish the soup. The world was still spinning, so I just added my diced ham, the can of soup and some milk. Gave it a perfunctory swirl to mix everything and stuck it in the fridge. Luckily the vertigo was gone this morning, but I'm so totally exhausted. It's hard to get a good rest when every time I tried to roll to my side I would jerk awake so that I could stop myself. Laying on my side might be my preferred way to sleep, but it plays hell with vertigo. Tonight I get to get the "soup" out of the fridge and see how it turned out.

So glad this week is over with. Hopefully things will be better next week.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dart for the Arts 5K Results

I participated in the Elkhart Dart for the Arts 5K on Saturday morning. All proceeds raised went towards the Lerner Theater Project.

Kelly and I went over on Friday night to pick up our pre-registered packets, which included our numbers, map, T-shirt, a pen, hand sanitizer and a packet of Light Multi-Grain English Muffins. I thought getting the muffins was kind of cool! (Gonna have one for breakfast tomorrow, because I was too brain dead this morning to think of it.) It was really fun talking to Kelly about what to expect in the race on the way over.

We got to the race around 7:15 and met up with Susan (who was entering also) and Rachel. Rachel got to knit while we were racing and I don't think that was fair. I know a 5K is about 3.3 miles, but let me tell you when its your first 5K ever, it's a lot longer than you realize. We wound our way around Elkhart's Riverwalk area. I think we crossed bridges over the river at least 4 times.

Walking on the treadmill is not a true indication of how fast you will walk. The treadmill moves you along and not necessarily at your own pace either. Based on my time on the treadmill, I estimated that I would finish somewhere between 45-60 minutes. My finishing time was 52 mins 34 secs, which I am satisfied with for my first attempt. My overall ranking was 116 out of 119 finishers. The timing guy said that 161 people had registered for the race, so I should say 116 out of 161, but well that doesn't seem right.

As you can see from my ranking, I was not the last person to cross the finish line. I was pretty bummed when I realized I had fallen to the back of the pack. There were 3 ladies ahead of me, then me, then the guy on the scooter who brought up the rear. The scooter guy told us as we hit the second turn from the end, that it was time to sprint from here. I said yeah right. He said he was game, to which I replied "get off the scooter and we'll see." Sorry, I was tired. He didn't want to do that, because he said he didn't think he would be able to do a 5K. Anyway, as we came around the last corner I decided to run across the finish line; because Kelly told me I had too! Well actually I decided that since I had signed up for the 5K RUN, I should probably run across the finish line. And no I did not sprint past the 3 ladies that were ahead of me. That would have been cool, but the truth is they stopped to chat with people in the crowd. I didn't think much of that, because you only got a timing chip if you signed up for the 5K Run, not the 5K Walk. So I crossed the finish line and told the guy that was collecting the timing chips that I was the last one. So basically he could start packing up. But when I bent down to take off the timing chip, the 3 ladies realized that they hadn't crossed the finish line and came jogging up behind me. YEAH I wasn't the last one!! Small victory but I'LL TAKE IT!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I wasn't sure if Blogger was going to let me upload my pictures today or not. It does not like Photobucket for whatever reason. Or maybe PB just doesn't like Blogger. I know I don't like PB, but my phone won't let me upload them to Flickr, which I would prefer.

Anyway, here are a few photos of current projects. At retreat last weekend, I worked on my Ocean Waves quilt. I decided to do it as a "quilt as you go" project. I have the first 2 rows quilted and sewn together. Here's the front side of the 2 rows. (FYI, it's more neon than what the photo shows)

Here's a picture of the back side. You can see the seem where I sewed the 2 rows together. The loose blue fabric will get hand stitched down over the seem to hide it.

The quilting is pretty simple, but close enough to work.

And here is the progress I've made knitting my Slinky Rib Tee. I just finished the ribbing on the body and am knitting straight stockinette now. It's going so much faster.

This weekend is going to be so packed. Tomorrow morning, I'm walking my 5K. I had wanted to run it. And I just HATE admitting that my dad was right when he said my ankle couldn't take it. I have a 22 year old injury that limits its mobility. And it just ached all the time when I was running. You know, I don't know about you, but I really don't like it when someone tells me I can't do something. I need to figure that out for myself. Who knows, I just might be able to do it.

After the 5K, I'm heading to Vicki's house for a Fiber Frolic. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's several hours dedicated to fun, fiber (yarn, wool, roving) and food. I'm taking a spinach salad.

And if that's not enough, after the Fiber Frolic I'm head to Lily's house for more fun and food. Doubt there will be any fiber there. At least not the kind that I can knit. :o) She's talking about dinner and possibly a bonfire if the weather holds. Which it looks like it will.

Thank God I don't have to be to work on Sunday until noon!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Retreat Fun!

Retreat was really fun. Visiting with friends who share the same hobby is always nice. You get to see everyone's projects and new gizmos.

Helen had this really cool purple air cushion. When you sit on it, you have to stabilize your body and it made me sit up a bit straighter. I always find that I'm slouching when I sit at my sewing machine. I found them at Amazon.com. Think I want to get one of them and try it out. Who know's it might work for work also.

I've been wanting to do some machine quilting, but don't feel comfortable with doing something big or with free motion. Straight lines I feel comfortable with. I finished the blocks for my Ocean Waves quilt a year ago. I even sewed them into rows.

I had the idea that I wanted to try a "quilt as you go" type project. That's where you quilt each block (or in my case row) individually and then sew them together. That way it's more manageable. Here is a quick demonstration by Paula, The Quilter. I figured if it didn't work, I would have 5 long table runners for Christmas gifts. Well it worked, so I'll have to figure out something else for Christmas Gifts. I started with Row 5 so if my quilting was kind of crappy, it would be at the foot of the quilt. I got rows 5, 4, and 2 quilted. And I was able to sew rows 4 and 5 together. All I have to do is a little bit of hand sewing on the back to hide the seem. Can't wait to get the other 2 rows quilted. I did get them basted, so at least they are all ready to be quilted.

Will post pictures soon. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures. I did had my camera with me, but just never dug it out to take photos. That's a real shame too as there were lots of wonderful projects being made.

We had a little bit of auto excitement over the weekend also. On Thursday night, JoAn was having transmission trouble with her car and when we went to leave on Sunday, my battery was completely dead. I had been planning on getting a new one before winter, but obviously that was a little to ambiguous a date for my car. However I know I got off the cheaper. Hope JoAn gets her car back soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Knitting Retreat and Fair Isle Knitting

On Saturday, I attended the Frog Pond Fiber Arts Knitting Retreat. Oh it was so relaxing and enjoyable. A good time was had ball all. Special thanks to Chris, Vicki, Sarah, Karen, Deb, Elizabeth and Janet K. for all their hard work and/or donations.

Elizabeth gave a Fair Isle class. We all got to pick our own projects and she would help us with tips and techniques that she has learned while doing her own projects. I picked the Linen Jeans Purse from the book "Norwegian Sweater Techniques for Today's Knitter" by Therese Chynoweth. I used a Berrocco Cotton Twist yarn in a Chocolate Brown and Blue.

I have did a Faux Fair Isle project not too long ago, so I knew a bit of what to expect, but I did learn a few new things. One is that the yarn that you want to show up in the foreground (the blue) needs to always be the top yarn and the background yarn (the brown) will be the bottom yarn. I tried to do 2-handed knitting, but my left hand is just too stupid to figure it out. I did better with the "throwing" method. That's how I normally knit anyway. In order to keep my 2 yarns in the correct top/bottom position, I figured out if I put the top yarn over the back of my hand I always knew where it was and could grab it and keep it in the top position.

Here is a picture of what I had gotten done by Sunday night. This was knit in the round and my tension was pretty good, except for the areas where I switched from one needle to the next. See my lovely floats. :o)

I finished the rest of the knitting on Monday night and then got a chance to practice my next new technique; Steeking.

Elizabeth didn't show us how this was done at the retreat, but she did explain it and she had showed some of us previously how it was done. For those of you who are non-knitters, steeking is cutting your yarn in order to either add a sleeve, neckline, or edging. It's very terrifying! I have this fear that as soon as you cut one thread the whole knitting project will just fall apart. Since my yarn is cotton/rayon, I had to run two rows of machine sewing on either side of the line that I was to cut on. If you look closely, you can just see them. Thank god Nicki had the idea of using white thread. I had planned to use black. Would never have been able to see them!

And then, you take several deep breaths, pick up your scissors and while holding your breath CUT!!

I was so relieved when nothing unraveled. Even with the lines of machine stitching I thought it would all fall apart. I picked up my flap stitches last night and was able to knit 4 rows on that before I headed for bed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Son of a ......

I thought I would do a little home repair project this weekend. Nothing to big, just recaulking the tub/shower. It definitely needs it. And since I'm getting the bathroom window (which is in the Shower!?!?) replaced in about a month, I thought it would make it look a lot nicer.

The bottom of the surround has been bowed out since I bought the house. Well the reason is because the plaster wall was disintegrating behind it. So when I pealed off the old caulk, a shower of plaster chunks literally rained down into the tub. I must admit that my dad and I kind of thought that's what was happening, but we didn't realize how bad it actually was.

I talked it over with my dad and I decided to try a "quick fix" to see if it would hold. After knocking out as much loose stuff as I could, I cleaned the edge up and put some liquid nails type caulking behind the surround. Boy was that messy! I couldn't get the tip of the caulk gun far enough up into the opening, so I ended up squirting a whole bunch of it into my hand and spreading it myself. Yuck!! Then I laid a 2x4 along it and wedged another one between it and the side of the tub. I left it that way until Sunday night. When I removed the 2x4's I expected it to just pop out, but surprisingly it held. I decided to wait until the next morning to caulk to see if it would hold through the night. It did, so early Monday morning, I was recaulking the tub.

To my sorrow though, when I got home last night it had not held. The surround had popped back out. My Dad's coming over this weekend to look at it, and I'm thinking we're going to have to take the whole thing out and replace the plaster with drywall. The kind specifically made for bathrooms. So in the mean time, I slathered more caulking along the hole hoping to at least close it up temporarily so I can take a shower until we get it fixed.

Guess the house got jealous that I spent so much money on fixing the car last year that it thought it was it's turn. :o)

I had wanted to "SOMEDAY" gut the whole bathroom and re-do it. However, that day is not today! Would be nice though.

Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm Tired!

I'm beat today. I could definitely crawl in bed for a hour or two nap. I completed my second workout of week 1 on the Couch to 5K program last night.

Before I started it though, I had a health assessment meeting with James at health club. They checked my blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, you know the normal things I would expect. Then he made me walk a mile to determine how long I would take. OK no big deal right. Well, took me 20 minutes to do 10 laps on their indoor track. But THEN, THEN he wanted to know how many push-ups I could do in 1 minute. HUH!?!? WHAT!?! I have never been good at push-ups. As a kid I once did 100 sit-ups because my brother bet me I couldn't do it. Could barely stand up straight the next day, but I did it. But push-ups, nope. I barely and I mean barely did 11 of them. Really not sure if that 11th one should have counted but he did count it therefore I'm claiming it.

After the push-up torture, I ran my second C25K workout. It was a little easier this time because Susan told me about an App for my phone that is geared specifically for the workout. So I loaded a bunch of music on my phone to use it as a MP3 Player and then ran the app. It dings me every time I need to switch from run to walk. Was a lot easier than watching the timer on the treadmill.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on running around the neighborhood or something. Kelly was telling Susan that we shouldn't just run on the treadmill. But I guess it will depend on the weather. If it's not raining I want to go early in the morning before it gets hot. It's supposed to be cooler on Sunday, so I may do it then instead.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Couch to 5K

This weekend while I was at Faith's Baby Shower, several interesting topics came up.

The first made me chuckle but also start thinking about my own life. Amy was talking about "30 things she wanted to do before she turned 30." Now here's the part that made me chuckle. She said she just had things she wanted to do before she got old. Those were not her exact words, but that was the gist of them. When she said that I looked at Faith and kind of rolled my eyes. Faith chuckled too and told me "she doesn't mean you are old." I know she didn't mean anything. She was referring to herself and the things she wanted to accomplish in her own life.

But it made me start thinking about my own life. Several of our mutual friends have been doing a similar list "101 things to do in 1001 days." For me, that was way more than I wanted to commit to even though there are no 'size' requirements on the 101 list of items. It could be as small as making your bed every day for a month or knitting 1 project out of every book you own, or reading Pride and Prejudice. Or as large as running a Marathon. But the whole reference to "things I want to do before....." caught my attention. I've been thinking for awhile about certain things that I want to do or experience with my life.

Another conversation that caught my eye was Susan telling us about this program that she just started. It's called Couch to 5K. The idea is to transform yourself from couch potato to runner. After 2 months you should be ready to run a 5K (3 miles). You start of the first week alternating running for 60 seconds with walking for 90 seconds. You do this for 20 minutes 3 times. The second week you run a little longer, and so on until you are up to your 8th week and running 3 miles. Now depending on your degree of potatoness, you may choose to repeat a week or two. After thinking about it, I decided I wanted to do it too.

I've looked up 5K's in our area, hoping for something around the end of September, beginning to middle of October. At first, all I could find were 2 on September 18th and the next one wasn't until Oct 31. But I have since found one in Elkhart on October 9th. Gonna email the girls and see what they think of this one. I say girls, because Kelly said she would run also. Not run with us, since she could leave us in the dirt, but be there to cheer us on. Which I think would be great. Kelly has been very encouraging. She just started running a year ago and has already run several triathlons and a 1/2 marathon. So you see what I mean by leaving us in the dirt.

Anyway, to make a long story short. I finished by first workout last night. Now that I am an Memorial employee, I get a major discount towards a membership at Memorials Health and Lifestyles Center. They have an excellent gym and pool. I was a little stiff this morning, but not nearly as bad as I thought. I did realize that as I was writing up the description I did unintentionally cut my exercise program short. I did the 5 minute warmup walk, then began my running. I was supposed to run for 20 minutes, but I only did 15 because I was looking at the treadmill clock and saw the 20 minutes and thought yeah I did it! Susan told me about an App for my phone that I could use or I found some Podcasts that play music plus tell you when to run/walk. Have to get those set up on my phone.

I called my parents last night to tell them what I was doing. I should have known what my Dad's reaction would be. His immediate reply was "YOU CAN'T DO THAT." Nothing gets my back up more than him telling me I can't do something. For those of you who don't know it, I was in a car accident 22 yrs ago that messed up my left ankle pretty badly. It has no radial movement and limited up/down movement. However I have noticed that when I exercise my ankle, it actually loosens up and works better. I told him that I know my limitations. If my ankle starts to be a problem, then I will walk the whole damn 5K if I have to. While the running I did last night did make my ankle ache a bit, I wore my ankle brace to bed and it was fine this morning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Faith's Baby Blanket

Here is the world's tiniest photo of the Baby Blanket that we presented to Faith this last weekend. This was a joint effort by several knitters. We each got to choose the stitch/pattern of our choice and knitted a strip 144 sts wide by aprox 4 inches tall. We all used Knit Picks Shine Worsted weight yarn. Which if you have never used it is very very softy and comfy. A crocheted border will get added to it next. But at least it was far enough along to gift it.

Mostly we passed the strips around, so there wouldn't be a lot of seaming, but for the out-of-towners that just wasn't going to be an option. So I volunteered to Kitchener (a.k.a graft/seam for those non-knitters who may be reading this) any strips that may need it. Turns out I only had to do 3 seams. However, Kitchenering 12 sts across the toe of a sock is way less time consuming than doing 144 sts. After the first seam took me 4+ hours, I was a little worried about what I had gotten myself into. But the first seam was my "learning" experience. I wasn't sure how much extra yarn I would need to sew the seam. I ended up with WAY too much. After taking a stitch, I had to pull the yarn FIVE times the length of my arm in order to tighten up the stitch. Well I didn't want to end up with 3 inches to go and no yarn left. Was so not a problem! Then I found out the the rule of thumb is that the yarn should be 3 times as long as the length of your project. After that the next 2 seams just flew by. They still took about 1.5-2 hours, but hey it was worth it.

I actually finished the last seam on Sunday morning 2 hours before I had to pick Faith up for the party. Just in the nick of time!

We all met a Rachel's house for lunch. And boy was it yummy. We had Taco salad fixings, Gazpacho, GF crackers, hummus, chips, cheese, Blueberry lemonade, veggie tray, deviled eggs, fruit salad, chocolate covered strawberrys, creme puffs w/ice cream, GF cupcakes. Everything was extremely yummy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sky Photos

You should have seen the sky this morning! It was so cool.

The weather report has been saying "a chance of thunder storms today." So I've been waiting to water the garden, thinking I won't have to. Mother Nature would do it for me. Then we end up not getting any rain. Poor garden. Well this morning, I decided to go ahead and water it, thinking that if we ever did get rain, it would be later in the day/evening anyway.

Well, when I went out to turn the water off, this is the view of the sky that I was privy to.

Awesome isn't it?

FYI on the storm, I just barely made it into my car and out of the driveway before it started to rain.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Bargain is Struck

As you may know (or maybe not) I am not just a knitter. I was a Quilter first. Or more specifically, I am a Topper. I like to make the quilt tops, but I'm not into hand quilting and haven't really gotten into machine quilting yet. So, since I can't always afford to pay to get my quilt tops quilted, I have a box of tops lounging in my sewing room. I finish a top and in the box it goes. I need to add, that I do get tired of people judging me for not finishing my tops. If they want to pay for me to get them quilted, I'm more than happy to take their money, but if not they need to just shut up about it. They will get done when they get done. I know another 'Topper' who says that her tops take up less space in her tiny house. Some one else once said that they were making future yard sale finds, which I thought was hysterical. I will now climb off my soap box and continue with my original story line.

Last month, I finished my Temple Guardians quilt top and I really would like to get it quilted, so that I can hang it in a couple of quilt shows this year. I mean I spent almost 3 years appliqueing the blocks, I am ready for this thing to be done and on my bed! I spoke with one of my local Machine Quilters at a retreat in January. I mentioned wanting to get it quilted, but money being a bit tight, I wasn't sure when it would actually get quilted. She said that she liked the fabrics that I pick out for my quilts and that maybe I should mine my box of tops and we do a trade. At first, I wasn't too sure about this because I really liked the quilt tops that I've made, but the more I thought about, I kind of liked the idea. They are just lounging there anyway right.

I called her yesterday to set up a date to bring the quilt in to get it quilted. Turns out she only had yesterday available. She will be leaving this weekend for another quilt show or training class. She teaches machine quilting classes around the country. She's even taught in England. I digress. Anyway, I raced home last night to get ready. Luckily I had batting and backing for another quilt set aside that I could use. (Color me boring, but I just like to use plain white on the backs of my quilts.)

While I was rushing around, I came across my Mexican Tiles quilt top that I finished last year. I had originally made it with my friends daughter in mind, but since she already had a quilt, I decided to keep it and use it for my 'retreat' quilt. I don't have any twin beds at home, hence I don't usually make that size. It's bright, cheerful and it makes me smile when I look at it. I had more backing, but not another batting. I thought "what the hell" let's throw that one in too and see how much it is to quilt that one.

So, I pulled out my box of tops and started riffling through it. Let me tell you, it wasn't looking too promising. Each one I pulled out, I would say, "oh no, can't part with that one." Finally, I found some that I wasn't too attached to. While they were pretty, I really couldn't seem myself getting them quilted anytime soon. I guess I should be totally honest and admit there was one that I really didn't like. Sorry no picture as it was finished prior to my blog. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty quilt, but it did not turn out how I pictured it. I used a pattern called Strait of Georgia from the book More Fat Quarter Quilts by M'liss Rae Hawley. I loved the one in the book and modeled mine after it. I picked a smashing purple oriental print for the border and then all the blocks were made from the 'supporting' colors. I used different creams/light tans for the background fabric. I think that was my mistake. It turned out too 'brown.' Brown and BLAH!! As you may have guessed from viewing other quilt tops on my blog, I like bright vibrant colors.

Since I wanted to take a variety of tops to my friend, I added that one to the pile. I ended up trading that one, a small wall hanging made from a Moda Charm pack (in really bright colors!), a pastel Yellow Brick Road baby Quilt, and a Island Star Baby Quilt to her. And the best part, I get BOTH of my quilts quilted. You know, I'm happy with the trade that I made.

I just can't wait to get them back!!! Do you think it's too soon to ask her if she's done yet?? :o)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

It seems I'm always playing catch up lately. Something will happen for which I will think, "This would make a great blog entry." But do I follow through on it, NO. So here I am again giving you a really long entry to read in order to catch up what has been happening lately.

Quilt Retreat - I went to quilt retreat about a month ago. I had a really good time. I got done everything that I had planned, plus a few extra things.

1) I finished the borders on my Temple Guardians quilt. It turned out wonderfully. I can't wait to get it quilted. I'm hoping to get that done soon. I have to call Deloa and set up a appointment to bring it in. I would like to get it done in time for our Quilt Guild quilt show in August, but that depends on her schedule; so we will see. I have another quilt show in September that I can shoot for just in case. If not, there's always next year.

2) For my Oceans quilt, where I mentioned here, I got my rows put together. I'm not sure if I mentioned in previous entries, but I would like to quilt this using the "quilt as you go" technique. I will quilt each row individually, then sew the rows together, add an outside white border and quilt that. I'm hoping it goes alright. If not, I might end up with 5 table runners instead of a full sized quilt. Who knows, but my friend Helen has done several quilts using this method and they seem to work for her, so I thought why not give it a try. I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

3) Last year, during my spring quilt retreat, several of us made a trip to Lolly's Fabric Store in Shipshewanna. I fell in love with an oriental jelly roll in teals, brown, greens, and creams. I loved it so much that I had to buy the jelly roll, coordinating fabric for borders and the book that the quilt store's sample was made from. I started that project. Sorry, no pictures as all I was doing was sewing all my strips together. However, yesterday, I got all my blocks cut out of the strips. I just have to press them and then they are ready to lay out.

Vacation - The day after I got back from retreat, I re-packed and headed to Kentucky with my Mom, my Cousin Tracy and her daughter Erica. We went down to visit Aunt Corinne and Aunt Hattie (Marie). We were supposed to leave on Tuesday morning, but after getting 3 calls from Aunt Corinne asking when we were leaving, Tracy decided there was no reason we shouldn't leave on Monday night. That was fine by me, I was packed and ready to go. It was a LONG drive. It took us 8.5 hours to drive it. We would have made more stops to relax, but it was dark and rest areas are down right spooky in the dark. Tracy was very proud of the fact that she drove 'through' Chicago. She did very well other than the death grip she had on the steering wheel. We arrived around 2 am and boy was I tired. Tracy did most of the driving, but I was still recovering from lack of sleep from retreat. I never sleep well on their small twin beds.

Our plans were pretty loose for our visit. Other than visiting the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, we just planned to hang out. The first day, we made a trip into Murray to do some shopping. We went to an antique/re-sell shop called Trends and Treasures, I think. It was very nice. I got a new book (Vanished by Karen Robards), a set of measuring spoons and 2 silicon spatulas. Then we went to a consignment store. I hit the mother lode here. I found a pair of dark lime green Capri's, and 3 shirts. It turned out that I had a shirt in my suitcase, that went with the Capri's so well you would have thought I bought them together.

On Wednesday, we went to the quilt show. Well, Mom, the aunts and I went. Tracy and Erica stayed back to visit with Uncle Johnny. Tracy's not really into quilting. My Aunts and Mom all sew, but they don't "Quilt" like I do. I love to quilt, they not so much. I appear to be the only one who inherited a love/passion for quilting from Grandma Bonnie (their Mother).

The AQS quilt show was held in the Expo center, but they also had this huge inflatable dome next door with a lot of vendors in it. Because of where we parked, we entered the dome area first. It was funny, because Mom, and the Aunts thought that WAS the quilt show. Once they were done visiting all of the booths, they were ready to leave. I had to laugh at their expressions when I explained that while yes, there were quilts hanging up to be admired, this area was vendor booths only, not the quilt show. They ended up leaving me there to go get something to eat while I visited the rest of the show and vendors. I wasn't that hungry and besides, I hadn't come ALL the way to Paducah just to visit the vendors. I wanted to see the quilts too. I did take pictures, but it seems they frown on people displaying them on their blogs/on-line. I guess copy right infringement and all that. Anyway, you can go the AQS Website to see the winners.

I didn't buy a lot, but I really like what I bought. I got some teal/brown fabric to go with my project from retreat, a Bali-pop with 2 yards of coordinating green batik, a 3 yard piece of blue/tan batik, and 3 coordinating fat quarters (mauve, orange and green). I also got 2 lumbar supports; 1 for me and 1 for Mom. If she doesn't like it I plan on using it in my sewing room.

I realized after I came home, that I didn't get any pictures of all of us together. Actually the only pictures I took were of the flowers, Aunt Hattie's Pond and the quilt show.

So here are some beautiful Azalea's blooming at Aunt Corinne's.

And this is the Tulip tree that is blooming in Aunt Hattie's back yard. Someday when my Tulip tree grows up, it will bloom just like this one.

The Dogwood Festival was happening in Paducah also, but this picture is the only part of it that I saw.

We came home on Friday and the car was SO packed, that we decided to take our time and to make extra stops so we stretch our legs. It took us 11.5 hours back, because of this and detours for construction. Just so you know the reason that the car was so packed was not because I bought up a lot of stuff at the quilt show, it was because the Aunts decided to clean out their closets and give it to us. Most of it went to Erica, but the rest of us did not come home with some stuff too. Tracy had to do 15 loads of laundry when she got home to get all of Erica's stuff washed. OMG 15 loads of laundry!!!

Fiber Frolic - This last weekend a bunch of my knitting friends got together at Vicki's house for a fun-filled day of fiber, food and friendship. We got to ooh and aah over Vicki's new 3 Season room. I loved it and would so like to have one off the back of my house. The breeze coming in the windows was just awesome. I'd spend most of my time out there if I had one. To eat, we had Sloppy Toms (made with turkey, hence the name), Spinach salad, taco dip, veggies, hummus, deviled eggs, orange cupcakes, blueberry muffins, cookies. Everything was so good. Oh and Elizabeth brought some awesome strawberries. They were so good I had to drag Deb to Sam's Club on the way home because I don't have a membership card and pick up some of my own.

Of course it was until almost everyone had left that I realized that although I brought my camera, I forgot to take photos. No one else did either though so there! But I did take a picture of the progress I made on the sleeves for my Hoodie. I'm trying to do the 2 sleeves at one time thing. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, since I didn't like doing the 2 socks at one time on circular needles. But so far it's going pretty well. I can't wait to get them done. I still have 12 rows to do on the body of the sweater, but I had put that aside since it was so boring. I measured it as is, and it measures 22". My row guage must be off a little, because it's only supposed to be 22 1/4" after the 12 rows that I have left to do. I just finished a pattern repeat though, so I'm thinking I will stop there and add the sleeves on when I get them done.

I know I'm forgetting things, but what the hey, someday I made need to play catch-up again.

See ya!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Quilt Challenge Pictures

First Place - Diane H.
Song = With a Little Help From my friends
I have this pattern and have been wanting to make. Now I have inspiration!

Second Place - Sandy M.
Song = The Scotsman

Third Place - Joan G.
Song = Red Sails at Sunset
Sorry, I didn't get a picture of hers.

Other participants:

Helen M
Song = On the Street Where You Live

Helen M
Song = Lavender Blue
MaryBeth P
Song = Moonlight Sonata

Sorry, I didn't get pictures of the last ones.
Joan G.
Song = Anchors Away

Joan G.
Song = Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

I forgot to write down the name of the last participant, but her song was "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries."

Quilt Guild Challenge Results

I won Second Place!!!

I was really pleased with all the chatter about my quilt. And it was funny that most people didn't guess that it was mine. So without further ado here it is:

Can you guess the song? Take a good look at it; even click on it if you have to to enlarge it. Well, if you guessed the folk song "The Scotsman" then you are correct.

Here is a close up of the Trapunto quilting technique I was telling you about from my last blog entry. Hey every Scotsman quilt should have six-pack abs don't you think?

As you may know, this song address what a Scotsman really wears underneath his kilt. Well, my version had to be 'family' friendly as it will be hung at out quilt show in a public library. So, this is what my Scotsman has underneath his kilt.

Below is a video of the lyrics and the music from youtube. I first heard this song sung by my friend Nancy Flanagan. She plays the Mountain Dulcimer and graced us with a small concert at one of out first quilt retreats. I've loved it ever since. I hope you enjoy it too.

I really had a blast making this quilt. It was so much fun! I've been knitting so much this winter that I had forgotten how much I really enjoy quilting. It's so stimulating and yet relaxing too to cut up a bunch of fabric and sew it back together.

I'll post pictures of the other challenge quilts in a separate post.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Challenge Quilt

We have had 3 quilt challenges at my quilt guild. The first one I did not even do. I can't remember what it was, but I wasn't feeling it so I didn't even attempt it. The second one was the paint chip challenge. I finished my top, but didn't get it quilted. I still don't have it quilted, big surprise right!?! Then, last year, Helen issued a new quilt challenge for us. We have to pick a song and then make a quilt based on that song. I thought and thought, but couldn't come up with a song that I would like to do. Then one day "THE" song popped into my head and I knew it would be perfect, IF I could figure out the logistics of it. Well, I played around with the idea for awhile even embellished the idea a bit. Of course I procrastinated the whole year away, but eventually started on it about 2 weeks ago.

I'm so excited to say it is almost done. All I have to do is put the binding on it, which I am planning on doing tonight. Sorry, I cannot tell you what it is yet. But we will be turning them in on Thursday night. So I'll post pictures on Friday.

I will give you a little hint. One of the special effects I used was Trapunto, which is a quilting technique that is quite decorative in that it utilizes at least two layers, and is then padded from the underside. This produces a raised surface on the quilt. This style originated in Italy before the fourteenth century. This was my first attempt at trapunto, but I do think it turned out very well.

I can't wait for you guys to see it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It Blows My Mind

I just heard on the radio that some city in California is planning to start charging it's citizens if they make a 911 call. I believe around hear, we have a fee tacked on to our phone bills or something like that. But Tracy, CA is taking it to new highs. Due to a shortage in funds, they are going to start charging a $300 fee every time someone calls 911 unless they sign up for a yearly contract of $48/year.

So if you're strapped for money, and can't afford the $48/year membership fee, because let's face it we know there are people out there who can't, you now have to make the decision to let your husband/wife/child suffer and possibly die because you can't afford a $300 fee.

Here is a scenario: You're in a hotel visiting this fair city and someone in the hall has a seizure; is unconscious. What happens if you call 911? Do you get charged $300 or does the unconscious person get charged?

What if your neighbor's house is on fire?

Can you imagine how many people are not going to call 911 if this happens?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I've Come to a Conclusion

I've come to the conclusion that I just eat out too much. I need to cut back, not only to save money, but to make sure I'm not eating too much junk.

The only problem with this is that I have no idea how to plan my meals for the week. How do I know what I'm going to be hungry for next week?? I have in the past, bought items, thinking they would be good to eat next week and then either didn't want it or didn't have time to cook it. I've lost count of how many bunches of broccoli or cauliflower that have gone bad languishing in my fridge.

Another problem as I see it, is that I don't really know how to cook for one. I end up with too many left overs that have to be eaten for both lunch and dinner sometimes 3 days in a row. That really puts me off cooking.

Last night I made shrimp scampi or something very similar to it. It tasted good, but I have enough for lunch/dinner today, lunch/dinner tomorrow. In the hopes of not OD'ing on the shrimp so quickly, I brought along a sandwich and veggies to eat for dinner tonight on the way to my quilt bee group.

Any ideas?? Either tips on learning how to plan my meals or on how to cook with less leftovers??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Updates and New Toys

OK, I've been busy working on my Ravelympics project - Gail. Here is a "bad" picture of it. I tried to take a close up of the pattern, but it was too blurry. I'll have to pin it out tonight.

I had to take last night off though. I'm prone to Tennis Elbow when I knit too long and it was starting to hurt on Tuesday night when set my knitting aside. I'm going to try knitting tonight, but probably not as many rows as I have done before. Maybe I should knit a couple of rows, take a break, knit a couple rows... We'll see how it goes. I am anxious to get this done so I can start my next new project.

Which leads me right into the "New Toys" topic. A year or so ago, Knitpicks.com had a colorwork bag pattern for sale as a kit. I was too intimidated by it to even contemplate buying it. But now that I have tried knitting colorwork, I think I'm ready to give it a try. So I went looking for the it. The kits are no longer available, but I was able to get the pattern and yarn. Here is a picture of the bag. It is called Sipalu created by Kerin Dimeler- Laurence. Ain't she beautiful?!?!

I got the yarn to do the orange/fall colored bag. The pattern calls for 17 balls of yarn, but if I read it right, that is enough to make 2 bags. I figured it out that if I bought the 17 balls of yarn, it would actually have been more expensive than buying one of their Sample packs which has 21 balls yarn. (All different colors of course) And since it was such a bargain :o) I bought the Sample Pack . It came in the mail on Tuesday. Can't wait to start it! Still need the right size needles though.
I did buy 3 extra balls in the orange colors (on the left), because I really wanted my bag to look like the fall colored bag. I played with everything Tuesday night and have all my colors figured out. It will have more green in it than what the picture shows, but I cool with that.

While looking on-line for the needles for my Sipalu bag, I ran across an interesting link on Erica's Sewing Center web-site. Joyce Roberts of Arkansas, sent in a great new idea for storing all your knitting tools. I was floored!! I have been looking for a solution to all the different containers that I have my needles in and low and behold she found one. Thank you Joyce for the wonderful idea.

It is called the StitchBow Needlework Travel Bag and it is made by DMC (as in DMC embroidery floss). It works perfectly for storing my Knitpicks options circular needles, Boye interchangeable circular needles, DPNs, and crochet hooks. Check these photos out.

Nice expandable handles and an outside pocket.

See the dark spot in the lower left corner? It's piece of dark felt for putting your needles in. Thanks to an idea by Antonette, I'm going to put saftey pins there to hold my stitch markers. There is a 3-ring binder inside that hold floss binder sheets that are perfect for storing your needles. 1 sheet comes with the bag when you get it, but you can buy more in packs of 2.

I put a piece of paper behind it so it is easier to see it. Here are my Knitpicks Options Circular needles. Each sheet flips out and you can store the needles on both sides. I plan to label all the pockets with the appropriate needle size. (Just need to buy batteries for that pesky label maker)
It even fits your 8" DPN's.

The front and back sides have nice big pockets for storing all your miscellaneous items also.

I took this to my knitting group last night and they were all oohing and aahing over it. I just know there is going to be a stampede once everyone realizes they can buy these at JoAnn's with the 40% coupons.

No pushing or shoving ladies!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ravelympics Begins!

Team Michigan
Events: Lace Luge and WIPs Dancing

Well, it will at 9:30pm tonight at the start of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. I can't wait. This is my first time participating in the Ravelry Olympics (ravelympics). You are supposed to start a project or work on a WIP (work-in-process) project with the idea of pushing yourself to finish the project before the end of the Closing ceremonies on February 28th.

I'm going to be working on a shawl Gail (Ravelry link) and also my Bagged colorwork tote bag that I started last September. I figured 2 projects would probably be my limit, however there are people signing up to do a lot more. There's no way they could possible get them all done. I think signing up for too many would just overwhelm me. I wouldn't be sure what to start first.

Tonight I am going to Heidi's house to watch the opening ceremonies with several other knitters as we begin our projects. Should be fun. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

If you don't have a Ravelry account, click here to see a picture of Gail from the designers Flickr page.