Saturday, February 25, 2006

Color Fix

One more time, with is the quilt photographed in daylight - the purples still aren't showing true, but it's better.

And below is the baby blanket, again, a little more green.

Any suggestions on how to achieve truer color with digital photography would be greatly appreciated!

Tomorrow I will start on a redo of the quilt, with pictures and instructions. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 24, 2006

Ta daaaaaa!

Two complete projects in two days - does that rock or what?

This is the Project Night Night baby quilt, which has just about 4 feet of binding left to slip stitch and a quick trip through the wash to be totally done. I like it so much I will make another, and document the process to post. You quilt as you go, putting the layers together as you're sewing, similar to foundation piecing, only with the batting and backing as the foundation. Totally cool. The whole project, including picking and ironing the fabrics, took less than four hours.

I really am not color blind, I'm just having a heck of a time with Picasa. I love what it does with everything but color - like yesterday's baby blanket which looks sort of like beige cat puke, this looks like I dumped the contents of my fabric boxes and picked with my eyes closed. In reality, it's a great mix of brights, mostly purple and orange, with a little red and some black and white for pop. There is NO PINK in it, I promise. Love it. Even my kids and husband offered unsolicited "cool!" comments.

In addition to polishing this off, I got a job interview (yes!) for a temporary contract job that would work perfectly with my schedule (I think) and be a great entry into another healthcare research venue, which is where I'm trying to head with my work life. So I'm using a bit of the tax refund to find some halfway decent clothing and get a spiffy haircut and then we'll see! It was a good day. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Finished! (With SOMEthing!)

I realize that the mundane details of one's life don't make for compelling blog reading, but mundane details are all I have. My *($%& Windstar died again this week (second time in 5 days, new problem entirely), so my spouse and I are pushing ahead with a Rav4 purchase...which surprisingly appears to be a fulltime job for now. I spent at least an hour on the phone today, and another yesterday, plus many many hours online, and I still have yet to even see the model we are interested in. We have a knack for only needing a new house at the height of a real estate market, and we appear to be just as good at buying cars...the Rav4 looks to be the most popular thing around right now. At one point I offered to buy one that is on a boat at sea between here and Japan, sight and options unseen. Things settled a bit after that phone call.

And I'm becoming dull in the process...ask me about anything and I can turn it into a car conversation. V6? MPG? Moonroof? MSRP? I speaka da langwich.

At least I did finish Amy's baby blankie today, and it turned out even better than I'd hoped. This yarn is WAY more attractive in person than in photo - it is a light apple green, not a beige as it appears here. The cotton yarn washed up incredibly soft and fluffy, almost more like an acrylic in appearance, but with all the lovely qualities of 100% cotton. I'm delighted, and hope that Baby Boy will like it, too. This yarn was purchased for a cardigan, which turned out to be worthy of You Knit What? I'm so glad it has a new life covering a wee one.

The Project Night Night quilt is about 2/3 done, and I will try, really try, to get it done and photog'd tomorrow. I know you're on pins and needles! Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lotsa Links

So Stefaneener bugged me to write something, despite knowing full well I have almost nothing fiber-related to say. As my teen team and my son's elementary team gear up to attend their first Destination Imagination tournament in just over 10 days, I am spending three or more days a week on that. Then there's the car situation - our Windstar is on its last legs (I could do a full time blog on the awfulness of this car) and so I've spent the last week learning how to buy a new car. Does that imply that I have an income now? No, it does not. That's what I spend the rest of my time doing, trying to find money. I just "qualified" to do a "research study" in which I get to clean a bathtub with different products. $50 for 20 minutes...can't complain. It beats doing it for free, which is what happens every Monday.

Right is a photo of my son's (and Stefaneener's Thing 1) contraption for their DI team. They got it working, but pretty it ain't. But it's all I have to show for the last week.

I will try to post a photo of a nearly-complete feather and fan baby blanket for a certain someone who is expecting, completed in accordance with the Knitting Olympics. And I did start a quick and easy quilt-as-you-go baby blanket for Project Night Night, which I hope to have finished by Thursday. And, what the heck! I'll post a photo of the new car when we get it. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Difference Between Legos and Fabric

My 9yo son approached me solemnly before bedtime last night. We had been watching a documentary about the Holocaust shortly before, and I'd turned it off because I thought it was just too much for him. We'd talked for a while after about that time and what happened and what it meant, but without the visuals. He's still nightmare-prone, and fortunate enough to live in a time when those particular visions can't hurt him.

So when he said he wanted to talk, I assumed it was on this topic and prepared myself for heavy parental duties. But instead he said he wanted to talk about Legos, specifically his Legos, and his collection. He said, "I think I'm ready to stop collecting Legos." This was tantamount to a request from a lifelong drunk to be driven to the nearest AA meeting. My son has asked for Legos and only Legos for every gift occasion for the last 5 years. He has saved his money and bought more Legos. He has been the recipient of Legos passed down from other friends. He has a lot of Legos.

We talked for a while about having "enough" of something. Most Legos are the same, just variations on a theme, with different instructions and different people Legos in the boxes. He figures he has enough to last him, now.

So cut to this morning, when I set up to take a photo of my latest stash haul for the blog: mewing and purring over my new finds, I flash the photo and at that moment realize that I may have a problem. A problem that even a 9yo can recognize and cope with.

I am not worried about not having a place to live. I do not fear a lack of food. I'm not actively afraid of losing my loved ones, or disease, or even bankruptcy (you'd think I would fuss over this one some days). But I am often afraid I won't have enough...fabric. What if I need just the right shade of robin's egg blue when I'm doing something taupy? What if I don't have a heavy enough green to balance out the burgundy?

And, blissfully, like a heroin fix, the justification and denial started to kick in. I need to buy more fabric because, see, I use it up. My son doesn't use up Legos. They don't go away. But the fabric, yeah, that goes away and then I need more. And even if I'm not using it up, I might use it up. And then where would I be?

I can console myself that I spend very little on my stash. This haul cost me $14.42 at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Berkeley, one of my favorite fabric haunts. And I will spend a bit at the local fabric shop today on more appropriate webbing and thread, but that's necessary to use up the stash, see?

One day at a time... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Life's what happens while...

The FlyLady and I are like this, but today I blew her off. I had laundry to do, a house to straighten, kids to educate, meetings to get ready for, camp apps to fill out (along with a horrifying financial aid form), and a whole day to get it done.

So I sewed.

I put the cool quilt aside and worked on a messenger bag/satchel for my daughter's good friend, whose birthday is today. She's also on my Destination Imagination team, and is a cool kid. She deserves a cool gift. So:

The problem with it was that without batting, despite being made out of heavy duty denim and upholstery velvet (and I was quickly reminded of how very much I hate working with velvet), it wasn't stiff enough. It's OK, my daughter is sure her friend will like it, and I agree. But I was frustrated that it wasn't what I planned. So:

Smaller (meant for a younger person, although it ended up looking way too adult for the intended recipent), and definitely stiffer because I used one layer of Warm and Natural. But dang! I broke FOUR needles, driving the cost of this little bag through the roof, and slicing open my left ring finger in the process.

So! Friday, when I hope to be out the studio some more, I'm going to give it another go with one layer of ultra-thin synthetic, or one pre-trimmed to inside the seam lines iron-on batting, I'm not sure which. Either way, I'm totally out of non-variegated blue thread, which is a weird and scary thing (who could be out of all blue thread?), so I will have to make a store run.

Once I get it perfect, I'll post the pattern, along with the pattern for the drawstring bag.

And here's the real reason the FlyLady isn't speaking to me:

Scary, innit? When I see it in this photo, it looks terrible and depressing. But in reality, because it's my space and away from my house and always set for sewing, it makes me very happy to be there.

Maybe I could put "clean and paint studio" on my FlyLady list... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Why I'm Not Writing About Sewing

I swore to myself when I started this blog (gee, a whole month ago - long time to keep an oath...) that I would focus on what I'm creating, and leave the rest of my life out of it. But I enjoy the writing, and sometime life just intervenes. This week I was away for 3 days, driving my daughter to a conference on the fourth, recovering/grocery shopping/bill paying the fifth, doing all day kid-sports on the sixth, and on the seventh...she rested? Um, no.

I'm team manager for a super group of teens who are doing the Destination Imagination program. To complete the challenge they've chosen, they are creating a machine, a play, music, costumes, special effects, etc. Today I held a five-hour workshop for the group - I did not get to be creative at all, but was inspired beyond all reason by their creative processes. To the left, you see two team members who have just dismantled a junker bike and mounted it on a homemade stand, as part of the driving mechanism for their machine.

Here are some working on the script. I don't have photos of the papier-mâché extravaganza, or of the two mini-challenges they did, building towers out of odd materials in 5 minutes or less (one of which included a wonderful performance by the two non-builders).

I'm so sleepy that my head keeps dropping (trying to make it to 8:30, a reasonably civilized hour to go to bed, for a five year old, anyway), but just delighted with the day. I will, I will sew some tomorrow. I really, really will. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tag Line

Just got back from half a week away, visiting my kind and generous friend in a house she rented for a week in the snow. The house and the company were wonderful! I knitted about 1/10th of the Skully sweater in Stitch 'n' Bitch (except I think I am going to do just bold circles instead of the skulls), and read half of Huckleberry Finn, and ate way too much. Got home to too many bills, no job offers but nothing else to complain about...tomorrow I will make it to the studio!

In the mean time, bfmomma tagged me...

4 jobs you have had in your life

  • Ice cream scooper at Swensen's in Sausalito
  • Waitress/bartender on Hornblower Yachts charter boats in SF Bay
  • Science teacher on a school research project
  • Database manager (yawn)

4 movies you could watch over and over

  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply
  • The Triplets of Belleville
  • All About Eve

4 TV shows you love to watch

  • Arrested Development
  • Fawlty Towers
  • Jeopardy
  • Anything sleazy on the Biography Channel

4 places you have been on vacation

  • Bora Bora, Tahiti
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • New York, NY
  • Arnold, CA

4 websites you visit daily

4 of your favorite foods

  • peaches
  • Indian food
  • ollalieberries
  • root beer floats

4 places you would rather be right now

  • My studio!
  • Other than that, I'm just fine at home!

I'm not tagging any other bloggers, 'cause all the ones I know personally have been tagged!

I leave you with a photo of my son and his friend's snowman...I have never seen two kids work so hard at anything for so long in such uncomfortable circumstances. It was sleeting, raining, just awful. And they soldiered on. Note the Calvin touch of icicles jabbed in the head.