Sunday, June 18, 2006

Half a Top Is Better Than None

The base is half done, and the fabrics are all cut so the rest will fly together. Then I need to work on the filmy overlays. I found a local long-arm quilter who will put it together for $135 plus batting, which is a great deal. She has a 3 week turn-over time, so this might actually be done by August! I like to bind (yeah, call me a kook), so I'll do that and - Bob's your uncle - it'll be done.

This week has been busy with a major house cleaning and packing and prep for our Colorado River adventure, which starts SOON. My generous dad and step-mother are taking we four and my sister and her fellow on a guided rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. As if all the scenery and adventure and nice company weren't enough, the guides cook for us. Only the moms I know get what an incredible thing this is. Someone else will plan meals, cook them, serve them and field complaints from my family for 7 straight days. Absolute heaven. That totally makes up for not getting a shower for 7 days. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ch-ch-ch-changes...

First, to the sewing. After looking at all the fabrics in that photo, I just didn't like 'em. So I'm making an astonishing (for me) decision. I'm going to BUY MORE FABRIC, in the original patterns, and make this thing look the way I want it to. With one exception, the stash fabrics are going back in the stash.

I did buy silk organza, silk chiffon and cotton scrim - will test all with the Ink Jet Set this weekend.

Next, the rest of life. Our lives are already tossed all around with the new job (schedule still to be decided, but so far taking up lots of phone and in-person time, and I'm not even getting paid yet). This morning we got the word that TP made it to the top of the waiting list at her chosen high school, and starts in late August. After 9 years of homeschooling, it's a "wow" moment. And that now means we need more careful child-care arrangements for the boy child, who is neither old enough nor responsible enough to be on his own for any length of time. Plus we're thinking we really need to finish up Algebra over the summer for the soon-to-be freshman...fun fun fun!

More: I got the additional offer I wrote about last time, and then yesterday got a call from the folks at another job I REALLY REALLY WANTED, and which would pay a ton, and was perfect and so on and on and on. But the idea of pulling the plug on the first offer and starting the interview process over, and then adding a hairy commute, and more responsibility...I said, ahem, "Sorry, no." Hmmm.

But dang! 6 months with NO response to over 35 applications, and in one week I get 2 offers and an interview call. What's the deal with that?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

An Actual Sewing Blog Entry!!!!

I spent the afternoon cutting - very exciting! I ran out of fabric, and started pulling more out of my stash. The turqoisy one is NOT at all that color in real life. It's a pale sage green, very little blue, if any. But here's the pile, with one last batch of stash-shopped fabrics currently in the wash.

OK, they really do look better together in real life than they do here. I think. Every time I photograph fabric lately, I get the heebie jeebies about it.

Lesson for the day: a full-size quilt takes a LOT of fabric. I've got nothing left in this green family, and have about used up all my taupy neutrals. But I think I'm going to make it. And I was saying I wanted to clean out all these cotton prints, wasn't I?

I realized that I need silk organza (not synthetic) for the Bubble Jet Set to work, so I have to go pick some up. And thinking about that made me realize the most amazing and scary thing! My new job is a half mile from Stonemountain and Daughters! If ever there was a dangerous place for a person with a paycheck...Geez, I could hit S&D and then stop at Quilt Fans on the way home!

Speaking of spending, I'm treating myself and the recipient to long-arm professional quilting, for the first time. I've only made one other full-sized quilt, and quilting it was just awful, and it looks almost as bad as you might expect. Since this is a simple and big-block piece, crappy quilting will look...extra crappy. So I'm splurging. I've thought for a long time that long-arm quilting is the best deal in town - for under two hundred, you get a nice looking piece, hours of your life back, and no horrible scars when pins pop open while you have a rolled-up quilt over your shoulder. (Or am I the only one?)

So if you have any recs for a long-arm service, let me know. Bay Area would be nice, but I don't mind shipping. Posted by Picasa

Just Say "NO!"

A study was published recently about volunteerism in America, and among its findings was this tidbit: Women with children volunteer more than any other demographic group. (Women with paid employment and children volunteer even more than mothers without jobs.) Which proves that we get insanity from our children.

I found myself struggling, struggling, struggling with saying "no" this week. Monday I got a call from a colleague of my boss at my current temp job (huge medical research facility) with another job offer out of the blue - very flattering, especially since she sounded prepared to hire me sight unseen, just based on my recs and my resume - and she didn't have ANY other candidates that she thought could handle the job. It actually took me several hours to pull myself together and decide that no, I really couldn't work two half-time day jobs and still homeschool my kids. Uh uh. No.

Just hours later I found myself in a board meeting for one of my volunteer jobs (soccer club), opening my mouth to take on a grant-writing responsibility - yeah, because nobody else could do it. Again, I rallied and closed my mouth and put my hand down.

It felt kinda good. So then when I got offered and accepted another shift at the temp job this week (because nobody else could do it), and forgot that it conflicted with a (volunteer) stint helping at the food bank (see, nobody else could do it), I noticed that maybe I have some issues to work on.

"Sorry, no." A motto for the new millennium.

What's so hard for me to get is that the boss WILL find a good employee, the grant WILL get written (someone else offered to do it), the shift WILL be OK uncovered. I could even skip the food bank, but cold turkey would be a little much - it's only Tuesday.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Dusting Away the Cobwebs

It had been so long since I'd worked in the quilting studio that there were (are), literally, cobwebs all around. A fine welcome. but I'd vowed not to get distracted by anything once I opened the door, so I only cleaned off the ones I had to.

No sewing today, but lots of ironing and cutting of the recently-purchased fabrics, shown here, and digging through the stash for things that match (they're in the wash).

A very subtle and dull palette, which is what we intended. Should be a nice backdrop for the organza overlays.

Sadly, I work the next three days - but I might find a little time. Maybe?

And here, 'cause it's a short post, are two of my favorite beings. You can see that the TP is frightened out of her wits by our ferocious devil dog.

Friday, June 09, 2006

...and THEN...

I went on a fabulous camping trip this last weekend with our local homeschoolers' group. Great fun. A highlight was a game show/skit, put on by a group of the kids at the last night's bonfire. One was the MC, and the rest had to create a story by adding a component each time s/he was pointed to by the MC.

Being a big bunch of hams (one was mine), each child tried to dominate the story, taking it in a new direction, and each of them would start his or her bit with "And then..." This was hilarious, but the MC was quickly frustrated and finally blurted out that nobody was allowed to change the story with "And then..."

And then...the story quickly became dull and ended.

Lately my life has felt like a committee is making up the plot, twisting and turning just to make it into a page-turner. It's not fun being the protagonist.

On the other hand, most stories have happy endings. This week I was offered permanent, interesting, benefitted, close and growth-oriented part-time employment. Not lucrative, but the rest of the things balance that out. I'm terribly relieved, and I even will have some time off between the end of my current temporary job and the start of that.

The other crises are either not bloggable or not interesting enough to blog, but they seem to be resolving themselves with a minimum of tears and angst. I'm hopeful that the next sentence of my story will start, "And then she took a nice nap."

So, here's the initial plan for the TP's bed quilt (click on it to see...only somewhat colored to give the idea). The dark parts are organza overlays printed with some of her favorite fairy pictures. This is probably a copyright violation...I promise I have paid Amy Brown (famous fairy artist that only parents of fairy-obsessed children know about) and her ilk lots of my money, and that the quilt will not be seen outside of TP's bedroom or our laundry room. (And if Miss Brown sells printed organza Ink Jet Set sheets of her work, let me know and I'll buy 'em.)

The afghan is now too big to be a take-along project - I'd post a photo, but Blogger will only let me upload ONE photo per post today. But it looks great, and will get finished during...

WORLD CUP!!!!!!

I can proudly announce that I got my incredibly-hard-to-shop-for husband the BEST birthday present ever, starting today. Yes, this previously anti-TV zealot upgraded to EXPANDED cable for the next 6 weeks for the World Cup. Unfortunately, his favored Polish team went down in flames on the first day, but we had a nice time watching nonetheless. So much more fun to watch on TV than American football, and hey! No truck commercials! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

That Bedroom

First, thanks to the many who keep commenting, emailing and phoning (hi, Mom!) about my lack of blogging. Spring allergies, a cold, the roller coaster job hunt, and life have all gotten in the way of extra activities over the past month. It looks as though I may have a few calm days this week, so I'm hopeful I can get some sewing in.

Here are a couple photos of the TP's room - it really is lovely. The spots are not on the wall...either on the lens or a reflection. She continues to add fairy-themed things to it.

I have purchased core fabrics for a quick and easy quilt and shams, and that's the next project on the sewing table... Posted by Picasa