So I've been working away finishing the binding on my quilt, but meanwhile, I'm drooling over
After all, what's not to like about a pile o' pink fabrics. All different pinks from dark to light, bright to dusty. Ummmm - I'm just not normally a pink person. But something is compelling me to buy pinks. I think it's photos like these. I mean, what's not to like?
On the other hand, I spent one mindless night trying to unravel this mess. Hand dyed, varigated yarn. Pretty and pretty unruly!
Finally, an end of week question for YOU gentle reader. What's on your bulletin board or frequently-looked-at wall or frig space? How about letting us have a peek? Here's mine:
Bornfamous quotes an article with Mark Twain's words: 'I'm a very old man. I've had lots of problems. Most of them never happened." That Mark Twain was not only witty, but wise. Then she goes on to talk about facing fear
Who hasn't faced fear? Who hasn't procrastinated and ignored and denied something that needed doing and risked not getting it done. Often when the task, the phone call, the requesting of another is done, it was only a fraction of what our fear described. I often say to myself as I'm dialing - what's the worst that can happen - they can say no. That's not life threatening. It's just a no. And yet it's hard not to put off, push back, ignore, lay aside. To accomplish, you must commit.
As Yoda said "Don't try. Do." OK, so it's a silly source, but good thought. Intent matters. Strong intent accomplishes things both big and small.
Turned my last corner on the big grant quilt. It's now tentatively titled "The View From Here" apropos of the grant itself. Whooo hooo! The end is in sight - one long side to do and then the sleeves to baste down.
2/24/2002 11:25:00 PM
On a different note about Saturday's adventure: I saw several places where maple sap gathering was taking place. The first place I saw: a grove surrounding a pickup truck. The bed of the truck contained a large white plastic container. Another similar container was on the ground and many many yards of plastic piping fed into more piping that eventually emptied into this container.
Thinking this was a not unpleasing and distinctly New Englander solution to gathering this cash crop, I drove a few more miles before spotting another stand of maples, each decked with a roofed, galvenized pail. While less efficient perhaps in gathering the sap, perhaps it was targetted at the even more important tourist dollar.
Regardless of technique, my impression that the tree tips were reddening while I watched, waiting to burst out in blossoms, was buoyed by the fact that if it's maple sugaring time in the peaks and vales of New England, can Spring really be far off?
2/24/2002 03:43:00 PM
There's nothing like a day off to make your head and psyche feel better. Having a long "to-do" list, some seriously overdue, makes it even better. Once you close the door on the guilty "I really should do those things" feelings - you're FREE. Free to go do things that are fun, rewarding, refreshing. Free to feel like a real person, doing things that make life worth living and not a slave to the to-do list.
That's how I spent yesterday. I drove to a small place in Massachusetts, through the Berkshires, over winding, steep, sometimes death-defying hairpin curves to get to a small historic village. In one of the village buildings - a dance. We spent the afternoon doing dances from the 17th century. Music was provided by a harpsichord, some recorders, a bunch of violins and a cello, as well as a bodrhan (drum). Dinner at a local restaurant and then back to the building to change and dance a while longer. Then back home, over the winding, curvy and starlit roads. Read a few pages of a book I'd never looked at, even though it was quite late, and then plopped off to bed.
This morning my to-do list is still there, tugging at me to "just do it" but first I'm off for breakfast and some sunshine.
I'm thinking of running off tomorrow and doing something fun by myself. Non-quilting, non-family, non-work, non-computer related. I'm thinking about it. Trying to decide that I will get stuff done Sunday if I declare tomorrow an official day off from life as I know it! How's that for mysterious?
2/22/2002 11:35:00 PM
I can't say I'm totally over my state of pique, but I've moved on. Tonight I dashed home from work in order to arrive in time to watch the women's figure skating finals. What's not to like about a 16 year old who not only skates her heart out but out jumps everyone else - there wasn't any question as to who had done more technically.
In between gasping at the screen and wondering how the heck you learn that sort of thing (ok, I'm gonna skate real fast, turn around a couple times, then jump REALLY high -- all the while spinning around three bloody times AND I'm gonna land so gracefully you'll think that it must be easy.) I actually got some binding sewn on. The first short side is done and about 2/3 or so of the top long side is done. It just goes on and on.
All righty then. Since I posted a message to quiltart mailing list, about 170 people have come to this page, a number well above the normal 20-30 daily visitors. Of these, a single solitary person has commented by using the comment link. So I'm back to the "tree falling in the forest with no one around" conundrum. If I don't care what anyone thinks, why would I bother having a web page at all, let alone announcing it to large mailing lists? If you the viewer weren't at least intrigued by what might be here, why would you come?
I might as well spend my time sewing and not worry about any of this.
Ah yes, as with most things we procrastinate about, the actual deed put off isn't anywhere near as hard, as demanding or as time-consuming as we try to make it out to be. Case in point? I've about got the binding onto the season's quilt (the machine attachment portion of the process) despite having had to pick out the fabrics, do the math, make the binding, figure out how to attach each separate color etc. yeah yeah yeah. Coulda woulda shoulda had it done weeks ago. Oh wait - I did have to make the sleeves for it too! Yeah that's why I put it off, LOL.
I know this at every turn - like Nike says - just do it. And what's more - do it now.
Chicken sorta-parm -- I think there's probably more cheese in this than what I did today, but this is probably better for you.
Make the sauce we discussed a week or so ago. While that's simmering, shake some boneless chicken breasts in plain bread crumbs to coat. Arrange in a shallow baking pan and sprinkle with a bit of salt, some oregano and parsley. Add some fines herbs if you like. Bake at about 350F for about 30 minutes.
I took three of these and arranged in a smaller pan and topped with some of the sauce and a generous but not silly amount of parmasan cheese. Return to oven and heat til sauce is bubbly and cheese melted.
Meanwhile, cook a package of pasta. By the time the pasta is done and drained the chicken should be ready too.
How's that for easy?
I'm feeling virtuous at the moment because boneless chicken was $1.79 a pound. I got a package of 9 breast pieces for 6.70. Needless to say, I now have lovely baked chicken for anything I want for the week!
2/17/2002 07:40:00 PM
While checking my referrer stats, I discovered this mention of this very site:
SPPF! Following up on my referers I found this one, a quaint little site that only sent traffic to me as a result of a BlogSnob ad.But then I saw it, top right, a little 'Fruitcake' button, which takes you to this site. Why is this interesting? Well, it's actually funny, in a silly 'small-world-no-life' kind of way only because of what my site was originally called. To which you respond "Oh, it going to be one of those nights is it?".
Now, how weird is that? Of course, we don't really know what his site was originally called, LOL.
What this really means, dear readers, is that it's probably time for a little site tweaking. I'm not sure I'm in favor of being a "quaint little site." Just kidding.
I routinely make huge quilts. 90 X 108 inches. Big. So these grant quilts, while intense in quilting, seem small by comparison. Tonight I prepared the way to make the binding I need. Actually four fabrics worth of binding because I decided to go with changing the color at each landscape color change. Took a little more math than normal, but when you look at the dinky hunks of fabric I had to cut of the fabrics I need the most of (earth and sky) - well if you were me you'd laugh. Two 20 inch squares to make into binding is baby stuff.
Today I treated myself to some new music. Haven't done that since mid-September when you might recall I indulged in the pop music of my youth - Beatles, Paul Simon, Rod Stewart, Carole King, Cat Stevens.... Today I was ready for a change. I've been listening to a lot of Enya and Altan on my iPod. Stopped at Borders to see if they had a particular copy of FiberArts magazine (no) and bought: the Glenn Gould Bach Goldberg Variations, Beethoven's 9th, and Schubert's 9th. I listened to Gould while cutting out my binding. Thanks Jeremy for reminding me about it.
For a strange but interesting look at what the music/sound looks like, click here.
2/16/2002 10:37:00 PM
Since darkness waits for me, then all the more Let me go down as waves sweep to the shore In pride; and let me sing with my last breath; Sara Teasdale (complete poem here)
Saw this poem quoted on the Virtual Union Square and had to seek out the rest of it. And so re-acquainted myself with a poet I'd once known...
2/16/2002 01:47:00 AM
Long long day at work. I was so tired when I got home, I sat awhile, pressing some of the gazillion seams open, on the new quilt. While I was doing that I was thinking about the project I'd hoped to be working on, a binding on a quilt which is otherwise done. Time well spent I guess, since when I was done "resting" I went to the stash and put my hand on excellent fabrics to use for this binding. Tomorrow I work some and then I will visit my folks for awhile and then tomorrow night - BINDING.
On other fronts - it's hard not to get paranoid when you find things in your computer's trash that you didn't put there, no? Maybe I'm the only person in the world to worry about things like this - but needless to say - new passwords and a few new security measures. I doubt it's the cats, LOL! But cats, if you're reading this - get your own computer.
Now that I'm down off my soap box I can report that I finished sewing the first pass on my new quilt. 49 columns of 30 squares each. Do the math! Looking pretty darn good I think.
2/15/2002 01:21:00 AM
tap tap tap..............is this thing on?
Everywhere I go on the web, people seem to be asking - is anyone out there? Seems like we've just gotten the "how-to-let-people-comment-on-your-blog" thing figured out and suddenly - no one there to comment. As I described to someone else, people not commenting in some fashion leaves you with the tree falling in the forest conundrum, aka, what's the point. I think of web pages as a sort of performance art - without an audience it isn't quite the same. So come on people - you've come here for content, I delivered and the least you can do is comment. Same goes for other web pages you frequent. Send a little email, sign the guest book, or use the comment links!
I got asked for this recipe by the gang at work, so here it is! For those of you, ahem, who don't like mushrooms feel free to omit them!
1 medium onion , two cloves garlic, 2 stalks celery chopped fine. (I did this in my food processor)
Saute these in a small amount of vegetable oil until onion starts to soften. Add 4-6 large mushrooms also chopped fine (see note)
Add 3 cans of whole tomatoes, chopped or processed in food processor. I try not to process these down to puree, but you don't want too many chunks of tomatoes. Of course, I do like some chunks, so process one can less than the others.
Add some broth or bouillon. I used: "Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base" by Superior Touch. The instructions say to mix about 1.5 Tablespoon in a quart of boiling water. It's a paste and is pretty ok as far as ingredients go. I started with a quart of bouillon - enough to keep the soup from resembling marinara sauce!
Seasonings? A generous tablespoon of parsley, a bay leaf, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
Simmer awhile and serve with a good bread. I serve by putting pasta and some parmesan cheese grated into a bowl and pouring the hot soup over it. Keeps well and freezes well. Don't store with the pasta in the soup. It aborbs all the liquid. Add more broth if needed to keep soupy. Oh, the note -- next time I make this I'll probably slice the mushrooms more uniformly and saute them separately, adding them after the soup has simmered awhile. If you like your tomato soup creamier in texture, put through a food mill or blender until smooth.
Just a note on the Better Than Bouillon I found this and a few other links to it online. Apparently it's sold on QVC. Well, I found it in my local Hannaford store for $3.29, instead of $4-5 a jar! Seems like a lot of people out there are using this stuff.
2/13/2002 10:53:00 PM
Got about half the remaining columns sewn together while waiting for Elvis to skate. Geesh, what a bod.
Productive day at home. Have three quarters of the columns sewn together on the new quilt. Looking good. Had some mighty fine homemade tomato soup for lunch and equally yummy dinner. Watched the skating tonight and that would have been ever so much better if they would provide a way to mute the commentators.
My other big accomplishment of the day was renewing my car registration via the web and then changing my mind and correcting it by phone. Hats off to -- who'dathunkit? -- NYS DMV -- for a great web site process AND for the best phone service I've had in awhile from a government agency. I complimented the young man who handled my request both on the process and the ever so fine "hold music" - not too peppy, rather soothing, instrumental. A-OK. Stay tuned here for future updates on my decision.
Just re-polished my nails so I'm waiting for them to dry so I can go hang up my last hunk of squares to look at. Then off to bed and tomorrow, back to work in the land of mall wackies.
OK, speaking of back to work. The phone rang this morning and it was someone who barely identified themselves, but I remembered the name of the employment agency from a job fair. She was looking for a "K-Oh-na engineer." OK, yes, I messed with her and asked her a few times - what sort of engineer? AH! - Kana. But in Chicago? no thank you. And ahem, just because I USED kana in my Williamstown experience (muttering loudly all the time) doesn't qualify me as an engineer! LOL.
Congratulations to the folks over at WAMC our local public radio station, on the opening of their Performing Arts Center. Housed in a wonderful old bank building, it's a great addition to the local concert and performance venues. I know that it will also make a great addition to what they make available on the air.
We're lucky to have WAMC in the region (and it's a BIG region). They provide lots of local programming and live music and other programs. Not sure where else you can hear dance music live in the evening, or live interviews with performers in the morning. Even their fund raising drives are fun to listen to AND they're short and to the point: We need money to operate and you listen to our shows, so support us. As soon as we get the money we need, we'll be back to regular programming. No you're not buying a CD or a tape. You're paying for the service that you use - our station's programming. Anything you get in addition to that is gravy. They routinely raise $400-500,000 in four days.
Way to go WAMC!
2/11/2002 12:05:00 PM
About half of the new quilt in progress is partially sewn together
Other photos: 1 -- 2 -- 3
All this and nice tomato/mushroom/pasta soup. Not a bad day. And I even got to sleep late. And I'm off tomorrow!
More quilty stuff here's the first block for a quilt journal project.
2/09/2002 12:57:00 AM
In between watching the spectacle that is the Olympic Opening Events, I got a few more columns of the new quilt sewn together. Here's a collaged view, which photoshopping of accounts for some value changes that aren't there in real life.
I was afraid I wouldn't like it as much once the squares got larger, but I'm really liking it a lot!
Closer views -- Left -- Center -- Right
Confused by what all the CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, DVD-R soup is about? Spent more than one session pondering multisession burns? Let's just say the take home message is WORM. Don't you hate people that use acronyms to answer questions about acronyms? How do you feel about people who answer questions with questions? OK, here's more info about multisession burns.
the end of the watch saga If you don't work with me, you probably aren't current on the watch saga. To summarize, I took my watch off to make meatballs, and when I picked it up the next morning it was totally dead. Figuring that coincidentally it just needed a battery, I took it to work and was told that it would cost $10 to have a new battery put it, but it wouldn't be water resistant any more. OR I could pay $20 plus the cost of the battery, be without my watch for 3 weeks and have a water resistant watch. I need the water resistant feature because I keep my watch on all the time and I'm always putting my hands in water. It seemed stupid to spend about half the cost of a new watch for a battery. The woman telling me this assumed I would just have her put the battery in and didn't get why having a non-water resistant watch was a waste of $10.
OK - fast forward to today. I went to Macy's and looked at watches and bought an Anne Klein watch, water resistant, that is a silvery bracelet rather than the big black timex ironman deal. For that I forked over about what I'd spent on the ironman version. Oh, and it has a cool, slightly funky font for the numerals. All it lacks is the night light feature. I'll trust that if I really need to know what time it is in the middle of the night I'll be able to make out what the alarm clock says.
Update: Go here to see my new watch (and the new sweater and the newest quilt!
2/07/2002 11:30:00 PM
I found this in an email from our fearless leader:
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -- Aristotle
So it's not enough to do it once. It's probably not enough to do it twice. A habit is generally something you've internalized, that you do without thinking or question. It's a part of you and your mind set.
Kenn at work returned from break with a GAP bag - he pulled out a striped sweater saying - "wouldn't YOU pay $2.99 for this?" Well of course we would! So after I got out I actually went into GAP. It's so colorless inside it's just unappealing to me. I don't mind the white walls etc - but the clothes generally have no color at all. The first thing I saw were the sweaters. Indeed. $2.99. Who knows why. I'm not sure I would have done more than glance at them at $35 but hey. Next to them, hanging on the very next rack, were jackets that were tagged originally at $78 but now were $24.99. What's not to like about that? I tried on the small and then I tried on the medium. Both were ok, but the sales person thought the medium was a bit too big. Then the big decision, navy or beige. Navy is an exciting color at GAP but I suppose taupe variations are too. I decided for my own wardrobe, beige would be exciting. The good news is that they are men's jackets so they have really cool internal pockets, like jackets SHOULD have. So yeah, I've now got to admit that I've bought something from the GAP. I'm still not getting the headsets they wear, there and at Old Navy.
Note: the previous photos and these were taken after lying out all 1400 plus squares in one area to see better about the color/values. So there's only a half inch to three-quarters of an inch or so of each square visible. In some instances this makes a difference for a particular fabric but others it doesn't. But at least it all fits now in one spot and I can see it all at the same time, rather than in two halves.
Thursday morning I took photos of everything in its very spit-spot condition at work, as well as some of my co-workers. I've put these up on the web here About 2 MB of QuickTime movie, exported from iPhoto