Friday, April 29, 2011

In honor of the Scholar's 20th's post is brought to you by my mad language skills.

Hoy es el cumpleaños de mi hija.  Es muy emocionante.

Ella tiene veinte años. 

¡Feliz cumpleaños, mi hija!

Time sure does fly. 

I 'borrowed' the following picture from Cake Wrecks.  It made me laugh and reminded me of the time we went to a Starbucks in Madrid and they spelled her name like this... or maybe it was even without the 'u'.  Our American names defy them. 
I think she's in Germany today.   She assures me that she will be updating her blog with many, many photos once she returns to Oviedo.  She's been to Portugal, Italy and Germany all within the last few weeks. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend projects

Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  Thank you for the compliments on my last batch of finishes.  You're so kind.   I'm still spending lots of time with my sewing machine so I have a couple more to show.

 This bag is called Screen Play.  It was so easy to make that I want to make more.... for what.... I don't know.  I used premade handles, which may have been easier then making some, but I'm not sure.  I was 'center' challenged the first time I attached one.  This one is the 'large' size.  The pattern comes with instructions for various sizes.  I covered the bottom with the same fabric.  I might make a little bag called Snap Happy from the same fabric then I'll have a little matching bag to keep inside.  I think it will transport stitching projects nicely. 
 Next up is another small quilt from The Prairie Women's Sewing Circle monthly series.  I love all of these.  And, best of all, there is plenty of left over fabrics to enhance my stash. 

 My kids finished up their spring break on a quiet note.  They get so little down time that they need a couple days of being lazy.  We're in for the final stretch of The Boy Wonder's senior year.  I think these last 2 months will go fast.  There are so many things happening.  In just 2 months he will graduate and head off for his summer job at camp.  He won't even be able to finish out the summer as a counselor since freshman orientation will start in August. 

This past weekend we spent some time with some of my in-laws.  I learned something that continues to make me chuckle.  I learned that the gene that causes this family to have such bizarre luck with pets came from MY HUSBAND'S SIDE OF THE FAMILY.  This family also has a beta fish that appears to want to live forever.  Only, they got theirs as a party favor from a birthday party!  Can you even imagine?  But, better yet, they have (or had) 2 bunnies.  These bunnies have been around for 6 or 7 years.  (Again, pets living way beyond life expectancy...a common thread in our house.) They weren't really out looking to have bunnies for pets, they just came along when a childless aunt thought they would be appreciated.  They thought they got 2 girls.  Not so much.  They were 50% right.  Upon discovering their error, they had to pay the vet to fix one.  Then it became clear that one had a condition that would require monthly vet visits.  Recently 1 died... but unfortunately, not the one that needs the monthly vet visits.  I know it's sad that I take pleasure in someone else's pet plights, but I seriously wonder what makes me keep these animals.  (Really, I'm not an animal hater.  For my entire adult life I've never been without one, or two, or three.  Some days, I'm just tired of cleaning up _________.  Fill in the blank because if it's not one thing it's another.) 

Off to my sewing room. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Some sewing

I have been sewing...just not photographing much.  Some days it just feels like the same ol' same ol' and who wants to see pictures of that? 

One of my goals this year has been to work my way thru some of the quilt kits I've amassed.  I've done a pretty good job so far.

First up are 3 seasonal kits.  These are in a semi-finished state and just hanging on the shelf in my sewing room.  I am doing a demo at our next quilt guild meeting on creating a mitered seam when joining the ends of the binding.  So, these are my samples.
 Then I finished my last 3 Patch Abilities kits.  These are so fast and easy but I'm tired of all the embellishing and applique. 
 However, when it comes to decorating, I enjoy having these to toss on the table or shelf.  I also put a little pocket on the back to hang them.  One never knows where I'll decide to put one. 

Spring is trying to come, but a few snow flakes have fallen every day this week.  Next week it will be warm...if you can believe the weather man.  Time will tell. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh boy...

did Anna ever stir up some comments on her blog.  Go look.... read the comments... making sure you stay tuned long enough for me to point out my own spelling mistake.  It happens, despite my best efforts.  

For me, who didn't feel in any way offended, it made me think about a few things.  I know I'm spelling challenged and have to depend on my use of proper English to get the grammar correct.  I am, seriously, a math brain person.  I know the obvious things.... don't say ain't, don't chew gum and walk.... oh! no, wait.....that's not grammar.  So, I guess that's the only one that comes to mind.  English class was like torture for me.  The minute you say the word.... preposition... I have mentally checked out. (Mad Libs?  I have to flip to the front constantly to remind myself of the definitions.) I remember one or two lessons on commas.  If the sentence can do without that statement... put commas around it.  I remember that after a colon you put in 2 spaces before starting the next word.  Maybe that's something I learned in typing class my senior year of high school.  So, for me, I just try not to have run on sentences by breaking it up with a few commas or .....s.  Kind of like how I talk.  Now, if you want to talk math... or accounting.. or tax law.... or V&T Law or even some Penal Law.... I'm your girl.   

It also made me think about why I blog and why I read other blogs.  I blog because, in my general world, I don't have an outlet for sharing my crafting.  I also have friends and family spread far and wide.  It's nice for them to see some things, including pictures of the kids.  I read blogs for the same reason. 

Back when we first got a computer and I first started IM'ing and emailing a friend, I used to (I looked that up 'used to' .... I'd been wondering if I'd been using that correctly.... see I'm not totally stupid, I knew it was a possibility, but thanks to Anna's link to the WVA school and their grammar tips I saw it's:  used to, not' use to')  Anyhow, my friend was a 4th grade teacher (Hi, Pam) and I used to say I was afraid of all the errors I made.  After all, she was a 4th grade teacher, one would think this type of stuff jumped right out at her causing her to wish for a red pen.  But, that wasn't the case.  She said that I shouldn't worry, EVER, about that.  She would just prefer to have the communication.  So, that's been my motto.  And, maybe, even the reason I let myself start a blog.... the thinking that people would rather read my written word than not.  

To further my efforts to not make grammatical mistakes, I don't use such stylistic phrases as:  I love me.... or the word 'skillz' just in case. For me,  it's just safer to stay away from that sort of thing in case I've made some real mistake.   Someone might misunderstand.

The spelling, however, I blame 100% on this....

 I sure hope you can see that.  It's my 1st grade class picture.  First of all, so you know I have a great memory.... That boy standing on the left is Mike, Lyle is in the gold shirt in front of him, then Lily, Lisa, Charles, and I think that other boy in yellow is another Mike or Bobby.  In the front row L-R is Julie, me, Vinny, Bobby, Karen and Julie.  The only person I sort of doubt is the Julie next to me.  I remember she was very quiet.  Oh, and Mrs. Lowry.  Not bad, given how many years ago that was..... 40.... AND we moved from that school after 3rd grade. 

But, what I really want you to notice is what's on the wall behind us.  That was the phonics program we were taught.  I can't even make some of the characters on the computer.  Look at that backward 'Z' next to Lily's shoulder.  WTF?  It's a wonder I'm not dyslexic, too.  That thing represented the 'z' sound in the middle of a word like scissors.  How about that combined a e thing... for a long a, or the sh combined letter.  Those things DON'T appear in any language! 

I lived in New York when I started kindergarten.  My teacher, Miss Milks (who retired the year I finished kindergarten), taught us to read out of a Dick and Jane reader.  I was the first student and only one of 2 who completed that book and got to move on to the next level of Dick and Jane.  Then we moved to PA and this bizarre phonics system.  So, I spent 1st grade unlearning how to read and learning this strange system. We then spent our entire 2nd grade year unlearning that and relearning the correct way to read and write.  Who wouldn't be screwed up after that?

So, while I have some pet peeves about some blogs, I'd rather read than not read and I'd rather write than not write.  But Anna, you go girl.  Put a voice to some of our frustrations.  And, really, I want a pair of crabbypants of my own.  I could love me some crabbypants.  (And just to note... I had to look up using 'than' instead of 'then'.  Will I remember to do it correctly next time?  Maybe, maybe not. Even after that I look at a previous sentence and question my understanding of what I just read.)  Such is life.  I sure can explain depreciation vs amortization, if anyone cares. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I've located the pictures

I couldn't find yesterday.  I took a couple progress pictures and some additional pictures of 'Think Summer' after completing the finishing.

First up... Blue Ribbon Design's 'Peppermint Twist'.  I keep plugging away at this one, even though it's a very sloooooow go.  40count..... ick.  I would have thought this would stitch up fast, but not when you can't see where you're going.  

 CCN's 'A Bee C Sampler' gets a stitch or 2 every now and again. 
 I took a much better photo of Lizzie Kate's 'Think Summer' but then I finish-finished it that same day...
 I chose just one fabric since it pulled all the colors from the design, but didn't overwhelm it like a patchwork border appeared to. 
 I had a few seashell pins that I tucked into it. 
 I also had some fun flip flop fabric I used for the back.  I put a little pocket on the top so I could hang it in the event the perfect hanger came along. 
Not bad for someone who feels like she's been hit by a major stitching slump?

Now, if I could just figure out why it looks wonky when I take a picture.... because it's really nice and straight in real life...... 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I really do have

lots of things to post about..... I just don't have pictures.  I thought they were on the computer but I guess not.  But, since I'm here... I'll show the cute bunny I finished last week. 
I am making a serious effort to stitch up some of the kits that have accumulated in my sewing room.  I can't remember buying this..... but I do remember thinking the bunny ears were very cute.  The kit had a picture of this wall hanging plus a table runner on the front.  The table runner had the bunny twice.... once at each end with her ears pointing towards the center.  I'm pretty sure I bought the kit with the idea of making the table runner.  BUT.... upon opening it and looking thru the fabric.... there wasn't anywhere near enough brown to make the bunny twice.  Also, I couldn't make heads or tails out of the fabric.  They didn't give me anything that looked like the picture.  Such a bummer when that happens.  I managed to put some of it together along with fabric from my stash and made the wall hanging.  Not one of my favorite projects.... she almost went unposted.... so I guess it's lucky for her I didn't have the pictures handy I thought I was going to post. 

Now, I need to go find my camera and see if the pictures are there I thought I had.  I will try not to get distracted by all the stuff I left out in my sewing room yesterday.   

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A nice bright

stitching finish.... finally!  The other day I needed a little something to take to my craft group meeting so I pulled out Lizzie Kate's 'Think Summer'.  Another of my crazy January Challenge pieces.  It finished up pretty quickly and seems to be calling out for a cute little pieced border making it into a wall hanging or little table topper.

I think the thread colors lost some brightness in the picture, but the fabrics sure didn't. I've been collecting bright fabrics for a wall hanging with flip flops.  Getting the fabrics out makes me want to get busy on it.  I seem to be starting one little thing after another lately.  One of these days I'll have a post with a whole bunch of completed projects.... making it look like I really was chained to my sewing machine.

Spring is trying its best to make an appearance in western NY.  We're still getting more rain and gray then sun, but it's coming.  We're occasionally above freezing over night.... a sure sign of spring. 

I'm off to tackle the ironing.  My husband is heading out on another trip.  Las Vegas last week.... Atlanta this.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Get back in the car....

you're not done yet..... driving to play practice, that is. 

Both kids got parts in the spring drama club production of:  A Murder is Announced.  They're so excited.  There are only 12 parts. 

I think Buttercup is being type cast!  She has the part of Bunny, a crazy old lady (that's her description).  She played a crazy old lady in a prior play.  The Boy Wonder is Patrick.  I don't know the story... and since it's a mystery..... I'd rather not know any details until I go see it.  Should be fun, but I sure do feel like I deserved more then a week off!  

I'm waiting around for the dishwasher repair man to come.  Fun times that somehow just don't lend themselves to doing anything productive.  

Maybe I'll have something sewing related next time.........

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A quick note....

as we've managed to be busy all weekend. 

Last night we went to see the movie:  The Lincoln Lawyer. 

The Lincoln Lawyer Poster

I read the book by Michael Connelly several years ago and liked it so was happy to see it had been made into a movie.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys John Grisham's books and movies.  I know I sure do.  The movie followed the book, which I also liked.  It's full of all those twists and turns I've come to expect from a good John Grisham.  (Michael Connelly is a good author all on his own, and it's in no way in insult to be comparing him to Grisham.... in fact, in my eyes, it's an all out compliment.)  So, 2 thumbs up for The Lincoln Lawyer.