Jan 29, 2006

Look, a series!

 Posted by Picasa

LOL, not really, but I've been having a lot of fun with this little flower shape and the funky checkerboard this week. The one on the right is working on becoming the pocket for a lanyard for my iPod. I'm not completely sure how this happened because I had every intention of making a pretty pastel pink and yellow lanyard pocket.

After I cut out the first lime flower, I was really happy with the leftover shape and thus the experiment on the left. This one will most likely become a postcard.

Jan 28, 2006



Hmm, just how dorky is it to take pictures of your computer screen?

The thing is, I'm totally mesmerized by the visual effects feature on iTunes. It kicks out some pretty cool abstract quilt designs. But it moves fast, so you have to keep the camera on and ready to shoot. I can only manage that for about 2 songs and then I have to stop and go sew some more. Posted by Picasa

Jan 24, 2006



Um, yeah, this new Picasa 2 BlogThis thing? It sucks rocks. I hate it. Passionately. Posted by Picasa

Well, either the third time is a charm or I reached the right tenor of vitriol and it actually worked this time instead of dumping my post into oblivion.

OK, so what I meant to say is that I had a hard time concentrating at work today because I had a bad case of trying to figure out how to fix this dratted blue pitcher. I like the look of the embroidery, but the color of the embroidery thread, well, blech. Yes, I'm obsessive enough to rip it out and redo it, but first I have to find the right color. Also may wash out the pencil lines and rethink the embroidery design. But not now. Now I must find chocolate.

Jan 22, 2006



SUPERBOWL BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's AshLee, her friend Jessie and NFL MVP and SUPERBOWL BOUND Seahawk Shaun Alexander last August at training camp here in Cheney.

GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Posted by Picasa

Jan 21, 2006

Look! She quilts!

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And you thought it was all about shopping and lazing around the house! This is the first of two baby quilts for the twins, Eric and Krista. The second quilt is cut out and will go up on the design wall now that I've finally taken a picture of this one. I have matching cowboy and cowgirl prints for the backs. Too cute!

Bead Shopping!

Monday we had a field trip. Bead and jewelry-making supply wholesaler Rings & Things is located in Spokane and they have a cash-and-carry showroom. Here's AshLee, mom and Aunt Susie digging through the clearance boxes. We spent almost 3 hours and way too much money but came home with bags and bags of treasures!

P.S. I'm using this stupid BlogThis! thing and I don't like it. Apologies in advance if it looks goofy. Posted by Picasa

Jan 20, 2006

Odd? Maybe so...

I really have been sewing, but we're now on new computer #2 and we (Dave) still need to download Picasa, so no pictures yet. In the meantime, an observation:

Yesterday at lunch I was plugged into my iPod and happily stitching away adding beads to my little blue pitcher. The IS guy wandered into the lunchroom, stopped, shook his head and said "that looks so odd...it's like...2 different generations." He was referring to the fact that I was stitching while listening to an iPod. Of course, there's nothing at all odd about the iPod. It's all about the stitching baby. A while back, Gabrielle noted that doing handwork is a political choice. That really resonated with me. Choosing to create at all in this hurry-up world is a statement, a conscious choice about how I will spend my time. It's a choice that not many people make these days, thus the comment about it being odd.

When my grandma died last month, I remembered again how both she and grandpa worked with their hands to create things. Grandma liked to crochet and grandpa was a very skilled carpenter. In addition the fact that I just plain old like to do it, handwork gives me a connection to them. I guess the IS guy was right, it is 2 different generations.

Jan 16, 2006

4 way MeMe

Hmm, well, new computer is set up, but it seems to have some issues so things are still not hunky-dory in Nikki's Computer World. I'm liking this keyboard though...

Anyway, way back before we started having computer issues, I tagged myself for this meme (MeMe) over at Sarah's blog. I found it really difficult to limit myself to four movies, albums and foods...

Four jobs you’ve had:
Pizza Maker
Baseball Card Store Clerk
Campus Safety Escort
Appeals Court Case Manager

Four movies you could watch over and over:
High Fidelity
Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version with Colin Firth)
The Fellowship of the Ring

Four places you’ve lived:
Harrington, WA (pop. 424)
Melba, ID (pop. 532)
Davenport, WA (pop. 1735)
Cheney, WA (pop. 10,000)
I lived in Seattle for 7 years too...and I really liked it...but I definitely have small town in my blood...

Four tv shows you love to watch:
CSI (the Las Vegas one)
Project Runway

Four places you’ve been on vacation:
Pasadena for the Rose Bowl
Miami for the Orange Bowl
Honolulu for the now-defunct Aloha Bowl
Alexandria/Richmond, VA for my honeymoon

Four websites you visit every day:
I cycle all the way through the Artful Quilters Ring every week or two, so I read at least 4 Artful Quilter’s blogs each day. Except when the stoopid computer doesn't work. Grrrr.

Four of your favorite foods:
Fresh crusty bread with butter (I've noticed a lot of people said this, is it some weird quilter fetish?)
Smoky barbecued meats
Chicken in peanut sauce

Four places you’d rather be:
At a cabin at the lake in the summer (there’s dozens of lakes around here, any of them would do)
At a beach cottage on the Oregon or Washington coast
At home puttering around the house and garden
New Zealand

Four albums you can’t live without:
Can’t I just keep my iPod? (whine!)
Ok, there are dozens and it changes all the time, but here’s a random 4:
Greenday: American Idiot
The Police: Synchronicity
Alison Krauss and Union Station: New Favorite
Al Green: Al Green’s Greatest Hits

Four people you’ll pass this on to:
Since I tagged myself, I'll pass on the same option. If you want to do this one (it's easy!) let me know and I'll tag you.

Jan 13, 2006

We hateses it!

Here it is, the dreaded "my computer's not working" post. I hate these posts...they make my eyes glaze over. The boring part is: the video card blew up, we needed a new computer anyway, we bought a new computer, I'm posting this on the old computer with a really old video card that sucks rocks, in a minute I have to stop so Dave can set up the new computer. I really miss reading blogs. Waaaaahhh!

Here's the more interesting part: We looked at new computers Tuesday night when we were in town celebrating Dave's birthday. Wednesday, Dave "didn't feel very bright and shiny" so he called in sick to work. When I called to check in on him at the end of the day he said "the computer died". Oh really? That's VERY interesting isn't it?

OK, boring computer death post over. New computer and more blogging tomorrow.

Jan 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Dave!

You're my sweetheart, you're my best friend, you're the best. I love the life we've built together. And didn't you know I'd have to blog about it for everyone to read?

Jan 7, 2006

Emily. 6"x8" This is the piece I started in Susan Sorrell's Fabric Collage class at Joggles. I finished it up the other night and it's just waiting to be mounted on black foam core board before heading off to its new home with my mom. I really like how the big flowers turned out. I want to do more work using embroidering to add patterning and texture. I also really like the glow-y quality of the background. I've been making a folder of images I'm drawn to over the past few months and almost all of them have that glow-i-ness. I need to work harder at figuring out how to accomplish that. I'm very happy with this piece. I think it captures the exuberance of the little creature it represents - a successful expression of my idea! Posted by Picasa

Jan 4, 2006

Oops, I was supposed to post a picture. Here's my still life photo for January. The topic is 5 items, 2 alike, 3 different. The background leaves something to be desired...this arrangement is on my cutting table in the sewing room because I'm also using it for my Color and Composition exercises...I'm making my fruit earn its keep. Posted by Picasa

Jan 2, 2006

It takes a 4 day weekend

for me to get serious about quilting. But the good news is, I spent more time today in the sewing room but not at the computer than I have in a long time. I can only hope that now I'm in the swing of things and can duplicate this effort without 3 days off beforehand to relax and gear up.

Dave and I took Friday off to hang out with AshLee. It was a lazy loungy restful day for all of us. I made a rule that Ash had to get a good start on her personal statement for her college application before we could go shopping, so it was 2:30ish before we headed to town. We had a bit of shopping, then an open house at my new boss' new place, then a bit more shopping and an eventful drive home as a drunk driver flipped his car (as in up in the air spinning like Nascar) in front of us and we had to give a statement to the police. Fortunately for his idiot-ass he didn't hit anyone and he didn't get hurt.

So, that was enough excitement to make us want to stay home for the rest of the weekend, yes?

Saturday I did the grocery shopping (the grocery store is only 2 minutes from home) and cooked a pile of food. Monte Cristo sandwiches for lunch, enchiladas for dinner, brownies for snacks. I did a bit of hand stitching while watching the Huskies lose a barnburner to Arizona and a bit more during the ritual CSI dvd watching.

By Sunday I was ready to get serious about sewing, but still feeling a bit lazy. I finished cutting out the baby quilts for Eric and Krista and got started sewing them, but had to take a long break in the middle to catch up on the current Project Runway. I will limit myself to saying that Santino's lingerie collection was an abomination, but he sure makes a good villain. Also that Daniel F. seems a bit flaky, but I hope he finds success because I'd love to wear his clothes.

Today I got up and was ready to actually concentrate in the sewing room. Hooray! The first baby quilt is 3/5 pieced, the still life and fabric for the next exercises in Color and Composition are ready and, best of all, the pitcher for my blue still life is prepped for embellishment. I decided to quilt the pitcher as a separate piece and then sew it down to the background. To get it ready for the handwork, I had to press under all the edges (ugh!), tear out the freezer paper (ugh!), layer it with stabilizer and batting and quilt it. More concentration required than I've been able to muster since the day I took off last fall to draw and piece the darn thing!

Tomorrow I'll post a picture of something, lest this blog get too wordy. Now it's time to make banana bread and watch the Huskies beat up on the Cornells.

Jan 1, 2006

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing everyone a happy, healthy and productive year!

On to goals for the year in a minute, but first, I just have to get this over with: the cat was right and I was wrong. You see, after weeks and weeks and weeks of miserably cold weather, we caught a break. The average temperature rose about 20 degrees, the snow melted and it's been rainy and not-so-miserably cold for about two weeks now. Which has caused the little cat-type to think spring is here. He's taken to bum-rushing the door whenever anyone goes near it and when I do take him out, he sits on the brick garden wall and stares longingly into the garden, anxiously awaiting the return of the mice and the frogs and the bugs. I tell him every day that it's still winter and the mice and the froggies are hibernating. So imagine my chagrin yesterday afternoon when, seeing his little cat-butt quivering in pre-pounce mode, I arrogantly announced that there are no mice right now, only to look down and see a little mouse-butt and tail disappearing under the feverfew. Oops, you were right little cat. Sorry.

OK, now that I've got that little confession out of the way, we can move on to goals. I've noticed that it's become quite fashionable to pooh-pooh new year's resolutions. Every story in the mainstream press about resolutions is actually a story about how the writer is too smart and too smug to make the silly things. As if the fact that we can't keep our resolutions makes them worthless. I don't agree. I think there's value in the effort, the intention, the journey. And yes, all of this is easy for me to say because I don't need to resolve to give up chocolate. In fact, I think in terms of "goals" rather than "resolutions" because I focus on what I want to do rather than what I want to not do. It's about redirecting and refining how I choose to spend my time and energy. Ugh, I'm starting to sound boring and self-helpy.

Here's the thing: In 2004, I set some pretty specific goals for my quilting. And I achieved them. I got into my first juried show and I completed the Journal Quilt project, which for me included trying a lot of techniques that I'd been procrastinating about. At the beginning of 2005, I was in a funk, floundering around trying to figure out what to do next. I didn't set any quilting goals. And it shows, 'cause I didn't get doodly squat done. Actually, it's not completely true that I didn't get anything done: 2005 was The Year of Getting a New Job. That's where a lot of my time and energy was focused and I did accomplish that. So clearly stuff can get done if I choose to focus on doing it. And now I'm ready to turn my focus back to my quilting. I'm honing in on where I want to go with my quilts, developing my style or voice I guess. This year I want to do the work. Quit messing around with trying every shiny new technique that comes along. Quit floundering around looking for The One SuperDuper Fantastic Idea for the Greatest Quilt Ever. Settle down and finish the quilts I've already started that are good ideas. Develop 2 or 3 of the good ideas that are already in my head. Complete my thoughts. Stick with an idea and work it all the way through to a finished quilt. Hopefully several times. There will still be multiple things going at once, because that's how I work and my quilts end up better for it. But I want to end up with quilts. I don't want another August to roll around and not even have anything to enter in my local guild show.

So that's the big focus goal for the year. Other goals include drawing and journaling more, fixing up the sewing/computer room (think paint, shelving, organizing, making more/better work space) and cleaning out the garage enough to park the car in it next winter so we don't have to scrape frost off the windows every morning. Oops, guess I'd better let Dave know about that goal I just made for the both of us! And of course, continuing to cook, watch movies, go to track meets and just generally hang out with my family because they are sooooo worth it and they make me superduper happy. And now I have to go get some handwork ready for the big game between the Seahawks backup team and the Packers. Go Hawks backups!