Feb 20, 2006

Kiwi Laguna revisited

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This is the piece Anna asked me to enlarge to enter in the quilt show in April. It used to stop at the blue/green stripes at the bottom and the blue strip with the flowers on the left.

It was a bit of a challenge to add to it in a way that "blended" and "fit" with what was already there. I was willing to take on that challenge because a)this piece grew organically from the original painted/stamped square at the top right so it seemed natural for it to grow a bit more and b)I've been rethinking some of my "finished" tops anyway, toying with the idea that both some borderish work and a larger size would add to their impact. Whew, how's that for a run-on sentence?

I'm calling this Kiwi Laguna because those are the color names on the el-cheapo bottles of craft paint that inspired the original painted/stamped square that was the beginning of this piece.

There, that's much better

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I tore out the embroidery that was making me unhappy and redid the whole thing. MUCH better. I ended up using a regular DMC embroidery floss because I just couldn't find a perle cotton in the right tone. I want the embellishment to look like it's part of the pitcher rather than something stuck on top of it. I may add a bit more embellishment but for now I think I'll let it rest a bit and work on putting the background together.

Feb 19, 2006

Kindred Spirits and Pampered Chefs

Caity left a comment on my post about Sew Uniquely You about finding Kindred Spirits as Anne of Green Gables did. Yes, that's EXACTLY how I felt and that's even the term I'd been using in my head. Because I love Anne-with-an-E Shirley and I've read all the Green Gables books too many times to count. Anyway, it turns out my own kindred sewing spirits, in addition to sewing at the shop whenever they can, get together one Thursday evening a month to share their work and eat snacks and have a little demo to learn something new.

So, I went to the shop Thursday after work and met some more of the kindred spirits. We showed and talked about work-in-progress, including mine and Anna showed us how to cut up beer cans and sew them on quilts for pretty little metal embellishments. And there were deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs but I never get them because my family doesn't like eggs. It was an excellent way to spend an evening, even without the deviled eggs. The deviled eggs were frosting on the cake.

Friday MIL and SIL arrived from Coulee Dam and we had a yummy Artist Cafe dinner and stayed up until 3 a.m. visiting. Everyone was rather shocked that I stayed up so late as I'm usually out cold by 10. Nevertheless, I popped out of bed at 7 and finished sprucing up the house for the Pampered Chef party.

My excellent Pampered Chef consultant and sister-in-law Kasey is just getting started doing PC and I agreed to host a party so she could "practice". As if she needed practice? She was great! I was having so much fun being the hostess-with-the-mostest that I completely forgot to take pictures of Kasey doing her thing. You will have to take my word for it that she was funny and informative and my guests all loved her and she made some YUMMY FOOD. And she sold a whole pile of stuff, so I get to pick out a whole 'nother pile of stuff as my hostess reward. And I had all this fun for the mere price of cleaning my house?

OK, more about the food. She made Crostini Caprese which turned out to be yummy little bites of pesto and tomato and basil and melted mozzarella on top of toasted french bread. Yummy. A little bit later, I whipped up a few more with some smoked turkey and chopped olives added in. Did I mention yummy? And then Kasey made some little puffs by rolling together crescent roll dough, cream cheese mixed with garlic and more of the smoked turkey. OHMIGOSH YUMMY. I was kinda glad she waited until most of the guests left before making the puffs because that meant I got to eat them all instead of being a polite hostess and sharing them with my guests.

And now the house is clean and I still have two days off. It looks like I'll be forced to sew. Darn. Hee hee. I might have to run to the store to get more ingredients for puffs first. Sewing requires sustenance right?

Feb 17, 2006

The Case of the iPod

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Here's my finished iPod lanyard case thingie. I read my camera manual on Wednesday (I've only had the camera for a year now) and figured out how to get the macro setting, so theoretically I can take better detail shots now.

In other exciting developments, the kitchen counter is de-cluttered enough to take pictures on! More cleaning tonight...I'm hosting a Pampered Chef party for my sister-in-law tomorrow. Then I'll still have Sunday and Monday to sew!

Feb 14, 2006

Gratuitous cute cat photo

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Here's Pistol in training for the rigorous Cat-Napping event in the Kitten Olympics.

Feb 12, 2006


Meaning: I have found it! I knew there were other contemporary/arty quilters in this area...someone else must be buying all those copies of Quilting Arts that can be found at every local bookstore. But I sure couldn't find where any of them were hanging out, at least until my excellent and talented friend Pamela Mostek invited me to a lecture Friday night at Sew Uniquely You.

I've seen the Sew Uniquely You name attached to various events over the past few years. Events I never seem to be able to make it to. I didn't realize they had a store. I couldn't make it to Pam's lecture Friday night either, but she said enough intriguing things in her email that I called the store earlier this week and forcibly dragged my family there yesterday afternoon. It was lovely! There were lots of people in and out and they all oohed and aahed over the work I brought in and nobody asked me what I was going to do with it when it was finished.

As near as I can tell, the primary purpose of the shop is to provide a place for contemporary/arty quilters to hang out and sew and learn. The gals there yesterday encouraged me to come and sew with them. The owner, Anna, is delightfully bossy and loves to encourage contemporary work. She asked if I dye fabric and when I said no, she demanded "well why not?!?" Anna brings in excellent teachers for special events. Jeanette DeNicolis Meyer is coming in April to teach and to judge the contemporary quilt show Anna is putting on. I was strictly instructed to expand on one of my lime/turquoise pieces to make it big enough to enter in the challenge portion of the show.

Best of all, when I started to explain that at most of the quilt groups I've gone to the ladies are nice but they think I'm rather odd with my smallish non-traditional quiltlets, everyone there started nodding - "yes, we know, come hang out with us, everyone here is odd just like you..."

Feb 11, 2006

i heart the olympics

OK, time to shake my post-Super-Bowl-my-poor-Seahawks-got-jobbed blogless funk. I realize that sports and the average quilter are a lot like oil and water, but we've already established that I'm a bit of an iPod-listening-hand-stitching oddity. So let's add sports-watching to the list. I love to watch sports. I love the strategy and the intricacies. I love the human striving and the human frailty. I love the adrenaline and the joy. I hate the heartbreak, but I can't not watch it.

All of this high-falutin' pontificating can only mean one thing: it's time for the Olympics! Yes, I also love the pageantry and the sappy schmaltziness of sports and you just can't beat the Olympics for pageantry and sappy schmaltziness. I'm fortunately young enough to have no personal memories of the tragedy at Munich...my Olympic memories begin with Nadia Comenici in '76.

I love to watch the best in the world compete in their chosen events, but I also love the fact that everyone is invited to compete. My favorite story from the Athens games in '04 was of the lovely young lady from Afghanistan who ran the 100 meters. Her time was slower than AshLee ran in the 8th grade, but for a young woman from a war-ravaged Muslim country to compete at all was a triumph. I get all choked up just thinking about it.

I love to watch the parade of athletes. I love the medals ceremonies when the national anthems are played. I love the fact that for two weeks we can set aside politics and North and South Korea can march into the Olympic stadium together. No, I'm not so naive as to think there isn't PLENTY of politics and commercialism at the Olympic games, but I am hopeful enough to enjoy the dream that the Olympics represent. Most of all, I appreciate the full range of human drama and it's all out there to see in these two weeks.

The Olympics are also conducive to handwork. You can happily stitch away whilst listening to Bob Costas tell a heart-warming story and then when they finally show the ski jump or the short-track race or the halfpipe run you can stop sewing, look up and watch for 2 minutes and then go back to listening and sewing. I've got lots of hand embroidery lined up. I'll be very busy for the next two weeks.

Feb 3, 2006

It was obviously fate...

that brought Dave and I together. It seems we are both secretly Cyber Infiltration/Killing Bots. Who knew? We're like Mr. and Mrs. Smith only robots. Except maybe they were robots too, because how else could two people be that beautiful? Perhaps I should buy us matching t-shirts for Valentine's Day?

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alt="Digital Artificial Violence and Infiltration Device"

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alt="Networked Individual Keen on Killing and Infiltration"