Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I haven't been blogging as often, because I got into "micro-blogging" on Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter is okay but commenting is minimal, and Facebook just changed their layout so I've lost interest.
Which means I'll probably be blogging more often, even it's just minor subjects.
Minor subjects, after all, catalog day-to-day activities, and therefore often become significant.

I got together with my friend Cindy today, and we took her two Golden Retrievers, and the Australian Cattle Dog that I'm watching, down to play at Fiesta Island.
Cindy and I never run out of things to talk about, so time always zooms by when we're together.

Anyway, we were walking by the water, and a Basset Hound followed us.
She was a small dog that we initially thought was a puppy, with very defined markings. and a cute temperament.
Anyway, a couple approached, with the guy saying he had Bassets at home, and he just HAD to say hello.
He talked to the dog, and barked with her.

It was adorable.

And um, so was he.

Cindy and I spent quite awhile talking with them.
Turns out they both graduated from Tufts last year, then traveled to China to teach (yes, they speak Chinese).
They're out visiting her mom.
The girl threw the ball for our dogs and her own, and we all chatted about various subjects.
When we finally parted, and they had walked away, Cindy and I turned to each other at the exact time with the exact thoughts.

He was the epitome of the perfect man!
Tall, good body, handsome, gorgeous teeth, smart, educated, college degree, traveler, loves dogs, talks to dogs, can be silly, friendly, kind, and for God's sake can hold a conversation.

What a concept.

Cindy and I had to laugh.
She's happily married, but for me it gives me hope that maybe there really are men out there that might suit my needs.
Honestly, it's the talking to the dogs part that I love the most.
I want someone sensitive and kind like that.
Someone who will smile at funny stories.
But it was funny how Cindy and I were both talking to them, but at the same time registering so much information.
Like how his eye teeth made his teeth almost flat (a characteristic I adore).

Remember that old movie 'Annie Hall" and how they're on a date and they're talking, but you can hear their thoughts and insecurities and questions?
It's so interesting how our brains are so busy.

Anyway, it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon--
walking the beach in the sunshine, throwing the ball for the dogs, the dogs full of joy, talking with a friend...
it was a snapshot of life at its simple best.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Inspiring Words

"It may also be that a woman's creative process is misunderstood or disrespected by those around her. It is up to her to inform them that when she has "that look" in her eyes, it does not mean she is a vacant lot waiting to be filled. It means she is balancing a big cardhouse of ideas on a single fingertip, and she is carefully connecting all the cards using tiny crystalline bones and a little spit, and if she can just get it all to the table without it falling down or flying apart, she can bring an image from the unseen world into being."
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves

(from Susannah's blog)

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Woohoo, another goal

In my continuing quest to live to the fullest this year
(inspired by 59 Things),
I just signed up for an online photography course by
Susannah Conway.
Wow, enrollment sold out in 10 minutes!
I'm so glad I got in!

Actually, it's more like an introspective, getting-to-know-yourself class.
The course description:
The Unravelling e-courses are designed to help you heal the way you see your self and your world, using photography and journalling to access hidden thoughts and dreams, encouraging personal realisations and ultimately acceptance. Susannah is your guide through this process, sharing her insights and wisdom gleaned from a four-year voyage through grief and healing.

The original Unravelling: Ways of Seeing My Self e-course takes you on a photo safari into your own life to reconnect with who you are, where you’ve been and where you want to go next...
To date we’ve had participants from over 30 countries around the world – when Unravellers come together online a tribe is formed, and the encouragement and fellowship found in these dynamic groups supports each person in their own journey.

Huge big deal for me to do this.
I can't wait!

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Friday, February 19, 2010

My Sunlight

Loving this, once again inspiration from Andrea.

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Friday, February 12, 2010


Other than embellishment with either embroidered flowers or knitted flowers, my first knitted scarf is DONE!

I mentioned earlier that I had learned to knit a few months ago, and that I was working on this scarf.
I got the idea from Stitch 'n Bitch's "Ribbed for her Pleasure" scarf.
Because I found all these great wool/acrylic Amity yarn colors at Tuesday Morning, I decided to make some stripes.

I finished the edges with a blanket stitch, but (seeing as it was my first real project and all) it had some problems.
The ends splayed out, and the first few stitches I did were incorrect, making a diagonal pattern. Oops

Maybe those stitches shouldn't have bothered me, but they did.
One lady in my knitting club suggested I fold up the bad side and stitch the ends up... making muffs for my hands.

Doing that made the natural yarn and the heather yarn about the same width, so it was pleasing visually.
Here's the underside, showing the stitched seam.

I think this was a nice solution.
The knitted length was just over 5-feet, so I figured it was way long enough to wrap around my neck a few times.
(pic taken pre-blanket stitch)
Surprisingly, it works best just hanging down straight.
Oh well, overall I think it's a great first project.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

His name is "That Baby"


Monday, February 08, 2010

The Definition of Stressful...

...is going to a home improvement store.
For me, it's right up there with Chinese Water Torture.

When I was a kid, I remember how much my oldest brother loved shopping for tools.
He was giddy when we went to Sears.
I"d accompany him on these trips, and I remember loving the smell of hot mixed nuts (they used to have a candy counter in the middle of the store, and they'd roast nuts. The aroma was heavenly).
Today, he feels just as giddy about Harbor Freight or Home Depot.

I'll admit that even I can enjoy a trip to Harbor Freight.
Home Depot...not so much.

You see, the contractor guy is scheduled to be here at my house on Thursday to put trim around the doors and windows.
Currently, this house has no trim anywhere.
(note that wood door is going to be painted white)

I think new, taller baseboards, and a trim around the doors and windows will look more finished.
In order to save money, I'm doing some of the stuff myself on this project.
Last night I pulled up the carpet and padding, and the wood flooring is now sitting out acclimating to the room.
The walls are also old-school plaster (note the lack of trim on this window).

Yes, I did paint that bright green focal wall.
I've gotten used to it.

The other three walls are a pale green--almost white.
I removed and discarded the old baseboards months ago.
The more I can do myself, the less money I have to pay the contractor.
Hence going to the dreaded home improvement stores this week, and buying trying to buy the trim boards.

The contractor gave me all the dimensions I needed, and said both Home Depot and Lowes carried environmentally sensitive wood.
With trepidation, I walked into the lumber area of Home Depot.
Four or five employees were standing in a group shooting the shit.
I attempted to figure out what I needed by myself, but it was overwhelming...all this huge vertical feet of board--how the hell am I going to deal with that?

Finally one guy asked, not too enthusiastically, if I needed any help.
Me: "Which of these are FSC certified?'
Employee: (deer in headlights)
Me: (questioning look)
Employee: "Go over there and ask, and (whatever name it was) will tell you"
Me: Where's "over there?"
Employee: (turning on his heel and leaving) "To the left, and there's a window"
Me: (after turning left and seeing no window, and having no clue what he meant, I thought, you know what? Never mind)

and I left.

I mean, it totally sucks.
I don't know what I'm supposed to do.
It's like trying to talk to me about repairing a car--I glaze over.
Ditto here.
I grew up with three brothers and a dad who did everything for me.
I have no desire to get up and go.
It is what it is.
It's just not my personality.

Note to Home Depot: if you're offering FSC wood as a sales point, um, maybe you ought to tell your employees about it.
Just sayin.

I had had a previous experience with Lowes that was even worse than any I've had with Home Depot, so I vowed to never go there again.
But those boards need to be purchased and painted and ready to go in a couple of days!
What to do?!

I figured La Mesa Lumber would be a good option because it's a small business and maybe I could get some actual customer service.
Only problem is...they close at 4pm (though their website, ahem, says 5).
Kind-of a problem when I get off work around 3pm, quite a few miles away.

So I decided to try Dixieline.
I walked in, and there was an actual customer service desk in the center of the store.
There were sample boards of available baseboards and casings.
Employee: (without my having even asked him anything) "Do you need help with anything?"
Me: (in the state of shock) "huh?"

Wow, what a concept.

I wanted pre-primed, and they only had mdf, but at this point I didn't even care.
Mdf isn't the best quality or best environmental choice, but I took the service over that.

Three employees came up and joked around with me and were really cordial as they wrote up the order.
I was able to drive up to the back and another employee (also nice) loaded the boards in my car.
Like I said, what a concept after so much incompetence lately.

It was an interesting drive home.
My car was a kabob ;)

I hope the contractor likes what I picked out, seeing as I got a taller baseboard than he suggested, and got the only 2-1/4" casing they offered, though I liked a 2-1/2" one better (the space is too tight).
Too many choices, and stress overload...my brain is ragged.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Patterns with Bias Tape

These kitschy patterns from the late 1960's and early 1970's intrigue me.
The designs were intended to embellish aprons and little girl's dresses, dishcloths, curtains, and under picture frames.
A more modern approach might be to use these in quilt squares.
Bias Tape rooster, sunflower, boy
This is a vintage Kate Marchbanks mailorder pattern, with a rooster, sunflower, and Sunbonnet Sam.
Details are added with rickrack and embroidery.
Here's a detail of the rooster's color chart
rooster color chart

This Alice Brooks pattern has a nest with birds--one of the nicest patterns for a bird that I've seen.
Bias Tape Bird, Train, Butterfly
Also a train, iris, watering can, and butterfly.

This Kate Marchbanks pattern of bird motifs would be perfect on a quilt.Bias Tape Birds
I envision this on a quilt along with the vintage embroidery patterns for state birds.
I posted about another bias tape bird pattern previously. See the post here.
And another here.
And here!

Or you could do state flowers, along with these Kate Marchbanks bias tape floral motifs.
Bias Tape Floral Motifs

A monogram pattern from 1959
Bias Tape Alphabet

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