Sunday, November 30, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
1. My stomach feels happily blessed today with memories of yesterday's Thanksgiving food and a wonderful tomato bisque today. Ummmm.
2. Potatoes is what I ate most of yesterday. Idaho potatoes mashed with spinach, sour cream, and a little cheese and mashed sweet potatoes. Sarah requested "real" sweet potatoes this year instead of canned ones and it was a good call. I baked the sweet potatoes with the turkey and pulled them out, peeled them, and mashed them. The grocery store had 5-pound bags for $1.85 and that was just the right amount.
3. The yard has had its last leaves raked and the leaf truck has taken them away. Tomorrow Sarah is going to clean leaves out of the gutters and that will be it for another year.
4. At home or with family is where I'd rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of hedge apples reminds me of my mother's decorating. She was so good at using simple things to make her house pretty. I was glad to find some beside the steps at Krohn Conservatory earlier this week. Sometimes the "tree" is called Osage Orange and the inedible bright green "apples" are bumpy and about the size of a grapefruit.
6. Sleep is what I need right now. Really need. And time off work.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just unwinding. I'd love to meet Steph's friend Helen's family at her house, and Sarah and Steph have gone on, but there isn't any socializing left in my introverted heart. Tomorrow my plans include working, and Sunday I want to put up the dyed blue and purple fabric at church for the first Advent Sunday, as well as the Advent candles. Then I want to go over the year's photos to decide what I'll use for the holiday collage that I mail to family and friends.
Happy Day-After-Thanksgiving Friday, everyone.
It was a good Thanksgiving dinner, one of those days when dinner was ready within a hour of the scheduled time and everything came out good.
The rules according to my guests is that the after-Thanksgiving ads can't be read until dinner is over. Then there's a scramble for the newspapers.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
So, I'm putting the quilt I just finished into its third use, and it's not so much of a stretch. (You can see it in yesterday's post.) The October challenge is thinking about your workspace, how you feel about it and what role it plays in your life.My studio is a place of learning and surprises. Where things happen because they just feel right. Where I've learned to use my intuition and to listen to what the quilt is telling me. Usually if I make a quilt that requires this kind of time I’d use my own hand-dyed fabrics, but this time I just wanted commercial fabrics, maybe because I wasn’t sure how all this would turn out, maybe because I got my head turned by the colors in the display just inside the store's front door, maybe because my life was just so darn busy. I went back to the store three times because I wasn’t happy with the mix.
One of the really nice features of this quilt is the dark green with its pale stripe. I didn’t plan it that way, really it was just the right color and was on sale. But sitting way back and looking at the quilt it’s the green with its stripe that stands out. It's what gets noticed first. Totally unplanned and a great surprise – if I could have found another fabric in that color it wouldn’t be there.
My studio is a place where I can try new things, where I can incorporate traditional ways of doing things with new technology and tools. I love that. Using machine embroidery in quilts is still in the new stages. The 30-weight thread, now available in luscious colors, and the candlewicking foot that allows thick stitches are things that weren’t in my studio a few months ago.
My studio is a place where I learn things I could have learned before, just didn’t, and I love that, too. When I got my first computerized machine several years ago it was important to me that it have a quilting stitch that looked pretty much like hand quilting. I tried it out but never really used it until now. The invisible thread I used is so much smoother than what I tried back then.
Plastic templates have been around forever, just not in my studio, and I used them for the side design. I'd never used the 1/4" piecing foot before, and it's sweet and was in the tray all this time.
My studio is a place where things wait, sometimes. This quilt, already started, waited patiently through Halloween costumes, the Dorothy jumper, a couple of other pretty little jumpers, playing with Halloween and Thanksgiving embroidery, some alterations. Sometimes that happens, and I've learned to be patient. Sometimes I put something aside and am surprised when I pull it out years later.
The role my studio plays in my life is large. One of the first things I do each day is visit there, look at what's ongoing, what plans I could be thinking about as I do other things. Sometimes, as with this quilt, I think about what isn't working quite right or what technique I'll be doing that's new and how I'll approach that. My studio is my look at the past and my hopes for the future.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
At last, the quilt is hanging at church, for today's service and the one on Thanksgiving Eve.
Once all the quilting was done, the free motion outlining and the binding went really quickly.
I'm really happy to contribute in this way. So many of the people at church are very musically talented, and I'm so not. I'm glad there's an alternative for me.
Next Sunday when the quilt comes down (and the Advent display goes up,) it will temporarily go to the store for a sample.
Friday, November 21, 2008
ESFP - The Performers
The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.
Good for my blog. I like it's type. Hmmm. In real life, though, I'm an INFP,
really strong on the I, the introvert. I like to be with people, just not in large groups. After an hour at the party, I'm ready to go home.
really strong on the N, the intuitive. I don't tend to take in information with what's actually in front of me, more with what that relates to, or could relate to, or has related to. I can think a whole lot about what I've seen but never quite know what I've seen. And that's ok. That's how new ideas come about.
right on the fence on Thinking and Feeling, not a logical decision-maker but not a people-only decision-maker either, just a mix of both. And I'm really happy about that. Sometimes I test one way, sometimes the other, but the preference is always very slight.
a little on the Perceiving side, less apt to plan carefully and to want the decision made, more likely to change at the last minute and to want to put off making decisions - there's always more to learn about it, you know.
I used to enjoy doing personality testing as part of team building. You might like to try this personality test from HumanMetrics.
1. The last band I saw live was The Campbell Brothers and that wasn't recently. They played gospel music and called it Sacred Steel Guitars. The female vocalist could really sing. It was at a convocation at Berea College, and I miss those. I'm sure that more recently I heard bluegrass bands at the Traditional Music Festival, but I don't know their names. The whole evening of good bluegrass just blends together.
2. What I look forward to most about Thanksgiving used to be days off, a whole bunch of them, a quieting of the work schedule. Now that I'm working in retail that won't be happening, but I'm still looking forward to time with family and friends, cooking the meal, the time to be grateful.
3. My Christmas shopping isn't started, and I used to try to be finished by Thanksgiving. Like everyone else, I'll be cutting back this year, but that isn't the reason for my procrastination, it's more that time seems to be flying by. I hope I get a chance to make a few projects, including Aaron's Raggedy Andy and Nora's quilt.
4. Thoughts of cold weather and snow fill my head. I noticed last year that the weather people here really hype the snow and the same thing has started already. Calm down, you guys.
5. I wish I could wear warm weather clothes on the beach. I've had the beach on my mind for months now. Something about the sound of the surf and seeing the water stretch on forever is so seductive. Aside from that, I wish I could wear sandals with the little piece between the toes. I never could wear those.
6. Bagpipes remind me of a December funeral I attended where people filed out to the mournful sound of Amazing Grace played on bagpipes. I looked at the widow, who was relatively young, and wondered how she could bear losing her husband so early. And almost a year later, I was in her position. She continued on with her good work at the New Opportunity School for Women, a live-in three-week workshop held twice a year for women in transition, giving them a chance to try a job, put together a resume, gain self-confidence. Really amazing work, she's one of my role models.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight my plans include going out for appetizers after work, then scooting home to work on my quilt, tomorrow I plan to conclude the Beginning Sewing Workshop and hopefully pick up my new glasses afterwards if they're ready, and Sunday I want to do the rest of the Thanksgiving shopping and planning. There is a Thanksgiving potluck after church and I know that will put me in the mood.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I always like to go to Carew Tower when I'm downtown. It's very art deco and fun to look at, but this trip I wanted to go to the observation tower before it got too cold. There's a speedy wood-paneled elevator that goes up the first 45 floors, then a tiny elevator for the next 3, and gray steel steps for the last floor.
I took this picture of the mail drop on the 45th floor. I wonder whether it's still in use. I'm reflected in the glass.On that semi-cold day, I was the only one who paid my $2 and went out of the deck at 2 p.m. If you look straight up from the left side of the black circle on top of the building in front, you'll be just about at the location of my house.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
During my trip to downtown Cincinnati last week, I admired the planters. Some already have ornamental cabbage and kale for early winter, others, like this one, still have hearty summer plants. I remember that last year when we went in December to see Santa it was a balmy 50+ degrees and sweater weather so we should still have a few warm days to come. The planters seemed especially pretty that day.There were snowflakes in the window at the art supply store. We've seen a few of the real thing.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I wanted some sunny yellow fabric since my studio represents such a happy part of my life. While the dyed result is much more yellow (and green) than it looks here, it isn't as sunny as I wanted - but that's part of the fun for me. My studio is a place where a kind of magic happens, where things don't necessarily look or happen like the image in my head but where they take turns and curves that delight me and end up better than they began.
I'm not sure yet what I'll make with this goodness, but I'm excited to be on my way.Another kind of magic - this afternoon I spread out cardboard in a sunny space in my back yard. I put some leaves on top and added 20 bags of top soil. The bags had been in the back yard all summer and each bag must have added 20 pounds of water to the 40 pounds of top soil. All through the next five or six months the soil underneath will soften and the grass will mulch into it and in April or May there will be a new space for peas to climb on the fence and for planting tomatoes. The space in the front yard that housed tomatoes this year will have peppers next year.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
And I really want to try some nice warm slippers, with the theory that if my feet are warm the rest of my body will feel warmer too.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday Fill-Ins. Answers are in bold.
1. Please feel free to give me constructive criticism on my art work. Just keep it constructive.
2. When I've baked a white cake, I can't stop from sniffing it occasionally, even if I'm not eating much processed sugar. Chocolate cake, too, a little, even though it's that vanilla smell that I really love.
3. My favorite thing to cook is Thanksgiving dinner. I enjoy making everything, love all the side dishes, like making the list and doing the shopping.
4. Sewing and quilting are something I can't get enough of, but you already knew that. And reading. And walking in the door of home.
5. That's the thing I love most about Thanksgiving dinner, how it all comes together. I start with something and freeze it, do something different the next day and freeze that, just do a little at a time and then when Thanksgiving comes things are pretty much ready.
6. Mean-spirited people always make me think to myself, what the heck. Luckily, most people display some generosity of spirit and I don't think "what the heck" too often.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going out for a quick drink and a little dinner after work, then sewing the top part of the jumper, tomorrow my plans include work, then finishing the jumper and binding the quilt, and Sunday my plans include going to church and hanging the quilt. Here's the deal: I didn't make much progress on that quilt yesterday so I'm going to bind it and then quilt it later. It already has stitch-in-the-ditch quilting so it won't shift, it has all that candlewicking, and people will be seeing it from at least 20 feet away, so it will be fine.
Happy Friday, everyone.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This afternoon I took some time off and rode the shuttle to Cincinnati.
I learned that even though it's getting colder, the Duck is still in operation.Passengers ride to the dock on Newport city streets, then the Duck serves as a boat on the river.