Sunday, December 31, 2006

100 things about me

1. I was born on October 13th.
2. I was born in Lakenheath, England, so I had dual citizenship until I was 18.
3. I think I am a fairly typical Libra...looking for the balance and happy medium in all situations!
4. I have one younger brother.
5. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved alot.
6. As a child, I lived in England, Florida, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Arizona.
7. I went to 3 different high schools.
8. I played flute in the marching band at all three.
9. I was on the swim team at all three.
10. My best events were the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle.
11. I went to the US Air Force Academy for college.
12. I walked on to the Varsity Swim Team as a freshman.
13. I quit swimming my sophomore year because a) I was slow and b) I had problems with my shoulder.
14. I was in two choirs in college: the Protestant Choir (we sang at chapel services) and the Chorale, which performed across the nation.
15. The Academy Chorale was on TV twice. First was the 1992 Country Music Awards and we sang backup for Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" in the finale. The second time was at the 1992 (?) Miss USA pageant.
16. I now sing in my church choir as an alto.
17. I belong to St. John's Episcopal Church in Glendale, Arizona.
18. I was in the Air Force for 5 years as an intelligence officer.
19. I was stationed in Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota and Idaho.
20. I was married for four years to my college boyfriend, who became a B-1 Bomber pilot.
21. After getting divorced and being single for five years, I met my husband. We were introduced by a mutual friend.
22. We got married 6 months later, on July 4th, 2001.
23. My husband and I are both redheads, although he is a true carrot-top and I think of myself as "strawberry blonde."
24. We struggled with infertility and over a year of monthly injections before deciding to adopt.
25. Our daughter was born on Aug 11, 2006, and the adoption was finalized on Nov. 18, 2006.
26. We plan to keep in contact with the birthparents.
27. Our only pet at the moment is a female calico cat named Gidget.
28. I had a male cat (Walter), and my DH had a male cat (Bert) and female dog (Sheba) when we got married.
29. We had a black-and-white male cat named Tony, but he ran away a few months after the baby was born.
30. All our cats (Walter, Gidget and Tony) came from friends at church.
31. I am a high school teacher.
32. I mainly teach math (algebra and geometry) and one government class.
33. This apparent dichotomy stems from my major in Political Science plus the many required engineering classes at the Air Force Academy.
34. I have a Master's degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in technology.
35. While I enjoy academia, I really don't have an interest in another degree.
36. My number one hobby is quilting, which I started in 2003.
37. I did not learn to sew until my mother opened a quilt store.
38. My parents live about 30 minutes away from me in the metro Phoenix area.
39. I have attended Quilt Camp in the Pines for the past three summers, and hope to return for many more years!
40. In March 2006, I purchased a longarm machine to do professional quilting.
41. Shortly after taking up quilting, I learned to knit...Mom carries yarn in her store too!
42. Completed knit projects include one sweater, one pair of socks, one handbag, and many scarves.
43. My first quilt used a Terry Atkinson pattern called "Lasagna" and focal fabric from Alexander Henry that had jungle animals on it.
44. I collect giraffes.
45. While sitting at the computer, I can see one painting of a giraffe, 5 stuffed animals, and 7 china figurines.
46. I also collect Santas. I have about 12 table-top Santas, including one in a kilt from Scotland and a wooden carving of St. Nicholas.
47. I love to visit new places, but I don't care much for the process of travelling.
48. I have a tendency towards motion sickness.
49. Duties in the Air Force sent me to England and Egypt.
50. Family vacations have taken me to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Scotland.
51. DH and I have been on three cruises. The first was a 3-day Mexican cruise for our honeymoon and the second was a Christmas trip in Hawaii with friends.
52. The third cruise was another 3-day Mexican cruise, supposedly a high school reunion for DH. But, there were only 2 other people from his high school!
53. I have never broken any bones.
54. I had braces twice - the first time on my bottom teeth only, then a full set in junior high.
55. My wisdom teeth were pulled when I was in 8th grade.
56. I had my gallbladder removed in 1999. It was outpatient surgery, so I have never spent to night in the hospital!
57. I have spent lots of time in the hospital with my husband, because he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2002.
58. I learned to ski as a kid. We had lots of family ski trips, mainly to Brianhead, Utah.
59. The best day of skiing I ever had was at Brundage, Idaho because of the long runs and short lift lines.
60. My favorite color is blue.
61. I think my husband would agree that I am "low maintenance" - minimal makeup and jewelry.
62. My "beauty routine" consists of eye liner, mascara, and Chapstick!
63. I always have on my wedding ring and an emerald ring that DH gave me for my birthday the first year we were married.
64. I usually wear a pair of sapphire earrings.
65. I rarely wear a a school teacher, I live by the bell!
66. I started wearing glasses in college, although I can get by without them.
67. I wore contacts for about 10 years, until one scratched my eye and I decided I could live without the daily hassle.
68. I read faster than anyone I know...about 100 pages an hour if it's fiction!
69. I rarely have the chance to read for pleasure, but recently I enjoyed "The Historian" and the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series.
70. As a kid, I read the Little House on the Prairie series about once a year.
71. I was in Washington DC for President Bill Clinton's second inauguration in 1997.
72. I am a die-hard Republican - I was there for the historical experience ;-)
73. I visited Germany in 1989 after the Berlin Wall came down. It was a weird feeling walking through East Germany and touring Checkpoint Charlie.
74. Even though I have no desire to hold a formal dinner party, I have twelve place-settings of Lennox china. The pattern is Charleston.
75. I inherited a player piano from my grandmother.
76. The only way I play piano is by pushing the pedals and letting the player work its magic!
77. I like dark chocolate.
78. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Mint Chocolate Chip.
79. My favorite food is mom's recipe which is actually from Betty Crocker.
80. Before I discovered quilting, I was an avid rubber stamper.
81. I am still a demonstrator for Stampin' Up! (contact me to place an order anytime!!)
82. The spare bedroom in our house is my stamp room.
83. I also scrapbook. (one of my best friends is a Creative Memories consultant)
84. We took 75 pictures of baby K during her first month home!
85. My first car was a 1980's Datsun sedan.
86. My parents let my best friend Eliza drive it when I went off to basic training and college.
87. My brother eventually inherited it, and wrecked it by crashing into a brick wall. I think the story was that he swerved to avoid a pedestrian.
88. My dad bought me a Honda Accord while I was in college, and I drove it for 10 years.
89. I bought a Honda Civic in 2000, and it's still going strong!
90. There is very little food in my pantry...half of it is my fabric/yarn stash and lots of candles from PartyLite.
91. I don't burn the candles very often, but I like the accessories!
92. I like Pepsi better than Coke.
93. I have season tickets to the Phoenix Mercury, a WNBA team.
94. One of my lifetime dreams is to see the Olympics in person. I had planned to go to Australia in 2000, but the timing didn't work with my teaching schedule. Maybe London in 2012!
95. I started blogging in January 2006 when I joined the Knitting Olympics, started by Stephanie.
96. Some of my favorite blogs to read are Knotty Girls, The Panopticon, january one, Red Shoe Ramblings, and Crazy Aunt Purl.
97. One of my lifelong dreams is to write a novel.
98. I have a bookcase full of books about writing fiction, but very few pages of my own writing.
99. I went to the International Quilt Market in 2005. It's an awesome show and lots of fun to see the new stuff vendors are offering! I'd love to go every year.
100. I won "Rookie of the Year" honors from the Arizona Longarm Quilters Presidents Challenge in 2006.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shopping trip

Minnesota had a heartbreaking loss in the Insight Bowl, but Baby K is still a fan!

I went shopping today:

From left...the blue crackle fabric I want to use as a filler for the kaleidoscope leftovers, 3 batik Christmas prints (snowflakes, holly and poinsettias) for the "Turning Twenty Again" pattern, and self-patterning sock yarn called "Stars & Stripes." I know, I still need to finish the Jaywalkers, but my anniversary is on July 4th, so I'm a sucker for patriotic stuff.

We don't have any big plans for New Year's Eve, so I may get some more quilting done this weekend! I have my mom's One Block Wonder to put on the longarm, and I'm enjoying some time at the small machine. I am trying to think of a pose for an annual New Year's Day photo...maybe just the middle of the back yard. What are your traditions? I refuse to make a list of resolutions - too boring: lose weight, exercise, finish those UFOs ;-)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Old Mystery

(For baby update, scroll down!) This is the backside of a quilt I just finished on the longarm. I used meandering curly-cues to outline the blocks. The fabric is a new line with Beatrix Potter designs.

I dug out a year-old UFO...Jackie Robinson's "3 Ps in a Pod" mystery quilt. This was a 2-day class at the 2005 Quilt Camp in the Pines. My 3 Ps are pink, purple and polka dots. I am fairly close to having all the blocks done. I need to assemble the parts you see in the photo for the last 40 blocks, then find time and space to lay out the queen-size quilt and finish the top.

This is my "cheat sheet." I highly recommend this to anyone working with more than 3 or 4 fabrics...especially if you are busy with several projects (or life!) and your quilting gets interrupted. I cut a small square of each fabric and pin, tape, or staple the swatch to a master list of what the pattern calls each color. For instance, the bottom pieces are named "peach 1" and "peach 2" since that's how jackie Robinson refers to the colors in the instructions. This is a lifesaver if, like me, you don't follow the color scheme that the designer did!

Baby News: We were wondering if Baby K would crawl first or cut a tooth.

The answer is B!! I felt the sharp edge of her first tooth this morning! She is 20 weeks old today, in case you lost track ;-) This picture was taken a few days ago when she started blowing razzies. We're off to the store for Anbesol!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Finishing off the leftovers

I showed these leftover stack-n-whack blocks about a month ago...

I started to add another border, but since I was working with scraps of the blue background and some green, it just didn't work out, and I decided to leave it as is. The pattern is "Treasure Boxes" from Bethany Reynolds' Stack-n-Whackier Quilts.

I *still* had leftover blocks, plus the extra border strips that were supposed to go on the Treasure Boxes (until I got bored!). I came up with this:

I need some more of the crackle blue fabric to fill in, and this will be the end of the stack-n-whack blocks, just in time for the Small Quilt Auction in March. I used the rest of the kaleidoscope print as the backing for the first small quilt, and I'll go stash-diving for the back of the second one ;-) It's nice to start off the new year by emptying a UFO bag!

Family Portrait

Our first Christmas with baby K: We had a wonderful time with family...B's side on Christmas Eve, and my side on Christmas Day. We came home with lots of pink outfits, LOL. Baby K's new trick, which she debuted on Christmas Day, is blowing rasberries with her tongue. It sounds like "bbbb" instead of "bzzzz", but the way she sticks out her little tongue is so adorable! Of course, all us adults look pretty silly making faces trying to get her to "perform"!

The quilt-bloggers are starting to list UFOs to finish in 2007...I have 3 tops waiting to be quilted before I go back to school on Jan 3rd...yikes! Luckily, I can use a pantograph and get one done in a day. I also have grand plans of finishing a block for my guild exchange - if I can find the pattern, of course.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

complete Jaywalker!

And one little ball of leftover yarn. I have fun winding up the remainder for my stash. I'll have to start knitting "dominoes" or some such thing to use these remnants. Maybe Barbie clothes in a few years when Baby K is older?? I know...I'm insane for even typing the words!

Friday, December 22, 2006

same cute baby

"How do I work this thing?"

One of these days I will piece again! I have managed to finish a couple things on the longarm, but I've had no time or desire to set up the regular sewing machine. I can truly appreciate why moms like to go on weekend retreats!

I have sqeezed in some knitting time, and I *finally* reached the toe of my first Jaywalker sock. (I got my oil changed yesterday...quality knitting time!) There seem to be lots of plateaus in sock knitting. First you are so anxious to finish the cuff and get to the pattern. Then you knit for a long time, measure compulsively and finally reach the heel. Heels are fun because they take a higher level of concentration and counting. Then, it's back to the pattern for the foot. LOTS more compulsive measuring to see if you're ready to start the toe. It seems like the toe should be quick, but there are about 47 rows to knit the decreases! I can't believe I started this sock in OCTOBER...three months, that's got to be a record! And let's not even think about sock #2. Since these are in my school colors, I'll hope to have them finished by graduation in May, LOL.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Google Christmas Meme

Google Game:
1. Google for Christmas plus the year of your birth.
2. Post the most charming picture you can find.
3. Get misty with nostalgia over hot cocoa and peppermint cookies.

Here's a Christmas memory...
As a child , our tree had wooden hand-painted ornaments of the Wise Men, Santa, etc. My mom told me it was a set she had ordered through a catalog, probably around 1970 when I was born. Fast forward to college, when my choir was caroling and the house we were at had the same ornaments! It was a little weird, but it was a small piece of home at a special time of year.
(Another link to home while I was at college...the bank had the same print of a falcon in the lobby as we had hanging over our fireplace!)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Baby & Bunny 4th edition

At 4 months old and 26 inches long, the bunny is starting to look small

Ooh, what's this? A fuzzy bunny foot?


Come here you wascally wabbit!

rest break...wrestling the bunny really takes it out of a girl!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quilty Content

At my first Quilt Camp in the Pines (2004) I took a bargello class with Louisa Smith. So much fun! I used a green, purple and yellow pallette. This is now one of my long term UFOs...I need to sew the strips together, which involves LOTS of matching seams...yuck! And some of the strips may have gotten jumbled in the storage phase, so there may be some "design opportunities" when I start sewing again!

One of Louisa's innovations to the basic bargello is to add a twist. Notice that the teal color stays consistent while the other colors switch places. It would probably be more effective if the twist were a wider section, but I have found with my (limited) experience with bargellos that it is hard to make steep drops and long widths. So, I am going to finish this without the twist, but it's a fun variation to play with!

More about me

Visit this cool many of you are there??
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Meme

I saw this at Sue's blog:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog...non-alcoholic, mixed with milk so it's not as rich

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Wrap!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on tree…no lights on house - too much work!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope

5. When do you put up your decorations? Sometime before Christmas, LOL. This year I have being putting a few things out at a time, starting with the Advent calendar on Dec 1st, then some tabletop decorations over the weekend. The tree will probably go up next weekend.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Stuffing! Oh, and sour cream coffee cake with a cinnamon swirl.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Putting all my personalized ornaments on the tree

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I have no idea!!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not as a kid. Now we spend Christmas Eve with my in-laws, and we exchange gifts with them that night. Those are the benefits of living in the same town as both families!

10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? A variety of things from my childhood along with new ones to commemorate the current year.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it…but in Arizona, I never see it!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, I can stay upright and travel forwards ;-)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My parents bought me a silver open-hole flute when I was in high school. And my uncle was always good about getting those fun things that Mom and Dad wouldn't the huge Star Wars toys and the Barbie hairstyle doll.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being in touch with family and friends.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pecan pie and/or tarts

16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Sending and receiving Christmas cards

17. What tops your tree? I need to find a pretty angel to put on top.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both...I love the whole process of finding the perfect gift and also the excitment of opening gifts.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Yuck!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tis the Season

Yesterday was our Kid's Christmas Party. Baby K got to meet Santa, and she grabbed for his beard right away. It felt silly, but I just wrapped up one of her toys to get from Santa. We didn't even bother unwrapping it at the party...she was ready for a nap after the photo session :-)

I went on a shop hop this summer and found the snowflake print. I also bought some Christmas batiks, which were not readily accessible for photographing, LOL. Then at our guild's fall meeting I found the other prints. I bought half yards, but I am thinking of using the Turning Twenty pattern...I heard there is a new version out called "Turning Twenty Around the Block." Has anyone seen it? Guess I'll do a google search soon. I'll be on the lookout during the after-Christmas sales for additional Christmas prints. I'll be lucky to get this done for Christmas 2007!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

For Chocolate lovers

A local DJ was saying yesterday that no one he knows eats Dark Chocolate. Whatever!! He must live under a rock. The new trend of dark chocolate varieties has its good and bad points. I have ALWAYS preferred dark chocolate. Buy a bag of Hershey's miniatures, and the milk chocolate will stay in the candy dish for YEARS. Kisses...ehh...give me a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips any time. So I love the fact that dark chocolate is readily available. But, I don't like to follow the crowd with my preferences. I hate to fight over the 4 Special Dark bars that come in the variety pack. Sigh...such are the problems with popularity!

This post is what DebR would call "Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind." It's amazing what you find in there! I wanted to write a WIP Wednesday post yesterday...I have about 10 more rows done on the Jaywalkers - woo-hoo! But no quilty content. There are 8 days of school left, then I can drag out the sewing machine and UFOs. It's a toss up between my Underground Railroad sampler and my 3 P's in a Pod mystery quilt. Plus, I have several tops waiting their turn on the longarm. I really like to do custom designs, but the time crunch is pushing me towards pantographs.

So how is everyone doing with their Christmas shopping? My dad is the hardest person on earth to shop for. I usually alternate between gift certificates for books or movies. This year he got his first Hole-In-One, so it would be fun to do something golf-related...maybe one of those fake magazine covers? Probably too late to get it before Christmas though. I did alot of online shopping this week, so I've started the marathon. Just have to hit the mall for hubby's requests. I have a few little things for baby K...mostly clothes. B. and I were saying that it is kind of weird this year to buy her something, wrap it up, then open it for her a few weeks later! We'll let the grandparents be Santa this year, and next year it will be much more exciting with a toddler to buy for.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holiday Traditions

Phoenix has a holiday Electric Light parade, and the weather was decent, so we met some friends and got in the Christmas Spirit. I tried to adjust the photo in Photoshop to get rid of some of the flash glare, but it (obviously!) didn't work. I wish I were a better photographer!

The second picture is Baby K and Daddy. With those little hats on, she looks like an elf!

Sorry, no crafty content...I'm hoping to get a quilt on the longarm this afternoon. Check out - it's Jackie Robinson's website and she has some new fabric and patterns available. I took a mystery class with her at Quilt Camp in the Pines. She's fantastic!

Friday, December 01, 2006

In the name of science

How fast does a meme travel?

First, you have to know that a meme is a survey that bloggers use to share information about themselves...rather blatantly stolen from the chain-emails that go around asking "What time did you wake up? What song is playing on the radio" and asking you to send the answers to everyone in your address book. And if you remember the days before internet, a meme is like those notebooks you sent around in school with a different question on each page and you had all your friends sign it. (Now that's a the same games have evolved over the last 50 years or so!)

I use memes because a) I like to join things...if there's a bandwagon, I'm on it! and 2) memes provide ready-made content when I don't have cute pictures to share with the blog-iverse

Memes generally travel among groups of bloggers, such as the Quilting 4 Pleasure ring that I joined. The premise of a webring is that members visit all the sites in the ring on a regular basis and leave comments. It's a way to build an audience for your blog :-)

Then there are the blogging superstars... like the Yarn Harlot and Crazy Aunt Purl, two of my personal favorites. These bloggers get hundreds of comments a day, so if they post a meme, their readers are likely to do the same. And so it spreads...

If you would like to participate in this scholarly endeavor, link to the Measuring site (as I did in the beginning of this post) then enter your blog address at Technorati.

Alas, I did not do any knitting in front of the TV last night. During commercial breaks, I perused the catalogs and made notes for Christmas shopping. And since I have been updating this blog from my school computer, there are no baby pictures available. But, Baby K is 16 weeks old today...10 days til the next bunny-growth picture!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

ABCs about me

I might have done this before, but I thought there were some good categories this time around...
I found this at the Mother-daughter blog, where they are celebrating Arts and Crafts Day today. Unfortunately, I won't have much time to be crafty since I have a bowling tournament after school :-( Maybe I'll get some knitting done in front of the TV tonight!

A - Age:mid-30s
B - Band listening to right now:nothing...I'm at school
C - Career future:solid, LOL. Math teachers are always in demand!
D - Dad’s name:Kevin
E - Easiest person to talk to: my hubby
F - Favorite song:Right now it's "Would you go with me" by Josh Turner
G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Bears
H - Hometown: I claim Phoenix, but I was born in the UK
I - Instruments: flute, my voice
J - Job: teacher
K - Kids: 1 baby girl!
L - Longest car ride ever:from Washington D.C. to Phoenix AZ. Longest at one stretch was from the beach in North Carolina to Lubbock TX (yes, I was young and insane!)
M - Mom’s name: Mary
N - Number of pets you’ve had: 10...4 dogs and 6 cats (only 3 at any one time)
O - Oldest friend: that I talk to regularly...Kat (10+ years), that I send Christmas cards to...Liza (high school friend)
P - Phobia: being in a small space (such as airplane bathrooms, LOL, we talked about this at Thanksgiving!)
Q - Quote: The universe is transformation – our life is what our thoughts make it. (Marcus Aurelius)
R - Reason to smile: holding Baby K
S - Song you sang last: the Sanctus from my church Hymnal
T - Time you wake up: with a 3-month old it's every few hours all night! My alarm officially goes off at 5:30 and I hit snooze twice, so I'm out of bed at 5:48
U - Unknown fact about me: I was on TV twice with my college choir...the 1992 CMA Awards and the 1992 Miss USA pageant
V - Vegetable you hate: beets
W - Worst habit: procrastinating
X - X-rays you’ve had: dental, spine
Y - Yummy food: pasta, ice cream, dark chocolate (I'd die on the Atkins diet, LOL!)
Z - Zodiac sign: Libra

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hodge Podge

Here's the beautiful girl in her christening dress! The chiffon overlay had embroidered flowers on it. Baby K entertained herself by putting fistfuls in her mouth.

I did not knit this sweater, but I needed some fiber content :-)

Grandma made it for Baby K. With a cold front moving through, there's a good chance she'll get to wear it while it fits, too!

Happy feet:

I thought these shoes would show off my hand-knit socks...if I ever finish another pair!

And finally, our lone cat, all ready for winter curled up on a fleece blanket. B. went to the Humane Society today to see if they had picked up our such luck, but he did see several possibilities for a new addition! We decided to be strong and wait until after Christmas to decide if we need another animal. We may have our hands full when Baby K gets mobile!!

Friday, November 24, 2006


I couldn't post the Thanksgiving menu until today, because I don't cook. But, we always have our choice of invitations for holiday brother in law is a gourmet cook, and my dad and some buddies take charge of Thanksgiving. This year we stayed with my side of the family. Dad and buddies started the feast on Wednesday over coffee. They moved into the kitchen for two days of preparations, and we sat down to eat last night at 5pm. The buffet included tossed salad, chorizo-sweet potato stuffing, apricot herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, layered sweet potato casserole, roasted green beans, cranberry-covered pork loin and your choice of BBQ or sage-roasted turkey. Everything was DELICIOUS!!! Alas, no turkey sandwiches for me this weekend unless I go to the sub shop ;-)

So, my leftovers consist of quilting UFOs. I had some time yesterday, so I poked around and found the bag of scraps from a stack-n-whack. I used the Treasure Box pattern. When I started sewing the extra blocks, I didn't want to take the time to do y-seams, so I left out the green sashing. I have a couple more kaleidoscope squares to put together, then I can play with the layout. I have a few squares done with sashing, so they may become a central piece, with the extras around the edge and the remaining fabric as borders. BTW, the fabric was Alexander Henry...generally a good choice for any type of stack-n-whack/one block wonder/kaleidoscope type quilt!Besides not cooking, I don't all the bargains are available for those of you brave souls who venture forth on Black Friday and keep retail America happy. Thanks for supporting our economy :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I wanted to sew on Sunday was a nice quiet afternoon at home. I got this block put together for our guild raffle next month, and then I hit a creative blockage. I have lots of UFOs, but nothing was calling to me. It seemed like too much work to get things out of the closet and figure out where I left off. Instead, I was a couch potato...sat with the baby and caught up on "Grey's Anatomy."

Gidget found a new place to nap! She is an only kitty now...our other cat, Tony, ran away. We let him out Sunday and he never came back. We're hoping he found a new home, because the alternatives are too sad. (Cars, dogs, coyotes...)

I want to say thank you to the Quilting 4 Pleasure web ring (notice the new button in my sidebar!). I have been "surfing the ring" and leaving comments. I'm looking forward to getting to know you. If you drop by, please leave a comment so I know you were here! I try to keep the content quilty, but life (read = baby) has a way of interfering!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You can't win if you don't play

I just found out that my pineapple won "Best Rookie" in our longarm guild's President's Challenge!

Everyone had the same pattern for the square-in-a-square, but we could choose our own fabrics and quilting designs. You can see my pineapple, and I used some radiating lines in the black background. The pink and yellow border had spiral flowers. The blue triangles had a wineglass pattern of interlocking half-circles, and I used parallel lines in the green outer border. There are lots of areas for improvement, LOL, but I won't point them out here. I am just going to bask in my first ribbon!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Because I like joining things

A meme from Amy...

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?
"Individuals who are economic liberals and cultural conservatives tend to support government action both to promote the values of economic equality and fairness and to defend traditional values such as the family and marriage." A high school government textbook. (But I thought you taught math? Why yes, I'm multi-talented! I teach both!)

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching?
Nothing for about 20 desk is in the far right corner of the classroom facing the students, so there is open space to my left.

3. What's the last program you watched on tv? Local news this morning before I left for work.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
About 12:57...I looked a couple minutes ago when a student asked for the bathroom pass!

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?
Teenage angst...they had a short assignment today so most are finished and just talking about what happened at lunch.

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?
An hour ago, I walked to the cafeteria with a fellow teacher. It's sunny and beautiful here in Arizona!

7. What are you wearing?
Tan pants and a staff polo shirt (navy blue)

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?
I did dream, just give me a minute to remember...I think I was getting ready for a formal dance with someone and it was in a weird place, like on a train or something.

9. When was the last time you laughed?
Last night when our choir director was telling jokes.

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?
Whiteboards with class information and bulletin boards with cheesy posters

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?
Teenagers! I am at a typical suburban school... there are quite a few weird piercings and strange outfits.

12. What do you think about this meme?
Good job coming up with different questions!

13. What's the last film you saw?On TV or at the cinema?
B. and I watched "Paper Clips" - a documentary about a Holocast project in rural Tennessee. DVD.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?
Give alot of it to a charity...probably something like World Vision. Oh, and buy my mom's quilt store!

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
I have lots of freckles and as a kid, I imagined patterns with the little dipper around my belly button, LOL.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt - what would it be?
Acceptance of others, especially people with different beliefs

17. Do you like dancing?
I haven't done any in YEARS. I like formal dances, like when the swing craze hit in the 90's

18. Last crafty endeavour?
Working on the batik quilt on my longarm

19. What do you want your children’s names to be, girl/boy?
I have always thought Hannah and Gabrielle were pretty for girls and Steven and Michael for boys...but then we named our first Kendra because we wanted a K name in honor of her birthmother. So, I've realized it's one of those things that you can't plan too far in advance!

20. What amused you recently?
My students were amazed that finding the volume of a 3-D object is so easy. They kept asking "So, what's the trick? When does it get hard?" I love it when my remedial class thinks something is easy!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Baby Bunny #3

Here is Baby K at 3 months old. I wanted to post a link to her 1 month and 2 month pictures, but Blogger has archived my posts by month, rather than individually. If you want the comparison, you'll just have to scroll through the previous months. So Sorry! Or just wait for the six month retrospective ;-)

In cotton-related news...Friday was NOT a good day at the longarm! I pinned on my batik quilt (which you've seen pictures of occasionally.) As I was stitching in the ditch, I noticed the borders are kind of wavy. Bleh. But, understandable since I sewed the borders at Grandma's house while Kendra screamed bloody murder in the background. (She was having a Very Bad Day. We blame the poodle.) Then, as I rolled the quilt, I noticed the batting was all bunched up in the center. Grrr. I tried to smooth it out with a yardstick, but still had problems. I advanced a few more rows, and then I had the brilliant idea to unzip the canvas lead from the quilt top, which allowed me direct access to the batting, which I could smooth out. Unfortunately, by this point, my yardstick adventures had stretched the batting and also made a small hole. But, I can live with a thin spot! As I rolled up the quilt, I then noticed a MAJOR pleat in the backing! Man am I upset. No way am I going to rip out my stitching in the ditch to fix that. I thought the whole point of putting the quilt on the longarm was to AVOID problems like that! So, this is not an heirloom effort. It goes in the "someday" pile after class on in maybe someday I will fix it (yeah right!!)

So, my lessons are to have a second pair of hands help me roll the backing on smoothly, and to remember how useful zippers are before reaching for the yardstick. The good news is that once I started free-motion quilting, everything has been going fine.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TGIF (almost)

Tragedy struck today as I was handing out test papers. A paper cut right on the crease of my right-hand pinky finger! The picture doesn't do it justice, of course. I wonder if Kodak has ever explored a left-handed camera??

I think knitting will be on hold for a few days. The thought of yarn sliding over that spot makes me cringe!

So, Jaywalker #1 is stalled here. I have a couple more rows before I start the main part of the foot. I don't think I picked up stitches correctly along the heel flap, but I was too lazy to rip it out...something about tinking around dpns was not very appealing!

(I always tell beginning quilters that you only have to please your inner critic. If something isn't perfect, ask yourself if it's something that you can live with. If yes, move on. If no, fix it.)

And here is the DBP (daily baby photo). We are quickly busting through the toes of the 6 month sizes - yikes!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The image that popped into my head today as I watched my students during study hall was "The Breakfast Club" . . . Ally Sheedy making it snow on her drawing and then pouring pixie sticks on her sandwich. Classic 80's!! That is one of my all-time favorite movies. Of course, I had the obligatory crush on Judd Nelson. Maybe that's why I always dated tall lanky guys?!?

To continue the retrospective...we were channel-surfing this weekend and came across the Top 100 songs of the 80's. WOW - that took me back! Lots of big hair and bangle bracelets, bright colored and layered sweatshirts with one shoulder hanging off.

Sorry, no crafty or baby pictures. The only time I have to get on the computer now is at school, and I have no upload capability. Of course, there is no sewing going on either! Although I have another quilt deadline...the batik I showed in September needs to get on the longarm and be done by the 18th! Luckily we have a school holiday on Veteran's Day.

All my blogging friends are reminding everyone to GO VOTE! I turned in ballot number 53 at my polling place, and it was about 6:30am! I had to get up early because my bowling club has a tournament this afternoon and I was afraid I wouldn't make it to the polling place in the evening. And we had the pleasure of voting on a national-record-setting 19 ballot initiatives here in Arizona!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The first holiday has come and gone...

The caption on Baby K's Halloween onesie said, "I'm so cute it's scary!"

One of my friends bought her this cute princess outfit. The skirt is fuzzy and pink. Unfortunately, most of her clothes only get worn once at this point...she's growing so fast!

She will never have to beg us for a pony! Baby K and Daddy named this one "Penelo-pony."

I have done NO sewing in over a week. I'm hoping to take advantage of my mom's new quilt studio soon...a 20' by 20' new room with a huge cutting table and design wall. I figure the grandparents will be delighted if I come over with the baby, drop her in their laps (literally!) and escape for a few hours.

I have managed to knit a few more rows on my Jaywalkers...ready to start the first heel flap! Knitting is pretty easy to squeeze in during short baby naps. I took the plunge and pre-registered for the Rocking Socks 2007 kits...Socks That Rock yarn is sold by Blue Moon Farms...and I have seen such lovely stuff from Cara! Payment is due in January, so I have time to see if I can justify $200 for 6 pairs of socks. Yikes! But, it is hand-dyed yarn, and exclusive patterns...I always try to equate things like this to movies. I pay about $15 to spend 2-3 hours at the movies. It takes me ALOT longer than 2 hours to knit a pair of socks, so at $30-40 per pair, I am getting my money's worth in entertainment dollars! (notice it doesn't take much to rationalize a yarn purchase, LOL)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We are not giving out candy this year! I decided we would take Baby K to see her grandparents, and I wanted to dress her up. My original plan was:

(no that's not really her, just some other cute baby model.) I ordered online on Oct. 20th, and paid for 3-5 day shipping, because the estimated arrival for regular mail was Oct 31st. I added some colored pencils to my order, too, because I didn't want to pay 50% of my total bill in shipping costs! (yes, these little details ARE important to the story!) So, last Wednesday - Oct 25th - the box arrives and B calls me at school and says, the outfit isn't here, and by the way, did you order pencils? I check my order online, and lo and behold, the costume is backordered. GRRRR...I just paid exhorbitant shipping for colored pencils! CRAP. So, no cute costume for Baby K's first Halloween. I'll do better next year, I promise!

oh darn - inspiration just hit! I have some really wide ribbon that came on one of her shower gifts...I could make a beauty queen banner for her! My other idea was to dress her in red as Tickle Me Elmo...she laughs at everything.

As for me, I went with my standard "stupid math teacher joke" - a Pumpkin Pi t-shirt. It's fun to watch the lightbulb go on in the kids' heads as they think it over.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday sewing

My brother kindly informed me this week that "Just because you are working full time does not mean you can stop posting baby pictures every day." Well you go!

(Baby K is looking in a mirror. This is major entertainment for an 11-week old!)

And now the details of my Saturday adventure. I went to the mall! Now folks, this is big news, because it only happens once or twice a year! B. was working at the church clean-up day, so I packed Baby K in her stroller and cruised the mall. The primary destination was JC Penney's since they had a sale...I felt like I went crazy and I was pleasantly surprised with my total bill. I did not see anything cute in terms of a baby Halloween costume...(my online shopping fiasco will be a post on another day...say Tuesday?!?) Interesting fact: The Disney Store target customer is four years old. But, I did find a beautiful dress for our Christmas portrait, which we will take in the next week or so.

Then I came home and B. said, "I hope you don't expect me to watch the baby while you quilt this afternoon." DOH! Guilty as charged! I have store samples for my mother that are piling up at the longarm and I was anticipating a free Saturday afternoon at the machine. But, B. had a midterm to work on. So, I got baby K. settled in her swing in front of the longarm and started to pin a quilt in place. The phone rings, and my friend Lisa wants to catch up on my first weeks back at school. yada yada, half an hour later it's time to feed the baby. Finally, the baby is down for a nap and I can go back to pinning, and winding bobbins and getting the pantograph in place. oops, there's the baby crying again. Get another bottle ready...luckily she's sleepy this afternoon and goes back to sleep immediately after eating. I managed to get 3 rows quilted, then it was time to meet some friends for dinner. At this rate I'll be lucky to finish one quilt a month!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Finally a quiet moment!

Well, not really quiet. Baby K is in her rocker next to me and she is babbling non-stop! I had to have a photo session in this gorgeous dress. It was supposed to be for her christening, but that is three weeks away...

Here is the progress so far on my Jaywalkers:

it's a fun pattern, I just have very limited time to work on them! Every time I think I have the baby settled down, I get about 2 needles-worth knit, and she fusses to be picked up. I'd have alot more time for my crafts if I didn't need sleep, LOL.

Here is a wild shirt B. found on our Hawaiian vaccation a few years ago. Baby K. loves to sit on his lap and look at the bright, bold patterns. I just wanted to share something fun and colorful since there is very little quilting going on!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Working Mom

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth! I just went back to work...ughhhh. In the few spare minutes I have to be crafty, I have been knitting a few rows on my Jaywalkers and finishing the hexagons for my One Block Wonder quilt. Tomorrow is session 2 of the OBW class, so I should have some great photos of kaleidescope designs.

Baby K is doing just fine. She is home with Daddy while I work. The saddest part was last Thursday when I was at school all evening for conferences. K. was asleep when I got home and only woke up long enough to eat! She does wake up with me in the morning, so I get some cuddles before I leave.

Daddy and I are in a routine of evening walks now. We load up the stroller and hit the pavement for about 30 minutes. There is a nice park at the end of our street, with wide sidewalks, a jungle gym and lots of grass. It will be a wonderful place to play when Baby K. starts walking.

One of these days I will have time to download and post new pictures. I have grand intentions, but it's very hard to work at the computer when K. wants to be held all the time. And, B. needs to get his homework done (online masters degree) so I am in charge of baby care in the evenings. It's really cutting into my computer time!! But, I know that all too soon we will be saying "Remember when she was just a baby..." I'm enjoying this time immensely.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Get Lucky

Friday October's been a perverse pleasure throughout my life to have my birthday on the unluckiest day of the year! Of course, it was a bigger deal in elementary school, not so much as a working adult.

I pulled out some Halloween decorations last night.

The yarn is Scout's Socktoberfest colorway...I'd love to make some knee-highs with contrasting heel, toe and cuff. maybe someday! Which brings me to Lolly's questions about stash.
How big is your stash? Do you collect yarn or just buy for specific projects?
I generally buy yarn for projects. I try to do this with fabric also, but occasionally (during shop hops or quilt shows) I will just buy some that I love with no purpose in mind. I participated in the One Skein Swap this summer, so I have a few full skeins in my stash now. And I have some untouched kits buried in there too!

I'll leave you with a picture of my "middle child" - Tony. I mentioned that we keep a ladder under the tree...this is his favorite spot, he can climb up and be "close to nature." Someday I'll get pictures of how he climbs...he puts one paw up and hooks it over the next step, then climbs to the next one. So cute!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


As promised, here is Baby K with her bunny. Amazing how big she has grown! She is in the 97th percentile for height and weight. The nurse was very quick with her shots this morning, so it wasn't too bad. Her lungs got a big workout though!

Here is the finished quilt for my longarm guild challenge. I did everything freehand, with some markings. You can see the central pinapple design. There are some parallel lines in the black background. The pink and yellow border has flowers. The blue area is where I practiced the wineglass background (kind of like a double wedding ring pattern). I finished with some half-circles and spirals in the outer border. I need to write up my own critique and see if it matches the judge's comments. I know there is lots of room for improvement, but overall I am pleased that I could take a design from paper to fabric!

Other than that, I am happily working on kaleidescope hexagons and the Jaywalker sock :-)