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

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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!