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Archive for December 20th, 2006

A is for…

I should mention that these are in no particular order, and I reserve the right in the future to do another post with “A” words in them. I actually had to get out the dictionary to jiggle some ideas loose. I probably ended up with way too much, but it was sort of fun. Hopefully I’ve managed to refrain from anything that’s in the TMI category! I suppose I could have also tried to illustrate some of these with photos or something, but enough was enough already!

Alphabet – Thisone seems pretty obvious, I guess. I like letters and words. I love to read. Although, in the past I’ve often wondered who it was that said the alphabet has to start with A and continue on to Z. What’s so special about A that it gets to be first all the time? Growing
up, my last name started with an S. I was so excited to marry “up” in the alphabet and become an E. When I help at school, I often take kids one at a time into the hall. Sometimes I start at the top of the alphabet, but a lot of times I try to start from the other direction – or even mix it up and do something random. Maybe next time I’ll try to do it alphabetically by first name.

Apple – We eat a lot of apples and applesauce. We used to eat only Red Delicious apples, but I sure got tired of the lack of consistent
quality. Sometimes they were nice and crunchy, but sometimes they were nasty – mushy and not sweet at all. We have switched to Gala apples – yum. I think they are even better than the best Red Delicious. The boys sure hated it when we started making them eat the peels. Every so often we “treat’ them and peel their apples for them. Mostly we just do that when they are losing a tooth.

Angel – I have a small collection of angels. When I started collecting, though, it seemed like all of a sudden EVERYBODY was collecting angels, so I pretty much quit. I wanted something that wasn’t a dime a dozen. I do have some pretty ones, and a few weeks ago I posted a picture of my favorite. One of the funniest pieces in my collection is a plaque that my mom gave me that reads “I collect angels. My husband thinks I started with him.”

Astronaut – I have 3 wanna-be astronauts in my family. I hear quite often about how the boys are going to go to the moon or to Mars or someplace even further away when they grow up. They talk about being other things, too, but this is one of the few that comes up consistently. The “big” boy still dreams about being an astronaut, too. NASA will be holding another round of astronaut selection in 2007, and I think he’s going to actually submit an application. It turns out that most astronauts get selected in their mid-30s, (which he is…), he is pretty danged brilliant (if you ask me), and is in great shape physically. I know his chances are pretty slim, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? And I’d hate
for him to be 80 years old and wonder what might have been.

Art – I have read some pretty interesting conversations about just what exactly art is or is not. I’ve actually been pretty amazed at how heated those conversations can get. I’m not really sure I could give you my definition right now, because I’m still not sure myself. What I do know is that I’m trying to learn about art and the elements and principles of good design, so that hopefully I can think and speak about it much more
intelligently.

Artist – This is a word that I have had a hard time applying to myself. I suspect that there are some who consider themselves artists that would argue with my use of it. I think part of my trouble has always been that I thought that art = drawing/painting, a misconception that I think a lot of people hold, although the ability to draw is a useful tool for any artist, regardless of their medium of choice. I always thought that you either knew how to draw, or you didn’t. What I know now is that nobody really *taught* me how to draw, and that I can actually draw, and that while I may never be super-talented at it, it is a skill that requires practice.

Aragorn and Arwen – I am a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings – both the books by Tolkien, as well as the movie trilogy by Peter Jackson. For awhile, a picture of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn was my computer wallpaper…. I know the movies aren’t perfect, but I enjoy them, and accept them as one interpretation of the amazing work that Tolkien created.

Acreage – I live on a small acreage (2 acres…) on the edge of town. We are surrounded on 3 sides by crop land. We can pretend that we have no neighbors and that town doesn’t even exist. But when we want town – by golly, it’s just across the road, and we can still walk to school.

Actress – In the past I participated in a number of local musical theater productions. I really enjoyed doing it, but don’t have any opportunities like that in this area. Well, there probably are, but they would be further away than I would want to travel, plus they would probably take away too much time from my quilting.

Adult — Even though I’m a mother, own a small business, have been married for 10 years and am a homeowner (6 houses in 10 years…), I don’t always feel like an adult. I know some of my family probably thinks my husband and I are too serious, but inside I think we are just as silly as anybody else. For example, my husband is terribly embarrassed about my new purse. It’s tiny and has Tinkerbell on it.

Agriculture – My father-in-law farms (corn and soybeans, got rid of the hogs many years ago…) and my husband works for a large manufacturer of agricultural equipment. He’s a mechanical engineer. Some day he would like to retire from his day job and be a farmer. I’m not sure he’ll ever be able to farm full time, mostly because of the costs of health insurance. Having grown up on the East Coast, the experience of living in small town rural Iowa has been eye-opening for me.

Allergy – I suffer from seasonal allergies. June is pretty bad – all those grasses. Late August through the very freeze is even worse, though. Ragweed is the worst. Yucko.

American – I am glad and proud to be an American. I don’t think that the US is perfect, and I don’t always agree with what our government does. I’d like to visit other countries, but I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else.

Anniversary – My husband and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary on March 2, 2006. Time sure flies when you are having fun!

Australia — I would dearly love to visit Australia someday. I have several quilting friends in Australia, one of whom has even been to my house! Some day – some how!

Alcohol – I’m not opposed to alcoholic drinks, but I don’t drink much of anything. I think it is an acquired taste that I missed acquiring. If I’m going to have an adult beverage, it had better be something glike a Strawberry Daiquiri – in which you can’t actually taste the alcohol at all. Come to think of it, I did have a drink in Duluth this summer that was pretty yummy – but again, it had ice cream and chocolate syrup in it – so it probably doesn’t really count!

Autumn – My least favorite season. See above, allergy for more information.

Age – I am currently in my mid-30s and have been quilting for 10 years. I have been longarm quilting for 5 of those years. My chiropractor asked me my age the other day at my adjustment. This was right after he asked me about doing my exercises. I replied with my age and then laughed – “That means I’m old enough to know better, right?” Yes, I really need to take better care of myself. Particularly when
it comes to my back – between my height, my tendency to slouch, the weight I carry on the front side of me, and the fact that my quilting keeps me bending over much of the time all add up to a need to be careful about my posture and the future shape of my back.

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A Letter A Day

I mentioned this in my previous post, but it has taken me all day to work on this and get my thoughts in order for my first entry in this series.  The first post will actually be separate, because I don’t think I want to slap all of my thoughts into one huge post each day, I’d like to have some separation.  I think.  We’ll see how it goes.

So my idea is this:  I’m going to try to post daily (or as near as I can) something related to a letter.

It could be literally about letters — for example, my first post will be A is for…and list a variety of words that start with the letter A and some random thoughts about those words.

It could be a small piece of artwork about letters or words.  Small quilts, maybe some drawings, maybe some collages.

It might be an imaginary letter to or from a quilt, a UFO, or a piece of fabric.  I’ve got several ideas for those.  I should mention that the inspiration for this comes from some of the "Secret Life of Dresses" posts over at A Dress A Day.  (The link is in my list to the right).

Or it could be something else entirely that I haven’t imagined yet.  I have spent way too much time on today’s entry, and will try to be more conscious about how much time I’m spending on this project in the future.   I’m planning that my entries in this category should only take me 15-20 minutes a day.   We’ll see how it all goes!

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WIP Wednesday

***The pictures are now working properly again.  Nobody did anything — they just started behaving themselves…..gotta love computers!

I started a really whiny post last night.  I saved it, but I’m glad I didn’t I didn’t publish it.  It was….really whiny….LOL….

Today, in the light of a new day, I’m feeling not quite so pathetic.  And the work in progress over the last week is actually stuff that is either done now, or almost done.

First is one of the teacher gifts I mentioned a few days ago — completely finished.  I really need to get a photography stand so I can take pictures that don’t have my area rug and floor in them (and that let me get a nice straight picture). 

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I mentioned before that this is a Thimbleberries pattern.    I think it is very cute.  It’s been pieced for ages.  I actually decided at least 6 months ago that it would be a teacher gift, so don’t ask me why I waited until 4 days ago to quilt it. 

Here’s a close-up of the quilting.  You can click on the picture to view it in a bigger size, which will make the quilting easier to see.  It’s a variation of my Meandering Magic technique. 

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My second WIP is the other teacher gift.  It’s almost finished.  I have 2 sides of the binding completely done, and just turned the corned onto the 3rd side.  I’m getting pretty fast at the hand-stitching and between watching a good movie yesterday afternoon and talking on the phone with my friend Lynn the time passed very quickly.

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It’s probably been at least 2 years since I started piecing this one.  I got a customer sampler quilt that had this block on it, and decided I liked the block and wanted to play with it.  I like the way the large star is formed by the negative space, rather than being formed by a dark, as you might normally see it. 

The light fabric is a black on white toile, and unfortunately, in the pictures I took, you are not able to see the quilting.  You can, however, see it quite well on the back of the quilt.  I did it a lot faster than I would ordinarily do, so it’s messier than I would like.  The quilt would have also benefited from some more stitch in the ditch (all I did was around the inner border, I should have gone around all of the red pieces), but in this case, finished is better than perfect.  Maybe I’ll do another one some day. (HA!)

Again, you really need to click on this to view it larger to really appreciate it.  I really wish I hadn’t used the red fabric on the back, but it was all I had over the weekend, and I really just needed to get it done.  I think it does look  better in person than it does in the picture.  Basically, I just started making freehand over the top feathers, and if I ran into a corner, I backtracked along the spine and started over somewhere else.  I did the same sort of thing in the border: instead of a continuous feathered vine, I just made short little sections that start in different places (some start at the edge, some at the inner border, some branch off another section) and just feathered for awhile, and then started again somewhere else.

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I have some other thoughts for today, but I think I’m going to separate them into a different post, because it is going to be the start of a series of posts….

Happy Wednesday!

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