Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

A new year starts tomorrow. A fresh new year, full of possibility.

My word for the year is PROGRESS. Everything I need to do may not get done, but I want to see visible progress in a number of areas.

My goals are:
1. finish 13 projects
2. Spend 13 minutes a day sewing
3. 2013 in 2013: This is not original, and I can't remember who I stole the idea from. Basically, 2013 things will LEAVE my house in 2013.
4. Keep track of what I'm doing by starting blogging again - I feel much more productive when I have a record of what I've done.
5. participating in the weekly stash report will help me manage my stash

More specifics will get added as the year PROGRESSES.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are in Indianapolis for Thanksgiving with TMOTH's family. LARGE family. I have a quilt to bind and a book in case I get completely overwhelmed. At least the weather is nice and I can escape outside as well if necessary.

Still no sign of my camera. That may have to be a New Year's resolution - to find the dang camera!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I don't splurge on a regular occasion. Payday Friday I'll get a skim latte across the street from work, and that's about it. But for an occasional treat, nothing beats YoCake. There's one at the mall near work, and if it's been a *really* bad week at work, I'll take myself over mid-afternoon for a treat.

Today was our annual run-around shopping madly marathon back-to-school readiness day. First to Staples where we found a backpack for the Karate Kid and some ridiculously cheap composition books for the Small Man. On to Target for the rest - backpack and lunchbox for Small Man, pens and pencils and erasers for everybody. The Lovely Daughter also wanted "80s glam" Sharpies which were only available in a $20 assortment from Target. On to Michaels, who didn't have them.

So we took the boys home and the Lovely Daughter and I went off to Plaza for art supplies - but no Sharpies there, either. She consoled herself with about $50 worth of paint and linseed oil, and I bought paper to make a card. On the way back, we stopped at the other YoCake location and treated ourselves. Yum.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Dear Lord, please let July be better than June

June was a horror, all around.

June 1, waiting to turn into the shopping center where the pizza place is, the small man and I were rear-ended. After a couple of weeks of insurance feet-dragging, the car was totaled, so I had to go buy a new car. This may be one of the things I hate the very most in the world.

There was major drama at work. Many different major dramas, some dragging on and on.

My sweet mother-in-law fell late May/early June. She seemed to be recovering at first, but then started going downhill. She passed away the middle of June.

Since we had to go to Indianapolis for the funeral, the dog had to go in for his bordetella vacc. And tested positive for Lyme disease. It's not really a surprise - all of us in the house have had it at least once other than the Lovely Daughter - and he clearly doesn't have an ongoing infection based on behavior, but he did have to start on antibiotics.

The trip to Indianapolis was almost uneventful, with as few driving hassles as I've come to expect from I70. The funeral was well attended, and it was really nice to see lots of TMOTH's relatives I hadn't seen in years, or met ever.

When we got back, the van broke. Luckily, it was just a problem with the CV joints and was easily repaired. But now it goes in tomorrow for timing belt replacement, so $$$.

Then on the LAST day of June, a derecho blew through the area, knocking out power to a huge swath of the country, including us. We FINALLY got our power back about an hour ago. I've had a shower, and am feeling much more human.

But I REALLY don't want to repeat June 2012.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Stash Report June 3, 2012

Used since last post: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 22.7 yards
Added since last post: 1.45 yards
Added year to Date: 19.7 yards
Net Used for 2012: 3 yards

??The math has gone awry somewhere. Math error in a previous post - hopefully it's really in my favor :)

The 1.5 yards was my committee member gift for our quilt show. A lovely collection of music-themed strips.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Stash Report May 20, 2012

Used since last post: .3 yards
Used year to Date: 22.7 yards
Added since last post: .75 yards
Added year to Date: 18.35 yards
Net Used for 2012: 1.35 yards

Every little bit helps :) In this case, the journal cover I made for a birthday gift yesterday.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I made a discovery today

I hate paper piecing. This is probably the only paper pieced block I will ever do:

The actual construction isn't so bad, but if I had to tear the paper off the back of any more blocks I would go absolutely batshit crazy. I do very much like the yellow and blue combo and will draft some more blocks that are NOT paper pieced to go with this one :)

I also made a journal cover for the Karate Kid's friend's birthday party tomorrow:


Bright colors and some sparkles on the fabric, metallic quilting in straight lines. She writes, so hopefully she'll like it.


Last night was prom night - The Lovely Daughter went to her boyfriend's prom instead of her own this year.

The Lovely Daughter and "That Boy":


Her hair - it looked a lot better immediately after she had it done :(

The kid in the middle was the one hosting the pre-prom party. He's wearing a pajama suit!

The group photo, up the steps:

The group photo, girls sitting:

The group photo, on the lawn:

The Lovely Daughter with the other girls - she's the tall one :)

They had a good time and were home safely by about 12:30.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stash report May 13, 2012

A few bits from my guild Secret Sister.

Used since last post: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 22.4 yards
Added since last post: .75 yards
Added year to Date: 18.35 yards
Net Used for 2012: 1.05 yards

Weeding day today

While at the city of Rockville's Science Day, I picked up a flyer on "Non-Native Invasive Plants." Hmmm. Wonder how many are in my yard?

Herbaceous plants:
1. Garlic Mustard - Yep. All over the dang yard.
2. Giant Reed - Hey, don't see that one yet!
3. Canada Thistle - yep. (sshhh. don't tell the state; I leave a few on purpose for the finches.)
4. Purple loosestrife - I think we may have some in the yard but it gets outcompeted by even more noxious weeds.
5. Nepalese browntop/Japanese stiltgrass - I'd have to check - it seems like we probably do have some.
6. Common reed - Nope, but we don't have a pond.
7. Japanese knotweed - Maybe?
8. Lesser celandine - Maybe?
9. Johnson grass - yes, but we don't seem to have a huge problem with it.
I would also add henbit, mock strawberry, hairy bittercress, and a few others whose names I don't know to this list. Also the small-leaved grassy weed that's taken over the garden.

1. Japanese barberry - I think we have some
2. Autumn olive - also looks familiar
3. bush honeysuckles
4. Belle honeysuckle
5. Amur honeysuckle
6. Morrow's honeysuckle
7.  Sweet breath of spring (another brand of honeysuckle)
8. Tartarian honeysuckle - honestly, I don't know what kinds of honeysuckle.we have, just that we have a LOT of it and are constantly fighting it. A quote from DD16 today: "Honeysuckle is AWFUL, and killing it is AWESOME." I couldn't agree more
9. Bamboo - running varieties - somehow we seem to have escaped this. We have a small clumping bamboo the previous owners planted, and it hasn't given us any trouble.
11. Wineberry - how something so pretty can be so invasive...if the fruit tasted better it wouldn't be so bad.

1. Norway maple - yep. At least the seed pods - so I'm constantly pulling up baby trees.
2. Tree of Heaven - AKA the Tree of Hell at my house.
3. Bradford Pear - thankfully, the idiots who owned the place before us do not seem to have planted any of these.

1. Five-leaved akebia - hmmm. seem to have avoided this one
2. Porcelain berry - starting to see these, need to nip them in the bud
3. Oriental bittersweet - got some of this
4. Climbing euonymus - Don't seem to have this
5. English Ivy - lots. Could be worse, I suppose.
6. Japanese honeysuckle - most definitely. I think this is what DD16 was taking such relish in demolishing this morning.
7. Mile-a-minute vine. My personal nemesis in the yard. My MIL called it "bindweed" and here locally it's also known as "Devil's tear-thumb." Both are apt descriptions!
8. Kudzu - haven't seen it here.
Even though they're native, I'd add poison ivy and Virginia creeper to this list that I am constantly fighting.

At any rate, we filled up at least eight yard trim bags. YAY! You can't actually tell that we made a dent, but I know the difference.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Karate Tournament today

It was our in-house tournament today - both boys competed in board breaking, forms, and point sparring.

Boys sharing advice:

My three guys:

I missed the Small Man's board breaking (FUN! according to him) and forms, but he came in third in both.

Point sparring didn't go as well - he needs to learn to punch as well as kick.


 The Karate Kid didn't medal this time around. He seemed to come in fourth a lot :)
There was board breaking:

There was forms:



And there was sparring:

I think if he'd sparred as well at the beginning of the match as he did at the end, he'd have done much better.

And now just for fun, Toffee the squinting dog:


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sheep and Wool Festival, 2012

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was this weekend, and we went today. The Small Man's BFF came along today.

It's a HUGE parking lot, and so they run antique tractors pulling trailers with seats along the side:

BFF, Small Man, TMOTH, and the back of the Karate Kid's head:

The alpacas are always a huge hit:


There was one sheep in the back of a truck waiting to go home, so the kids got in close for a good look:

Then it suddenly "Baaaaad" at them really loudly, and they all jumped back about 5 feet:


There was a lot of general silliness and a LOT of eating fair food:

And of course, lots of sheep:






Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fun at the quilt show

My little Children's Activities area:

Some vindication: "The Music Men" won second place in the Viewers' Choice voting in the Beatles challenge quilts.

The Karate Kid got some SSL hours doing Security and being general muscle:

The Karate Kid's quilt was hanging in the show as well:

Last year's Ultimate Guild Challenge entry (at least part of it). Mine is the lower left, abstract umbrellas and fence.

"Amish Diamonds" is on the right. It was started as a guild challenge a few years ago, but grew too big. Ellen R. also had an Amish-inspired quilt entered, shown on the left.

Haiku quilts from last year, all hung together.

Bloomin' challenge, "Purple Haze."

I'm whupped. We had IHOP for dinner; the Small Man went to the circus with his best friend and joined us there. More Advil, and then bed, I think.

Lots of quilt show purchases.
Two yards of yummy blue ginkgo batik:
A half yard of black and white.
Two fat quarters of 30s reproduction.
TWO bags of scraps, maybe two yards each?
And I won a raffle basket, which included, among other things, 11 fat quarters.
Total estimate:  eight yards

Used since last post: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 22.4 yards
Added since last post: 8 yards
Added year to Date: 17.6 yards
Net Used for 2012: 1.8 yards

At least I'm still in the black, even if not by much!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quilt show, day 2

No photos yet :(
I got to the show, turned on my camera, and got the dreaded "battery exhausted" message. It's charging now, so more pictures tomorrow. I do have one - this is a yard of batik I bought. I may go back and buy another yard piece, or check on availability of more yardage. I adore it completely.


I also bought a half-yard of black and white, a bag of scrap pieces, some delicious teal size 8 pearl cotton, a new [to me] brand of hand sewing needles to try, and some cinnamon-scented lotion for The Lovely Daughter.

Rain tonight, and I'm wiped out. One last day tomorrow - the Karate Kid is coming along to work security and as muscle to earn some Student Service Learning hours.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stash Report April 22, 2012 - Earth Day!

Our quilt show take-in was yesterday. It went really well - we finished half an hour ahead of schedule!! That meant I could actually go home and take a shower before the high school musical!!!!

And I FINISHED the quilt for the Ultimate Guild Challenge: All We Need Is QUILTS! Granted, finishing it required staying up until 1:30 am Wednesday and Thursday nights, and until 3:00 am Friday night - but done it is!

At 40 x 40, my calculations wing up somewhere around 3 yards, Plus the third of a yard or so I used to put the sleeve on the Karate Kid's quilt that I forgot about until yesterday morning.

Used since last post: 3.3 yards
Used year to Date: 22.4 yards
Added since last post: 1.8 yards
Added year to Date: 12.6 yards
Net Used for 2012: 9.8 yards

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Stash Report 2012 - April 8

A busy week, and woo-hoo! Back on the plus side of usage!

Used since last post: 8.5 yards
Used year to Date: 19.1 yards
Added since last post: 1.8 yards
Added year to Date: 12.6 yards
Net Used for 2012: 6.5 yards

The breakdown for used or out the door:
2.1 yards batik strip set to Secret Sister (and no hating for the re-gifting - it was a really nice set of strips, similar to Bali Pops from a LQS, but I hadn't used it in over a year and it needed a home where it would be loved and quilted)
6.3 yards (est.) used in "Checkmate" - binding finished at karate on Saturday!
0.1 yards (est.) for hanging sleeve for "Amish Diamonds"

The breakdown for additions:
2 FQ from *my* secret sister
~3 FQ in from the giveaway box at guild
~1 quarter yard from the thrift store - bright pink with Japanese characters
~1/3 yard crabby print from thrift store
(I'm not counting the piece of rayon that may become a skirt, depending on how it washes)

Saturday, April 07, 2012

A finish!


After *cough/snort/mumble* years, this quilt for the Karate Kid is finally done - I finished the binding during karate this morning! I still need to tack on a hanging sleeve and label for the quilt show, but it's DONE!!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Fun at spring break

It's been a quiet spring break here.

TMOTH's dad and two of his brothers arrived Monday night. Tuesday, we went to downtown DC so FIL could see the WWII memorial. We had an awesome day - FIL was pretty well tuckered out by the end of the day, but hopefully he had a good time.


I took advantage of the time off to finish the pieced border of my Beatles challenge quilt. I need to applique some leaves and flower centers, then it'll be ready to start quilting.

I sent TMOTH and The Lovely Daughter off to the museums today - Views of Mt. Fuji at the Sackler, and the Peacock Room at the Freer.