Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday WOW - September 30


You've seen this piece before.  It is almost done - just needs a binding - and then I will post a better picture.  On the board in the background, you can see some of the bookmarks I've received lately.  That will be featured in a future post, too.  Fun stuff is going on in the workshop!  Come again soon.

P.S.  For those sharp eyed folks out there . . . the reason the calendar says 29 is because I actually took this pic yesterday.  No studio time today so I cheated!  My bad!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Thinking (Deep thoughts)

Since I recently asked myself why I blog, I've done some more reading, as well as 'discussing' the idea with e-mail and blog friends.  One word that keeps coming up is Connection.

I've read it many times - and it is true for me as well - that someone started blogging in order to keep friends and family updated on their activities.  I had moved halfway across the country and wanted to stay in touch with people in my old home.  This is a very good reason to blog, and for many people is as far as it goes.

But after I'd been blogging a little while, I noticed that it was growing into something a bit larger than that!  As I read other blogs, I felt I needed to leave comments occasionally.  That led to receiving comments on my own posts.  Oh boy!  That is such a high!!!  So I wanted more, of course, and started looking at how to get it.  Connecting, that's how.  One makes a comment and receives a response which triggers a conversation through which common interests are discovered.  I found myself connecting to people all over the globe!

So blogging is becoming about expanding my circle of friends as much as staying in contact with the old ones.  I find myself feeling part of a community.  Blogging has been called a social activity and I'd have to agree.  As humans we are hard-wired to need a certain amount of social interaction.  If you live in a small community - as I do - there is plenty of interaction, but it tends to have little variety - and variety is another thing we seem to need.  Blogging gives me a sense of belonging to a broader community and my thinking and creativity are energized by the diversity.

While one friend cautioned against letting the blogging world become more important than real live and real friends, she admits there is a "blurry bit in the middle".  Others have mentioned that real life becomes more interesting when you know you will be blogging about it.  Composing a post in your mind gives you a fresh perspective on everyday matters. 

As with most of life's activities, blogging and other online time needs to be balanced appropriately with the real world.  Each aspect enriches the other and that's what we all reach for . . . a life well lived and well loved.

This isn't the end of my thought processes, though.  Later I have some things to say about creativity and the blog world. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday WOW - September 23


I got quite a bit of handwork done while on the bus.  BUT, there is still a lot to do!  Not to worry - I have a couple of movies to watch.  Perfect for hand stitching!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

7 Days on a Bus

And my - er, behind is very tired!  But I had a great time and I want to share some of it with you.  I know that this is not supposed to be a travel blog or anything like that, so I'll just hit some of the high spots for you.

First I'll tell you, the trip was a tour of the Rockies by train.  We traveled on three different railroads and had a bus to get between.


After a night in Denver we rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad.  The track loops over itself on this 75 foot high trestle.


Then we drove south, through Colorado Springs, and on to Canon City to ride the Royal Gorge Railroad.  The views were spectacular!


On the way to Durango, we had a little trouble! 


From now on I will spell Good Samaritan "Saguache".  This little town sent a school bus for us and gave us free run of their Community Center.


The wait for a new bus was 8 hours!  But we filled the time and got to know our fellow travelers much better. 


After crossing Wolf Creek Pass in the dark and rain (!!), we spent a day in Durango and the Mesa Verde National Park.


Next we rode the narrow gauge steam train from Durango to Silverton where the  bus met us and we headed for Grand Junction.


While in Grand Junction we visited the Colorado National Monument, then headed back east.


A few sightseeing stops and a brief tour of downtown Denver and we headed home. 

This brief travelogue can't begin to convey all the amazing things we saw, the meals we ate, or the great people we met.  Not to mention more than 800 pictures!!  Thank goodness for digital cameras and rechargeable batteries.  LOL!  I have pages of notes and ideas for future art work. 

And I am sooo-o-o-o-o glad to be home!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday WOW - September 16

Since I am off somewhere in the mountains of Colorado, I can't show you my worktable. BUT . . . if all goes well, this is what I plan to be doing some handwork on.

It is from a class I took last month. I'll tell you all about it when it's finished.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dollmaker's Syndrome

There has been a lot of discussion around our house lately about a newly discovered disease. You won't read about it in the American Journal of Medicine, but I think it's only a matter of time. In the interest of saving pain and anguish among younger crafters, I am posting this article on what we know so far.

In Dollmaker's Syndrome, the brain of the sufferer begins to turn to fiberfil. This may be a very gradual process and you may not notice early signs of the disease. These signs may include forgetting to attach files to e-mails or hitting Reply to All on potentially embarassing messages.

As the disease progresses, the symptoms become more noticeable, although they may be disguised as absent-mindedness or ordinary forgetfulness. CATscans will reveal the frightening truth . . . the patient's head is filling with air!

Following is a list of the more advance symptoms. Please keep in mind that this list is not all-inclusive by any means.

  • you write one or more blog posts in your blog writer and then forget to post any of them
  • you let the dogs in and then forget why you are standing at the door, so put them out again
  • you stitch an entire row of blocks to the quilt UPSIDE DOWN
  • you send your to-do list to a random person in your address book
  • meals at your house have become sandwiches and microwave soup
  • you mis-calculate number of blocks for a quilt - and POST those impossible numbers on the internet
  • you spend more time shopping in the hardware store than in the grocery store
  • you make up a shopping list - and leave it on the counter at home
  • you collect a craft supply and carefully pack it away where it will not get damaged, then six months later tear the studio APART looking for it
  • the only dusting that gets done is the dolls that cover every flat surface in your home
  • you make up an entirely fictional disease and post all about it on your blog

If you are experiencing these symptoms - or similar ones - please see your health care provider immediately! Do not panic! This disease is not now known to be fatal. It is also important to note that the patient may believe their behavior to be perfectly normal. So listen to your loved ones and get help!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Going Away . . .



Sarge and I are going on a trip this week and probably won't have any internet access, so I won't be blogging or visiting for the next six or seven days.  I will try to schedule a couple of posts, but if you comment (and I do want you to comment) it won't show up until I get home and approve it.

Regular scheduling should resume next weekend.  Have a great week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Goal Time Again!

The year is quickly slipping away.  Autumn is upon us, and it's time for another goal review!  This time around I did much better.  Not perfect - how boring would that be? - but there's hope that I can learn!

Well then, let's get on with it!

1.  Have two QOVs ready to send to quilter.   Done!


These are at the quilter now and I'll get bindings on them as soon as they return.  I posted information about these quilts here.

2.  Send some dolls to State Fair (esp. Carmen).   Done!


Carmen and Aengus were shipped off last week.  The fair starts Saturday, and I expect them to be back sometime near the end of the month.  I do hope everyone likes them.


P81700053.  Make something using Altoid tins (August doll club project).   Done!

For now at least.  I still have lots of tins!  There are lots of ideas on the internet for making something fun with these tins, so I'm sure I will be using some of them later on.  You can see all of the tins I decorated this time here.


4.   Make bookmarks for a Stargazers group exchange.   Done!P9020008

Omigosh!  I can't believe how many times I'm typing 'Done'!  I can't show you my bookmarks just yet - they are still traveling to their new homes.  I've received one of my exchanges though, and I will definitely show you pictures when the swap is finished.  This is a picture of the backs of my bookmarks.

5.  Stitch and swap a pendibule or humbug.  Cancelled.

Oops.  This swap got put aside for the time being and - No - I did not start working on it anyway.  I've grown away from cross-stitch for awhile - although I was really intrigued by something called a 'humbug'!  I've put it into my 'sometime later' file.

P82800016.  Can we please finish the TIF project?  Major Progress!

Ah, but still In Progress.  I'm getting very close, though.  I've been assembling the pages, and finding that the task P9070051takes longer than I anticipated.  You will understand why when you see the final product.  Which I really hope will be in the next six weeks!


Phew!  It was a busy six weeks.  Let's see what I have lined up for the next term. 

  1. TIF again.  High priority this time.
  2. Begin working on challenges for quilt guild and doll club (both due in November)
  3. Play catch up on the Block of the Month embroideries
  4. Do at least one Stargaze Tome page
  5. Work on Christmas wall hanging

I will be gone for a week in this period, so I am only setting five goals this time.  Who knows?  I might get extras done!  Come back October 23 and see!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wednesday WOW - September 9

Well, so far I have survived the much-discussed 09-09-09!  Just a day like any other out here in the country.  I'm not sure what it is supposed to mean or do anyway!


As usual, the worktable is a mess.  A sure sign that things are being created!  This is part of the (huge) Take It Further project. 

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's Sew Fine

OK, that's pretty corny.  Sorry. 

'It' is my new sewing table.  I love it! 


Sarge built it specifically to fit me and my machine.  He measured this and that, and looked at pictures I pulled off the internet for him, and listened to my wish list and then he built it!  He claims he is not a carpenter, but for my purposes he's pretty close, let me tell you. 


The shelf is set down just far enough so that the standard plastic table slides on and off without moving the machine.  I can change bobbins with the table on and do just about everything with it assembled like this.  If I need the free arm capability I can just pop the table off and slide the machine back a few inches.


The drawers are a unit I've had for a long time, but the table was made so they fit just right underneath that extension.  Now I can machine quilt (and continuous piece) without getting the fabric on the floor for Barney to sit on!  Please notice the nicely curved corner on that top!  Pretty cool, huh?


Just for comparison, this picture shows some of the old sewing table.  It was a portable thing that was given to me with my first sewing machine - probably 38 years ago!  I don't think it was new then either.  It has been modified and refinished over the years, but it was small, and just a tad too short for the newer machines (a little bump right in front of the stitch plate), plus it stands on spindly legs and wobbles!  Oh yeah - see how it comes around in front of the machine?  There is a (very) strong spring hinge there so you can get to the bobbin case - and it bites!  Having that thing spring back and catch my finger was getting downright painful.

So, now I'm really a happy camper and I think my sewing room is pretty close to perfect!  I'm so lucky to have a handy husband.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday WOW - September 2

September!?! What happened to August?  That means summer is about gone.   The circle of life and all that sort of thing.


Today was a day to play with beads.  One thing I love to do is  cover things with beads!  I finished this project today, but I can't post about it just yet.  The project is a swap and I will wait until my partner(s) receive this before sharing with the rest of you.  Sorry!