Friday, April 29, 2011

Quilt progress

My husband's going to be gone all weekend (I'm starting to feel like I never see him!) so I figured it would be a good time to get some work done on the big quilt. The next step I had to take was getting the backing, batting, and quilt top all sandwiched together.

First I spread everything out on the floor. Wrench decided that this new thing needed to be inspected:

Molly decided it was infested with some kind of invisible under-the-quilt critter, and had to take care of THAT situation:

I had to start over once, when I discovered that my backing didn't match up to my quilt top (there wasn't enough in the corner Molly's looking at in the above photo). I managed to only fling my safety pins all over the place once, and only poked myself a dozen times, so overall, I'd say it's a win. Now it looks like this:

Now the hard part, and the part I've been dreading - actually quilting it! Any advice for a beginner??

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Imaginary rule day 1: mission accomplished!

I know you were dying to hear about it - yes, I did RIDE to Joann's today! It's 6.9 miles on my bike round trip - I realized last night that the not-quite-5-miles route would NOT be a good idea at rush hour, as it was roughly the same way I and a couple thousand other people would have gone to drive there. The traffic along the way on the route I did take wasn't too bad, and overall it was a decent ride.

So what'd I get?

Some remnants, of course...

Some cute little girly fabric (just a foot)...

And this ADORABLE Halloween fabric that I've been eye-ing for weeeeeks now. Red tag fabric was 50% off again today, so I had to snag...the rest of it. The gal at the cut counter was super nice and gave me a yard at remnant price, making it even cheaper! Huzzah! Now I just have to find something to do with it...

That's a total of 2.555 yards of fabric for $6.43, AND I got a good workout out of it, too :)

Imaginary rules

I'm all about control. I'm one of those folks who's likely to say "No, I'll just do it, you won't do it right" (unless it involves power tools, then the hubby can do as he sees fit!).

So I make up imaginary rules for myself. Imaginary, because there's no one who really cares about whether or not I follow them, and because I rarely write them down. The new rule I've come up with is:

No shopping at Joann's unless I've ridden my bike there, or if Dianna's along.

Now, no one's going to hold me to this but me, of course, because who cares how (or if!) I get to Joann's? I guess it makes me feel like I'm in control of something that briefly seemed a little out of my remnant buying habit.

We'll see how it goes. 

Do you do this, readers? Make silly rules for yourself, I mean??

Monday, April 25, 2011

May Goals / To-Dos

May 2011 Goals and To-Dos

-Finish 5 books:
     -Deer Hunting with Jesus
     -Another of the Martin books
     -three other ones

-Ride my bike 150 miles total
          -Date:     Miles:

-Cut pieces for one quilt
-Put our big quilt together, pin

-Keep up with binders for Dan - no more than three day turn-around (provided his PC is working!)
-Schedule next day off (6/13)

-Finish weeding side garden
-Weed back garden
-Start sunflowers, other plants to plant around garage
-Weed around garage (fence side, yard side)
-Dig out agave plants for Janet
     -Find out if Janet wants the cactus, too; dig that out, if she does want it
-Trim grapefruit tree, fig tree off fence

Home Improving:
-Save up money. And then save up some more.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Time to relax. Birthday is over, Easter is over, and nothing to do until our anniversary in June. Part of me really wants to disappear for a while - read, hide from the world. Being social puts so much pressure on me. Lots of anxiety - I feel like I've never had a real friend, other than my husband - saying that makes me feel kind of pathetic. I judge myself enough already, I struggle with worrying about how much a "friend" will then judge me for themselves.

Hiding under a rock was much easier.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book #12-13: A Game of Thrones


My 12th book for this year was A Game of Thrones, the first in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. I started re-reading it in anticipation of the amaaaaaaaaaazing new series on HBO by the same name.

I've read this book before, a few times, and will likely read it again, a few times. The book has only improved each time I've read it, and how many books can say that? (I bet Dianna would say so about her beloved Harry Potter series!). Furthermore, this is the first time I've read it since having earned a degree in English literature - and while I won't say the degree has gotten me much (if any) benefit, it did help me get more enjoyment out of the book. The symbolism and foreshadowing popped out at me this time.

Enough gushing. To provide a simple summary, the plot of the book is summed up by its title - kings and lords and knights play, effectively, a "game of thrones" to see who is really going to rule the land...while each and every family involved ignores what is, perhaps, a more serious threat that is looming over all of them. Considered epic fantasy, the books contain less magic and more knights and courtly intrigue.

The first episode of the TV show based on this series aired on Sunday, April 16th (yes, I consider it a birthday present to myself!!!) and essentially covered the first 70 pages of this novel. The people I've talked to who've seen the show but not read the book(s) found it sort of confusing, but with how much exposition is in this book (it's over 700 pages long!), that's kind of not surprising. I was truly taken aback by how faithful the first episode was to those first 70 pages, save a handful of changes that had to be made, likely for legal reasons. I hope the next 9 episodes, and the second season (which has already been ordered!) are just as magnificent.

I will likely be re-reading the other three books in this series over the next few months, as the fifth book comes out in July...and I've already pre-ordered it. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Blog hop: Fun Fridays

First time doing this blog hop, which I found from Dianna at Sweet D's Creations.

My weekend started today - normally I'm a 9-to-5 (okay, okay, 8-to-4:30), Monday-through-Friday gal, but I had today off! I spent it playing video games, going to Joann's for MORE fabric (always, always more) for some projects I have in mind, doing some sewing (including starting the mystery projects!), and working in the yard. After hubby gets home from work, I'll get to go pick up a friend from work, then probably have couch time with hubby and the cats while we finish up the current season of CSI - meaning we'll have watched EVERY EPISODE of the original in less than two months! Yipes!

More importantly, though, this weekend is my birthday! Hooray! I've been celebrating all week though, I'll admit! Saturday's the big day, number 26. I'll be spending it with my good friend Tamera and her daughter, with a trip to Starbucks for fuel-I-mean-beverages and then on to Lowe's, where the kiddo will get to make a birdhouse or some such light-carpentry project. Then I imagine will be lunch or probably home, where I'll eagerly await the husband's return - he's got a "business trip," I guess you could call it, which you can read about here.

Sunday's Easter, of course. This is the second year that I've shared my birthday weekend with holiday; once, when I was in high school, it was actually on my birthday itself. We'll head down to see hubby's family and a friend of ours, probably eat too much, most certainly sleep in the car (okay, just me, since he drives!), and get a bunch of reading done (just me again).

Have a good weekend, yourselves, readers!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tired. Also, rant.

I'm exhausted. I don't know why - probably seasonal allergies, thanks so much Chico. I'd take allergy meds...but I'm already falling asleep at my desk, and the non-drowsy ones are like, $92/dose, so sniffling it is.

Also...Saturday's my birthday. It's not a big/round/exciting number - 26 - but still. My birthday. I've had some shitty birthdays - like my 18th, right after which my favorite grandpa died. Last year's was great - had a big party, lots of friends and family, etc. This year I threw another party, but a week early, since Easter's the Sunday after my birthday...

So I figured, sure, I'll just hang out around the house with Jeff, make him do stuff for me, it'll be fun still, right?

Apparently Jeff has to go help find human remains on Saturday. My birthday.

Sure, it's his chosen career, and I guess I should get used to it, if this is what he wants to do. I can't really say no, can I? I don't get to give him permission.

The last time he got called on a recovery? Our first wedding anniversary.

Good timing, bodies. Go back underground.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Phew - what a weekend!

What a great weekend I just had! Since my birthday shares its weekend with Easter this year, we moved my party up to this past Saturday. We had such a great time! Jeff's family (er, our family?) came up - both his parents, Terry, his grandparents, sister, brother-in-law, niece - everyone! And my bestest friends were there, Dianna and Tamera, and other friends... phew! No photos, because who wants to spend their party behind a lens?

Sunday we relaxed and recovered from the fun. I did a bunch of quilting (as I posted yesterday!), we went to Lowe's and bought more plants (another raspberry bush and a cilantro plant and a basil plant - mmm), and then to Joann's - yes, I bought more remnants for my hush-hush-it's-a-secret! projects.

This weekend...just relaxing. Recovering. Enjoying life. (I'm getting better at that, have you noticed??)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quilt top almost there!

My queen quilt top is alllllmost finished! I put all the pretty square rows together today!

So excited to put a border on it and get it all assembled! Hubby was really excited to see it, as he hadn't paid attention to it before - maybe he shouldn't be allowed to use it next winter! ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book shopping

So, I rarely buy new books for myself. When I do, I make sure to shop online at Barnes and Noble - and always to spend more than $25 to get their free shipping. I also make sure to go to the website through one of my credit card account pages, so that I can get the bonus cash back.

Today, I bought the next George R.R. Martin book:

Regular price: $35
Pre-order price: $18.81

I also got Stalking Irish Madness, which looks interesting:

Regular price: $24
Clearance price: $4.48

And I picked up the newest A.J. Jacobs book. The first two were great, I'm hoping this one's good, too:

Regular price: $25
Clearance price: $5.38

Total: $29.96, including tax
Free shipping! 

Plus 10% back on my credit card means only $26.97 for all three HARDCOVER books, which would have cost $90.93! - a savings of almost $64!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why sewing is awesome

On Friday, my friend Tamera spotted a free chair outside her window at work. We snagged it, hauled it to my truck, and belted it in.

Hello, Mr. Free Chair, welcome to your (hopefully temporary) home on my patio!

Cute chair, right? Even cuter cuz he was free!

One problem - what an ugly cushion! Lucky for me (and Mr. Free Chair), Joann's was having a big sale this weekend - not that this would have stopped Dianna and I from going there, but still. Fabric acquired, and using this pillowcase making tutorial, now Mr. Free Chair looks like this!:

Well helloooo, Mr. Free Chair!

Okay, maybe it's not that impressive. The picture also doesn't show the colors very well - there are yellow stripes in the main fabric, which matches the yellow border. Bonus to this project, I got to start AND finish something in one afternoon, AND the gray and yellow border fabrics came from my stash! It was the first time I'd successfully gotten a fabric (the stripes), brought it home, needed more, and been able to use something I'd stashed - the gray was a remnant at Joann's, the yellow from a fat quarter lot I'd won on eBay!

Of course, this completely justifies my remnant-buying habit... Oops. :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekend to-dos

My friend Dianna is really good at making to-do lists. I used to do it a lot, and find it really helpful at work (sometimes), but have found lately that they do make overwhelming lists of things (like everything I want to do before the family comes for my party!) way less...overwhelming. So this weekend, here's the list:

friday evening
-buy cleaning supplies, more plastic containers at target
-mop all moppable floors
-pick up dianna from work

-get jeff to install ceiling fan in bedroom
-get office closet wall patched
-paint patched areas
-get jeff to put in that last piece of laminate in the closet
-clean up porch - store stuff that can be stored, sweep, clean patio furniture

-go to breakfast and to joann's with aforementioned dianna on sunday
-come home and stow purchases in newly purchased plastic things
-get two accounts done for dan, if possible

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Giving myself boundaries

Last night I was determined to get some work done on my big quilt. I started getting ready to play Fallout 3 (what can I say, I'm a lady with eclectic hobbies) but said "no no, I'm going to finish the quilt top before I play!" I started up the game, though, which prevented me from getting distracted by Facebook (and Farmville, really).

I almost got it done! I stopped working when Jeff got home from work, but went from a stack of strips that were 2 rows wide to three strips, two of which are 8 rows wide, the third of which is 4 rows wide. I can't wait to have them all sewn together. So far, I've only put the same pattern together twice - and figure that it might just become my "trademark" to have something little wrong on every piece I work on! It's just 4" squares sewn together in a brick pattern (so the seams don't have to be all together, allowing for error)  - but it would've meant quite a bit of seam ripping to get it out and change it to something else.

Would you have torn it out and fixed it, or are you okay with little mistakes? I think I'll say that it's what gives my work character. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another giveaway!

Check out Mauby's blog post here for the chance to win an adorable pattern for slippers, or some super cute fabric like this from Above All Fabric!

This is great timing, since I got SO much good work done on my big project while Dianna from Life's Little Lists was over to work on her quilt - her place doesn't have quite enough room for really spreading out a queen sized quilt, so she came over to borrow my living room floor and dining room table.

While she was here, our little visitor came back! Last night, an ADORABLE little kitty came to visit Molly and I at our front door. She's obviously someone's pet - she purred and meowed at the door and eagerly ate kitty crunchies when we put them out, then was verrrrry happy to be picked up today when she came back - thankfully she came back while D was here so she could meet her, too! After quite a bit of debate, we decided that since it is likely she was someone's cat, we took her over to Butte Humane Society so that (hopefully!) her owners can find her, or at the very least, she can get adopted by another loving family! I'm going to check back in the next few days to see if she's on their website, and if she is, I'll be sure to post the little girl! :)