Geeking Out

9 08 2014

It worked out this year that my husband and I could go to GenCon. For a while, there, we weren’t sure we’d be able to go, with all the stuff going on with Dad. Thankfully, our plans are holding, since Dad is doing so much better. Yes, he hurts a lot, but that’s part of the healing process.

So, we’re leaving Wednesday for Indianapolis, Indiana, and staying through Sunday, and getting our geek on. My brand of getting my geek on is probably not quite what my husband envisioned for me, but ah, well.

I’m not particularly planning on any gaming events, simply because I have a hard time paying to play something that I have access to because of my husband (he works at a local game shop, as their events coordinator). I did, however, spend quite a bit of time dithering about other activities to participate in. I finally decided on the following:

  • Thursday, at 11:00 AM – Belly Dance for EVERY Body
  • Friday, at 11:00 AM – American Tribal Style Belly Dance for EVERY Body
  • Friday, at 8:00 PM – Build Your Own Language
  • Saturday, at 11:00 AM – Tour of the Mason’s Gothic Scottish Rite Cathedral
  • Saturday, at 8:00 PM – The Haunted Walking Tour of Indianapolis

Yes, I was primarily looking for events that would keep me active while away from home. I’m also looking into touristy things I can do, outside of GenCon, and am really aiming for museums and attractions I can walk to, from the hotel.

  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
  • Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum
  • Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
  • Sunday, at 1:00 PM – Indianapolis War Memorial Trail Walking Tour

Other places worth visiting look to be:

  • Slippery Noodle Inn – This is the oldest bar in Indianapolis (established 1850), and the bar offers live blues music seven nights a week.
  • Rathskeller Restaurant – Indianapolis’ oldest restaurant (established in 1894). They serve traditional German fare, as well as meals suited to those with less Teutonic-inclined palettes.

And, of course, I had to look into quilt shops in Indianapolis. Crimson Tate looks to be within walking distance of the hotel, and I really like their website design. I should really be not buying fabric, period, right now. We’ll see if I stop in…

So, anyone been to Indianapolis? What did you enjoy? Any locals who can recommend things to do and sights to see?





And Back…

12 02 2014

I know… I’ve been missing a while…

At the beginning of the year, my department underwent a organizational restructuring. I agree with the need for the restructuring, and really want to see this initiative succeed… I ended up being laterally moved, and have a new supervisor, and a new manager. Both of these individuals are great people, and I really love working them them…

Problem is, I no longer manage the area that I’d been handling for the last two and a half years.

Initially, it wasn’t a big deal – I was excited by the challenges of tackling my new job duties and really making my new area succeed.

Trouble is – I missed my old area. I managed a large number of student employees, and really tried to provide quality mentoring and guidance. I worked really hard to find a balance between mothering them, being a role model, and being a supervisor. I advocated for these kids, because I hired them, and not necessarily for the skills they could bring to my area, but for the potential I saw in them. These individuals are all smart, adaptable, wonderful people, each with their own personality quirks foibles, making them a real joy and challenge to work with.

With the change in my job duties, I lost the constant interaction with these student employees, and they’re now being managed by someone else.

I miss my kids.

I miss them, and I wish I could do more for them, but I’m elsewhere in the organization, and have to focus on succeeding where I am.

On top of this, a very large conversion project is on my plate, and I’m attempting not to stress it, but DAMN! Our deadline is going to give me white hairs. Especially since this particular project must be done in conjunction with placing, receiving, and scheduling new computer setups.

So, for January, I pretty much shut down to just working, and fiction writing. I didn’t even have the desire to sew. And that lasted a while. I had the hardest time in bringing myself to finish my mini-quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 14, which sucked, because I’d been really looking forward to participating.

This state of mind lasted until this past weekend. In fact, I skipped February’s Stitch ‘N’ Bitch, because I woke up the day of, and just wanted to crawl back into bed. Then I worked at my second job the next day, when the first thing I did that day was throw up. Then I tried to go to primary job on Monday, and only made it through 1:00 PM. I called in today, just trying to beat this stupid cold. So, yeah, good thing I didn’t go to Stitch ‘N’ Bitch – I would have been Typhoid Mary. Even better that at primary job I DON’T have that constant interaction with students. I’d have set off a chain reaction of people getting sick.

Somehow, through all of this, I managed to finish my DQS 14 mini-quilt for my partner, and sent it out only slightly after deadline. This past Saturday, despite not being at Stitch ‘N’ Bitch, I sat at my sewing machine, and picked up a project I hadn’t worked on since June of 2013.

So, sewing is a thing again, and, wow, it feels good. I’m still sort of bummed, but I’m really tired of wallowing, and watch to finished some stuff. So, I have a printer arriving sometime tomorrow, to be followed by more thread and more paper for foundation piecing. I also have a new 1/4″ foot and more bobbins coming. I’ve actually worn out my current 1/4″ foot – the metal bar that the shank clips onto is falling out! I also ordered tools for machine quilting, the Fabulous Fabric Glide, which I’ve already used, and the SewSlip, which I have not.

I would have ordered books, because Connecting Threads had their 40% off sale, but not one book in their selection told me that I had to own it. Who needs project books when one has EQ7 and at least three block reference books? Not this girl.

So, yeah, I’m back. And I’m going to try to not let it be another month before I post, which should actually be easy. I have some finishes to share. One more photo to take, and I’ll be back tomorrow.





A Few Words on Doodling

14 08 2012

Thanks to Erin for posting this at One Piece at a Time this morning!





Winner, Winner…

13 08 2012

Chicken dinner?

Not quite. Honestly, though, I’ll take the goodies I recently won over a chicken dinner any time! I mean, it’s free quilt-y stuff!

Way back on June 26, I tripped over a giveaway for quilting stencils at Karen’s Quilting. She was giving away a handful of $10.00 gift certificates to The Stencil Company. I was lucky enough to win, and I finally placed my order this evening:

Quilting  Stencils1. HW-136_large – Triangular Trick 5 Inches, 2. SCL-130_large – Egg and Dart 8 Inches, 3. Continuous Teardrops

Design 1 is for The Farmer’s Wife Sampler. I wanted something for the points of the stars in the top. Design 2 is for a Double Wedding Ring. I wanted a design that would allow me to use two colors of thread with little hassle. Design 3 just pretty. In picking all three designs, I was looking  for continuous line designs that wouldn’t make me want to throw my sewing machine out the window when I try doing them in FMQ. I see a lot of practice with FMQ in my future, though is it still FMQ if you’re following a stencil?

Quick Curve Ruler
I won the ruler and pattern from a give-away at Sew Kind of Wonderful.

I’ve been quietly obsessing over this ruler since seeing Jenny’s Urban Nine Patch Tutorial and Urban Deco Tutorial. I’m very much looking forward to playing with this ruler. A few ideas are already clamoring for attention. (Big surprise, right?)





Featured…

12 08 2012

Cheating on the Farmer’s Wife, Part Deux was featured in Flickr’s Explore for August 11, 2012.  Apparently, 500 images are picked out from a day’s uploads and featured in a special section on Flickr.  I’m pretty psyched to be included in this group of awesome – there are some amazing photo compositions in this section.

However… I do have to admit that I’m such a Flickr n00b that I didn’t know about Explore 😉





Grrr…

6 06 2012

Some days, I wonder why I bother setting needle to fabric.

Last night, I was kiddo free – Zeb was spending the evening with Grandma. So, I figured I’d make some further headway on the Farmer’s Wife blocks.

Four and a half hours later, I had ONE useable block.

ONE.

*headdesk*

*thudthudthudthudthudthud*

I’m on the  home stretch, really I am. I just have twenty-seven twenty-six block left in the book. Most of them require a degree of paper-piecing.

I started with Periwinkle, which is a really simple four-pointed star block, comprised of a background fabric and two other prints/solids. I managed to mentally reduce this to one print/solid while I pieced it. I ended up with the most boring Periwinkle block ever.

I trashed that one, and decided to start on Shooting Star.

Stupid me – I let EQ7 derive the paper-piecing templates. I should have done it myself – EQ7 isn’t always intelligent enough to make the paper-piecing templates as intuitive as they could be. So, I trashed what I’d stared, since points weren’t going to meet without a dramatic amount of bulk that could have been prevented.

So then I moved on to Peaceful Hours. No problem. Easy! Except I immediately reversed color placements.

Needless to say, I quit at that point. Just quit. It just wasn’t worth the pain and suffering.

….

So what am I doing tonight?

Well, I’m sewing, of course!





Breaking My Silence

26 04 2012

April has been an interesting month! I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time sick.

I started the month with a rotten cold – so rotten I should have stayed home from work, but didn’t because my direct supervisor was on vacation. That lasted a week. I had a lingering, terrible cough in the weeks since.

I was finally in the stages of kicking the cough and reclaiming my health last week. I even went to the gym and increased my resistance on all the weight devices, as well as my level on the reclining bike. I felt awesome, as long as my esophagus cooperated and let me go without coughing.

I even hopped on the dieting wagon, and starting tracking my calories. I’m attempting to stay between 1200 and 1500 calories per day. It’s been surprisingly easy to do so. My normal eating habits aren’t terrible to start with. I just needed to reduce some of the carb intake and manage my protein better. I’d already been cutting the junk food out, because it’s really just stupidly expensive for junk food, and no one in my family needs it. The occasional treat is all right, but we can make healthier, tastier treats at home!

I made it through two sewing days (yay!) and got started on the Stich N’ Bitch BOM project. It’s so pretty! I’m so happy! I even picked up the pieces on the Skill Builder Series Sampler. It’s not a lot – about four blocks into the BOM, and just components into the Sampler. Really, really, really pathetic considering how gangbusters I was last month.

Then, yesterday… Well, all right. Tuesday at about 4:00 PM – my body decided to rebel.  My tonsils got swollen. I started feeling like I was attempting to swallow glass shards. My muscles started aching.

I tried to live in denial for a little bit. It was difficult. Hubby claimed he’d started experiencing the same symptoms the day before. I ended up waking up several times Tuesday night, feeling progressively colder and worse. Sometime around 4:45 AM I realized that there was no way in bloody hell I was making it into work.

So, yesterday morning, I texted my supervisor, letting him know I wouldn’t be in. And then hubby, kiddo and I all trundled off to Urgent Care, with grandma in tow to keep an eye on Zeb while hubby and I got checked out.

Turns out, all three of us have strep throat. Yeah… I blame the trip hubby and Zeb took to the Madison Zoo, as strep has shown up in the family they went to the zoo with. I’d blame work, but I’m in an office by myself most of the day, despite being on a college campus.

So, yeah, here I am. It’s almost the end of the month, and I’ve got very little to show for it.

Oh, and no pics. My camera’s broken for my birthday. I already told the hubby that I want a new camera. I just have to decide on a model.

On the weight loss front… I’m down to 215 pounds, down from 220. It’s slow going, but it’ll so be  worth it!!





A Kick in the Pants…

2 03 2012

… for Generation Q Magazine.

If you’ve been following the Generation Q Magazine blog, then you already know what I’m talking about. GenQ launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of their premier issue and to appear at the International Quilt Market in Kansas City this May.

If you’ve never heard of Kickstarter, prepare to be amazed. It’s a way for smaller ventures to raise capital to attain their goals. The amazing thing is that this capital comes from you and me. See a project that you want to come to life? Pledge some funds.

And Kickstarter is an all or nothing deal. Either the base amount requested is attained, or the individuals who pledged money to a goal never spend a dime. As with most fundraising efforts of this sort, there are bonuses for different pledge levels. (Gen Q won me over by promising fabric – go figure!)

In an awesome example of how giving our online community of quilting bloggers is, the Gen Q Kickstarter campaign has already raised over $13,000 in the first 48 hours that it’s been live!

I decided to pledge, because since its inception, I’ve enjoyed the content of the Gen Q blog, and would love to see a printed publication that appeals to a wider aesthetic. I love the way the Gen Q blog is written, and hope that carries over to the printed publication. Plus, I’m actually in a really good spot in my life, and why not share the joy a little bit? Especially when the people benefiting clearly have a passion for and commitment to quilting, which has been my creative haven for years!

So, anyway, check out the video. I’m not saying you have to donate, but maybe you will, and that would be pretty awesome. And, of course, there are many, many deserving projects on Kickstarter looking for funding. Maybe you’ll find something that resonates with you. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a fortune that you pledge. Pledges of any amount are appreciated.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1264630403/generation-q-magazine-is-going-to-print-and-digita/widget/video.html





I Fail at Fabric Dieting

9 02 2012

It’s that magical time of year, far better than Christmas or birthdays or anniversaries (at least for me).

It’s tax rebate time!!

Now, I was a good adult and paid off all of the credit cards and got caught up on the bills. I bought a (truly awesome) dining set for a steal because we needed a real place for us to gather as a family and eat together. We bought our son a new Cars bed and a Cars toilet training seat, because he’s currently obsessed with Lightning McQueen. We replaced headlights in cars.

So, in short, we’ve done all the things we should have done with our refund money.

Then, because there was a little money left over, and I really, really, really want to make Erin Russek’s My Tweets (the link leads you to Erin’s Etsy shop for the patten for the center). This was Erin’s Block of the Month for last year, and I faithfully downloaded all of her patterns (which are now also available in her Etsy shop).

Anyway, I digress from the point of this post, sort of. In my quest for the perfect fabrics for this pattern, I went on a little buying fling… Well, more of a spree.

Okay, honestly?

I went crazy.

I started at Joann’s:

And found this really nice blue solid, a whole bolt of it. And I had a 50% off coupon. So I bought everything on the bolt. There was something like 9 3/8 yards. I also found the print on the right, which I decided went perfectly with the solid, and bought three yards of that.
Cotton Crack

There was a 30% off the cotton prints sale about a week later. I treated myself to a half yard each of the fabrics pictured above. There’s sort of a plan emerging here.

But it wasn’t enough!!

Because I realized I was super low on white thread. Connecting Threads to the rescue:

Thread!

Ten spools of white in my cart later, and I still needed more in the cart to make the minimum for free shipping. So I hit up the clearance fabrics:

Connecting Threads Order

I ended up with a half yard of each, except for the last fabric. I got a full yard of the gray and yellow scroll fabric.

And, still, not enough!!

I paid a digital visit to Fat Quarter Shop. BIG MISTAKE! Not that I could be dissuaded from hitting the ‘Buy’ button. I’ve never purchased so much designer fabric in my life:

Fat Quarter Shop Order, Part 1

The orange is Happy Mochi Yumyum. The two on the right are from Joel Dewberry’s Heritage Line. I can’t remember what line the gray came out of.

Everything else pictured below, I got a half yard of. Apparently, I’m experiencing an obsession with Pat Bravo at the moment, because I ended up with a ton of her prints.

Fat Quarter Shop Order, Part 2
Fat Quarter Shop Order, Part 3
Fat Quarter Shop Order, Part 4
Fat Quarter Shop Order, Part 5

There is now a ridiculous amount of fabric on my table waiting for me to get busy and start cutting.

I can’t wait to get home!