Thursday, April 29, 2010

Finished for Friday: Cathedral Windows

I've been wanting to try this technique for a long time. Here is my mini-quilt made in the "Cathedral Windows" pattern.

It turned out to be fun, but somewhat time consuming to prep the blocks. (Do you see the 9 blocks?) As I worked on it though, I was daydreaming about doing a huge multicolored king-sized quilt like this. I'm insane that way.

I just have a few more blocks to go in my "Rabbits Prefer Chocolate" quilt. Here again, as I was stitching I was thinking how fun it would be to have a big king-size applique quilt. I wonder if there's medication for this kind of delusion? I am the slowest appliquer on the planet.

What have you been up to this week? Sign in, leave a comment, and be sure to visit the other participants. Reading about people's projects is like reading through my favorite DIY magazine, only better because they're real people really getting things done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Algebra Before Coffee

Eighth grade textbooks are a lot scarier than I remember them. I certainly don't remember having SAT practice tests to stress out about at the tender age of 13.

Did you notice the phrase on that page "it should take you about 6 minutes to complete?"

Drama Girl is studying Algebra and has asked for us to help her check her homework each night to help her prepare for her tests. Sure! No problem! I took Algebra. How hard can it be?

She hands me her homework and I dutifully reduce polynomials, find where x=0, and double check her graphs. It all comes back to me. I feel smart. I'm sailing along.

Until today. I forgot to check her homework last night so I got up early to review it today. I filled a small sheet of paper with my own calculations to check her work. Then I got to Lynne and Jeff.

Lynne can paint a wall in 40 minutes. Jeff can paint the same wall in 60 minutes. How long will it take Lynne and Jeff to paint the wall if they work together? Show your work.

Well that seems easy! And it's a real-world type problem, very relevant. How nice that our children are learning things like this. So glad my daughter is learning these skills.

Got the answer? No? Hmmm. I started writing equations. Crossed them out. Wrote a little differently. Hmmm.

I asked my cereal-chomping husband.


"I need a piece of paper" says he.

We had both filled sheets of paper by the time Drama Girl appeared at the breakfast table, groomed and primped and costumed for another day in her role as cool 8th grader.

"I notice you couldn't answer that word problem Drama Girl. Your dad and I are working on it."

"Mom, it's just a simple problem about work ratios."

Smile. Try not to have a blank, uncomprehending face.

"Erm, yes. Right. Looks like you need some help solving it."

"I've got it," says my husband, "50 minutes."

"Figures." I said. "Let a man help paint and it just takes longer. That can't be right. She might as well just send him out for Chinese food and finish the wall herself."

"Mom, just find the example equation in the book. Here, I'll show you." She began flipping through the previous pages. "Here! Like this! See!"

1/40h + 1/60h = 1
multiply both sides by common denominator 120. Reduce
3h + 2h =120
5h = 120
h = 24 minutes

She felt smug as she waltzed out the door with her completed and comprehended homework.

My husband and I just winked at each other.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Toonlet

The Elvis of My Generation

related []
The Elvis of My Generation

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Going to Target? Buy a Kindle!

Starting today, many Target stores will carry Amazon Kindles. If you've been thinking about getting one, here is your chance to give it a hands-on test drive (or test read, as the case may be). If your Target doesn't have them in yet, they will within a few months.

You can drop it in the big red Target cart and start reading books as soon as you unload your groceries, or you can save a few dollars in sales tax and go home and order it from Amazon.

Why get a Kindle?
  • Amazon's famous customer service. Download a book by accident? Just return it within 7 days for a refund. Cat knock your Kindle off the counter and break the screen? Call Amazon and find a new Kindle on your doorstep the next morning. (Free. True story.)
  • Read comfortably on the non-glare screen in full sunlight (unlike the iPad, which you can't see at all in the sun).
  • Carry up to 1500 books, with you everywhere
  • Lighter and more comfortable than a paperback, you will rediscover the joy of reading and if you're like me, you'll end up reading faster.
  • Over 500,000 books available through Amazon and other sources. No wi-fi or 3G charges to download anywhere in the world through Amazon's network (unlike the iPad, where you must be in a wi-fi hotspot or pay a monthly fee for 3G coverage).
  • Download samples of books before you buy. The samples are always considerably more than I would read if I were standing around in a bookstore browsing through books.
  • Go green, and stop filling your house with stacks and shelves of books which just sit there.
  • Read your favorite magazines, newspapers, and blogs, all updated automatically.
Amazon does not pay me to endorse the Kindle, I just really love mine and I want my friends to give it a try. Let me know if you see them at Target!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finished for Friday: Bedroom Redo

I have had the same old bedroom for a long time. I wish I had thought to take "before" pictures, but I didn't think of it at the time.

With the entrance of our glorious new mattress I felt it was time to change the tired drab bedding. I had always felt that bedding shouldn't be girly once you're married. But I hate pretty much every color combination of bedding that's out there. Too much taupe, and wine, and dark dark dark.

But I had never actually asked my husband what he thought. When I saw this comforter set on sale at Home Goods I called him and asked for the truth - hot pink? Any possibility?

I should have known better. Dear husband loves me and wants me to have things I love so he gave his enthusiastic approval. Witness the result.

I cleaned off the top of my bookshelf and got some new art and accessories too, all for a song. Those cherry blossoms light up, which my kids think is silly. Probably, but I love them. See my Kindle waiting there for me? This is my happy place. And when mommy is happy, everybody is happy.

So what have you been up to this week? Get anything checked off your to-do list? Join in with a recent post and let us come congratulate you.

If you're not visiting the other participants, you're really missing some great projects. Lots of inspiration out there for you to tackle something yourself.

Thank you to everyone who has grabbed my button for their blog! You can find the code over on the sidebar on the right. Thanks for joining in!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Muffin

Dear family,

It was so nice of you to tell me, as you were jogging out the door to work and school, that you had left a muffin for me. How sweet.

However, I was sort of expecting a whole muffin. *sniff*

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie at Seven Clown Circus.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Makes My Monday: Sleep

There are some adventures that are rarely taken in life, and yet are so worth the time and effort that we wonder why we waited so long to undertake them.

I'm speaking of that great fun adventure of going to the mattress store and test-sleeping all the models.

Call me daring, I had no problem climbing up on downy soft faux beds and closing my eyes. I imagined each fluffy furnishing as my own. I sank in. I luxuriated. I dreamed of waking up in the morning without groaning and stiffness. I practically fell asleep on the spot.

My husband? Not so much. Lying down on a bare mattress in a huge store in front of strangers just might not be his favorite outing in the world. But he's a good man, so he humored me. He even shifted around to see what it would feel like to sleep on his side.

The saleman was so full of mumbo-jumbo speak that I just nodded and let it wash over me. I believe the model we selected is made from gossamer and swan's down with thousands of tiny elves inside who massage every inch of your body. Or something like that.

All I know is, our ancient rock-hard torture device passing as our current mattress will get replaced today.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow it's because I'm still asleep.

For more happy Monday thoughts, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finished for Friday: Rhett and Scarlett

Today's finish is on the "Lit" side of my life. I finished reading "Gone With the Wind."

Have you ever had a book hangover - where you were so engrossed in a story that after you put it down it was difficult to start another book? That's what Gone With the Wind does for me. I haven't read it in 20 years, but the characters came so alive for me that it was hard to say goodbye to them, even though I've read the book several times before. Here's a link if you'd like to go back to Tara. I read it on my Kindle, which was certainly a comfortable way to read this otherwise hefty volume.

I'll be back to crafty finishes next week (I hope!) I have a lot of projects going at the moment but none are near completion. I am distracted by my garden (the weeds!), a local quilt shop going out of business (the sales!), and my new Netflix disk for the wii (the movies!). I hope you're staying on track better than I am.

So show us what you've been up to. And if you haven't been visiting the participants, you're missing some great posts! Every week I see things I love - that I end up adding to my endless to do list.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bring me some popcorn

Now this was a great idea. Netflix offers a disk to wii owners that allows you to stream movies instantly through your internet connection onto your TV. We got ours yesterday.

My husband and I have a long history of video store wandering. It began as a dating ritual. We would head to the local video store and browse. Forever. We are probably two of the most indecisive people you've ever met when it comes to entertainment. I think it's amazing we ever managed to rent anything at all.

Now we can enjoy this same ritual from the comfort of our own couch! Movies galore to watch instantly. Every genre we need. Elaborate costume dramas for me, space aliens blowing up things for him. We are like kids in a . . .video store.

The down side? No previews. The movie really starts instantly. I've always loved previews, my husband - not so much. He's thrilled.

There are quite a few TV series available too, so my daughters chose to watch episode 1 of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." They decided it was a bit scary so I followed up with an instant viewing of an episode of "Rocky and Bullwinkle." Then they decided that they should not let me pick things for them to watch. I still don't understand how they could not love Rocky and Bullwinkle. Kids these days.

If you have a wii and a Netflix account, I believe the link to order your own disk is here. Ours was free with our Netflix subscription.

Now pass the popcorn, I'm going to watch some Jane Austen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sure signs of Spring

After the seemingly endless storms brought on by El Nino here in California, it finally looks like Spring will arrive. And that can only mean one thing.

It's time to start on the Autumn quilt.

This one is going to be huge, with a lot of positive/negative blocks with varying degrees of contrast. Hopefully when it's all together it will be effective. I certainly have a lot of leafy prints I intend to use.

Ignore the other block on my design wall in the lower left. There are usually a lot of works in progress hanging all over the place. I cropped out most of the bits and pieces.

Spring also means that at last I can open a window or two. Even just a crack of fresh air is welcome. Here is Dumbledore getting his share. I love the "cat back" stretch I caught. Fresh air always makes me stretch too.

Hestia is content to sit on a pile of quilts and watch the birds and squirrels flitter by. Perhaps she dreams of tackling one of Snow White's dwarves out there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Finished for Friday: Sewing Machine Cover

Here's something I've been meaning to do for a long time. How many times a week do I look at this ugly cover?

Well, no more! I needed pink cuteness. And a squirrel. And I needed to use some of the cute spool fabric I have. Here's what I came up with. I used wool felt to applique the front.

I used some extra fabric to cover my magnetic pincushion, and I even had some extra felt to make a quick coaster for my tea.

Makes me happy.

What have you been up to this week? Please leave a comment and visit the other participants. Thanks so much for joining in!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pizza makes me more creative

See this nice hank of white pearl cotton? It's lovely to work with, but it's a mess to deal with in its doubled hank form you see here. I could just cut it and have a bunch of strands the same length, but sometimes I only want a little.

So I wrap my pearl cotton around clothespins. Clever, no? But do you know what a bunch of colorful clothespins look like to cats? Apparently they look like cat toys.

I had promised myself that I would go to the craft store and get a nice little container to hold my colors and keep them safe. But then I found something just as good, and free (well, free if you order salad with your pizza).

Snaps shut, cat proof - the perfect crafty container.

Today I think I'm pretty clever. I might end up with a whole set of these if I remember to retrieve them on pizza night.

I hope nobody was expecting anything deep and profound on this blog today. . .

Monday, April 5, 2010

Makes My Monday: Back to the Routine

We had a fabulous vacation in Las Vegas! It seems to have worked out perfectly for the teen girl who likes to shop, the preteen twins who desired swimming pools and amusement park adventures, and the entire family that enjoys Broadway-style shows.

We got to see Disney's The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera. We won stuffed animals at the arcade at Circus Circus and admired the fake sky over the canals of Venice at the Venetian. We loved the dolphins and white tigers and white lions on display at the Mirage.

And we ate. And ate. And ate. Every time we turned around it seemed we had a bunch of hungry kids who needed things like burgers and fries and Belgian waffles to appease their appetites. As much as I love having someone else do the cooking, even I got tired of restaurant food.

The whole whirlwind week seemed to fly by and now we are all back to our routines. I have a pile of laundry and a pile of mail and a week's worth of cat fuzz to vacuum up.

There's nothing better than a good vacation to recharge. Now I'm off to read all the Finished for Friday entries from last week. Thanks for sticking with me!

To see more posts with happy Monday thoughts, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation.

and we are all ready to go back again soon. We saw shows, swam, shopped and ate. And ate. And ate. As much as I love having someone else cook for me, even I reached capacity for restaurant food.

So now we're home again, and I face a pile of laundry and a pile of mail and I couldn't be happier.

It's been a while since I've had a good break and clearly, I needed it.

Have you been to Las Vegas recently?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Finished for Friday: Relaxation

I'm out of town on vacation as you read this, so hopefully today I will achieve complete relaxation! I'm coming home this weekend though, and I look forward to seeing all of your finishes.


LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs