Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mercy Killing

I love Christmas as much as the next person.  Maybe more.  But the time comes when even I have to say enough is enough.

I confess - I stopped watering it.  It was a big beautiful showstopper on the porch but a recent windstorm broke half of it off and I'm neglecting it now.  Sorry poinsettia, your time has come.  It's always awkward to have one of you around in the Spring.  Now you're going to the plant graveyard out by my potting bench.  Rest in peace.

Do you ever just let something go?  On purpose?  How long do your poinsettias last?

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Caught It.

I was thinking I was rather smart to have avoided the nasty bug that was causing havoc at our house. The super germ that made grown men take to bed and teenagers use up tissues like there was no tomorrow.

I kept everything clean. I switched out toothbrushes to help save the uninfected. I washed and washed and washed my hands to try to avoid catching it myself.

Then it hit me. On Friday. Like a ton of bricks. How could this have happened? I counted the hours until I could take my next dose of cold medicine.  I could barely move.  It was awful.

So today, finally feeling better, I got back to my morning routine of a little workout with the wii to wake up and get my blood moving.  And it all became clear.

Workouts for me + games for them = lovely lovely place to share all the germs in the house.  Blech.  Somebody hand me the disinfecting wipes.  Even though it's too late.

Maybe someone out there can learn from my mistake and go clean off their remotes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Henrietta

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Today's Work in Progress is my "Henrietta Whiskers" quilt.  Here are the mostly completed blocks up on my design wall:

Most of them have a little sticky note reminding me what embroidery and buttons I still need to add.  Please excuse the mess on my sewing table below.  See how I carefully hide my Costco-sized tin of Almond Roca under some quilt blocks?  Now you know where my candy stash is.  You can also see my wood plaque with my favorite motto above my design wall.

This is the next block.  The wool pieces are pinned on and ready to applique.  I accidentally stitched the chimney a little wonky because I was watching a particularly exciting moment in Downton Abbey at the time.  Then I decided I liked it that way.  (Or I was lazy - you guess for yourself).  Who lives in this house anyway?  The squirrels?  The big acorn in the lower left of the quilt also has a door (and will have the word "Home" embroidered on the cap) so I don't know who lives here.  I think I spend too much time trying to analyze the story behind these scenes.

WIP Wednesday is hosted by Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Epic progress

I was asked in the comments last time if I could reveal what my epic project is.  It's called "Snow White Discovers the Cottage" and it's part of the Disney Dreams collection.  The finished project will look like this:

Clicking on the picture will take you to a site where you can purchase it.

Here is my progress so far:

I'm working my way across the top and will fill down so I can roll the piece on my stretcher bars.  This is the first time I've gridded out a big piece like this and it really makes the stitching go faster.

Billions of color changes keep it interesting but it requires a lot of concentration.

Meanwhile, Jungle Boy is continuing to do auditions for ballet summer programs and everyone in the house is taking turns being sick.  I've been lucky so far on that score!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Totally Useless

Today is a new moon so it's also time for the first check-in of the year for the Totally Useless Stitch Along.  This is the internet sewing bee where instead of showing our amazing progress on our projects, we show the little thread ends that we've saved up for the month as we worked on projects.  I've started a new jar for this year, and even though I've been stitching away like crazy, it barely shows.

I didn't even show the whole jar because the pile looks so puny at the bottom there.  The Totally Useless Stitch Along (TUSAL for short) is hosted by Daffycat.

I got a new camera that I'm having fun playing with.  My old camera was just giving me sadder and sadder results.  This one has more features than I will learn to use in a month, but so far I'm really happy with what I've figured out.  Every time I get it out and start clicking Hestia comes to investigate, so I have a lot of pictures of her.

She looks sort of mad in that picture, but it's hard to get a cat to look right at the camera and not blink. 

Hope you're doing something totally useless today.  It's good for the soul.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Setting the Record Straight

A few days ago Jungle Boy decided to watch Star Wars again.  The original.  So he put on the DVD and I watched it with him while I sewed.

"What a great movie!  It's so old but the special effects and everything are so great!"

"You're kidding, right?"

And then it hit me.  This is the only version of Star Wars he knows.  The doctored up, edited, "enhanced" messed up current version.  Not the beloved version I saw in theaters a dozen times when I was a teenager.

"You know, Han shot Greedo first actually.  This version is just wrong."  I explained the whole thing carefully, but Jungle Boy didn't see what difference it made.  I felt like a complete failure as a parent.  Why oh WHY did I get rid of my old VHS version?

So today I stopped by the thrift store, where they had numerous VHS versions.  It was an interesting game trying to figure out which one was probably the oldest.  I spent all of $2.50 for this trilogy.  Tonight I'm looking forward to a bowl of popcorn and the original, grainy, shoddy blue screen version without all the extra cgi characters and effects.

Lest you think I'm completely lax as a parent, be comforted that I did get Jungle Boy this little hard-to-find gem for Christmas:

The original Return of the Jedi soundtrack.  With the original Ewok celebration song at the end.  Because before there was a sullen teenage Anakin Skywalker pasted into the scene, before the snooze-inducing prequels, there was a glorious victory song.  Sung by an Ewok chorus.  This scene should just never have been messed with.

I may have made some mistakes as a parent, but letting my children have the wrong ideas about Star Wars isn't going to be one of them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Crossing Fingers and Toes

This weekend Jungle Boy starts his series of auditions for ballet company summer intensive programs.  Joffrey Ballet today, American Ballet Theatre tomorrow.

Last year he claimed he wasn't nervous, and I got nervous.  This year, now that he knows better what the stakes are, he's really nervous.  I'm just trying to keep breathing.  It's amazing how we can take on our kids' fears.

Resume is done, head shots are done.  Ballet shot is done.  In the ballet world, audition hopefuls have to submit a first position arabesque pose in addition to a headshot.  Here's his for this year. 

I was going to post his pose from last year but I think I'll spare him.  Trust me, this is an improvement in form.  He even has a sore hamstring right now so he's happy he got a good extension.

Wish him luck!  More auditions coming every weekend in January.  We'll look at all the offers he might get.  We'll know by early February where he'll be spending his summer.  Exciting times!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Epic Begins

I am going to stop my Finished for Friday posts for now.  I finished up so many of my unfinished projects that I don't have new things to show with great regularity.  So what does a crafter do when they start to get caught up?  They take on new, bigger projects.  In this case, it's enormous.  Epic even.  Behold my new beginning:

This is a massive cross stitch project.  I spent 3 days just putting in the grid.  Each of those boxes is 100 stitches.  There are 638 boxes total.

I've completed 10.  Go me!  That's 1.5% of the way there. 

I hope all of your projects are proceeding nicely.  Have a great weekend.  And if you're going to do a project - do it BIG!

Monday, January 9, 2012

MP3 Monday

Welcome to the new year.  I've had quite a vacation.  Now I have a lot of blogs to catch up on and it's time to get back to my own.  I've still got luggage to unpack and laundry to do.  Lots of pictures to upload.

While I'm doing all of that though, I've also been feeding my ipod a few fun bargains I've found.  I thought I'd let you in on them too.

Today only Amazon is featuring the new album by Ladysmith Black Mambazo for $3.99.  This is a double album of 30 tracks featuring a range of collaborators. I was listening to it today while doing housework and the track with Phoebe Snow just stopped me in my tracks.  Where has she been?  What a voice.  Very upbeat, interesting music.  A few of these are going in my favorite playlists.

If you want to go classy for less than a buck, download "250 Minutes of Bach" for 69 cents.  Heck, at this price, you should download it even if you think you hate classical music!  This is great music to play in the background while you read or take a bubble bath.  Even a 4 hour bubble bath.

In keeping with the "bang for your buck" theme, my final suggestion is this collection of 66 Spanish Guitar Masterpieces.  At $2.99 right now, this is a steal.  Get it for the iconic "Concierto de Aranjuez" then close your eyes and listen to that second movement.  Aaaaah.  There is quite a variety of styles of music including a few tangos, if you feel inclined to put a rose between your teeth and dance.  And who doesn't feel like that sometimes? 

Always check the current price before hitting that "buy" button.  Some deals don't last long.  Amazon music can be uploaded to the Amazon cloud, and/or you can load it into iTunes.  There is a simple little uploader utility to install on your computer.

Let me know if any of these work out for you and Happy New Year!

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs