Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmastime! And Gilmore Girls!

John got invited to go see the Wizards game tonight.  At first I was not super psyched about it... and then I remembered that the Gilmore Girls redux is now available on Netflix.  Done and done!

Thanksgiving is in the rearview and it's time to jump full throttle into the December holiday season.  The tree is up and the decorations are on display.  As each year passes, I feel like I've got my shit together, Christmas-wise.  I grew up in a house that had rock solid traditions.  Maybe it was because I was the third and there were many years of refining before I could remember.  But everything seemed so effortless.  Nothing fancy - mostly handmade items saved over the years.  Each of us had our own ornament boxes - my was a Vodka case procured from the local liquor store.  I believe there was also a Cutty Sark case.  It was so magical to pull out each ornament, unwrap it from the old newspaper and put it on the perfect spot on the tree.  Most of my ornaments were homemade by my mother and my aunt.  I still have all except one late edition painted porcelain chili pepper... not a huge loss.  My mom made ornaments for every person she knew, I'm convinced of it.  Family, neighbors, church friends, co-workers.  Seriously.  Like, dozens every year.  So many people still remark to me how special it is to have those small remembrances of her.  I do not know where she found the time or energy, but mostly I don't know how she was so organized.  So able to hone in on a project, start it, work on it, complete it to perfection AND actually hand it out to the people she intended to give them to.

I flail.  I start things, I put them aside forever.  I can't make a decision so nothing gets done.  I only chose things that don't require accuracy because I can't focus long enough to measure things properly, make colors coordinate or line rows up.  I don't cook because more often than not I leave out at least one key ingredient or skip a crucial step in the process.  My life lacks cohesion.  Eclectic might be one way to put it.  Mish-mash might be more appropriate.

Finally, finally, I'm building my own traditions for my family.  Tree the day after Thanksgiving.  2 (and only 2) Rubbermaid tubs of curated decorations to put out on the sideboard.  It filled me with crazy joy when the Rupper pulled out the stockings and excitedly announced to e. harrison which one belonged to whom in our family.  We made crafts - the ugliest paper plate Santa Claus you've ever seen.  But we made them.

Tonight, Lorelai, Rory, and I pulled down a box from the inheritance filled with Christmas fabric.  I found a kit that I'm sure was bought at fancy quilt shop by my mom.  A pattern with all of the appropriate fabrics in all of the appropriate measurements.  Cohesion.  She always read an instructional manual all the way to the end.    

I decided to cut out.
And then I thought I'd see how far I could get putting the pieces together.
It's a simple project, I think the final measurements will be 26" square.  But still, the pressure I felt that all those little points had to line up and all the seams had to be pressed the right way was so very real.  It felt like I owed it to her, to slow down and breathe and concentrate.  I should do that more often.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Finally!  I feel like I've been working on this quilt forever.  Or, I guess to be more precise, I've been putting off working on this quilt forever.  Now we move on to my second favorite hobby: the procrastination of sending the finished product to its recipient. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Binding Marathon Pt.1

1 Baby Quilt.  3 Doll Quilts that have been sitting around for ages.  Progress feels great.  At least something is heading in a positive direction.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Little Escape

John is out of town for the week.  While I miss his company and his cooking, it's not the worst to have a few quiet hours to myself in the evening.  Quiet is not exactly the appropriate word, since a good amount of that time was spent with the sewing machine at full tilt.  It gave me something to do besides repeatedly check my Facebook and Twitter feeds and refresh various news outlet websites waiting to find some nugget of hope to hang onto.  I felt like I had a handle on something, was in control of something, and could make actual real tangible progress on something.  Because right now the rest of it feels like a real freaking mess.  The train went off the rails and I don't know who to look to for guidance as to how to put it back.  One thing I've learned and know for sure is that time will heal, that pain will fade.  But my worry is that the pain is not over yet.  Every time it seems we're at rock bottom, the trap door opens and down we go.  I know it will be okay, that we will survive this.  But the journey is not one I'm particularly looking forward to.

But.  Quilts.  Quilts for cute babies of wonderful friends.  New beginnings, fresh starts, hopeful futures.  The sun will rise in the morning.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Garden Lattice Quilt Top

Terrible photo of cute garden lattice quilt top. Fabric came from the Inheritance.  We can all agree it's adorable. I'm looking forward to my friend's baby girl being an art appreciater from infanthood. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fruits of Labor

Finally. Finally I have worked through my enormous pile of scraps to make 177 X blocks.  
Dang, that feels good. The quilt I'm planning to make requires 63 blocks. So I'll have a few left over.

In other news: running. 
This is from a few weeks ago. Because snow happened. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016


The evening started out looking like this:
And two hours later it looked like this:
It *felt* like progress. And I suppose it does looks like progress. But man. Those are a sh*t-ton of tiny pieces.  

And there was progress of another kind today in the form of exercise. 
I knew at the time that the juxtaposition of my head beneath the horse statue's rear end unfortunate. But I had crazy running brain and decided it would be fine. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

And Also: Running

Against my better judgement, I signed up to participate in the Lottery for the 2016 Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run.  So many people try to run it.  No chance I'll get in, I thought.

I got in.

I have not run a race of this length in about 5 years.  I've run a few 5K's, one or two 10K's.  But now there's the challenge of a 10 miler on April 3 looming.  So I'm going to give it my best shot, to see if my body any longer holds the capacity to train and push itself to complete this kind of race.

It seems appropriate, given the whole reason I started this blog was to catalogue a marathon training program I participated in, that I use this as a forum to track my progress.  I gave up on that one pretty quickly, and chances are I will this one as well.  But you never know.  Maybe it'll be great.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Cross Stitch Progress and Daily Writing Prompt

Quick pictorial update on my ongoing (aka mostly ignored) cross stitch project.  The goal now is to get it to them before their first anniversary.  Fingers crossed!  Don't worry, I bought them a real present as well.  It's not every couple that registers for a nail gun (as well as other tools I will never be qualified to use).  I couldn't resist.

Also... a new feature I like to call:

The Daily Post's 365 Days of Writing Prompts:
or how I snarked my way through 2016 in writing

At least that's my initial reaction.  I like to write, I want to write more.  That was the initial impetus for this blog, however I think we can all see how well I have been able to maintain consistency.  I've decided to make 2016 the year I really make a go of it.  In thinking of ways to get myself to buckle down and write something every day (or as close to it as possible), I googled "daily writing prompts" which led me to this pdf created in 2013 by The Daily Post.

I appreciate the effort that went into creating this list, but as I read through it all I could think was "is this for real?"  Take today's writing prompt, for example:

January 7
Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins.
When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

Happy New Year - let's dredge up some awful memories!  Dull sickness, that's what we want to spend time dwelling on, then, isn't it?  I suppose the idea being that you overcame that sense of helplessness and took back your power and all that.  But, yeesh, couldn't that have waited until April or something?

So my first writing exercise of the year will be to ignore my writing exercise.  I choose not to make myself sad.  Take that, The Daily Post!

**UPDATE, 7:12 pm

The kids had gone upstairs with the dad.  I had 15 minutes until I needed to leave for Mommy's Night Out.  Dishes done, laundry started.  I had just enough time to set my sewing machine, Big H, back up after her Christmas Holiday Hibernation.  I removed her cover to find this:

Broken needle: simple accident or cosmic message?

And I have no. more. needles.  Suddenly, I had that that "dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins."  Helplessness.  What this karma striking me down for my dismissive attitude to a good-natured writing prompt?  Whatever the cosmic cause, has once again come to my rescue, assuring me a Sunday delivery (Free with Prime!).  Breath returns to normal, jaw unclenches, muscles relax.  Good thing I'm heading out to drink.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Sad Neglected Pile

These are the makings of a scrappy "X" quilt that I'm in the process of working on.  It's not for anyone in particular (actually is was going to be the alternate in case my friend had a boy, which was not the case).  I keep the pieces out in the hopes that easy access will inspire me to grab them and start stitching on a whim.  The pattern is simple and the X blocks come together very easily.  But more often than not, the fall to the bottom of the priority list, beneath dishes and laundry and sitting and doing nothing. 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Crafting of a Different Sort. And Dinosaur Strangling.

 The Very Serious Boy was given the gift of Kiwi Crate for Christmas.  The first box showed up and we set to creating a very cute claw grabber thingy and pom poms.  It was a big hit and we are looking forward to the next 5 months of more crafts.

e. harrison, meanwhile, has made a new friend in Zoomer Dino.  Age appropriate, schmage schmappropriate.

Monday, January 04, 2016

New Year's Resolutions

2016!  It's here!  And with it comes the prospect of so much - crafting, running, cooking, reading, and, dare I say, sleeping.  Hopefully there will also be less of other things - things like Facebook and Candy Crush.  We'll see what shakes out, how much energy there will be and how it divided among all the different aspects of life.  Above are a few pics of projects I never got around to sharing last year.  It was a treat to be able to make some baby girl quilts after a run of boys.  The second quilt was for a friend who had a baby girl after 2 boys.  They didn't find out the gender before she was born, so it was a wonderful surprise for them.  I went a little overboard on the pink, but the momma was more than okay with it.