My new area…

I’ve redone my crafting area. I have a larger space, however, this is the view from the front door as one walks in the house.

Yes, the front door. The best space available happens to be the front room the home builder assumed would be a formal dining room. Not being one for formal dining, in our house the space has been a music room, a computer room, DH’s art gallery and now it’s my craft room. Since it is the first thing visible as one enters the house, I have to keep it cleaner than I did when it was in the back of the house. If one enters the room, they see this:I love the Expedit shelves from Ikea. I had them in the old room and I had space to add a few more, so I did. The books now have their own shelf. I also had Karen from Enough, Enough come in and help with organization. She has an eye for space. She suggested that my fat quarters and other fabric stash would be happier in mesh bags. She’s right. I have combined both light and dark neutrals on one shelf. Same with Red and Green, Purple and Blue, and Florals now live with 30’s reproductions.In addition to storage, I have working room. Currently three projects sit ready for me to work on at any time. The 30’s sixteen patch is almost quilted (about 8 to 10 hours left on it before binding), a Christmas table runner is visible so I can keep throwing ideas for the pattern to quilt on it, and in the corner, is Theresa Wentzler’s Winter Carousel horse on 40 ct linen gridded for me by the indomitable Edie and stitched over 2 with a single strand of Anchor floss. The project on the table is the Jungle Quilt which is in need of 45 blocks before I can piece it.

Anyway, this is my new sanctuary.

It started with a Lamborghini at Dennys…

DH and I went for a sit down lunch the other day. The closest places were Dennys and Hooters. So as we pulled into the Dennys’ parking lot, we notice a nice gray Lamborghini in the parking lot. We’re in the zebra-striped jeep so not a slouch vehicle yet not up to that tax bracket.

As we walk in I can’t help but wonder who belongs to that car. The hostess seats us where we have a good view of our jeep and the ‘ghini. We’re wrapping up dinner when a couple comes in and argues with the hostess to sit near us. She orders a burger and he glares at her he cancels his meal and says he’ll just have a drink. She leaves the table with her cell phone. His phone rings and he starts giving a sob story about going to his Dad’s funeral (mentions leaving from the airport)and having to take out a loan to pay for it, talks about how the car broke in SLC and he paid $66 for a hotel and he’s now broke (the hotel next to the Dennys is advertising $29.95 per night), the wife suddenly becomes pregnant in the story, and it gets more ridiculous from there and is totally inconsistent. The girl comes back, slips her cell phone in her purse and he keeps talking. Then he hangs up and she slips her hand in her purse and his phone rings again, she comes up empty handed. DH is practically rolling since this team is not even good at the con. He’s speaking too loud and she was just too obvious about using her phone to call him.

Anyway, as we leave, the girl starts to follow us (no way is she preggers!) and DH tells the hostess, just loud enough for the girl to hear, “Thanks for sitting us where we could see the Lamborghini, it’s a pretty car and something to aim for when we’re back on our feet.” The girl immediately turns around and heads back to the table where he is still shouting in the phone about needing $100.

Oh yeah, it was a confidence game. And the Lamborghini didn’t belong to anyone eating at Dennys.

In this economic time there are people in real need and there are scam artists. As a general rule, scam artists throw around a lot of numbers. Real people just ask for any help you can give.

If you aren’t sure but want to help, don’t give money – pay for a meal, buy groceries, pay the mechanic, or the utility bill. Better yet, find a way to help them help themselves – refer to people in your network who may know of jobs. There are still lots of jobs out there.

National Quilt Day

National Quilt Day just ended and I didn’t do much to celebrate it.
I did get the last of my fabric organized in it’s move to a new room.
I slimmed down the denim I’ve collected by either cutting out the seams so I have just fabric or deciding the jeans were in a condition that would allow them to be donated to charity, thus removing them from the cut into fabric block.
I thought about starting the Block of the Month that I’ve pulled fabrics for then realized I didn’t know which direction to cut the strips. So I DMTwittered the designer.
I did take my old Monster Quilt WIP out of the bag, organized it, finished tacking down the fusible applique on one block and put it back away.
I sorted through my completed Quilt of the Month tops, found one ready to quilt and hung it where I can start musing on what patterns to use. Decided to do a pieced back for a Valentine’s one, and realized the snowflake one needs a back and put it back in the bag.
I put the pieces to the Quiltigami/Drunkard’s Path Quilt back in the main case since I’m not in the mood to work on it.
Just realized this minute that I don’t have a new carry and quilt project since I didn’t pull out the next block in the monster quilt.

So all in all an unproductive National Quilt Day although looking at it now, I just wasn’t in the mood to focus on a quilting project. Hope everyone else enjoyed it!

Found a great blog through Twitter….

Came across this blog through a Twitter update. I’ll admit that I’m Twitterpated and having a fun time. I’m meeting some great people and learning lots of new things and did I ever mention that much like #5 I need input to function? I’m finding that I actually get more done at work because I have Twitter feeds coming in on my Blackberry. See, now that I have an automatic multi-tasking distraction, I can concentrate on the job at hand. That probably makes no sense to non-ADHD types.
I need to have background sound or tactile distractions in order to function. It’s why I sat at the back of the class during my MBA program. I followed the discussions just fine and I didn’t want to bother anyone else with either my foot tapping or by playing Fitz, Bejeweled or doing Sudoku puzzles while taking notes. I know it drove at least one of my team members crazy. He said it wasn’t fair that I could multi-task while it was taking all he could do to follow the conversation. I will point out that I did more foot tapping in accounting than I did game playing. It took all I had to type out the equations. I really envied the guy with the Mac who tilted his screen and used the stylus to take notes.
But back to the starting topic – – Quilting on a Budget – I’m part of an abstinence challenge this year. Yes, an entire year without spending money on my hobbies. (What you thought I was abstaining from something else? Get real!!) I’m planning on spending most of this year working on the started or kitted projects that I already have going. But then, I spend more time spreadsheeting my hobbies than I do working on my hobbies (back to that data geek aspect of my life!). Anyway, please swing by Quilting on a Budget – after all, some hobby tips go across the spectrum.

A story of Fast Needles…

Once upon a time, I was afraid of fast needles. You know the ones that go up and down using electricity 😉 A friend who took her online community user name from her cat convinced me that I really should pull out the old Baby Lock sewing machine my DH bought when we were first married (he used it to repair sleeping bags and tents) and try to make some of my stitched ornaments into little pillow type ornaments. That wasn’t too bad. One thing led to another and an 8 year old convinced me to take a quilting class. 22 project hours after the start of the quilting class, I had a finished project. It was instant project gratification and I was hooked. Now 8 years later, the 16 year old who started the quilting obsession for me still gives me geometrics he wants pieced into quilt tops and someday when my skill has improved I may actually be able to make them for him.

As of today, I have 36 quilt tops which I have all the supplies to piece the tops in various stages of completion and, not only do I have the trusty Baby Lock, we have a temperamental Elna for appliqué. I have 6 completed tops which need to be quilted, numerous wall hangings and table runners to finish and 1 quilt which is about 10 hours short of having the hand quilting complete. These numbers are different from last week’s spreadsheet. (Yes, I spend more time on spreadsheets for my hobbies than I do actually working on the hobbies :lol)

Friday, I had my first session with a Gammill Long Arm Quilter. It took me 45 minutes to get my quilt layers loaded onto the frame and 75 minutes to completely quilt a queen size wedding ring quilt. That includes changing the bobbin 4 times and breaking a needle since the bobbin wasn’t loaded right. I know it was a simple design and I can see why a lot of the machine quilters put lots of close details in – it’s because they can! It still blows my mind that I quilted the whole thing in less time than it took to make the binding let alone attaching it. (It took me all of Corpse Bride to attach the binding to the front of the quilt and after an episode of Numb3rs and 2 episodes of Airwolf, I’m not even halfway through using a blind stitch to attach it to the back.)

My friend who owns the machine told me that if my stitches were too big, I should either slow down or turn up the speed. It took only one center ring to find that 70 was way to slow. By the end of the quilt, I was up to 110. I guess you could say, I’m over my fear of fast needles since I can’t wait for another session with the Gammill.

More Atlas Shrugged

No one’s happiness but my own is within my power to achieve or to destroy.

Some thoughts on the bailout

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
~~ The late Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 to 2005 ~

Students of history know that no government in the history of mankind has ever created any wealth. People who work create wealth. James R. Evans, in his inspiring book, “The Glorious Quest” gives this simple illustration of legalized plunder:
“Assume, for example, that we were farmers, and that we received a letter from the government telling us that we were going to get a thousand dollars this year for plowed up acreage. But rather than the normal method of collection, we were to take this letter and collect $69.71 from Bill Brown, at such and such an address, and $82.47 from Henry Jones, $59.80 from a Bill Smith, and so on down the line; that these men would make up our farm subsidy. “Neither you nor I, nor would 99 percent of the farmers, walk up and ring a man’s doorbell, hold out a hand and say, ‘Give me what you’ve earned even though I have not.’ We simply wouldn’t do it because we would be facing directly the violation of a moral law, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ In short, we would be held accountable for our actions.”
The free creative energy of this choice nation “created more than 50% of all the world’s products and possessions in the short span of 160 years. The only imperfection in the system is the imperfection in man himself.” The last paragraph in this remarkable Evans book – which I commend to all – reads:
“No historian of the future will ever be able to prove that the ideas of individual liberty practiced in the United States of America were a failure. He may be able to prove that we were not yet worthy of them. The choice is ours.” (Charles Hallberg and Co., 116 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60610)
~~by The Honorable Ezra Taft Benson Former Secretary of Agriculture [The Eisenhower Administration – ed.] Published in 1968~~

Another Quote from Atlas Shrugged…

“You see, Dr. Stadler, people don’t want to think. And the deeper they get into trouble, the less they want to think. But by some sort of instinct, they feel that they ought to and it makes them feel guilty. So they’ll bless and follow anyone who gives them a justification for not thinking. Anyone who makes a virtue – a highly intellectual virtue – out of what they know to be their sin, their weakness, and their guilt.”
“And you propose to pander to that?”
“That is the road to popularity.”
Why should you seek popularity?
Dr. Ferris’s eyes moved casually to Dr. Stadler’s face as if by pure accident. “We are a public institution,” he answered evenly, “supported by public funds.”

Why do the people who don’t want to think call me to think for them?

Hate my Front loading Washer…

I wish I had never given up my top loading washer.

My front loader is supposed to be larger than the old top loader was but I always seem to be running more and smaller loads than I did with the top loader and the soap is so much more expensive. I always seem to be running extra rinse loads since the front loader never gets the soap out and if I use less soap, the clothes don’t get clean.

The basic wash/rinse cycle is 10 minutes longer than my old top loader – and this is supposed to be using less energy?

I wish we hadn’t fallen for the spin and had just repaired our old washer.

So much for my goal to not whine or complain…

And Blockbuster goes down…

So does the restructuring and possible bankruptcy of Blockbuster mean that Netflix won the video war? Or does this mean that the new competitor to watch is Hulu?

Considering that my reaction to the digital change over was to get a better cable to hook my laptop to my television set since everything I want to watch is on Netflix instant watch anyway, how will the shakeup in the video rental/streaming world effect me?

Personally I haven’t used Blockbuster since they charged me $12.00 for being a day late on a Disney VHS tape which I’d rented for my daughter to watch after kindergarten.