Chernobyl for Christmas

Still from HBO’s Chernobyl Docudrama

No this isn’t about the war in Ukraine although I trust Ukraine over Russia when it comes to managing the site. No, this is about my family’s choice of Christmas viewing.

Christmas Day conversation revolved around 9/11 and the survivors and the physical toll on them. That led to talking about the HBO docudrama on Chernobyl.

So Boxing Day we’re all watching Chernobyl because that’s how we roll. And that led to some Google for history and where are they now answers and did you know that more people died in the holiday snow storm in New York than the Russians and therefore the UN admit were killed by Chernobyl? The official death toll for the nuclear accident is 31.

This led to a discussion of what happens when society conditions you to believe that lies are truth. And both sides of the political aisle are guilty of misusing opinion as facts. Try looking to see where the often quoted statistic about 50% of marriages end in divorce came from you’ll find it’s an estimate not actual data. (Latest estimate is that almost 60% of first marriages will last until death parts them, it’s the 2nd and additional after that that skews the data up to over half of marriages fail).

But back to Chernobyl – the scene that hit many of us hardest was the “it can’t be graphite, you must be mistaken” and the one where it’s pointed out that 3.5 is the maximum reading their detectors can register. People are willing to accept misinformation if it fits their narrative. It’s how we start believing social media is reality even if real life doesn’t match the screen.

So ask yourself – what beliefs am I looking to support when reality doesn’t match? What facts and reality am I ignoring in order to support my beliefs? Are there any beliefs I hold that should be re-examined given the reality happening outside of my screen?

October Wipocalypse – State of the Stats list

So coming into October I was supposed to be working on Teresa Wentzler’s Fall Carousel Horse.

Well, that didn’t happen. Maybe I was ponied out after working on the Summer border and those grape leaves just weren’t calling for love. However, there were quite a few other accomplishments in October. For some reason when I kept looking at the number of items on the WIP and to be Finished Spreadsheet, having the total over 60 bugged me — maybe not enough to keep me from starting anything new but at least with the first new start, I also finished it so it didn’t get on the list…

Things Haven’t Been the Same…

Then there was the machine applique class at a local fabric shop…

BOO! – applique quilt wall hanging

Then there was the Seuss Safari quilt that got blogged about earlier.

And the Joy Tree that got finished as a pillow with my first self-made piping.

And binding of the Lavender Waves quilt —

Lavender Waves for Liz – piecing finished 2004, quilt finished 10/29/12

And here is the back —

And now my list is under 60 items but in order to keep it under 60 and still be able to start Stars for a New Millennium – I need to finish at least one more project. Will it be the Binding on my Batik Mystery Fairy Quilt or will it be the stitching and making into a pillow of Town of Halloween.

Town of Halloween from JCS 2012 Halloween Issue

Right now Town of Halloween is winning because I want to put it away with the Halloween decorations when I take them down this weekend.

So up next month is making quilt blocks for the Christmas quilt that I started back in 2005… I think I’m almost half way through the 56 blocks but the goal is to get them all completed and sized ready to sew together when I work on it next year.

Learned a new technique and finished off an ornament

So when I started to make my Joy Tree ornament, it quickly became apparent that it was too big for a standard ornament.  I decided to make something else with the pattern and since I hadn’t ever done a throw pillow with mitered corners and piping…Image

I didn’t find any pre-made piping that worked so I went looking for instructions on how to make and attach piping.  I found lots of instructions but the ones that I liked best were from Sew Mama Sew.   I did just what she said and I’m happy with the results and it’s one more item off my WIPocalypse list of projects to complete.  And I have a new Christmas throw pillow for the couches.

Very Productive Weekend (without pictures to prove it)…

For those that don’t know, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first weekend of October (and again in April) the church leaders speak to the general membership of the church in a series of five meetings known as general conference.

When I was growing up, I would ride my bike to my grandmother’s house and I would watch conference with her.  In the morning we would listen while cleaning the house and in the afternoon, we would work on crafts.  She taught me to cross-stitch, quilt, crochet, macrame, and attempted and gave up on teaching me knitting during Saturday afternoon conference sessions.  So along with listening to the messages from the prophet and apostles, I work on craft projects during conference weekend.

I should add that one of the meetings – Saturday night is for the men only.  It’s not like it’s secret, the talks are available for download but businesses around Salt Lake City cater to women that night.  I went with my mom and my sister to Gardner Village’s Witches Night Out.

But back to being productive – I finished Joined at the Hip Hanging on a Star Boo!

This is the model from the designer’s website

I forgot to take a picture before I dropped it off at the long arm quilter’s for finishing.

I also finished my Sego Lily EGA Jacob’s Ladder project – I’ll get a picture posted soon.

After finishing those, I went back to work on C’s quilt.  He leaves on his LDS mission to the Philippines, Iloilo on Halloween.  I thought I had it finished and then I realized that he can’t wrap it around himself and it won’t cover his toes when up around his neck.  So I made a Columbus Day fabric run.

Yes, now that I work for a bank I get Columbus day as a holiday.  So today was also part of the weekend.   Since I was home from work and found a new long arm quilter last week, I made arrangements to drop off the Boo! quilt I finished Saturday, my Fairy Batik mystery quilt top, and the Lavender Waves quilt I made for L years and years ago.  The best part – having all three tops done including buying the batting from her will be less than $100.

Then this evening – I cut the strips for doing the piping for the pillow I’m making out of a stitched piece which was too big to turn into an ornament.  Dropped a line to follow up on a lead for Needlepoint finishing and put in 30 minutes stitching on Town of Halloween.

My Project list is down to 60 items and could be under that by the end of this month.

A different Black Friday

For the past several years, Black Friday has signaled the end of my holiday shopping.  It’s something that I do with my daughter to wrap up the commercial side of things so we can enjoy the holiday season as a family without the frantic financial scrambling.

This year, my new job required that I work on Friday after Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t able to spend the time with my girl and I missed it, especially wrapping up the day with either a massage or a mani/pedi.   I did manage to wrap up the holiday shopping though thanks to the online deals.

I do have a few more things to get but I’m waiting for the school fund raiser on December 10, 2011 in order to do that.