Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Husband Home Alone is a Scary Thing

Photo from Yahoo Images
I'm not sure what is happening in our home now that I am away during the day. As some of you know my husband and I are working out our life after his retirement. He has taken to reading various newspapers and sports reviews online, which include videos, link clips and downloads.

I have been the keeper of the internet domain at our house for the past 7 years. Dan now believes he is the King of Yahoo and thinks he can navigate YouTube, FoobToob and every site inbetween, all while listening to his favorite Detroit radio station. UP.NET, our Mickey Mouse ISP up here in the woods, must see radiological voltage spikes coming from our connection. Every eve when I get home, I have to do a massive shutdown and reboot, including the reset of the internet modem just to check my email. (I can just about see the sparks shooting from the cable box when I pull in.) Its a risky proposition these days doing anything online. I'm glad he's learning, but it's taking its toll on our old HP. Not to mention the time I allott myself.

Between yesterdays blizzard, my studies and all the usual personal dilemas,
I am barring his arse from the mouse, and am hoping to get caught up on my photos, posts, and replies tomorrow.

Thanks for being patient...

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Little of This and A Little of That...

This is where the TIF block is at. I am up to the right corner now and attaching the sequins to the seam. I did get the pocket sewed on and I am able to stick the image cards in while leaving any given one to overhang.

I added some black beads and thread here and there to help with balancing it out. I know that it is awful flowery and I should have tried harder to give it more of a "Northwoods" feel but this was how it went.

I love silk ribbon embroidery but it does not love me. It was difficult to bring what I envisioned into any form of semblance with the ribbon.

I'm going to go back over the whole block and add a few more stitches to unify and fill. I think this area would benefit by making these 2 pieces more separate, to stand on their own. Not much time left to finish and part of this challenge for me was to finish before the next theme was announced. I've really enjoyed working this block and ruminating about Susan. I will miss it when it's done.
I have loved browsing the blogs and meeting alot of new people.
I wanted to acknowledge and thank Jane for her nomination of me for a Make My Day award. Her blog entitled Nuido-A Students Journey displays her wonderful talent for creating Japanese Embroidery! Thank you, Jane.

My husband was such a good sport this week by coming to class and allowing us to use his face for the grooming lab. All is going well but the studying at night involves as much time as the instruction. 2 more days of classroom and then the following week will be clinical so I am almost through it. I have a pile of my old scrubs to wash and hang and I'm looking forward again to the hands on patient part.

Our garage has a good foot of snow on it and our weather vane is pretty useless as the directionals are buried. We're looking at Sunday having a high of 33 degrees, so welcomed after a solid week of sub zero. The wind was wicked and the sting hit your skin in seconds. Obviously the wood pile has dwindled but the furnace has not come on yet. When I get home, Dan has it quite toasty!

I wanted to share a pic of Felon doing what he does best, "stealing" my side of the bed. He is so humanlike at placing his head on the pillow. He is also quite good at eating from a fork, a real gentleman. All 3 dogs are very adept at eating ice cream from a spoon too... I know, don't gasp that I would allow it. It's sick, I know.

I wanted to share one last photo of my "Bird Lady" that hangs out at the edge of the woods. In summer she holds flowers but now.... She looks like shes dreaming of spring just as I am.
Till the next time...

Images in this post printed from Yahoo Images

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Too Many Images, So Little Space....

I thought visuals would be a great way to tell the story and convey my admiration for Susan. Of course the space on this block is limited... Hmmm, what to do? Well, one thing led to another and this is how I solved the space problem. There will be a pocket on the block in the lower right corner (made of the existing checked print fabric) and this little visual fold-out will reside in there. I'll also attach buttons so this can be hung from the block while it's open. I am going with just the one dog in the lower left corner.

I used more fabric related to the color theme on the backs and wrote all the qualities I admired about Susan Butcher and attached them there. I've been reading and researching various things about Susan on the web and found this obituary article here. Do grab the Kleenex box.

I've never made an ATC before and I guess I improvisationally stumbled into something that could be considered the beginnings of one. It was a fluke that I ended up with any resemblance to one at all but Improv is the queen of craft, isn't she?? Here is a link to a list of sites that have lots of real ATC info. Mary at Southern Breeze supplied that.

I am now to the stitching part of the block. Last night I did a row of what I had hoped would look like mountains. WRONG! It looked like the graph on a TV lie detector test. I removed the stitches and will have to try again.

I was also left a comment by a sled dog action group which got me morally thinking about the sport. I don't condone abuse of any animal and I agree that the sport does need reform and mandates regarding the treatment of the dogs. While the Iditarod is a grueling challenge I know that Susan WAS NOT a part of that Iditarod picture. I also believe she would have carried on as a strong advocate for change within the sport if she would have lived. It seems to me that the majority of abuse involved is coming at the hands of angry men and there is no place in any society for them. If a man will beat an animal statistics prove he will most likely beat his wife and children. That's a much larger problem with effects far more reaching than whats happening in the Iditarod. None of this is acceptable!

This has been the challenge of all challenges regarding research, response and respect and I've been taken alot further than I ever thought I'd have to go with this. Geez, the month isn't half done. Maybe I should have chosen an inchie with Auntie Pat as my subject.... LOL !!!

On the homefront, we're getting a good dumping of snow. I'm enjoying my class and have much to study in the next 2 days so I best get to it.

Till the next time....

Images from this post printed via Yahoo Images

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Next Phase...

Here's a couple of photos... One is of the threads and embellishments I've picked out that go with the theme. I'll have to see what works and what doesn't but this is what I'll work from. I did utilize quite a fair bit of the fabric I had originally chose and am glad I made a larger size block, more room to incorporate the good stuff. I have 2 more images that I want to add as well. I'm debating what size dog to use, both are shown laid on the block as well as Susan's image. I like both the dogs together. Maybe I should have made an 18" block, LOL
I drew a few stitch diagrams in my notebook of things I want to incorporate and found some other stitch ideas in Joan Waldman's "Quilt Savy Embroidery Stitches" book.
I am also examining how I will put into words " the why I admire" Susan part of this exercise. (Stay tuned for that portion)
At least the photo of the block shows the direction where I am headed.

I'll apologize in advance for the sporadic posts and comment making that I may be guilty of in the coming few weeks. I will try my best, but my class starts tomorrow and studying will have to take precedence over blogging. Medical terminology is very taxing and I am sooooo glad to be getting a good refresher. I'm back to getting a lunch made, clothes laid out and getting up at 5 AM. Its been awhile, actually, too long!

Carole and Paula have nominated me for a "You Make My Day Award. Thank you so much! Most all the people whose blogs make my day are making others days too so I will graciously bow out this time. I know I am not being a fun contributor here but as in my last post, priorities, priorities. Please don't hold it against me. LOL

I've got lots to do to keep me busy and I'm excited about all of it!
PS. Blogger was fitful to load again today. Arghhh...

Till the next time...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ponderings and Priorities

This is the block that I made up for this months work. I had to photograph outdoors today to get any kind of decent light so it was perched on a snowbank. Despite the wavy look, it is a perfect 13 1/2 " square. Threads are yet to be chosen but I have a pretty clear vision of how to proceed.

I transferred what I had done on scrap paper into a notebook and will keep track of thoughts, ideas, and revelations there. I am more a scrap paper kinda gal and there's no real commitment in that; easy come, easy go, when the idea wears thin. I already see an advantage to devoting a special place for these ponderings and I also promise that I won't rip any pages out.

Here is the idea I originally started with, but I didn't like one thing about it when I got it done. Isn't that one of the main root causes of UFO's, not liking or connecting with the outcome?

I've also been thinking about my resources and priorities. In reviewing the time I have available for blogging & taking into consideration my antiquarian computer, I have decided to exclusively stick with crazy quilting for my TIF medium. Being realistic to the confines and commitments of my life and wishing to stop perpetuating my " too many irons in the fire" mentality into this new year , this choice is a mentally healthy one for me. This will allow me to stay true to form with the webrings I belong to and stick with the one form that I really want to develop and grow better at. Much more conducive to my goals rather than going off hither and yon in so many directions. I am very guilty of that. Taking my CQ skills (or lack of) to the next level is what I want, it's not about scattering myself to the winds.

Seeing how others are approaching this challenge also aroused a hesitancy in me that made me question my abilities and why I dared to put myself in the group. How I'm out of my league with all the quilters, needleworkers and artists involved and how the skills they are employing are so much more advanced than my own. It really seeded some self doubt. I had to reflect on the feelings of comparison and honestly ask myself what I had hoped to personally achieve with this. I want direction, prompting, and a schedule. I want comaraderie and and the experience of others ideas. Above all I want to enjoy what I do while accepting my own skills and enhancing them. Those thoughts helped me define a clearer mission for myself and what I hope to claim in the months ahead.
There is so much more I want to do with creative time; kayaking, boating, hiking, gardening, building a screen house, biking and photos. The year promises to be full of activity.
Till the next time...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Into the New Year and Taking It Further!

I wish everyone a very happy, prosperous and creative New Year. Thanks for taking the time to visit me , I look forward to sharing the new year with you via the web & all the wonderful sites, both old and new, that inspire me daily. Thank you for sharing your world with me!!!

Now onto TIF..

Defining the concept for the January Challenge was a challenge in and of itself. The word admire, meaning to regard with wonder, pleasure and approbation; to have respect for... has multiple meanings and categories. I thought about many; authors and artists, mythical and biblical, political and activist, famed and humble, living and dead, real and imaginary, historical and futuristic. Would I choose a celebrity or a personal acquaintance? I appreciate many people for their talents and aspirations, but truly admire?

Let me share with you my hero, Susan Butcher . 12/26/54 - 08/05/06.
Susan, I love you still!! Her legacy lives on here. With Susan and her life as my muse, I will try to equate my feelings for her and what she means to me with thread and fabric.

With paint color chips ( since my printer is down) I culled my stash for Sharon's color scheme. Give or take a hue or 2 (and my poor lighting), I've come up with the palette that I'll use. Some will stay, some will go.. this is the basis. No telling what form the embellishment will be. I'm still bouncing ideas as to what form this will take and will try to document with pics any pencil to paper doodlings I make in the process. I love this " idea" phase!

I've decided to use the Featherweight exclusively for stippling & quilting and have the darning foot and feed dog cover installed. I am going slow with this and have posted several questions to the Featherweight Group , just want to make sure I have it all set up right.

My CNA classes start up next week and I still have the wayward clothes closet to address but the large scale goals this year are to secure gainful employment "here in no mans land", make more time for things that are important to me, to check myself against "brow beating", and to trust more in the fact that my true self is better than any immitation. Likewise my blogging goals are to be more creative and true to my purpose.

Till the next time....

Images from this post via Yahoo Images File

49th Post & 49 Years... (a coincidence?)

I don't feel this old, but I will be tomorrow !

Do you hear the Twilight Zone Theme Song ???

Images in this post via Yahoo Image Files