Friday, April 23, 2010

Absolutely nothing to report today.

Just thought I'd let everyone know that we are all still alive and still stressed out... : )
(At least, I am.)

My husband came home from work for a few days to get the house packed up and everything into storage until the new house is ready for us. We've been packing up a storm here. All except for Little Miss, who spent most of the week visiting grandparents and being spoiled completely rotten. She loved every minute of it, and didn't really seem to want to come home. I can't really blame her. This place looks like a tornado has been through it. There are boxes piled everywhere, and stuff hauled out onto every surface waiting to be stuffed into a box someplace... oh, yeah, and the foyer is piled high with stuff that is going to be "yard saled" in a few months. (No, I don't actually think that was ever a verb until just this minute. But it works for me! Don't you like it?)

Anyway, there won't be anything in the way of quilting or "yarning" for the next week. We have to finish with the packing of the house. YUCK!! But I did pack a big tub of projects to take with me into exile, so hopefully I can get something accomplished during our downtime between houses. It would be soooo great if it worked out that way...

Until next time, whenever that may be...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Entirely NOT related to fabric or yarn, but...

...out of curiosity, did anyone happen to watch the season premiere of Doctor Who on BBC America last night? I'm still trying to decide what I think about the latest new guy. I am kinda hard on the new guys, I'll admit. Its a long story (and if you read this whole post, you'll probably hear it) that goes back for years. I don't think its actually a prejudice against any change, exactly. But I will admit to being teed off about them changing Doctors AGAIN already... Let me explain. (This is the part where the long story comes in. Feel free to skip it if you're not in the mood.)

They say you never forget your first Doctor, and I am a Tom Baker Fourth Doctor girl. I can remember watching him on PBS waaayyyy back in the time of cavemen. (Or, at least, my very early childhood. Depending on who you ask, its the same thing.) And then came the regeneration, and a new guy. The Fifth Doctor (or, as he will be called for the rest of this post, the idiot with the celery-IWC), who as far as I am concerned is the ultimate crap. My best friend and her brother used to watch the Doctor as well, and she remembers this guy instead of THE Doctor. She seems to like him well enough, but I hated everything about him! I could not stand to watch him. It was so bad that I gave up my very favorite show and didn't really even think about the Doctor for many many years (no, I don't know exactly how many, and I refuse to even guess for fear of confirming certain people's opinions of my hailing from the caveman era).

Fast forward a lot of years: The SciFi channel arrives on my tv. I think, "Oh wow! This is great! They HAVE to show the Doctor, right??" WRONG!! Not a single episode anywhere in sight. Ever. [huge sigh of disappointment] But, years later, I accidentally stumble over DVDs of the Doctor being sold in my favorite bookstore. YAY! Naturally, I bought several (and have added more in years since). I was loving it.

After a while, I began to wonder whether I had been a little bit hard on IWC. I thought, "Maybe he really wasn't all that bad... My friend likes him well enough. Maybe I was just upset because I thought they were trying to sneak in a new actor because they were of the opinion that little kids are stupid and wouldn't notice...Maybe I was wrong..." So with open mind, I went to the store and found one of his episodes, spent my hard earned cash on the DVD, and went home to see what he was like...

And what I discovered was- I was absolutely RIGHT about him all along! I still can't stand the sight of him. He tees me off just by walking onto my tv screen. I can't believe I wasted money on him!... And so I vowed never again to stray from The Doctor, Tom Baker.

Fast forward again. I was at work, and my friend that I worked with would always come in and tell you in detail what he watched on tv the night before. So, he comes in one morning and starts telling me all about this great new tv show he saw on SciFi the night before...
(this is the approximate conversation, as I obviously haven't got a memory even NEAR good enough to remember exact words from that many years ago)
Him: There was a really good new show of tv last night. Its called Doctor Who and its all about this guy in a blue box...

Me (thinking to myself): OMG! Really??!? They finally got the Doctor on tv????

But, then, he just kept going on and on, and the more he said, the more I realized that it wasn't my Doctor. It was some other guy pretending to be the Doctor... Well, CRAP! So, I basically decided that the only reason he could possibly have for liking the show was that he didn't know any better. He'd never seen the REAL Doctor. Wasn't his fault, but....

A couple of nights later: I'm trying to stay awake long enough to watch my show on tv. It doesn't come on for an hour, and I've been up since 4:30 in the morning. Meaning, I have to find something to keep me occupied for an hour. Surfing through the channel guide, I discover that, low and behold, the so-called Doctor is coming on. What to do?... Finally, I decided that my friend liked it, it will kill an hour until my show comes on, what's the worst that could happen? (Answer: I will waste an hour of my life only to find out that I was right to begin with.) Should I watch it?? What the heck? So I did. (This was the Christopher Eccleston version of the Doctor, btw.)

At first, it wasn't really promising. All I was seeing was some stupid girl going through her day. All I could think was "Who cares? Where is this so called Doctor??" And then, there he was. He was so very different than what I was expecting. And I was kinda fascinated. So I watched. And at the end of the hour, as I turned the channel, I realized something surprising. I didn't hate it/him. My show ended up being a rerun (don't you hate that?) so I went back to watch another episode of this new Doctor. And by the end, I realized something else that surprised me. Not only did I NOT hate it, but I actually was liking it! I was amazed.

I was quite enjoying this new Doctor, when I discovered something else fun. BBC America was also showing it, so between the two channels I could watch it about 3 times a week (when I wasn't working). I was very happy. And then, I turned it on to find the ELO episode (that's what I call it, and I don't have my DVD available at the moment to look up the real name- its packed in a box somewhere for the move). It was a strange episode, with some guy talking to a camera... oh, wait! There went Rose...and some sort of alien monster thingy... and some guy... where's the Doctor?? Then they told me that that guy WAS the Doctor. WHAT???

After the confusion got sorted and I found the episodes that had been lost by skipping between the two tv stations, I decided that the new new guy (David Tennant) was actually a pretty good Doctor too. Yay for you guys at BBC! You finally got a good one (or two)!

So, when all was said and done, I had found three versions of the Doctor that I really liked to watch. Numbers Four, Nine, and Ten. And then they went and ruined it. They decided-again- to get another new guy! Does anyone else feel that they're just changing actors way too fast here? My main concern is that they're gonna run out really quickly at this rate. Unless they want to rewrite the basic premise of the show, they can only have at most thirteen actors to play the Doctor. (That was in a Tom Baker episode way back... He told the Master that 12 regenerations is all you get and then you have to die. So, by my count, one original life plus twelve regenerations equals a maximum of thirteen Doctors...) This new guy is Doctor #11. Aren't we going too quickly?? Its the longest running science fiction show in the history of television. And, once again after far too many years without it, I am enjoying it very much. Or at least, I was. Now I'm kinda worried....

I don't know yet whether I'm gonna like this new guy. I do know two things for sure at this point:
1. I don't hate him on sight, so he is one step ahead of the idiot with the celery, and
2. I miss David Tennant as the Doctor, if only because of the novelty of having a Doctor that was not only really cool, but also very easy on the eyes... (being eye-candy is NOT a requirement in order to play the Doctor, but it is a very nice bonus! And also something of a novelty...)

To make a very long story short (er) for those who skipped down from the top of the page, I don't hate the new guy, but I think it is going to take some time to get used to him. I do plan to give him the chance to prove that he belongs on my short list of Doctors worth watching. I was just wondering what everyone else's reaction to him is after just this first episode? Anyone care to venture an opinion?

I think that's more than enough rambling for one night. Off to bed with me....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another day...

...another headache. (I think that's a line from an old Muppet Show skit. But it fits, doesn't it?)

Actually, today hasn't been too awful. I'm still house shopping. The good news is we've managed to find another house that we like. I guess. It will work, anyway. (I am NOT a huge fan of a split foyer, but my husband likes them. I am going to compromise on this note, and make up for it by stealing a large room for my own. Can you say new quilt room??) And- more good news- this time the people are at least willing to talk about selling it to us. So that's good. No actual news to report on how its going, but hopefully, we'll know something soon.

Since I'm still away from home, I haven't gotten a lot done. I will say, however, that I have accomplished more than I thought I would. If I hadn't forgotten to bring my camera, I could show you, but... I only brought my charm quilt to work on, but I have succeeded in adding about 20 more pieces to it over the last couple of days. That's a lot more than I thought I would do. I think it was mostly nerves. It seems to help with waiting and worrying if I have something to at least occupy my hands... (I guess you all knew that already. Especially if that something is a yummy yarn or fabric...)

I should probably explain. Especially since I forgot my camera... My charm quilt is an ongoing project that I've been working on 5 years or so. I can't remember exactly when we started collecting the fabrics for it. I work on it off and on (mostly off, obviously) when I need a hand project or when I happen to think about it. Whichever. My best friend and I both decided we wanted to do a charm quilt, and we both actually picked hexagons as our basic unit. We pooled our stashes to get the start of our fabrics and then we had great fun in quilt shops buying up different (mostly novelty) fabrics to add on from there. She is actually arranging hers in a traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern, and if I want to be truthful, she is probably much farther along than I am with mine.

Because of all the novelty prints that we got (which was great fun- we got to carry bolt after bolt to the cutting table and ask for "just 1/4 yard please") it will probably be more of an ISpy quilt than anything else. I decided that I wanted a different sort of arrangement, so I opted for a larger hexagon-2 inch, I think- and I am working on a sort of star pattern. I will probably have diamonds inside the arms of the stars (if that makes sense). I hope to get it finished in the next year or so. Maybe. If all of the other projects I need to do don't beat it up and throw it to the back of the line again... And if this whole moving house thing doesn't drag on forever...

Anyway, that's all the news from this part of the woods. Happy stitching until next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We've been pretty busy lately...

...unfortunately, almost none of it has been craft related. Which sucks.

The problem, you see, is that after months of trying we have finally succeeded in selling our house. This didn't happen until April which, for me, is the worst month of the year (except possibly December) for something like this to happen. And my husband is away at work, so no help in dealing with any of this is forthcoming. Although, to be fair, he does do everything he can to help (which isn't a lot considering he's in central Virginia, working 12 hour shifts, at night, 6 days a week, but bless his heart, he does try hard to help me). So, I have been spending my time looking for a place to live (still looking), a place to store all of our stuff until we find a place to live, packing, trying to find boxes for packing, dealing with realtors, and -oh, yeah- taking care of my newly-turned one year old who's into everything! And have I mentioned that I don't deal well with this sort of thing? Its very important to me to be able to know exactly where I'll be and what will be going on (approximately). Needless to say, I am incredibly stressed out and upset at the moment. And have been for weeks now. And it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
(I just realized that that makes me sound rather OCD... I'm not really that bad, but I am definitely NOT a gypsy. I find that I really need the stability of a home in order to be at peace with the world. Especially since the baby came along. You can call me OCD if you need to. My husband does sometimes...)

I realize that the first thing any of you will prescribe for stress is plenty of time in the quilt room, petting the stash and sewing. Or possibly knitting, crocheting, etc. Please believe me when I say, "I wish I could!" Sadly, the time that I could devote to such things (naptime, and after bedtime) has been taken up lately by sorting, packing, labeling, and all other horrible things connected with moving house. It took so long to get some boxes so that I could start, that I was afraid not to start, you know? Especially since so much of my time lately (and still) is spent driving to the area we are moving to and house hunting. (We live in West Virginia for a couple more weeks, but we are moving to Tennessee. Don't ask- its all my husband's idea...) That's a lot of driving. With so far no house to show for it. As a matter of fact, we're leaving in a few hours to try and look at more houses. YUCK!

Anyway, since my blog posts have gotten pushed to the side in all of the confusion, I felt the need to explain a bit and to steal of few minutes to put something up.

This picture is sideways, I know. I still haven't figured out how to get these stupid things loaded in the order I want them, or how to rotate them afterward... Technologically challenged- that's me! This is a picture of my design wall at the moment. It is supposed to be a baby quilt when it finally gets finished. I'm not sure this is the final layout of those squares. I might play with it some more before sewing. Right now, I'm thinking the holes between will be nine patches...

...made from these fabrics. Yes, it is a bit eye-searing, I know. But it was the ONLY Scooby fabric I could find, and these are the colors that seem to go well with it...
The Scooby part is a request from the impending new father. He swore to us that the nursery was going to have a Scooby Doo theme.... And he swore that the expectant mother will like it... I really hope he's telling us the truth.
(He hasn't seen any of this, btw. He passed on all the information over the phone and now he'll just have to take what he gets! ;) I do have another blanket that I will be sending them, but he asked for Scooby, so Scooby he will get!)

I did take some personal sanity time the other day to accompany my friend to a quilt shop. I have a HUGE problem with that shop, and I finally realized what it is: I WANT/NEED everything they sell! This is not good for my wallet... I love that shop!! These are some of the things that came home with me on this latest trip.
You can't tell in the picture, but the bundles are really cute little owls and trees, with an alphabet cute!

And, finally, I remember promising a picture of the baby afghan I was working on... Its finally finished. I'm not sure you can really see the true colors from these photos (white stripes, and a gorgeous mint with hints of yellow, pink, and blue) but you can definitely see the overall shape.
This is one of my favorite patterns. I've made a lot of them. The yarn is soft and bulky, it works up really quickly, perfect for a last minute baby gift. I used to be able to do one in one sitting (took about 4 or 5 hours) before Little Miss came

along and proceeded to turn our world upside down... (Wouldn't change any of it, in case you were wondering. But it does give me a lot less time for sitting on my butt with my yarn and fabric.)

This is the other blanket I'll be sending along with the Scooby quilt. Its a bit too warm for their climate- unless there's a really bad winter like the one just past- but it will definitely make a nice soft place to play, which is always good. Especially when the little one is just starting to roll over and sit, and fall over backwards...
I need to stop babbling now. I'm sure you're all more than ready for that... ;) Off we go, to deal with reality again... I hope to be back before too long. Please bear with me. I will eventually get moved into a new place and be able to post as frequently as I intended to. I promise!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Isn't it always the way?

So, I've been thinking about starting this blog for a really long time. And one day- in the not too distant past- I finally decided that I could regularly find ten or fifteen minutes a day to spend updating, so I went for it and a blog was born...
Doesn't it just figure that right after that, life would walk up, slap me in the face, and say, "What the heck were you thinking? You don't have any spare time!"
(Yes, that is exactly what happened!... That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
Anyway, a lot has been going on here. April is always an incredibly busy month for my family, what with all the birthdays, anniversaries, and so on. Added to that this year (again) is Easter. (Happy Easter, by the way.) And if that wasn't enough, we are in the middle of selling our house, and hence, trying to find a new one... I'm very afraid that spare blogging time is going to be relatively scarce for a while. I hope we can get settled very soon and then we'll all get to settle into a nice, boring, blogging-friendly (and needlework friendly) routine.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from today. Not a lot of quilty time this week, although I did manage a small bit of crochet. I should have it finished in a few days- I hope- and I can post a couple of pictures. Anyway, I spent most of this week planning and preparing for today: my Little Miss and her first birthday celebration. Her birthday is actually Tuesday, the 6th, but Tuesday is a horrible day for a party, so....

These pictures are NOT in the order I wanted them, and I can't figure out how to rearrange them, but I guess we'll deal with it. I spent a lot of the week trying to decide once and for all what kind of cake to make for her. Changed my mind about fifty times, bought the stuff to make a cake, and then changed my mind again and ended up with something completely different!

This is a shot of the whole table, the ones above are obviously closeups. There was a lot of cake here! I didn't mean to end up with so much... honestly! It was going to be a castle cake, but when I dug out all the pans to start baking, I changed my mind. So there was no real plan here. Then, the plan changed again when the flower shaped cupcakes all stuck to the silicone pan and crumbled. And by then, we had tons of cake but still a lot of batter... so we ended up with cupcakes too!

I actually don't mind too much. My philosophy is as follows: If you bring people over and promise to feed them, it is much better to have too much food as opposed to too little. Leftovers can always be sent home with departing guests...
I think I like the cake that I finally ended up with. Its not my best effort, but for a spur of the moment, fly by the seat of my pants cake, its not bad.
The thing I can't quite figure out is this. How come I have about fourteen pictures of the cake table but not one of the party girl on my camera?? I got her on video. I know this for a fact. But not a single one on my camera... Weird.
So that concludes my week. Tomorrow is another big day. Not only is it Easter, (her second Easter in fact. How she managed to get in two Easters before her first birthday, I'll never know. But she definitely planned well!), but also, my husband gets to come home for a very short visit. Sadly, he has to turn right around and go back to the stinkin' job tomorrow night... but at least we have him for a few hours.
Enjoy your holiday, and your upcoming week. May you all have much more time for your quilting and other projects than I expect to have. See you next time!