Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unnamed Project and Life

I am now finished making 28 of one set of blocks, and I plan to put together rows as I finish up the stars.  I had some fun with an iphone filter:

Unnamed project

I have to admit that I do like how it is coming along and I think it will be well received.

Unnamed project
Close up of the fabrics, this is actually very close to reality.

Unnamed project
---This next part is about lifestyle/diet and exercise.  If that isn't an interest, you can stop reading here. just know this is mainly for me to remember at this moment why I am not giving up on myself.

So my life update.  When I started up this blog at blogspot, it was a private one for just me to keep track of my diet and exercise, mixed in with journaling.  When my main blog got taken over by a spaming virus (one that we couldn't get rid of as it had embedded itself into just about every post), I gave up blogging and dropped that blog (we hosted it, so we were the tech support on that issue).  Once I really started to get back into quilting again earlier this year, I decided to open up this blog publicly and hide or delete what I had written in regards to lifestyle.  Let's face it, I had about given up on myself in that regard as it was.

I've had enough.  I just looked back at my CalorieKing calorie/exercise program and found that the only time I input anything there is when my period hits.  Even that is starting to phase out (hello peri-menopause!).  After doing a lot of work in the yard this past weekend and being worn out, I told Kevin that I need to start walking again, and I did.  I am also journaling meals again.  I hate doing that, but I need to do that to stay accountable.  It's very easy to snack all day if I don't.

So another little "feature" is that CalorieKing has a section for measurements.  Uffda.  I am officially back to my highest weight, and I am officially back to my measurements from 12/12/2011.  That's 2.5 years lost in the progress I made.  It's approx 20" altogether regained.  That is not acceptable.  I believe my problem snowballed when I viewed the enormity of the weight I need to lose, mix that in with self-doubt, daily life, emotional sadness, etc, I use food to fill up those areas.  I know so many other people do too so this isn't a huge revelation.

But it's time for me to stop and to break down these goals.  So it's back on the treadmill, it's back to journaling meals, it's back to new responses to all that self-doubt and other daily issues that spring up.  I want to get back to feeling good again physically and I don't want to be chained to junk food in response to depression.  

So what will I do when I am on the downside of this hill (right now I am feeling good about changing direction)?  Drink some water for one, remember small goals, and respond more appropriately (the kids may be acting out, but eating a brownie won't fix that).

I've noticed a few of the diet/exercise bloggers that I enjoy reading have also hit snags in their progress.  It's a part of life, I'm not really sure if there is a person who is able to stay the same ideal (or in my case, ideal-ish) weight all their lives.  So many people struggle with it.  I just wish it didn't take up 90% of the thoughts I have through the day.

Time for some water :)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Project

First, let me say that it is a pain in the rear to have two different gmail accounts (my normal email is run through gmail even though the domain is different).  I am so tired of gmail being connected with everything that google acquires!!  I am frustrated with automatically being signed out of my email when I want to simply create a blog post.  And don't even get me started on youtube and the connection with g+.  I am wondering if I can just deactivate my g+ account and not even have to deal with it.  ARGH!  Google is VERY FRUSTRATING right now.

On to a new quilt that will be a gift.
Trying to decide if I am going to be happy with the outcome of this quilt--or if I am being too critical.  What I had to go on was teal and light browns/earth tones.  I found the Stonehenge fabrics by Northcott to have some great earthy browns.  I ended up buying fq packs and yardage (ton of...) of teal.  Overall the fq packs (I bought "Sandstone", "Tree Bark", and "Copper Penny" packs from The Fat Quarter Shop) were good for variety, but unfortunately I made some wrong cuts and had to buy more... For the amount invested, I am feeling a bit disappointed.

Picture with a flash and no other lights on, a little washed out.
unnamed new project

So for the amount of mediums and darks vs lights, I had to change around the fabric placement.  I originally had a different plan in my first test block (top left corner), but I am pretty much done with buying fabrics for a while.  For the light parts, I had a variety of cream batiks.

I'll keep plugging away, but with Kevin not seeming too excited about it, I'm not sure how I feel.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Walk in The City

Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, Bellevue WA

Mercer Slough Environmental Center, city in the background
From the overlook

The nice thing about Washington state is that there are always interesting places to visit.  Typically within  urban areas are pockets of preserved areas to keep nature somewhat wild that we can visit and study.  I only recall a few of these places when I was kid, I'm sure I never thought much of these areas since I could walk out my front door and play in a nearby swamp, plug my nose to the skunk cabbage, and attempt to catch frogs anytime I wanted--at least until the housing developments were built around the swampy land.  I knew if I came home with mud past my knees I would be in trouble... there were many times I recall my cousin and I trying to wipe the mud off of our jeans on the grass when we got back home, in an attempt that maybe my mom would not notice.  She always noticed, and would get upset.
Skunk Cabbage
Skunk cabbage is VERY large.  And stinky.

Another home
I love trees, the shapes can be very interesting.  They have their own story to tell.

So in a way it is kind of funny to me that now we drive to places to go walk around swampy areas to be able to touch nature.  My pictures aren't great, the lighting was not very good and with the troop of boys on this walk I couldn't stop and take my time like I would have wanted.  Nonetheless, it was a good walk and we are fortunate to have these pockets locally available.
tributary to Lake Washington
A small tributary that leads into Lake Washington

You'd have to be there to get a sense of the elevation change, but before the Ship Canal was made, the area we walked was totally under water (Lake Washington).  The water level was dropped by 9 feet, and the river that did lead to the Duwamish River dried up.  This change happened almost 100 years ago, and it's strange now to think of how different the landscape looked back then.

Wonder how the stick got up there?
I wonder how many tries it took to get that stick up there?

Someone's home
Unfortunately we did not see any Flickers or woodpeckers to see if maybe this was their home--or perhaps it was home to a different critter.  No telling!  The only "animals" we saw on this walk were three snakes.  And a bunch of gnats.

Salmon Berries
Salmon Berries!  Yum!  If I wasn't rushed, I could have actually focused on the flower, but that's the way it goes with a gaggle of kids.

Overall, it was a nice walk.  Elevation was steep in some places, and it did make me a little anxious (I don't like steep hikes).  This center has quite a few kids' programs and can be rented out for events.

Thinking about it... the saddest part about urban sprawl is that kids today will never fully know the joy of being able to just walk outside to the creek by their houses and get totally muddy.  Even at this location, I don't know if kids can actually walk in the muddy areas since most places I've been say to stay on trails.  There is a certain joy in walking through waist-high muddy water... (maybe the keeper of laundry doesn't feel that joy however).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kaleidoscope Progress

I finished all 63 blocks for the kaleidoscope in progress.  I am already planning another but I may put that idea aside for a little bit since I am a bit tired of sewing those triangles.  Time for something different.

kaleidoscope progress

I am trying to figure out the quilting on this one--not as easy as I was hoping.  I don't want to do in the ditch lines, and I've already nixed doing circles.  I'd like to do something a little less expected but in all my searches I am finding the ideas hard to come by.

Next up for this one is to get the blocks sewn together and then find a backing fabric.  I'll probably have it totally finished in a couple of weeks.  This one already has a future home too.  I find it so much easier to finish projects when I know where it is going to go when finished.  Maybe that's why I have a harder time finishing up my UFOS?  Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Newest Start: a Kaleidoscope Quilt

This is the latest pattern I am attempting.  I took the photo with my iphone, just wanting a quick shot that I could blog about.  The fabrics are all in the green family, but some did not photograph very well.  I originally saw the setting with the pattern using Tonga batiks, called Tonga Rising Sun, Red Dawn quilt.  Here is one link for it at
kaleidoscope quilt

Right now I am a little intrigued with kaleidoscope quilts.  I may play with various fabric options on other quilts down the road.  After sewing up the 24 blocks (I need to make 63 total), I checked out pinterest for the different styles.  The ideas are springing forth in my brain!  I was also VERY disappointed to learn that none of my isosceles triangle rulers are the right dimensions, so I had to actually cut out a template.  As of today, I have a ruler now on the way (I wish I already had it with my other rulers! so frustrating not to have the right size).

I did some stash acquisition today to add some more kid-friendly greens to the mix.  By the time the quilt is finished, it will have 30 different greens, so it should be a nice scrappy quilt.  The blocks finish at 8".  When it is all together, it should have some eye tricks with circles appearing... I hope!

Fun stuff!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Navajo Code Talkers, finished top

I have finished up the top for the Navajo Code Talker pattern.  I am mixed on it, it isn't my usual choice for fabrics or style, but it does have a comfy feel to it that I think would be great for camping or picnicking, or something to keep in the car/truck, etc.  Though the only thing we ever really do is the camping part--and Kevin gives me grief over me bringing my quilts to sleep with, it is likely to spend most of it's time on the couch for a lap quilt (though on the larger size: 70x86"ish).  I plan to do a flannel backing.

While finishing this up, I was wondering how it would look if I skipped the black sashing:
Navajo Code Talkers

I think it looks better with the sashing.  It needed some dark fabrics in there because it reads heavy on the medium and brown side.  Most of the plaids are reds, the browns really drag it to their side.  After finishing about half of the blocks with the strips, I went back to my stash to find some darker blues to liven it up.  It felt very bland to me.  It still feels bland, but I really think this is a quilt that begs to be used as something to snuggle under--it feels very comforting because of the drab brown plaids and wovens in there.

Navajo Code Talkers

I plan to do an all over pattern for the quilting since I think this top screams to be a utilitarian quilt.  At this point all the 1860's repro styles are out of my system.  Unless of course we are talking about the madder prints, then all bets are off.