Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I left plenty of room for bits and pieces to add in, but then the month ended up being one of the worst ... my girls were sick quite a bit, back and forth, during the month, and dh even got sick with food poisoning one weekend ... ugh! And then towards the end, we were in a hurry to re-shingle the back half of the house and I actually spent a lot of time up on the roof (never would have dreamed of that!) What a month! So I never found much time to embellish ... I'm hoping December will be more laid back ... but with the holidays and all, ha! If I can just hang on until January ....
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Mary wants to know...
- Do you keep a list of books to read? Yes.
- Where do you keep your list (computer, PDA, paper, etc.)? I made a small book to hold my lists of books to read and videos to see (you can see it here). I keep it in my purse.
- How often do you refer to your list? Every time you go for a new book to read? When book shopping? Or? I refer to it whenever I'm at the library (which is about once a week).
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Then came the crucial part ... making an acrylic piece to fit. It was a bit tricky since the machine has areas that slant in a bit. But he did such a wonderful job there, too ... after much walking up and down the stairs for fittings and trimmings, it's done! We're both so pleased with how it turned out ... we keep catching the other taking another peek at it LOL!
Now to find time to actually sew!!!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Christine wants to know...
- Do you make notes in books as you read them? Very rarely.
- Why or why not? Most often, the books I read are library books, so they're not mine to write in. Also, most of them are fiction which I read for pleasure and not for note-taking. If I ever want do find myself wanting to take notes, I usually jot them down in a spiral notebook instead.
- If you do, do you make notes only in certain kinds of books or all of them? The few times that I have taken notes in a book, it was making notations on recipes in cookbooks ... if I change ingredients and like the results, I'll jot it down so I won't forget. The only other time in recent history that I've written in a book was when I was going through one of my homeschool books and the author mentioned various resources to use in planning unit studies ... I went through the library catalog and jotted down the call numbers for those books so that I can find them easily without having to look them up every time.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
- Do you read in bed? For how long? Do you fall asleep reading? Will a good book keep you up all night? Occasionally, but not too often because usually my husband is in bed first since he gets up very early for work. As for how long, it's hard to say, but it's usually longer than I tell myself I will LOL! I rarely fall asleep reading ... usually only when I'm not feeling well. And, yes, a good book has kept me up until the wee hours of the morning.
- Where do you keep your nighttime reading? Do you have a special table next to the bed? Are there many books there? Do you keep books there that you aren't reading (finished or unread)? My nighttime reading is usually the same book I'm reading off and on during the day, in which case I grab it from it's last location and bring it in to read. Then I just leave it on my nightstand until sometime the next day when I've got time to read some more (usually while the kids are playing outside after our schoolwork is done). As for other books on my nightstand, I don't keep any unread or finished books there ... they go back on the shelf when done.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
- Do you read short stories? Yes.
- Why or why not? Like I said in an earlier BTT post, I read just about anything so if I come across some short stories, I'll read them, too!
- What do you like and dislike about short stories? I like being able to read through the whole thing quickly to find out how it ends, but if I enjoy the characters very much, I sometimes don't like that it ended so soon. Hmmm ... does that make sense?
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Booking Through Thursday
- Tell us about a book that you had to read, but didn't want to, but that you ended up liking. Something for school, perhaps? A book from your Mom for Christmas that she insisted on you reading? Something from a bookclub? But ultimately, a book that--against all expectation--you ended up liking, respecting, loving.... And, of course, why? What made this book resonate with you? Hmmm ... that's a tough one ... I can't think of any books that I didn't want to read but ended up enjoying ... I'm sure that must have happened to me at least once, but I just can't think of one. But ... I sure can think of several I was dying to read and ended up hating LOL!
Monday, October 02, 2006
As soon as I got home, I pulled out all the comments I got from the judges ... this was the first time I'd had my quilts judged in any way, so I was very curious as to what kinds of comments my quilts would receive. Overall, the comments were very positive. The only "areas of improvement" were that I need to work on my machine quilting stitch length and on thread tension. Stuff I already knew LOL! But it was nice to see that those were the only problems. I got nice comments on color, quilting designs and overall workmanship. Yay!!
I saw so many wonderful things at the show and now I'm inspired to go make something. I can't wait for my husband to finish my sewing table so that I can get my sewing machine out again. I miss it!!
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
- Do you own any bookends? If so, how many sets? If not, do you need or want any? I don't have any actual bookends on my shelves ... instead I use other things as bookends, like interesting, large knick-knacks or sturdy vases. And sometimes I arrange a stack of books as a bookend.
- Which are your favorites? How long have you had them? My favorite is this large iron jack. It used to be on my mom's bookshelf and now it's been on one of my shelves for over 15 years.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
But, enough about books. . . what else do you read?? Magazines? Newspapers? Professional journals? Cereal boxes? Phone books? Purchase invoices? Homework? (Please be specific. There may be a test later.) I read just about anything ... if it has words on it, I read it. And sometimes I read things 2-3 times! Seriously, though, I read magazines (quilt mags that I subscribe to and other mags that my mil gives me from time to time), our curriculum stuff (and I'm also currently rereading my personal library of homeschool help books), lots of internet sites (mostly about homeschooling, lapbooking and notebooking at this time, with a little art thrown in), and just about any stray papers that I come across. On top of all that, I read lots of kids' books to my girls ... at least 2 (and often 3-4) each night before bed. Whew!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
- Do you tend to read more books written by one gender over the other?
- If so, which one? Men? Or women? Is this a deliberate choice? Or just something that kind of happened?
- And (without wanting to get too personal), is this your gender?
I don't prefer one gender over the other when it comes to authors ... if they write well, I'll read their books, that's the bottom line. However, these questions made me notice that most of the darker, more mysterious stuff I read is written by men, and most of the lighter, funnier stuff is written by women. Not sure if that's because of them or because of me!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
- We asked last week about what draws you to your favorite kind/genre of book. This week, we want to know--how often do you depart from that comfort zone? If you love mysteries, do you ever read fantasy? If you primarily read cookbooks, do you ever read a good romance? I love murder mysteries, most, I guess, but I do often read other things, too ... most genres and also some nonfiction (mostly about quilting, altered art and homeschooling at this time) catch my eye often. I'll basically read just about anything if it gets a good review from a friend or other reliable source/book list. The only fiction I don't like is sappy romance novels LOL!
- How MUCH variety is there in your reading? Do you mostly stick to one type, with just the occasional toe-dip into a different style? Or do you generally read a variety of things, just, maybe more of your favorite style than anything else? I read quite a variety of things, really. I'd have to say that murder mysteries is more than 1/2, but probably less than 3/4 of what I read. The rest is a mixture of everything else I like.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Friday, September 01, 2006
Thursday, August 31, 2006
The challenge is to take a magazine and, while keeping your eyes closed, fan through and rip out 3 random pages ... no peeking! Then make a page using only elements from those 3 pages ... you can open your eyes for that part LOL! I got the pages out of a copy of Oprah's magazine that my mil had given me awhile back. It's interesting how this spread ended up accurately representing my feelings about our homeschool curriculum decisions for this year. I glued the elements on a previously painted black background that I first doodled on with a white pencil to make it look like a school chalkboard.
- What is your favorite kind of reading? Novels? Biographies? Mathematical textbooks? Fiction novels are my favorite ... and within the genre, I like various kinds. Christian fiction, murder mysteries, stories about the Amish are the current biggies.
- What do you like best about your favorite kind of reading? What keeps you coming back to that kind of book? Following a gripping story? Watching characters develop? Being educated about things and places you didn't know about? Letting your mind relax into someplace completely different? For Christian fiction, I enjoy reading about others who are struggling with life, just like me, and are overcoming their struggles with God's love. For murder mysteries, I love trying to figure out whodunit. And for Amish fiction, I love peeking into their simple, yet also complex, lives and relationships. In all cases, though, I love series best ... when I find a character or group of characters that I really like, I love the continued chance to read more about them and really get to know them.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
And, inspired by the reading journals of Eliece and Linda, I decorated the cover of a new journal for recording books as I read them. I'm looking forward to filling it up so that I can remember what I've read ... much more fun than just a simple list, don't you think?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
- Have you ever wanted to travel to a place described in a book? All the time! I'd love to see Anne's Green Gables or see the places that the Sisterchicks have visited or wander through Narnia (though I don't think that's going to happen in this lifetime LOL!) and many more.
- Have you ever ACTUALLY travelled to a place because of the way it was described in a book? No, but maybe someday ....
- And if so, did it live up to the expectations, feelings, emotions you expected from the book? Did you feel like Anne was going to come romping around the corner of Green Gables? Was it as if Jo was upstairs at Orchard House, scribbling on a story? Or was it just a museum, or just a city street? Like Abbey Road without the Beatles? As you can see from question 2, I've never had the chance yet, but I sure hope that if I ever do visit some of these places, they live up to the vision I have in my mind! But I would say it's important to travel to these destinations with an open mind and not base all my expectations on the author's depiction of the location ... remind myself that the author was, after all, writing a piece of fiction LOL!
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
I got a little birthday money from my parents (hey, it's not just for little kids, you know!) and I found just the perfect way to spend some of it. I signed up for an online class called Fun Art Journaling. Over the past couple days I have had so much fun ... and I still have about 10 weeks to go! Our first assignment was to grab a journal and create a title page, then journal a couple pages about how and why we want to journal and what we hoped to get out of this class. I decorated the cover of a composition notebook for the title page, then did a 2-page spread for the rest. Here are the results:
Definitely fun!! For the cover, I glued on a black and white scrapbook paper and then doodled in the white spaces with various markers. For the 2-page spread, I wrote over an acrylic wash (that I'd already done a couple months ago) with more markers.
Friday, August 18, 2006
In turn, I needed to make something for Linda. While Gina sent me some really neat stuff, I was having a hard time grouping things together ... so many different styles and colors. I knew I would need to add some of my own stuff in order to make a complete piece, but it was all in boxes from the studio redo ... yikes! But I finally got some stuff uncovered and found some things that would work ... and this morning I buckled down and put them together. I'm so pleased with how it turned out! What do you think? The picture shows yellows that are brighter than in person ... they're more rusty orange in real life.The background papers, phrase, picture of the 3 miners and the neat green ring (which is the outside edge of one of the waxy milk bottle tops ... so cool!) came from Gina's package. I just added some PO stamps, a little piece off a tea bag package and an interesting picture from a cereal box. A little rubbing with a sepia stamp pad over the top of the papers before adding the ring helped blend all the edges. I love the leathery feel the piece has ... let's hope Linda likes it as much as I do!
Then I just *had* to make some clipboards. I got some boring old brown clipboards from Wal-Mart (for only 97 cents!) and made the green one for myself (using the side of a gift bag) and the bee and ladybug ones for my girls (using scrapbooking papers) ... I'm not sure yet what my clipboard will be for, but I plan to use the girls' boards for their daily to-do lists. I think they'll have fun checking off their chores and stuff with these pretty things!
While I was making them, I realized they'd make great gifts for an upcoming birthday party we're attending. So, after another trip to Wal-Mart yesterday for more clipboards (I only needed 2, but I went ahead and bought the last 8 LOL!), I made these two boards for the special birthday girls. I hope they like them!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
This week's questions were inspired by Caroline. She can't read The Joy Luck Club without thinking of potstickers and wontons... And no, we're not talking about cookbooks here. Please leave those out of this discussion. ;-)
- Do you enjoy books that have cooking or eating scenes in them? I love food, so, yes, I do love cooking and eating scenes in a book! Reading about someone cooking wonderful sounding food makes me wish I was there watching and ready to perform taste tester duty. Can you guess I love watching cooking shows, too?
- Have you made or eaten anything that was inspired by a recipe or scene in a non-cooking book? I can't think of anything I made myself, but I have tried several dishes at restaurants that were similar to something I'd read because the author made it sound so good. If I wasn't surrounded by a family of picky eaters, maybe I'd be more willing to try making something myself LOL!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Booking Through Thursday
Thursday, August 10, 2006
In addition to the seven quilts I mentioned in a previous post, I'm also including the Burning Bush quilt and this cute little wool bunny. This is the second time I've entered quilts in the guild show, but my first experience with judging. For the last show, the organizer opted to not have the quilts judged in order to encourage everyone (even those who didn't think their quilts were "worthy") to enter at least one quilt. The organizer for this year's show has included judging, but has given us the option to determine whether a quilt is part of the judging or not. I'm a little nervous, but also anxious to hear what the judges will say about my quilts. I'm looking forward to reading the critiques ... maybe I'll get some tips on how to improve! Now if I can just figure out how I'm going to print out the pics ....
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
July's page done with Sharpie markers.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
<--Out with the old
In with the new-->
Now for the really fun (and also really hard) part ... finding room for all the stuff LOL! For the last few days, I've been moving stuff from the pile in front of the fireplace bit by bit and trying to find places for it. I found that I need more and better storage containers to help sort stuff like rubber stamps, beads, threads, etc., so today I stopped at JoAnn's and bought some colorful baskets and plastic containers in various sizes ... all 50% off, love it! This week I hope to do a better job of sorting these things and getting them into the containers. Once I start doing that, I should be able to see if I need any more containers. The only thing I haven't been able to find is the perfect storage system for under the cutting/pressing table. I was looking at those plastic rolling carts, but I don't think they'll be sturdy enough. The search is on!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Since I can't do anything else with the baseboards until he gets home, my goal for today is to fill out quilt show entry forms. My local quilt guild, the Prairie Star Quilters Guild, is having their biannual quilt show at the end of September, and entry forms must be turned in by August 15th. I need to measure all the quilts I plan to enter and try to remember all the details ... I really need to write this stuff down when I'm actually working on them LOL! Here are the quilts I plan to enter so far:
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
The painting is done and the painting stuff is all put away. Now we are tackling the floor and baseboards. I spent all my free time yesterday scouring the parquet tiles with steel wool ... my wrists are so sore! I just need to damp mop it and let it dry and it'll be ready for the tiles. However, my husband has decided that I need to buy better floor tiles than what I settled on before. Something more durable ... the tiles I bought are low end stuff that might not stand up to constant rolling on from my chair and could rip from moving the shelving units. Well, who am I to question getting something better? LOL! So I'm off to Home Depot to see what they have. Hopefully, they'll have something I really like ... and I'd really like it if they were on sale! Don't know how I could beat $66 though ... oh, yeah, I originally spent $80 on the flooring, but then 3 days later we were at Menards again and I saw they were on sale. So I marched right up to the front desk for a price adjustment and saved another $14. I was so happy about that, and now I'll probably end up spending about $200 for something better LOL! Oh, well ....
Update: I'm back! Found something I really like, and the price wasn't too bad either. For about $160, I got these reddish brown tiles. At first I was going to get it in the green colorway, but decided that'd be too much and that these were a little more neutral. And they do have some green splashes blended in that look really pretty. They're darker than I originally thought I wanted, but I think they're going to look really nice in the room ... and they'll hide scuff marks and dirt better than the other ones would've done, so that's definitely a plus LOL! Only problem ... I have to let them sit in the room for 48 hours before installation. It's always something, isn't it?
Monday, July 17, 2006
But the floor and baseboards, oh my! The flooring is wood parquet tiles, which wouldn't be too bad except the previous owner who installed them didn't take good care of them. I think they let their kids paint the walls because there is paint splattered all over the floor and the baseboards, too. Even the outlets had paint all over them ... anyone ever hear of using a damp rag while painting?! Sheesh! So anyway, we had to decide whether it was worth trying to clean the paint off or to cover it with something else. We decided that if we could find some nice stick-down tiles, we'd go with that. So on Saturday, while Warren painted, I went to Menards and found (after much deliberation) some pretty tiles that have light green vines/leaves in the center. For only about $80, I'll have a new floor ... love it! It's really going to lighten up the space, too, since the current floor is kind of dark. As for the baseboards, Warren is going to see if he can find something tall enough to cover the original boards' marks. If we can't find anything we like or that fits our budget, we'll just paint the old ones white and put them back up. But I'm really hoping we find something else ... the old ones are sooo boring!
Since we still need to finish painting and now have to tackle the floor, looks like it's not quite ready for my stepmom's visit this afternoon. Oh, well ... the pantry really does need some straightening ....
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
We actually started working on the studio a couple months ago. As you can see from the bottom right picture, all my fabrics were hiding in cubes under the cutting/pressing table ... not the best solution (oh, my aching back!). But a couple months ago, my husband revamped the closet that's on the south wall. It went from a boring old one-shelf and hanging rod clothes closet to a multi-shelf artist's dream closet with just a few days' worth of effort. He installed rope lights around the sides and top of the opening, and even installed a motion sensor so that all I have to do is reach in and they turn on. Love it!! What's more, he installed more of the rope lights along the edge of the 2 shelves that hold my fabric so I can see it better ... that was such a great idea ... thanks, honey! Here's what the closet used to look like (I'll have to show you the after pic later ... right now it's crammed full of stuff that will eventually end up on the shelving units or back on the pegboard ... and, besides, it's currently covered with a tarp to keep dust and paint off the contents):
After the closet got done, the rest of the room got put on hold again ... that is, until that wonderful call last week LOL! Since then, I've pulled everything out that I could move (it's all in a relatively tidy pile in front of the fireplace ... thank goodness it's summer) and moved the tables and shelving units to the middle of the room. The only thing we didn't touch is the pegboard ... that's bolted to the wall so it ain't budging! So far we've washed the walls, spackled the holes, mudded a huge crack in one wall, primed the remaining 3 walls and primed and painted the ceiling. Next we need to finish the cracked wall and get it primed so that we can paint. Last year we painted the girls' playroom area a soft green, so we'll paint my side the same, of course. Can't wait! I'm hoping that we can keep up the pace we've set so far and can have the room completely painted by the weekend. My stepmom is coming over Monday afternoon and since she's an organization consultant, it'd be the perfect time to start moving the stuff back into place ... she'll keep me from adding stuff I don't need in there LOL! But if it's not ready for that, I'm sure we'll find something to organize (that pantry is looking mighty messy ....)
I've planned a totally new layout, including space for a proper design wall ... can't wait for that, for sure ... before, things were pinned on top of each other on the little wallhanging about 6 layers deep! Besides the new design wall, the only thing I will need to add is a new sewing table. The old table was simply an old door laid on top of the wire basket units. It worked okay, but I didn't like that it was so narrow ... left hardly any room behind the sewing machine when I was trying to quilt anything bigger than a fabric postcard! I plan to use the wire units to hold up one end of the new table, and for the other end and back of the table, I will use two low shelf units that I bought a year ago just for this purpose ... found them on clearance for $13 each ... love it! I can't wait to see what my husband comes up with for the tabletop ... I just know it's going to be wonderful! Of course, all this is subject to change ... a woman's prerogative and all that LOL!
Hope I've got lots of new pics to share in a few days!