Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10-10-10 or Using Billion Dollar Technology to Find Tupperware in the Woods

What?  ....the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year of the century AND the 10th anniversary of the sport of geocaching and its website Groundspeak.  What?  Well, it's basically using a handheld GPS to track down containers of all sizes that other geocachers have hidden and listed the coordinates of online.  In plain sight, more or less--and more than 1,200,000 worldwide.  That's the short version, of course, but if you'd like to learn more just check out http://www.geocaching.com/.  There are a couple of neat videos and for gabbing there are forums and a blog, and of course, links to YouTube. 

So we definitely had to help break the old record (56,654) on 10-10-10 when more than 75,000 geocachers (so far) logged at least one find on the same day.  What a lot of cachers running around, "bushwhacking"!  That's just simple geocaching, but....  a Virginia couple planned their wedding for...  10:10:10 am, 10-10-10.  And there was a 10 minute, 10 second flashmob in Tianjin, China, and a hundred or so other scheduled events.  Here in Minot I noticed that half of all the geocaches listed within 25 miles of my home were logged as found on that day by at least one person.  Didn't check to see how many had multiple people visiting them.  Whoa.... we haven't even found all of those or even that many yet!

Took Kate and Mikayla and really must do some work on ETIQUETTE.  As in, not yelling "I found it!" or jumping up and down or squabbling to see who gets to open the cache first.  Arghhh...  shades of Charlie Brown's good grief.  It's fun though when you find a tricky cache.  Some of the containers are way wicked in their construction!  For some neat examples check out http://www.cachingcontainers.com/  (I like that fake thermometer!)  We have a couple planned that will puzzle the dickens out of everyone, or give them a good laugh.  Anyhow, here's a few pics from caches that we've found (not necessarily lately), and then off to bed I'll go.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Been Busy....

....who hasn't? Summers in North Dakota are simply filled with run, run, run, get the sun, sun, sun! At least while it lasts. We've had a horribly rainy year: nice for the water table, but since getting COLD this week it feels like summer just barely showed up, laughed at us, and went south. Sheesh.

Anyhow, my bod must be getting ready for DST to end because I've been waking up at 4:15 am every morning. Is there a train whistling or something? Sigh... Wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to be QUIET to avoid waking the 3yo tornado. Do NOT get that one started that early!

Did get to go to a wonderful, and I mean WONDERFUL! quilt retreat in late August, sponsored by my local guild. It's up at Lake Metigoshe and is very peaceful. Great food, beautiful accommodations, quality sewing time, and best of all, good company. You get to stitch in your pajamas, see what everyone is working on, compare notes, find out who is willing to short-sheet the beds.... You know, a RETREAT! No classes, just stitchin' time. It's slated to be my mini-vacation spot every year.

So what did I accomplish this year? Well, I put the final borders on a child's quilt that I've puzzled over for too long. I kept trying to make that quilt into a twin size bed quilt, and sometimes you just have to sit back and listen to what your quilt is saying. It didn't want to be a honking big bed quilt. I absolutely love how it has turned out. Will attach a pic as soon as I find where I stashed my camera.

Then I had a set of Delft blocks from this last winter's swap. Lovely, lovely blocks, but really a LOT of blue. So I set them on point with pale buttery yellow sashing (scrappy) and a fantastic dark blue batik with a watery look to it that I found at JoAnn's last winter for the side and corner setting triangles. It's not quite wide enough so I'm working on adding rows of Flying Geese and another batik border to the sides. Don't suppose anyone has that blue batik and would be willing to part with some? No, I didn't buy enough. It was pricey and I thought three yards would do it. Foolish me. Lesson to be learned: if you LOVE a fabric and think you might use it for the background, BUY FIVE YARDS!!!  

 Then I worked on setting some Amish blocks from an old, old swap. I made one and need to finish one more to make 25. They are close in size, but I'm still setting them with that modern floaty look with a light print that reads as very light gray for the block's shadows (on two sides only, with little corners of the background yet to be chosen). I was going to use a black backgound, but when I've thought about it, the blocks are jewel tones with black backgrounds and they might disappear into a black background. Maybe a very dark gray? ....or a black TOT with a definite design to it? Thoughts anyone?
ROAD TRIP!!! to set these blocks against some fabric at the store.

AND then I cave-manned the sky and grass to make a tree quilt. I free cut the trunk, branches, etc. and have started to applique it all down. I'm thinking about trapunto-ing the trunk and large branches. I have hundreds of little three inch Nine Patches, all different, from two other swaps, that are going to be the leaves on the tree. ....with a bright Cheshire cat sitting on one of the branches. I'm not 100% thrilled with the way the frame of the tree looks--it's so
sparse! But once the leaves are on.... 

We're cleaning house this weekend. No option. I can't find Things! (like cameras) So it's Reorganize and Update Time. ....and maybe paint Kate's room next week. We finally compromised on a color. She wanted Frosted Cupcake Pink (think PeptoPink) and I wanted just-barely-off-of-white pink. We settled on Sanctuary Rose. If it's still too bright I'm throwing on a layer of pearlized glaze to make it look like the inside of an shell. Her accent pieces are soft lime green, aqua, and touches of bright pink, with white furniture.

I need more energy for all this. Lots more.... Off to the dungeon to sort and purge.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Price of Progress

Kate and I have been working in the garden, or trying to, between deluges of rain and the following mud puddles. I'm thinking that we'll get the very last seeds and plants in tonight. Hallelujah! Our garden never looks that big until you start planting, you know. You can weed just a bit at a time and eventually get done, only to start over again at the other end, but planting and transplanting, well, it's a race against the weather and the calendar.

The first evening we toured the garden, before it was tilled, we were attacked by Mama Killdeer. We found her beautiful little nest filled with four precious eggs. It is amazing how killdeers make their nests: hollowed out bowls in the ground with a bit of a sandy bottom and tiny pebbles. Unfortunately Mama Killdeer was NOT willing to share her space with a couple of gardeners. Kate brought the eggs home and tried hatching them, though the temperature must not have been right. (I kept wondering what the hey we were going to do with baby killdeers if she did manage to hatch them out....) I hated emptying that nest and would happily have farmed around it if possible. I hope Mama Killdeer built another, somewhere safer. I do know that there are many, many killdeer in the gardens when we go out there.

So what does Mama Killdeer have to do with the price of progress? She is my symbol of all the hundreds of ways that we humans look at the world that God has given us and blithely say, "Move over!" We establish a claim and then proceed to take even more than our fair share. We're incredibly selfish in the way we pursue the acclaimation of natural resources: our native forests, biofuels, water. And then we turn around and waste them.... How many times have I left the computer or TV turned on when I wasn't using it? Or the lights, or water? Do I really need a bright emerald lawn in the middle of a drought? Can I throw on a sweater in the winter and set the thermostat lower? How many plastic bags have I brought home from the store and just thrown out?

Using things up, sure. Growing a crop of trees just for the purpose of making paper or decorating our homes at Christmas, sure. Drilling for oil to heat our homes, sure. But let's be sensible and do it all the least intrusive way possible. But most importantly, on a very personal level, let's each one of us cut down on the waste.

Off again.....


Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring, Spring, Spring

So have you ever watched that great oldie "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"? Awesome movie and one of the few musicals that my sons actually like. Full of humor, majestic scenery, interesting choreography, etc. Anyhow, there's one musical number in there where the six brothers and their honeys are singing their little hearts out Spring, Spring, SPRING!

Well, that's how I feel today. The sun is shining, the wind is just mild; there are people practically galloping past, walking their dogs. (Where were they all winter?) OMG, I took the plastic off the windows and opened them! Nothing like fresh air in the spring. I'm not going overboard yet and starting the window washing, but hey, that will come.

I have rhubarb peeking through, and my dianthus is nicely green. Last year it started blooming and even survived a late snowfall. I think I'll make the flower beds just a little deeper this year and round out the curve so that it's easier to mow around. But first to rake all the winter mess up and then hit the garden center. I love that musty, earthy smell of the greenhouses.

Off I go...


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Will Never Watch "Flipper" Again

Ah, memories.... I was talking to my little sis this afternoon and we were comparing favorite movies, and those that are NOT favs anymore. My non-favorite? "Flipper" Not that it's a bad movie, wouldn't make my Top 100 List, but really not that bad. It's just that it was Kate's I-have-to-watch-this-three-times-again-today movie when she was little. Okay, I'm a bad mother: I let her. It was easier than dealing with the hissy fit if she didn't get her Flipper fix. Be honest: when faced with a three year old on a mission, do you really stand a chance?

There were limits though when Kate invented a game to go along with the movie. (Thanks goodness, I hadn't scarred her creativity!) It went somethng like this:

"Mommy, let's play Sharks and Dolphins!"
"Okay, how do we play?"
"I'll be the dolphin and you be the shark." And then Kate would butt me with her head and say, "Doink! Doink!". Trust me, that little head was a missle!
"That's cool, Kate! Now it's my turn to be the dolphin and you can be the shark."
"Okay, Mommy. But you have to use your NOSE!"

We were movie bin diving last week and Kate picked out, you guessed it, "FLIPPER"! It came home with one condition: that Kate watches it only when I am not in the house!

Off and running,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sensory Overload

Quilt Festival has come and gone for another year. I unpacked the car late this afternoon and just can't face trying to fit all that back into my sewing corner, let alone the new stuff that I've added. And, amazingly, I was pretty good at not adding too much this year. The vendors had interesting things, but nothing I couldn't live without. I did buy a little fabric and a couple of books at the flea market, but I only had to bring home a small box of things I'd taken in, so there was less coming than going. As I tidy and reorganize my sewing corner (what a never-ending process!) I will add to a tub throughout the year and have it ready to go next March. Someone else may as well finish a UFO or two that I am finally ready to declare DOA.

The quilts were so awesome! All that talent.... I am stunned by how the colors were used, the simplicity and complexity of the patterns, how each quilter interpreted an idea and put it together. Wow! I took pics of almost everything and will post--as soon as I figure out the darn camera! Isn't technology wonderful? (I get a new gadget and have to learn how to use it.)

It's today's class though that has me on sensory overload though. Fabric Embellishing, taught by Mark Lipinski! Truly amazing.... I know many of you have been playing with various media for ages already, and I've seen or heard of many techniques, but today we had hands-on practice. Hand embroidery using floss and perle cotton, sometimes at the same time, and maybe adding beads in there, too. Beading! Crystals! Foiling onto fabric done in a variety of techniques. Super-fine glitter onto fabric. Painting onto heat-n-bond and then putting it on fabric. Spraying paint designed for silk flowers onto fabric to change the shading, or make it look antique. Spray webbing. (really cool!) I brought home an awesome kit with all kinds of beads, crystals, floss, ETC.

After trying a bunch of techniques we started embellishing our panels--one of Mark's really gorgeous fabrics that are designed to be embellished. (or not....) Mine is green, luck of the draw, but perfect for the fabrics I'd picked out for the class. I'm determined to finish this incredibly embellished shop-hop bag. Think Pakistani designs....

Off to snooze: I'll dream in shades of green, pink, aqua, brown, and cream tonight, with just a touch of orange....


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello Again

Well, after three and a half years in hibernation, I'm back to being nourished by an internet umbilical cord and connecting with some old inter-friends. I never thought I'd be where I am today, but hey, life doesn't always give you lemonade! You have to take the lemons and do it yourself. And sometimes it doesn't hurt to add a few flavorings just to spice things up.

For those of you who haven't a clue as to that hibernation, I was a stay-at-home super-mom who had the leisure to follow my creative bent, mostly through quilting although I also have a fondness for stained glass. I worked part-time, occasionally full-time, until DH's job changes took us to yet another town or state and I started all over making friends, connections, etc. And then that lifestyle imploded in one short day and I moved on to being a single mom with a lot of emotional baggage.

I'm mostly okay now, but I feel like I was living underwater and imagining everything that I thought was real. So much for trust and loyality. I'm such a Pollyanna. I want to believe the best in everyone. I want to see all the good things in life and SAVOR them. But sometimes it's like looking at my life and comparing it to an Easter lily--looks beautiful, smells lovely, and then the decay sets in and it really stinks.

So. Enough of all that. Life can be very, very good. I've changed SO much in my life. New job that eats up too much of my time, but that I like and that nourishes me. New house (rental, but I can paint, etc.) that I've decorated in a totally different style, much more funky. New clothes, different style. Closed down my craft business. Still quilting, just not as much time-wise, and I've added a new interest (geocaching) and expanded on an old one (gardening). New me? Mostly.... just wish I could lose a few pounds or forty. Who doesn't?

Enough for today...