Thursday, November 30, 2006

Like synchonized swimming, only better.

This from Dr. Trillwig. Makes me wish I were in London this holiday. The Metropolitan Police Activity Ride.

Yes, if you watch these police officers are not only doing precision riding, they are taking off parts of their uniform and their riding gear while they'll riding...

And it's STILL Coffee Break Safe!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Some quick little gifties

There is almost a month still until the obligatory winter gift-exchange holidays. Maybe you want some quick and simple fiber gifts to whip up for friends and family. Being a bit dry for inspiration, I decided to check out my tags to see what I've already saved:

Molly Chicken wrote great directions to make fabric and button bracelet. Imagine a young girl and all her best friends with matching bracelets! And if she were over 6, she'd be able to help.

Curiously Crafty detailed creating a hand-made journal. Perfect for the journaler.

Drew, the crochet guy, posted Glass Flip Flops. More suited for summer drinks, I'm including this one for my readers in the Southern hemisphere.

Tiny Happy wrote basic directions for a nice shoulder bag.

A fast gift that can occupy the kids for a while are beaded bookmarks.

And, lest I forget my own contribution, you can make a napkin purse like the one pictured above.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I've run dry.

I've run dry.

I know it's a temporary condition. Dulled by less than 7 hours of sleep, and uninspired by a day of organization in the studio (OK, I'm going to take
Sharon Boggon's take on this: the workroom), given little to mull over, it has just been a day of clearing things away.

This may be the beginning of an end-of-the-year cleaning out of the life. Can the winter solstice and New Year's Day be far away?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cool Tool Tuesday: Steaming Things Up

My pickle-pal Roberta showed me this really cool iron last night. Then asked a question: What would you pay for this?

First, I will admit that I am very bad about putting an iron upright; that flipping movement can get painful with my RSI; I often do not do the movement completely and have the iron fall over, or off, or back down; or the iron stops steaming/turns off/gets cool too quickly. So when I'm ironing I do set the iron aside but normally keep it facing down-ward.

Also, I do prefer a heavy iron.

Go look at the new Oliso Steam Iron. Having lifted this iron.. it is one of the heaviest modern irons I've found. It steams strongly and freely (my current nearly new iron? Not very steamy). It will steam in an upright position (for steaming drapes and hanging clothes).

And it lifts itself up off the surface when placed aside. Yet the pressure needed for it to "engage" and slide down into working position is exactly the pressure I use to use an iron. No extra hard work.

All in all, this is a really cool iron. (no history yet on it's eventually leaking). It comes with a one year warrenty.

How much would you pay for this? Would you pay the asking price of $120?? Even though this sounds like an iron made just for me... I'm still hesitant about price. But I can't put an exact finger on where I would definately pull out my credit card.

What do you think??

Monday, November 27, 2006

The argument

Me: Yes I did.
Self: No you didn't.

Me: Yes I did.
Self: No you didn't.

Me: Yes I did.
Self: No you didn't.

Me: Yes I did!! I wrote, that was yesterday...

Self: Let's check the site.

Me: Oh, I didn't blog yet today...

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Strolling the blogs...

Walked the dogs just before the rain started, then returned home and continued my stroll by catching up on blogs.

If you haven't already caught Sharon B.'s post for Sunday, do yourself a favor, grab a cuppa (her suggestion) and read it. I want to develop that discipline. (Ok, what I really want is for a fairy to drop down touch my head and that discipline will suddenly be part of my being. Way too easy! The real thing requires work). What are your keys to your creative action?

Adding to the creative process discussion is Deborah's post on active chaos. I'm coming to realize that chaos in the home (my normal situation) actually drives me away from an area. Mess in the sewing room? I won't even walk in. Clutter in the kitchen? I'll grab a piece of fruit and leave.

Do you function best with some chaos or not?

OK enough serious discussion! With everyone still overcome by tryptophan overload, let's go for visually inspiration:

Hilary of Wee Wonderfuls previewed her Holiday freebie pattern. Such a cute elf!!

Posie Gets Cozy's Tree Trimming Day is a photographic delight.

Lisa and Lisa went to a top secret button store. (yep, I believe I know where it is!)

YarnStorm posted some of her favorite things.

Grumpy post photos of her sheer landscape class. Total inspiration!!

And finally... Keri Smith wrote the most exquisite post about baths and life...
Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions for Monday's Tale of the Scale.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I've Got Your Goats!!

Our town has apparently hired a large herd of goats to come visit for autumn. I first spotted them one valley over from us last October. They are fenced and happily chomping on the dead vegetation in the open spaces around town. This past week, they've been moving up and down our valley.

They've been on the hill behind our house, but so far haven't to the valley right behind our fence. (probably good. My dogs will be insane with this pack just behind the fence. Jake will be scraping and digging and obsessed. Though they may make it over in a day or two).

This is a huge herd! They eat everything within their reach, though not so severely that it won't grow back. And their droppings are acting as natural fertilizer.

The part I like the best?

They climb the low hanging branches of the native oaks and eat the leaves. Or just stand up on tippy-toe to reach the leaves.

The sound, standing there watching them is amazing. So quiet.

All you hear is a soft whispery sound that is the goats chewing. And the occasional bleat.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday....

While the rest of the US was either totally avoiding all things retail, or waking before sunset to hit the store sales, look what we shopped for instead!

Except, very hopefully, picture it in Paprika Red.

Yep, the spouser found a convertible that he fits in with good gas mileage and great handling. And he finally convinced himself that it's OK to own one.

So we get our VW Eos in somewhere between a couple weeks and a couple months. Because these are limited production cars, we had to pick 2 colors. Definately the RED (can you believe there are no photos online of this in red??). Then the spouser chose his second color.. a lightish blue possibly similar to this car. If they can't find what we want in the US, it will be ordered from Germany and shipped. Then we definately get the red one!! Heck, I'd have said.. it red or the deal's dead, but it's not my car. (sigh)...

Winter is only beginning, and I'm already looking forward to spring!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

HOME for the Holiday: a memory

I was going to write about what I'm thankful for; you'll read dozens of those posts today. I don't need to add to that.

I was going to write about what we're doing today as a family of two. (we're going to the movies). How boring.

But I recalled the other day some of the non-traditional holidays I've spent, and thought instead I'd share those memories.

First, the backstory: the couple years before I married, I was working full-time, going to grad school in the evenings/ or going to grad school full-time. All the while I volunteered for Red Cross Disaster Services, covering shifts one weekend a month and all holidays. (yeah, where did I get the energy? And why don't I have it now?). I lived alone, my sibs were married (a couple with kids) and often spending the time with their other family. So we didn't have a big family activity planned. There were still people who would need our services, so I volunteered.

A day or two before Thanksgiving one year, we met a young woman with an infant who had lost the home they were crashing in to a fire. She also lost everything for the baby. For a reason that totally escapes me, we ended up placing her in a battered woman's shelter for a couple days. (yeah, did you know the Red Cross did all this?)

We had gathered some baby things from other volunteers and family members, and arranged to give it to her while we were working Thanksgiving day. Talking with the shelter manager, who knew our crew would not be spending the holiday with our families, she invited us come by at dinner-time and join their household in the celebration.

I won't go into the maneuvering, code-words and secret handshakes necessary for strangers to find a battered woman's shelter... I was impressed with their dedication to secrecy. I doubt the CIA could have found me that hour or so we spent there.

We visited with the women and children living there for a few moments, then enjoyed a very traditional meal: turkey and stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, green beans and pumpkin pie. Even coffee. The women had been cooking all day...trying to instill their lives and their childrens with some semblance of a normal holiday. They were warm and welcoming though a bit quiet and subdued. The kids, too. But they let me help with the dishes until we had to leave. Doing the dishes has been my adult holiday "responsibility".

Oh, and one simple thing I'm thankful for today? I've finally started rocking on my JayWalker socks (pictured)...

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractionslater today. I'll react to the new James Bond movie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another Example Where My Hubris Bites Me in Butt

Ok, if I EVER tell the world to actually time and LOOK at the world around you, someone please smack me upside the head! I went grocery shopping today (hence the photo of the full fridge foto), but I let my mind wander while I putting stuff away.

What one item did I put in the fridge that definately doesn't belong there? Can you find it? No, the transfat-free margarine doesn't count!

EDIT: Deb L., the poms were in for the color; Arlee, neither of us suffer from celiacs.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
later today, where I mourn my temporary separation from trainer Guido. But not for a while.. I've gotta go exercise.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I've got two minutes

Realized I didn't blog today, and we're approaching 1 minutes left. So. World. Tree. Tree. World.

Topic for discussion: Global Warming.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday is a Mosaic

First, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I had a lesson taught me this weekend.

Remember last week I "lectured" folks to look at their surroundings, and in that looking find inspiration for the whole NaBloPoMo thing? Well Sunday I was winterizing our windows (a whole nother blog...). The spouser walked into the bedroom where I was working, did a double take and looked long and hard out the windows. (yes, the same windows I have been working on). Then, as he turns away, he proclaims:

We have sheep.

Damned if the hill across our little valley wasn't fully populated a flock of sheep or goats (I think these are goats, but in the fog who can be certain?), cleaning up the hillside. Had I bothered to look through the windows instead of concentrating on them, I would have noticed this first. I was blindly focused on the task at hand.

That'll learn me.
Secondly, let it be known that any blog, website, or TV station who puts up a photo or writes words concerning a certain "celebrity" wedding this past weekend, will see me clicking away. Same for the newest story about the murdering fruit drink and how he did it, if he did it.

I don't care if you are decry these items insinuating their way into pop culture significance. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT. And it's so hard to stick my fingers in my ears and yell "La, La, La" at the same time that I'm changing websites or tv channels.

Finally. I am knitting my gifted yard into Jaywalker socks. I had one sock about 5" long when I tested it for it. Uhm. It didn't. Unless slouch socks come back into fashion these were not work. So I ripped it out and started again. Got my too many stitches in doing the whole knit/purl thing, ripped back and started again. About 4 more times.

I think I've finally gotten it beyond the serious trouble stage. And I vow that as soon as I finish these socks, I'm learning how to knit these suckers from the toe up. Nothing can be harder than me trying to do ribbing without major errors for 8-12 rounds.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Stuff..NaBloPoMo day 19.

NaBloPoMo Day 19.

Katy will do almost anything for a piece of apple. Even pose for a photo. She's almost 11 years old (sometime in January); and though shy around strangers, quite attached to me. The feeling is mutual.

And if you need some inspiration to do a little work (don't we all? Always??) go check out Grumpy's blog. The photos from her sheer landscape workshop are fabulous!!

As for me... let just say that stitiching varying thickness, wonky set-in pieces are easy to stitch when you want straight even lines. But doing it intentionally? Hard. Just hard.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sit, Dance, Play Dead and Save Dog Lives

Karen at TrollBaby posted the link to this fabulously cute flash application:

I Do Dog Tricks.

Ah.. if only Katy and Jake were so well trained.

Ask the little Yorkie to do some dog tricks and he will try to obey. If he doesn't know a command, he does know clever ways of telling you so. Go have fun. And if you choose, you can stop right there. However, if you own a dog you don't want to.

After you've played with this virtual pup, click on the link at the bottom. Trust me, this is important. Reading this page, you'll notice that you can download a PFD form with coupons redeemable at your vets on Frontline and HeartGard. Nice. Saving money is good.

More importantly, however is the notice you can read at the Paws To Save Pets page. Because here... several clicks away from the adorable pet that drew you here is the kicker!! Here you find out:

Last year, with the help of over 3,300 veterinary clinics across the country, Merial Limited, the maker of FRONTLINE® and HEARTGARD® (ivermectin) Brand Products, contributed over $1 million in the Race to Save Pets program, which provided aid to pets that were injured or displaced during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.

This year, with your help, through the 2006 Paws to Save Pets campaign, Merial will donate $0.50 for each qualifying coupon redeemed at participating clinics from August 1, 2006, through December 31, 2006, up to a total of $1 million divided equally between the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and Foundation. Together, we can help defenseless pets that have been injured or displaced by hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Choose a 6-month supply of FRONTLINE and/or a 12-dose supply of HEARTGARD for purchase from your veterinarian to help keep your pet healthy and happy.

Ask your veterinarian about money saving offers available or download your money saving FRONTLINE coupon and/or HEARTGARD rebate here.

Redeem your FRONTLINE Buy 6 Get 1 Free Dose coupon and/or HEARTGARD $5 rebate at your pet's veterinary clinic.

Together, we can help pets when they need it most.

So, you get to save some money on a product that you buy anyway (you DO give your beloved dogs HeartGard, don't you? Yes, you know you should!!), but you get to help pets hurt, homeless or injured in natural disasters.

And it all started by a cute pup doing simple tricks...

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I've listed some great albums from the '70s. Which ones have we still missed??

Friday, November 17, 2006

Oh, Damn! Have I Been Doing this Wrong?? Or.. November, Day the Seventeenth

Buddha in the Bushes.

We are half-way through NaBloPoMo. I've spent some time moving through the randomizer checking out participants. And I've noticed something:

These dudes are counting down the month. They are titling posts with things like:

Day Two and I Still Have Material To Work With!!...

Day Fifteen and I Haven't Poked My Eye Out! It Will Be Bloggable!!

(Ok, I'm making those up.. but you get the idea.)

And here I do what I have always done... try to be a little clever, or atleast do a day-of-the-week alliteration. I want to return to blogging almost daily as a habit and I'm not sure that counting the days encourages that!! Maybe it will. Maybe some day you'll click over and see: Must-Do Monday... Day Two Hundred and Thirty-Seven.

Somehow I doubt it.
One suggestion for other challenge-takers who are running dry. Do This:

Grab your camera and take a short walk. LOOK at what's around you. Then post the photo and tell us a little about it.

Buddha in the Bushes was like this. I frequently walk my dogs around the neighborhood. It's quiet, a bit hilly, and offers plenty of opportunities for photos if I look closely. With two dogs, I need to wear a belly-bag for the poop-bags, water and MP3 player, so I usually throw my camera in too.

And although I've walked these street for several years, I have never noticed this Buddha in the Bushes before. And I haven't yet decided what he's thinking. What do you think??

If you're thinking: but I work all day! When I get home, it's dark. Then take your camera to work. Show me your cubby.. or what's outside the window. Head outdoors for lunch.

Our neighbors (whether living or working near us) design their public spaces to be seen. Take a minute to see them. I can see the titles now: Day 21.. My Eyes! I Did Not See!!

(bonus points for anyone who knows where this line was adapted from)

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Consider Me Kind

If you look at my sidebar, you'll notice that I've added a new button: Kind Blog.

This is a step above my "coffee break safe" seal (work safe, readable in a few minutes, and hopefully leave you with a smile or something to think about). Created by Karen Walrond (a fellow BlogHer CE) and Jen Lemen (go quick and check out her blogpost from 11/15. I will say no more, except that I bet it visually takes your breathe away for a second.)

By posting this badge, I'm declaring that in addition to humour, intelligence, wit, sadness, snarkiness, passion, exuberance, peace, stillness, excitability, anger or any other emotion you may witness on my site:

1) I will never intentionally hurt any other people, whether I know them or not, whether they blog or not, whether they're celebrities or not, either through my words or my images. It's just not my style; and

2) I hope that by the time you've clicked away from my site, I've helped in some way to make your day just a little bit better.


Debra Roby

After Monday's fun day with Del, and Tuesday's catching on Real Life Maintainence, today I'll walk the dogs and do some laundry, but spend atleast 3 hours working in my studio. I'm still playing that cheap silkscreen idea.. but today I will be sewing more on my block study, and working on a cartoon for my shape study.

Edit: High Noon: Laundry, DONE. Dog Walk, DONE. A couple dozen sidewalk photos taken for future blog entries? DONE. Lunch? Almost Done. Then it's into the studio for the afternoon.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Movie I Must See!

Stranger Than Fiction.

Pam commented
that they saw a preview screening and loved it with all her heart. And Dustin Rowles of Pajiba once again gave a movie a positive review. In fact he said:

Stranger than Fiction is about love. It’s about free will. About fate. And literary theory. It’s about comedy, and it’s about tragedy. And it’s about Bavarian Crème Cookies. It’s smart, without being intellectual. It’s funny, though not hilarious. Droll, but not too self-aware. And it’s a fucking beautiful film. It’s bittersweet and achy and exhilarating and romantic and absorbing and hopeful and optimistic and, truly, it makes me happy to be a critic with so little to criticize.

Above all, (and unlike 99 percent of the movies that will be made or released this year,) Stranger than Fiction is kind.
Though he also says:
Honestly, Stranger than Fiction is neither the best, the funniest, nor the most important movie of the year, but it may be the most heartfelt and entertaining. And it’s certainly one of my favorites.

Sounds like my kind of film.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cool Tool Tuesday:Specialty Rulers

Today's Cool Tool involved specialty rulers that have either been recommended to me, or that I regularly use.

The Brilliant Roberta is thoroughly enjoying using Marti Mitchell's Log Cabin Ruler. It sounds so simple to make a log cabin block by simply cutting, sewing and trimming. If you've tried, you know that it doesn't always come out evenly. (well, it doesn't for me!!) But you've look at specialty rulers and thought: what? It's just cutting and sewing straight lines.

R. was surprised how fast, simple and accurate her blocks became when using this ruler. If you have a hankering for nice even square log cabin blocks ... either as the final design or as a background element for additional design work, consider picking up this ruler.

Along the same lines, while I'm not in love with log cabin blocks, I am totally enthralled with pineapple blocks. And the most efficient way to make these (besides...shudder.. paper piecing) is with the Pineapple Ruler. Imagine not having to think (too hard), draw, or do some complicated math to figure out how to place those nice triangles on the edges of pineapple blocks!!

So, do you have a specialty ruler that you use all the time?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pretty Good Weekend

Nothing much I want to blog about today, but it's been a pretty good weekend. Both the Buckeyes and Michigan are still undefeated, making next Saturday's game still an exciting event.

Both the Browns and the Bears won today... and we actually got to see the Bears game!! And to truly enjoy the evening game, I stopped at Papa Murphy's and brought home pizza!! Yummitty!!

Pickle Del, the birthday gal, is in town to celebrate; she and I are heading down to Berzerkley today. We'll assuredly stop at StoneMountain and Daughter, probably check out Laci's and likely stop at New Pieces. Ofcourse Sharona is probably up at AQT, but someone is probably working!

Fun, fun, fun!!

Then tonight is the Pickle birthday party!!

It's all good!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
for this week's Tale of the Scale!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Trap, It Was Easily Sprung...

Thank you all for falling willingly and easily into the "trap" I set in my last post. Ofcourse I knew that "tear" could be read as either "tare" or "teer" and intentionally left the post quite vague. Cathy, Deborah and Mary Beth all willingly walked in. It was too easy!

Anyway, the story:

Tulle, I have decided is too open and fragile a material to really use in this application. (and if you were thinking of recycling your pantyhose for this, I wouldn't use those either). The tulle's open structure means it can move slightly; when I test printed yesterday the print was fuzzy and blotchy.

Looking at the material, the tulle was less-than-perfectly-taut. So I thought I'd give a shot at re-stretching it. BIG mistake. I ripped a hole right in the middle of my cuppa!!

So there was rending tear. But no weeping of tears. This was a play experiment. I learned something. Save the tulle for other things. Like Arlee's Paper Fabric Tutorial.

Friday I started over. I have this huge collection of polyester sheer material (organza??). I thought it would be interesting in quilts, layering the colors on top and having things blend. Turns out the surface is so light reflective that the blending of colors doesn't really work. I find that out after acquiring yards of this stuff!! (yeah, I'll probably still use it, just not the way I'd envisioned). So I grabbed a pale piece of this, tested it by brushing some paint through a corner, and decided it would be perfect. It's probably a lot like what Kristy meant when she said: cheap sheer curtain fabric.

Anyway, it's in my stash, I used it.

I LOVE using this stuff for this technique. It's easier to draw on than the tulle was, easier to paint, and I don't need to put Saran Wrap under it to catch drips. I stretched it Friday and marked out the designed, thinking I'd paint it up while watching tv Friday evening. I got side-tracked searching out cute crafty projects for a post on blogher.

So this morning while watching early Big 10 football, I modge-podged it. We have a rainy day predicted, so it will probably be tomorrow before I can safely test-print this. In the meantime, I think I'll fold some fabric up and put it away, and work on a "study" of a block I have sitting on my sewing desk.

What are you doing this fine weekend?

Photo: storm clouds on the horizon by me!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Two Words

Tulle Tears.

Back to work....

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Actually working

I've mentioned the fabulous Pickle-parties for 50th birthdays before. I don't think I quite mentioned one little technicality:
The guest-of-honor for one party becomes the planner/hostess of the next. And we are having our next party Monday night.

Del, the lucky guest of honor, lives out of town; so she's hoping to collect much of the gifty stuff for her "hostess" duty on Monday. Susan, her party-recipient, as requested that we each give her something of a personal symbol (sorry Arlee...). The actually phrase was: a ‘silhoutte’ of an image that is either meaningful to you or something that you like.

I had decided to do something with a coffee cup.

This idea has been stewing for a while, and then last week I wrote about all those fun silk screen ideas. Last night I searched for a simple black and white image of a coffee cup (like those are hard to find), sized it up and printed it out. Then I added some extra design lines with a Sharpie.

I had an hour or so this morning free, so I decided to actually try the silk screening techniques I wrote about Sunday. Specifically, I'm working on the cheap screen printing technique.

I wrapped some fine-textured tulle around an small wooden frame, laid it on top of the printed image and traced it out. I painted the "negative" parts with ModgePodge. Hint: when you want it to dry, set it on some plastic wrap. It keeps the stuff from completely leaking through to the surface underneath. I set it out in the sun to dry.

It's gonna be tomorrow before the ModgePodge completely dries and I test print this screen.

But it was a really simple process, and I'll probably try it again.

It's not going to work with really fine detail work.. the next thing I want to make into a screen has fine lines close together so I need to think about a different technique.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I explain how fat has stolen my afternoon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Colors Calling Me...

I've been sketching shapes for several weeks now. Found something I like, but I'm not sure how I'll use it a piece. At the moment, it looks like the way to get what I want would be to draw a large cartoon, and assemble it piece by piece. Fusing each piece to the next.

Hmm.. wonder if I can find a biggish piece of AppliKay Wonder?

Oddly, at the same time a very soft, pastelly color theme is talking to me. (think desert colors...).. soft dove grays, pale pink, sagey greens. I will need to plan a day of dyeing some new fabrics... hmm... I'm not sure I know how to dye these colors But we shall see.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cool Tool Tuesday

Cool Tool Tuesday: Floriani Appli-Kay Wonder. An admission: I have not tried this myself yet. Like I wrote a couple weeks ago, I have asked my friend Roberta to suggest some of the really cool tools she's found in her job as a sales rep. in fabric/threads/notions. First item up?

Floriani's Appli-Kay Wonder. A fusible.

Ok, I use Wonder-Under for most of my fusible projects. It sticks on hand-dyed/hand painted fabrics without stitching down the edges, it's easy to find and it usually worked. There has been a major problem with it this year, so maybe finding something else is a good idea. When I don't use Wonder-Under, it's because I need to reposition items (or over/under-lap them); then I use Steam-A-Seam II.

I don't have a roll of it on hand to compare the chemical makeup and see if it's more like Wonder Under or more like StitchWitchery. In the manner in which Appli-Kay Wonder works, it's closest to Steam-A-Seam II. Where SASII is sticky on both sides, Floriani's Appli-Kay Wonder is only sticky on one side. Fuse it the fabric, cut out your shapes, and stick them in place.

Why, then, with all these fusible products already available, is Roberta recommending the Floriani product?

She appliqued a Day of the Day quilt.. one where the pattern is both a skeleton-man and skeleton woman. (I can't find it online, though I'm sure it's there somewhere). She cut both figures out and fused them down, then buttonhole stitched around all the edges with variagated rayon thread and her normal micro-sharp #12 needles. No mess on the needles. No broken threads. No larger needles.

Nothing different.

A fusible that's so clean that it doesn't effect the needles or threads? THAT is definately a COOL TOOL.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday May (or as it happens, may not...)

Katy and the Spouser at Washoe Lake, Nevada.

We are out of town for a couple days, and darned if the cheap motel we're staying in doesn't have free wifi! Such luck. I was about to write my NaBloPoMo post in Performancing and save it until I got home. Now, I won't need to.

We decided to take a short trip to a town that was on our "possibly retire here" list. Our plan was to drive in one day, spend two days getting a lot of information and then drive home. Take a short break from real life and get away with the dogs.

We are trying to be quite realistic in what we're looking for: a smallish city/very large town with a cost of living about national average, some 2000 sq. foot single level homes available, some trees, and a walking center of town.

My perfect place to live there will be something to do 2-3 times a week. Regular reasons to get out of the house and interact with other people. Unfortunately, most regular happenings occur in the evenings. And I have trouble driving in the dark. So the prospect of moving somewhere we don't know anyone and being trapped in the house every night by my nightblindness is unappealling. A home near the center of a town, where I could walk places? would be divine.

We've started doing some homework by checking out some of the books from the library on perfect places to retire. Even when we think of cities not on the lists, we keep the important features in mind:

a college town (low cost entertainment and usually lots of stuff happening);
a good regional medical center;
an active arts community (again, usually lots to do);
parks and recreation facilities nearby.

I'm sure there are more things, but those are high on our checklist. With a recommendation in mind, we headed for Carson City, Nevada.

We can cross this area off our list.

Major complaint: there is no active "center of town" except where they have the state legislature building and a couple casinos. No walking area, no charming bookstores and places to eat. No sense of community.

The city does have 42 parks listed in their brochure. Of that, 2 allow dogs and only on leash. There is no dog park. These folks are like the dog Nazis we've found in a couple other spots.

Tomorrow we'll drive up to Reno, which is growing by leaps and bounds and check it out a little before heading home early.

On the fiber-front: I've started knitting a sock. I've gotten nearly to the end of ribbing and must now decide if I want to try the jaywalker pattern or not. Atleast with wifi now, I can go to YouTube and check out CrazyAuntPurl's video for knitting in the front and back of a stitch.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Silk Screen Tutorials

I've been fascinated for a while about trying to figure out how to make silk screens without using a thermofax machine. Mainly because:

I don't own one;
I don't want to spend the money to buy one;
I don't have anywhere to store one.

I know there are directions in Jane Dunnewold's book; I need to look at those, too. But typical of me, I've been searching the web for tutorials:

Jim Monroe published some great instructions on his No Media Kings blog, which include his photo-safe light suggestion:
I use the extremely ghetto mechanism of a Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) night light with a red christmas tree bulb inside

Jim's is proper and complete and probably echoes JDs instruction (perhaps minus the BVM red light). Then there is craftgrrl's Cheap Screen Printing Tutorial.

Kristy uses ModPodge as the resist, stockings or curtain sheers as the screen and an embroidery hoop as the frame. Her results look like they would work fine for one-offs... or just a couple images. Usually what I'd be doing anyway.

Barry's Farm has a three part tutorial on Screen Printing. Pretty explicit.

EHow also has a set of instructions.

Guess I have no excuses; need to stop just reading about it and DO it.

BTW, I started this by searching my own tags which include Gerrie excellent how-to on making a thermofax screen, then searched the entire site for everyone's bookmarks on silk screening.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Socks

Saturdays have always been a day of running errands and doing chores. It still is. Rarely does a Saturday arise when I plan on doing something creative or fun. Just not in the cellular programming.

Today is no different. I have two big plan for this afternoon:

Watch the OSU Buckeyes beat Illinois.
Find my sock-knitting bag.

I have this nice drawstring bag I made from a large cloth napkin. In it I keep my "Basic Sock" directions, my size 1 long circular needles for Magic Looping socks, and whatever sock I'm knitting on. Yeah, so far I've only done one sock pattern. I am lame. But making these socks is almost to the point of muscle memory. I don't have to think about it much.

Haven't worked on a sock for months, and I'm not sure what happened to the bag. I want that set of needles and I want my basic directions. Why?? Why now? My good friend Jennifer gifted me with 2 skeins of Katia Mississippi 3 sock yarn (color 205 I think) and I want to knit myself some socks.

I had picked up some of this after Kathy (aka Grumperina) wrote about all the non-wool socks yarns available. Important information because me and wool?? Does not work. I knitted myself several pairs of wool socks which felt fine while working on them. My fingers did not itch. Didn't see too warm. Wear them, however?

Feet. Too. Hot. And. Itchy.

After several months of hoping that I'd outgrow my dislike of wool (after 54 years??) and my feet would recover their menopausally charged heat wave, I finally washed these pairs and gave them away. So getting the non-wool yarn was some kind of kharmic payback, wasn't it?

I know I can find a sock-knitting pattern online. I could even print out Grumperina's Jaywalker Socks Pattern and do them. I have shorter circulars so I could simply to the 2 sets of circular needles thing.

Ok. I hereby give myself one hour to find my sock-knitting kit. After that time, I will print out Grumperina's pattern, find my other needles and move on.

Edit: I found my bag. But I'm going to swatch the Jaywalker pattern and will probably do those anyway.

Tomorrow I report.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Friday, November 03, 2006

No November

Daylight Savings Time came in late October and late autumn/early winter light is upon us.

To commemorate:

From one of my favorite drawing bloggers, Elizabeth Perry. (check out her blogs:
Woolgathering and Museum Drawing Project)

Here's my favorite poem for November (by Thomas Hood, 1844).

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -

November... wish we could just say "no!"

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I wrote about strange days.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

ArtShare Meme

When I saw this on Arlee's blog, I signed up. Then immediately forgot about it. So when I saw on Emmy's blog, I signed up again. And had to renig. Fortunately, her blog has recovered and she 's got her 5 lucky folks. I promised to post this on November 1st, and forgot.

So if you want to test my memory, please be one of the first five folks to comment below and and agree to participate in the ArtShare meme:
The first five people to respond to this post (via the comments section) will get some form of art made by me. I make no guarantees about type or delivery deadline. (You get what you get, when you get it, but I'll do my best work.) The only catch, of
course: as with most memes, if you sign up, you have to put this in your own blog as well.

Day two of NaBloPoMo and I haven't failed yet.!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
where today I demonstrate that someone is taunting me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day of the Dead with Zombies.

For the second year in a row, I missed my blogiversary. This time, only by 4 days. It was a small post, a quote that I wanted to remember and be able to find:
Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.
Cecil Beaton
I still really like this quote.

And in honor of the day, I give you Day Of The Dead in Zombie Script. Now if only I could figure out how to sue this font as a font.

Made with Zombie Text.
Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions