December 2008 Archives

Quilt Block Curtains

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20081222quiltblockcurtains.jpg 20081227craftroomcurtainsopen.jpg

  • Size: Each panel is about 46 inches x 61 inches (excluding tabs)
  • Fabric: 100% cotton; variety of brands and colors
  • Pattern: 12 blocks are from one of these books: Quilter's Mix and Match Blocks: A Comprehensive Handbook 2004 and 365 Quilt Blocks a Year (Pertetual Calendar) 1999
  • Backing: Cut from a set of sheets we replaced recently
  • Date: start July 13; finish December 20

Here they are! My Quilt Block Curtains for the craft room! Today I bought a thicker and better quality curtain rod. The rod in the photos is slightly bent from the weight of the curtains and moves when the curtains are opened or closed!

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The stained glass look was a pleasant surprise!

The curtains have a backing cut from the set of sheets we replaced recently when I bought new sheets.

Fabric storage

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I'm organized. Very.

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I felt good with this setup. But it didn't leave much workspace on the table.

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So, on the day after Thanksgiving while Bill was working, I cleared off the bookcase in our bedroom and moved it into the craft room (thick felt pads on the bottom of the bookcase made it easy to move!). Then, I added the containers of fabric sorted by color. (Cleo is testing access to the cat bed!)

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Ah, workspace on the table! I'm inspired to work on a project when I see it!


In June on the longest day of the year, I'm reminded that it will be coming again as the days get shorter and the nights longer. It usually starts in September or early October and ends in March - sometimes April.

The greyness. The heaviness. The cloud. Around my head, in my eyes, on my face, in my body.

The tiredness, slowness, sadness. Even tears at times. Withdrawn. No energy.

I'm a low-key person, an introvert. I'm not usually upbeat or excitable. But, people who know me can and hear the greyness when it hits.

I remind myself that December 21 (the longest night of the year) is coming and I can look forward to gradually feeling better with more daylight.

This year was different. No grey, no tiredness, no sadness, no tears.

This is the first winter in I don't know how many years that I feel good. Clear. Rested. At peace.

Random photos

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I spent the past few hours cleaning up the hard drive of my computer. Here are a few photos I took in February but never got around to posting.

Wildlife

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Horses next to the campus where I work. There are cattle in the hills too. I've personally seen a coyote and deer (not together though!). There have been reports of tarantulas, rattle snakes, and other wildlife.

My Commute - Palm trees to Concrete

These were taken while driving. Not recommended.

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Yes, there are palm trees in California!

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Green hills in February (golden brown in summer!). Cattle on the hills.

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The bad traffic jams are on the other side of the freeway! Reverse commutes are nice!

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Concrete jungle.


Not much posting the last 4 months of 2008. On weekends, I've been wrapped up in making the Quilt Block Curtains for my craft room (photos to come!), and during evenings, I've been enjoying television sans commercials courtesy of our DVR.

I stopped crocheting at the end of July - I was bored with it and it was too hot to have yarn touching me. I've been thinking about it again though - colorful yarn is a huge draw for me!

Wardrobe Upgrade

I had been thinking about upgrading my "look" at work for about a year or more. Finding dress shoes that fit for Greg and Lauren's wedding in August was one of the triggers I needed to get started!

At the end of October, I began a hunt for shoes for work - Zappos.com is great! I ordered no less than 30 pairs of shoes from Zappos and 3 more pair from 2 other online websites. I kept 6 pair of shoes to use for work - for a total of 9 including the 3 pairs I bought in July. I also have 1 pair of Keds for home use. The remaining pairs of shoes were returned. Free shipping both ways!

The 9 pairs of shoes I have are: 2 brown (low heel, higher heel), 2 black (low heel, higher heel), 1 red (mid heel), 1 bone (mid heel), 1 taupe (low heel), 1 navy (low heel), 1 burgundy (low heel).

Since shoes for my wide feet were no longer a problem, an upgrade to my work wardrobe was in order to look a bit more professional. So, new pants were needed - pants that were not too short to wear with the new shoes! With new pants came the need for new tops. Thank goodness, JCPenney was having an excellent sale on the type of clothes I like to wear! The 2 weeks before Thanksgiving were busy, busy, busy shopping at 3 different JCPenney stores for items in my size. I even bought a $250 black, lined, long winter coat for less than $93 including tax!

I'm hot nearly all the time. Finding short-sleeved tops in my size, in colors I can wear, without frills and patterns (solid colors please!), wasn't easy. I found only a couple - one style that fit really well. So, I searched online and discovered I could order that top in other colors at JCPenney.com. So I did - along with several Pima Cotton (soft!) short-sleeve and 3/4-sleeve tops.

My wardrobe is lovely - and I feel great with my upgraded look!

I also bought new bathroom towels as well as new sheets and pillows for our bed! One set of sheets is deep purple, the other is deep red - very rich!

The Holidays

Thanksgiving was the usual quiet day. Mom and Bryan came for dinner - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie and ice cream. We skipped vegetables in favor of more turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing!

Christmas ended up also being quiet. Greg and Lauren were expected but their flight was canceled. Because flights were filled with other holiday travelers and passengers from flights canceled in previous days during the snow storm, alternative flights were not available. So, they stayed in Oregon this year. Hopefully, they'll come down in spring for a long weekend. Mom and Bryan came for Christmas Eve dinner - Bill's wonderful cheesy lasagna!, garlic bread, and pie. Mom came over again for dinner on Christmas Day for yummy lasagna leftovers. We again skipped veggies both days in favor of more garlic bread and lasagna!

Entertainment

DVDs

Through ebay or Amazon, I've bought Seasons 1-4 of Lost, Seasons 1-3 of Prison Break, and Seasons 1-2 of Heroes. While I've already seen these shows, I wanted something I could listen to - but not necessarily have to watch - while working on projects in my craft room. It's been great! I've caught a few things I missed the first time around in all 3 of those television series. I've also ordered the 4-disc collector's series DVD set of Gone with the Wind.

Books

I don't read novels much, but I recently decided I wanted to read some of the classic stories that I missed in high school and wasn't assigned in college - as well as books I liked and want to re-read. The idea is to have books on hand to read here and there. I will keep the books I like so I can re-read them when I want to, and will donate the books I don't want to keep to the college library.

To start with, I have recently acquired:

  • Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott (3 books combined in one hardback book) - childhood favorites
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - another favorite
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings series by J.R. Tolkien (box set of 4 books) - I generally don't like fantasy but I thought I'd give it a chance

Music

After buying Melissa Etheridge's Christmas CD A New Thought For Christmas - which is excellent! - I fell in love with bluesy Christmas music. So, I bought several blues Christmas music CDs and discovered that Charles Brown and B.B. King have great Christmas albums!

Finances

Lots of spending in the past few months. But it's over now - at least for a while. I checked my retirement account savings balance yesterday and am disappointed, but not surprised considering the market slide in the past months, to see that it's down about $80,000! Ack!

Upgraded to MT 4.23

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Believe it or not, it has taken most of the time between 9:00am and 3:30pm to upgrade from Movable Type 4.1 to Movable Type 4.23. The process would have been smoother if I hadn't had to create a bunch of redirects in .htaccess when I upgraded to MT 4.1 (because I changed from using _ to - in filenames and directory names). I've now removed all those redirects (if old links on other websites aren't corrected by now, oh well!).

A few things to note about the upgrade to MT 4.23:

  • The /mt-static/images/tab-bg-yah.gif file is missing from the downloaded zip file - search Google for tab-bg-yah.gif to find it.
  • The path used by the HTML files that display popup images changed from the directory designated during an image upload to the /assets_c/YYYY/MM/ directory. For example, it changed from: http://www.domain.com/images2008/20080803filename.html to http://www.domain.com/assets_c/2008/08/20080803filename.html
  • The thumbnail image created by MT during an image upload used to be stored in the directory designated during the image upload (such as /images2008/). It is now stored in the /assets_c/YYYY/MM/ directory where YYYY/MM is the month and year the image was uploaded.
  • The large image is still stored in the directory designated during the image upload (such as /images2008/)
  • Upgrading the MySQL database (mt-upgrade.cgi) didn't work properly using Firefox 2.x (kept hanging - not continuing - so I switched to IE 7.x to finish the process.

[Update January 4, 2009] Well, as it turns out, the assets_c directory can be renamed by adding a single line to the config file (via Assets Directory of MovableType). As I had been doing prior to the upgrade to MT 4.23, he uses .htaccess to change underscore characters to a hyphen (dash). To change the name of the assets directory: add this line to the mt.config.cgi file:

AssetCacheDir /assets_c

Completed Projects for 2008

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I busily crocheted for the first 7 months this year and then burnt out on crocheting. I did, however, begin the first step in quilting: cutting fabric into squares, rectangles, and triangles and then sewing them together. Using the pieced squares, I made Quilt Block Curtains to hang in my craft room.

When crocheting, I sit in the living room and watch TV while following a pattern in a book or making it up as I go after I've selected the yarn to be used. I don't need to move for hours!

Quilting is much more interactive. I sit or stand and think and select a pattern to use. I stand and think and select fabric and measure fabric and cut fabric. And, I sit and think and move between the work table and the sewing machine to layout fabric pieces and pin them together to be sewn and then sew them - and sometimes pull out the stitches and restitch. A DVR-recorded television show or DVD or music CD is playing in the background.

2008 Projects in Review

Crochet: 19 lap blankets for donation; 1 lap blanket for a gift; 1 round lap blanket for me.

Knitting: Nada. Nothing.

Sewing and Quilting: 1 set of quilt-top curtains using 24 12-1/4″ blocks; 12 12″ quilt blocks.

The Project List:

  1. Quilt Block Curtains for craft room using 24 varied 12-1/4″ quilt blocks (start Jul. 13; finish Dec. 20)
  2. 24 12 1/4″ (including 1/4″ seam allowance) varied quilt blocks for Quilt Block Curtains for craft room (start Jul. 19; finish Nov. 2)
  3. 12 12″ (including 1/4″ seam allowance) varied quilt blocks left over to use for a quilt (start Jul. 19; finish Nov. 2)
  4. Primary Colors Granny Square Lap Blanket - Blue, Green, Red, Multis of Blue / Green / Red, black (start Jul. 5; finish Jul. 23)
  5. Custom Granny Square Lap Blanket - Print Pastels, Blue, Yellow, Pink (start Jun. 29; finish Jul. 7)
  6. Granny Square Lap Blanket - Pinks, Blue, White, Beige, Yellow, Baby Pastels (start Jun. 22; finish Jun. 29)
  7. Hexagon Lap Blanket - Greys, Red, White (start Jun. 8; too hot to continue hiding yarn ends Jun. 18; finish Jun. 29)
  8. Blue and Gold Blocks Lap Blanket - Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Orange (start May 31; too hot to continue hiding yarn ends Jun. 8; finish Jun. 29)
  9. Granny Squares with Flowers Lap Blanket - Scraps (start May 18; finish May 31)
  10. Flower Centers Granny Square Lap Blanket - Melon, Purple, Yellow, Baby Print, Light Yellow, White (start May 3; finish May 18)
  11. Round Wheel Lap Blanket - Burgundy, Multi (start Apr. 14; finish May 3)
  12. 4-Patch Granny Lap Blanket - Pink, Blue (start Apr. 3; finish Apr. 11)
  13. Double Crochet Striped Squares Lap Blanket - Pink, Blue, White, Purples (start Mar. 19; finish Apr. 1)
  14. Flowers in Snow Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Coral, Green, White-Pink-Green-Yellow Multi (start Mar. 28; finish Mar. 31)
  15. Panel Variety Lap Blanket - Green, Purple, Off-White (start Mar. 20; finish Mar. 24)
  16. 6-patch Striped Squares Lap Blanket - Pink, Off-White (start Mar. 10; finish Mar. 18)
  17. Steps with Ruffle Border Lap Blanket - Red, White (start Mar. 2; finish Mar. 9)
  18. Offset Log Cabin Lap Blanket - Greens, White, Black (start Feb. 23; finish Mar. 2)
  19. Log Cabin Lap Blanket - Greens, White, Black (start Feb. 17; finish Feb. 23)
  20. Double Crochet Scraps Panels with Black Lap Blanket (start Feb. 13; finish Feb. 17)
  21. Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Greens, Pinks, Yellows, Blues, Grey, Purple (start Feb. 10 using leftover squares from blanket just finished; finished Feb. 12)
  22. Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Tan, Greens, Pinks, Yellows, Blues (start Jan. 22, 2007; put aside early Feb. after 20 squares; picked up again May 28; put down again May 29, 2007; finally finished Feb. 10, 2008)
  23. Flower Picture Afghan Lap Blanket - White, Reds, Greens (start Jan. 21; finish Feb. 7)
  24. Filet Pinwheel Granny Square Lap Blanket - Greens (start Jan. 2; finish Jan. 14)

Projects started in 2008 but not completed yet:

  • Quilt using 12 12″ (including 1/4″ seam allowance) left over varied quilt blocks from Quilt Block Curtains (start Jul. 2008; 12 blocks done Nov. 2; quilt top in progress)
  • Houses art quilt - fusing (start Oct. 17, 2008; in limbo)
  • Garden art quilt - fusing (start Oct. 16, 2008; in limbo)
  • Hexagon Mile-A-Minute Lap Blanket - Blue, White, Blue-White Multi (start Jul. 24; got bored with crocheting and too hot so in limbo)
  • Ripple Lap Blanket - Multi, Burgundy (start Jan. 15; got bored with it so in limbo)
  • Ripple Lap Blanket - White, Lavender (start May 29, 2007; Jun. 2 put aside for Pineapple Blanket, then Babette Blanket; still in limbo)

Projects started in 2006 but put not completed yet:

  • Keepsake Kitty Wall Hanging (start May 7, 2006; top nearly done except for applique tail Jun. 2, 2006; now in limbo; March 2008 sewed/appliqued the cat's tail onto the pattern; again in limbo; Dec. 2008 began quilting the top-batting-backing "sandwich")

Lap Blankets for donation

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20081227lapbktsfordonation2008.jpg
In 2008 through July 23, I made 19 lap blankets to be donated. (No wonder I was tired of crocheting by then!) They haven't been dropped off yet, but I plan to do so tomorrow.

Left:

  1. Log Cabin Lap Blanket - Greens, White, Black
  2. Panel Variety Lap Blanket - Green, Purple, Off-White
  3. Pinwheel Filet Granny Squares Lap Blanket - Greens
  4. Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Greens, Pinks, Yellows, Blues
  5. Flower Picture Afghan Lap Blanket
  6. Offset Log Cabin Lap Blanket - Greens, White, Black
  7. Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Tan, Greens, Pinks, Yellows, Blues
  8. 4-Patch Granny Lap Blanket - Pink, Blue
  9. Steps with Ruffle Border Lap Blanket - Red, White
  10. Custom Granny Square Lap Blanket - Print Pastels, Blue, Yellow, Pink

Right:

  1. 6-patch Striped Squares Lap Blanket - Pink, Off-White
  2. Granny Squares with Flowers Lap Blanket - Blue and Pastel Scraps
  3. Flowers in Snow Granny Square Lap Blanket - White, Coral, Green, White-Pink-Green-Yellow Multi
  4. Blue and Gold Blocks Lap Blanket - Blue, Gold, Green, Red, Orange
  5. Granny Square Lap Blanket - Pinks, Blue, White, Beige, Yellow, Baby Pastels
  6. Hexagon Lap Blanket - Greys, Red, White
  7. Primary Colors Granny Square Lap Blanket - Blue, Green, Red, Multis of Blue, Green, Red
  8. Double Crochet Striped Squares Lap Blanket - Pink, Blue, Green, White, Purples
  9. Double Crochet Scraps Panels with Black Lap Blanket
Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.

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