baby blanket

Here’s a baby blanket I made for my step-bother’s new baby coming in June. I used minkie red on the back and a cute baby print fleece on the front. Then I appliqued red and white minkie and blue fleece circles for decoration. The pattern is from Bend the Rules Sewing, which I love. Minkie is a little unruly for scallops – it came out a little messier than I hoped, but I still like it.

baby blanket

baby blanket again

I’ve been hexed

So I’m still plugging away with my hexagons. I posted earlier about the girl that didn’t use paper-piecing – just pieced the hexes together. Well, I tried it, and I have to agree…it’s better. I started with some test fabric…tracing the template onto the back of my hex, pinning the corners, and hand piecing. Then I whip stitched a couple of my paper piece hexes. The end result is that the paper pieced ones look terrible. The stitching is awkward and REALLY shows. I think it has to do with the angle of stitches. Without the paper, I’m hand-piecing in line with the seam line. With the paper in there, I’m stitching perpendicular to the seam line. Make sense? Here are some visual aids…

no-paper hex

paperless piecing

english paper pieced

The main problem I found with the no-paper system is that now I have to plan out my design before I sew. So, I’ve started making flowers. Here’s my first one…

hex flower

hex flower back

I have no doubt that using the papers is more precise, but it’s also twice the work…we’ll see how it all works out. So far, I like my flower. If you need hexagon templates, you can download them from my download page above!

Mad about Mad Men and other shows

I’ve been watching Mad Men on iTunes…let me just say, AWESOME! I love the characterization, I love the drama…I REALLY love the glimpse at how far the womens’ liberation movement has really brought us! This show is perfect for Hillary’s campaign. The last episode I saw is the one where the account guys are at a loss with how to sell lipstick, so they say, “I’m not a moron, let’s get a moron’s point of view. Let’s give it to the chickens.” Where they proceed to shuffle all the women into a focus group room and let them try on all the shades while they gawk and make rude comments. It was a little disgusting to watch, but I couldn’t turn away. And the women were just as sad as the men. When they used the word brainstorm, one girl says, “Oh no, that sounds hard. Is it like a test?” But of course, Peggy doesn’t play their game. I can’t wait to see what happens with Peggy.

We’ve also been watching – and loving – New Amsterdam on Fox. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like the storyline, but I actually love it. I love when he flashes back to another year and especially when he talks about the past in the present.

I was excited about The Return of Jezebel James, because I loved Gilmore Girls, and I love Parker Posey, but I’m not that crazy about it. The dialogue is kind of lame, and the whole thing is a little exhausting, but not in the same funny way that Gilmore Girls was. The jury is still out, really.

I’m also quickly losing interest in American IdolTop Chef started back up, and it’s pretty good so far, and I’m looking forward to Step It Up and Dance, although, I’m not a huge fan of Elizabeth Berekley.

Any shows we should be watching?

more business ideas

There’s a big empty lot near our house. It’s like a house lot with no house – just grass. Each Saturday, it fills with people selling stuff. Old furniture, puppies, even tacos. My husband and I always drive by and say we should buy the lot and put up stands and charge people lot fees and have ourselves a real flea market. Capitalism, right? My brother-in-law says he’ll run a sandwich stand. Wouldn’t it be cool? Seems like a simple enough proposition. Even better if instead of buying an inflated lot, we could rent it for 6 months and see what kind of profit we could really make. There’s cool places like ARF that would finance something like this. Well, maybe they’d only pay for the sandwich stand with restaurant loans. But still – it’s a start. One day, right?

business ideas

I went in this fun little paper store…it seemed like a marvel that they could stay in business and pay their lease just by selling stationary. But I got on their email list, and they’re always doing fun things like present wrapping-parties, classes on making party invitations – basically buying their blank stationary, and then using different computer programs to lay them out. Or you can just buy the paper and they’ll lay out your invites/announcements/whatever. They also order the fancy stuff from professional printers, but they offer much more affordable alternatives. I think it’s cool. I love their blank cards. Still, I don’t envy her office space lease.

bourne ultimatum

We’re watching the Bourne Ultimatum right now. Talk about action packed…so that’s what waterboarding looks like! Pretty frightning – watching a secret arm of the government track phone calls, people movements second by second, order hits with no judge, jury, trial. What’s the point of even having a debate about the death penalty in this country? I have no doubt that the technology, the lack of red tape, etc. is all totally possible. You have to wonder, where is the Constitution in all of this?

It’s like these “trials” going on with the 9-11 planners. Mukasey pushes for the death penalty, and then gives a speech saying he “almost hopes they don’t get it, because all they want is to be martyrs.” Well, how can you sentence someone to death based on testimony received through tactics like waterboarding?

What does my country stand for? Can we ever be a beacon of justice and hope again? I hope Barack is right…”yes we can!”

gerber life insurance

I always get these offers for Gerber Life Insurance for my kid. It’s like cord blood banking – it’s one of those things that I’m almost scared into buying, like a chain letter or war with Iraq. It’s like whole life insurance or long term care insurance. Do I need it today? Will I regret not buying it? If I only get term, am I missing out on an investment opportunity? Is insurance through a job enough?

Who can answer these difficult questions?

mpg

I recently saw something on Zaproot.com talking about how ethanol really isn’t much better environmentally. My brother in law just bought a new Ford F750 or something – just kidding, it’s a F150, but it’s huge and ridiculous. But the sad truth is that it’s awesome. My dad has a Toyota Tundra and it’s also awesome. He’s always looking at truck parts on ebay – like a billy bar and a brush guard – or something like that. My husband wants a bigger car. If we have another kid, we’ll need a bigger car.

We looked at Hybird Altimas but really, their gas mileage isn’t any better than our current electric lime saturn ion, but with a MUCH higher payment! My step-mom drives a Honda Civic and gets 38 mpg! The hybrid civic only gets something like 46 mpg.

The moral of this story is that there really aren’t any viable options for people that NEED bigger vehicles, but don’t want to do more harm to the earth. There aren’t really any options at all for someone who wants a bigger vehicle with a reasonable payment and a little resale value. Unless you can afford an unreasonable payment, of course.

I think I post something about this every few months. Basically, we always start looking at cars and feel like there’s nothing out there for us that won’t make us feel frivolous or guilty or both.

Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains…

That’s right, I’ve been in Oklahoma. I took my little baby and we flew out to see Gramie and Papa. I know I’ve been absent for a little while, but I wasn’t in drug rehabilitation or detox or something. No, I was visiting my parents – and it was great! All except for the day we left. All our flights were cancelled, so we got rebooked on another airline leaving 7 hours later, only to have our second leg delayed 4 hours. We got lucky and caught an earlier flight, but it came into a different airport, so I still had to drive to the first airport and pick up my luggage at 1:30 am. LONG day, hauling around a 2 year old and all his accoutrements. Lucky for me he’s such a good boy.

Anyway, we had a great time with my parents and that’s what matters. I got to meet my new future step-sister in-law, William got to spend lots of time with Gramie Sandy and Papa Bob, get his face licked off by their little dog Chica, and I even got to go to a fabric store where the fabric was almost 1/2 the price as it is here! Pictures coming to flickr soon!

European Vacation

Back in 2001, my husband and I went to visit his mom in Paris, and his brother in Germany. It was my first trip to Europe, and I loved it. We went at Christmas, so it was cold and gloomy, but still gorgeous. I took TONS of pictures – and in my normal style, most of them were terrible. I was using a 35 mm camera, so I didn’t have the luxury of making sure each shot was good, or wasting a million pictures like I do on my digital camera. Anyway, I used a couple rolls of b&w film, and there were a few gems in the mix. I used photoshop to make them sepia. They’re not going to win any awards, but they look great on my bathroom wall! Anyway, I recently scanned them in because someone needed them for a project, and I thought I’d share them here.

metro at st. michel

eiffel tower

notre dame