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French Republican Calendar Star Signs


What's your new sign?

Mine is... Salsify which is some semi-edible plant I've never heard of. I'M THE HIPSTER VEGETABLE


It's been 3 years since I started looking at the really nice sewing machines, and something has always come up to mean I can't afford one (medical, car, etc). But for Christmas I received an extra bonus (woo!) which enabled me to get this.

Pix and details under the cutCollapse )



Even better, I can buy some and attempt to grow it! Even if it just becomes decorative, because it's too tough to eat off the cob (but is fine for cornmeal or popcorn, it sez).


Big Year update - Port Aransas 2

Master List

Looking over the pictures taken at Port Aransas, we have also identified the following:

  1. Kingbird, western
  2. Flycatcher, vermilion
  3. Warbler, orange crowned
  4. Snipe, Wilson's
  5. Cowbird, brown-headed
  6. Yellowlegs, lesser
  7. Tern, least
  8. Sandpiper, stilt
  9. Killdeer

Cards from food packaging

In my nearly 2 years with Postcrossing, I have often seen people's requests include "Do not send handmade cards!" which made me wonder if at some point in years past, there were a lot of these. I've received one handmade card since then, which was gorgeous and featured threadwork.

Today I had my first request for a handmade card. The specific request was: "I especially like a home made cards cut from FOOD PACKAGES." So I dug into the recycling and made this:

 photo US-4450588.png

I traced around a standard sized postcard to make sure it was the correct size. The inside of the box is white, making it easy to read. And it was kinda fun to pick something out! (And thanks to Toly for eating these things and thus providing the box!)


For those watching the weather news, my family and I still have power, we are rather wet but not yet flooded in. We are due to get more rain over the next 24 hours though, so that could change. I am working from home today, which is good, because the roads around my office are apparently flooded. (Houston is built on a swamp and we have very poor drainage due to all the development without oversight.)



I got this as a kit at the quilt festival last November, and would have loved to get two of them, but they only had one with these fabrics. The instructions weren't very clear (to me, anyway) but YouTube to the rescue!


Things that got done

Pillowcase kit is completed (one of the UFO items) yesterday; I need to post a pic of it, don't I?

The jar quilt could have been finished if, as previously noted, I had just one more piece of fabric. :/ So it is now genuinely a WIP.

I began work on the North American Wildlife quilt even without the last piece of fabric for that one, and got most of it done! Woot! So it too is now a WIP but I can get it done at some point. If only I could find someone on Etsy who has both blueberries fabric and a good NAW print.

For the NAW the original instructions were a little confusing, so I had to rewrite them in a text file in a way that made sense, but that worked. This is going to be so cool when it's done. Also, potentially, huge. I already knew this was wall-hanging material but wow, this could potentially be huge, if I add on that big border that is recommended.

I also caught up with Epic Rap Battles of History (language warning, NSFW). I'd stopped a couple years ago and now I'm all caught up again, with enough new tracks to make another CD for car trips. I like the ones that are actually historical or based on real people instead of fictional characters. I avoided all the ones from presidential elections, though. And I have to say the Russian one will always be a favorite.

Garden news: Last weekend's freeze killed the grapefruit sapling and probably killed the lemon tree. :( That was my lemon! I bought it probably 9 years ago now, and raised it from a pup, and it finally got into the ground at this house and was even producing fruit for the past few years. But it doesn't look good after this freeze. :( Mom said that if it's dead, we'll replace it with a bigger lemon tree and in a more advantageous spot. (We won't replace the grapefruit.)

...I miss the Florida house and all its citrus trees :( :(

Quilt thoughts, again

I'm missing a fat quarter of blueberries or other fruit/veg (I had my heart set on blueberries, but that fabric is no longer available except online) or I could finish the Jar Quilt today. :(

I know I'm supposed to wait on the 2017 list until I actually *get* to a new month, but once I have a list of unfinished projects ahead of me, it gnaws at me to get it done. So now that the list is here, I feel like I can't wait every month for a new project, I have to get cracking *now*.

Medical Quilt: Probably will be changed to something else, because it's just going to be too expensive, even if Huxrin really was set on it.

North American Wildlife Quilt: I only need 1 more fabric now, a 1-yard piece, but finding a good one is hard. Probably will have to go online for that too. :/ I went to 3 stores yesterday (Joann and the 2 nearest quilt shops) and couldn't find anything I liked.

I might start on the tote bag just because it's something I can work on, and easily - cutting and piecing - don't feel like working on ornaments or space rows right now, and I don't think I have enough Halloween remnants and fabrics to do the Halloween quilt yet. Even though I could only make partial progress on the tote bag because I'm missing things like handles and hardware. It would be doing something.

Big Year update - Port Aransas

Excellent birding on this trip, we got a lot of species already for the 2017 Big Year:

  1. Pelican, white
  2. Vulture, turkey
  3. Goose, snow
  4. Goose, Ross's
  5. Falcon, peregrine
  6. Spoonbill, roseate
  7. Heron, great blue
  8. Crane, whooping
  9. Pelican, brown
  10. Coot, American
  11. Grebe, pied-billed
  12. Duck, pintail
  13. Heron, little blue
  14. Heron, tricolored
  15. Woodpecker, ladder-backed
  16. Willet
  17. Starling, Eurasian
  18. Goldeneye, common
  19. Cormorant, neotropic
  20. Gull, laughing
  21. Bufflehead
  22. Warbler, yellow-rumped
  23. Moorhen
  24. Shoveler, northern
  25. Anhinga
  26. Night-heron, black-crowned
  27. Yellowthroat, common
  28. Teal, blue-winged
  29. Teal, green-winged
  30. Ibis, glossy
  31. Bittern
  32. Harrier, northern
  33. Tern, royal

Master List is here and we are already at 50 species!

Sea Glass quilt top completed (UFO 2017)

This was completed on 12 January. I'd done most of the work in 2016, and then set it aside. I don't remember why I did; I remember vaguely that I was having a problem with it? But when I got it back out to look at it for the UFO project, I couldn't see any difficulty. It just needed to be finished. So over the past week I finished sewing columns together and that was that.

Again, this is just the top; I can't afford to get full quilts done at this time. :(

That said, I love the colors in this one. I called it "Sea Glass" because it's so evocative of the ocean and pieces of sea glass and kelp. It should have a nice swirly or wave design quilted into it. The background fabric is actually light sand-colored, though it looks white or pale gray in the photo.


And that's another one off the UFO list done already. Woo!

Here's a neat way to repurpose old jeans

As long as you don't mind scaring people...
jeans chair

Happy Friday the 13th!

AngryDandelion said "It looks like a dead spider!"

Toly commented about sitting on 4 laps at once.

Note: I didn't make this, I found the picture unsourced on the webz...


Big Year update


Cedar waxwings
Red-tailed hawk

Master List
This morning there was a tiny skeleton on the back window of Toly's car.
Skelly pixCollapse )

Work hilarity

(for certain values of "hilarity")

I am the SME (source of most experience) for one of our websites, and people will contact me out of the blue asking about problems or "this end user says it doesn't work" or whatever. Today I had this:

Higher-Up Customer Relations Guy: This customer says they can't use this particular function of the website, it's not working. Here's a screenshot.

Me: That's not our website.

HUCRG: They say it just spins and spins and nothing happens.

Me: That's not our website.

HUCRG: Well, that's what they forwarded to me.

Me: Well, that's not our website.

After that I think he got the hint, or else he gave up.


Big Year update

Today I saw:

Loggerhead shrike

2017 Master List

2017 UFO Challenge List update

I finally picked something to finish up the list, and have filled in the rest of it.
The listCollapse )
An awful lot of these are in "planning" stage. I suppose I'd better get to work on something else on the list, if nothing else so I can get to work as soon as the number comes up on 01 Feb.

Pink sky at morning, sailors take warning?

The sky is absolutely pink this morning, and this time the camera picked it up. It makes everything look very sci-fi. All I can find about "pink sky" on Google is the old rhyme about red skies, but the weather forecast is for clear weather for the next 5 days, so...



Last year's UFO list ended up with 15 items (I replaced one and finished up a few ahead of schedule) instead of 12, which I was quite proud of, and then I finished a few more projects before the end of the year, for 24 total:

Forest Edge (king size quilt)
Fox Face (twin size quilt)
Christmas tree (wall hanging)
Great Egret (wall hanging)
Alaska row by row (wall hanging)
Diamondback (large throw quilt)
Swirling Dunes (wall hanging)
Matti's Fox (throw/baby blanket)
Matti's Fox 2 (same)
Fire Blossoms (large throw quilt)
Golden Galaxy (king size quilt)
Pirate Quilt (child/small twin size quilt)
Pirate Quilt 2 (same)
Science Quilt (full size quilt)
Paradigm Shift (full size quilt)
Friends row by row (wall hanging)
Coastal Birds (wall hanging)
Airstream Camper (plush)
Pink & Green Pinwheels (large throw quilt)
Rainbow Colorways (full size quilt)
Manatee Mother & Child (wall hanging)
Hex Table Cover
2016 Christmas Ornaments
2017 Christmas Ornaments (yes, early)
Tea Towel Memory Quilt (throw quilt)
Christmas Hearts Swag/Banner
2 Golden Galaxy pillowcases
6 Destiny Banners of various flavors

That's all I can easily find, looking in my Crafts folder for 2016. Which is still a lot! Wow! 41 if I counted them all up correctly, because the ornaments are in batches of 6-7. That's technically nearly 4 projects per month. O__O

So! That said, I finished up a lot of UFO's last year, and this year I'm having trouble thinking of the final one. I did think of the United States of Quilting idea, but I don't know if I can really get that one finished in one month. Here's the current list:Read more...Collapse )

I have to update it because #6 was the project for January and I've completed it as a quilt top. But I did think of #11, the Jar Quilt. I saw it last year and the blocks are designed to look like jars of, well, whatever, on shelves. And I thought that would be really cute to have them full of different things. Canned fruit or vegetables, or maybe buttons and sewing stuff - I remember an old pickle jar full of buttons, when I was a kid - or nails or screws - anyway, I'd love to do that one, but I need a fat eighth or fat quarter of each type of fabric for the jar "contents", and most of those novelty fabrics aren't sold in small cuts like that, and I sure don't need a whole yard of each. :/ Might have to look at bundles or remnants.



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January 2017



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