Happy Friday!

In a civil suit, a party can introduce evidence of habit, pattern, practice, etc., to prove conformity – for instance, if the question is whether you did laundry at 2:00 p.m. on July 6, 2014, to prove that you did, you could introduce evidence that every single Sunday you do laundry at 2:00 p.m., so you must have done it on July 6, 2014 since it was a Sunday. If only I couid apply that level of commitment to my blogging – but the fact is, my blogging just isn’t that reliable. Just because I blogged almost every day for two months doesn’t mean that I’m going to blog at all for a month. Oh well. And, at least for me, it’s much easier to break a pattern and practice than to get it going again. A few days after the last post, I came down with a cough (that Joe shared with me, thanks husband!), that turned into a fever, and that was probably bronchitis – since it lasted for nearly 2 1/2 weeks. My blogging mojo was interrupted, and it was really hard to get it back – but I’m back, hopefully, and now, I’m just going to do a not so artfully crafted list of what I’ve been up to – just get it out there, and start again fresh on Monday. So, here was my June 10 through July 10 in a nutshell:

1. While sick, Joe and I watched all five seasons of Game of Thrones. Not a good idea when you’re feverish – I had the craziest dreams of people without faces, and winter and White Walkers and dragons. But we’ll be in for the next season, and I’m definitely on the Kit Harrington hair watch. If Jon Snow is really dead, poop on George R.R. Martin – that’s just cruel after all of that investment in one of the only heroes left in a show.

2. I saw An American in Paris in New York with my mom. I’m a huge fan of the movie, and was very skeptical of the stage show. No need – it was fantastic, and without the constrictions of post-WWII morality, the story was able to fill in plot holes that the movie just tipped toed around – for instance – SPOILERS – it made so much more sense that Lise was Jewish – her loyalty to the Baurrels so much more understandable, and her struggle to leave Henri was much more poignant. Also, by revealing Henri’s sexuality, it made Jerry stealing his fiancee a ok. While I did miss Gene Kelly, of course, and the actual streets of Paris, the ballet was so beautiful, and of course, the Gershwin music was insanely toe-tappable.

3. I got a horrendous hairdo, and then a good hairdo. Every day when Joe and I walk home from the train, we walk past this snazzy hair salon right across from the pizza joint where we order our Friday night pizza. After four years in our ‘hood, I finally decided to try it. I brought a photo of Charlize Theron with short hair, and a photo of my hair with blond highlights, and said, “I want that.” So, the stylist looked and said,”You don’t really want to cut your hair short, do you? Don’t you want to be able to pull it back in a pony tail, or put it up?” Uh, I guess. And, as to the highlights, she glanced at the photo and said, I can do that. So, she went to work with her foils, etc., and when she blew my hair straight, of course, I felt glamorous. It was then that Joe picked me up at the salon, and the look on his face was definitley WTF. You don’t like it? He raised his eyebrows, and was like, “you have tiger stripes.” Of course, after sitting for two hours, and having him pop my glamour balloon, I started to bawl – you’re wrong, I like it, blah blah blah. And then I got home, and really inspected it:

Oh my! He was right – it was really terrible. I had a headband of blond. The stripes were cray-cray. And, you can’t really tell in that photo, but the blond highlights were a brassy orange – really carrot top. So, I immediately made another appointment with a trusted colorist in town, and voila – fixed:

And, curly, I must say – it looks very French – my trial partner keeps calling me Babette. I do like it though – my head feels so much lighter, and it is defintely more youthful – and since I’ll be a 46 next week – closer to 50 than 40 – eek! that was important to me.

4.  Stitch Madness!

Quilting/Sewing: There is just not enough time in the day, nor enough air conditioning to do all I want to do.  My craftroom/sewing room is on the third floor of our house, a converted attic.  The electricity is not so modern.  I can’t run the sewing machine and the air conditioner at the same time, or I blow a circuit.  So, all of my dreams of catching up on abandoned quilts this summer has gone out the humid window.  But, I’ve begun plotting an English Paper Piecing project that I can do in the air in front of the t.v. – but more on that later, once it actually gets going.

But, one thing I have worked on in this stitchy category is my crazy quilting bug.  Remember my crazy quilting project?  Well, once I realized that the thread (orange) really made the quilt blocks look like something cut from a circus tent, I put it away, and waited for Kathy Shaw to run her Basic Crazy Quilting class  again.  Kathy runs her free classes several times a year – if you click on the link, you will find her registration dates.  I must say, this class is one of the most teacher involved online classes I’ve ever taken.  Class assignments are given, work is completed, photos of the completed assignment are posted on a private blog, Kathy comments on your work, and then emails you the next task.  If you don’t do your homework, you don’t get the next task.  The tasks are accompanied by very detailed handouts, photos, and templates.  The difference between this class and the Craftsy class is that not only is the pattern for the base block provided by Kathy, but the block is completely planned – there is a roadmap of seams, and templates, etc. and for me at least, this was such a better learning technique than the Craftsy class, which was much more general as to what to stitch where.  Here is a photo of my block, preseams –

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As you can see, it’s just basic quilting cotton, no crazy fabrics that needed stabilizing, and I started stitching last night, and all of the threads are very mellow. A much more subdued go round this time. We’ll see how it turns out – I still have a few more seams before I can submit my work and get the next task.

Embroidery: After I finished the Be Happy hoop that I posted about last month, I decided I really didn’t know what I was doing with regard to shading with thread, so as I mentioned in the last post, I signed up for an online class with Follow the White Bunny, Simply Shading.  So, the $60 fee is for both the workshop and the kit – the kit contains an iron transfer, 2 needles, silk fabric on which to stitch, thread samples, and a paper thread organizer.  So, let’s say the kit would probably run you $20 retail, so the workshop alone we’ll say was $40.  Why do I bring up price?  Because throughout the workshop, I kept saying, gosh, I really wish there were a video of that, or I wish there were more step by step photos rather than diagrams, more step outs I guess.  But the price was right for what she did . The class was four weeks.  Each week consisted of multiple handouts, with not only historical information, but technical instruction, and helpful tips.  There were also extra PDF patterns.  There was a class forum, with a weekly discussion (kind of, see below).  So, while I think the class would have been better with videos, that’s not to say I’m complaining – the handouts were thorough, Nicole was available for questions and advice, and she obviously put a lot of work into the written materials, and I learned a lot.  I think I just would have been willing to pay more to get more, I guess that’s what I’m saying.   And, if any of you reading this are thinking about hosting an online class, I just wouldn’t bother with a private bulletin board forum – beyond introductions, no one participated.  I think the best place to host an online class is honestly Facebook.  While I’m not a fan of posting my life on Facebook, in fact, since my father died, I don’t even think I’ve posted anything on my page – that’s the way he and I used to share photos – but the private groups I’m in, like the Crafty Gemini Quilt Club, there’s activity every day, and tons of sharing of photos – I think Facebook is just a daily stop for people, and it makes sharing easy.  One stop shopping, I guess.

So, that’s my two cents.  In any event, here’s what I managed to accomplish.  Here’s the first stitch exercise:

I got bored with this fairly quickly, and decided to practice with something a little more fun. So, I used an iron transfer from Something Sublime, and a quote I designed myself:

How fun is a Flamingo?

Nicole actually covers shading animals in the third week of the class, but I decided to go for it earlier.

And, I took a break from shading, and stitched up this fun sampler from the spring issue of Hoopla:

And next up, I’m going to tackle the actual class project:

But first I have to finish my crazy quilt homework!

Knitting. Last but not least – although wool is another summer resistant project. I started Wickerwork in my Miss Babs, but I haven’t photographed it. I abandoned Antarkis, I don’t know why – I was knitting it while I was sick, and I kept losing count, and I think I did some fudging I wasn’t really happy with. I don’t really remember – I’ll have to pull it out and see what needs to be done. And, as far as the Wollmeise, it’s fine, but I’m not stalking any overseas website to  get it.  Next up, is the new Fiddleknits MKAL that starts today – Water.  Once again, I’m going with Quince and Co. in this awesome color, Peacock:

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Yum, right?

And, I did take an online class finally with Susannah Conway, Blogging from the Heart. It was fine. It was just a bad time in my blogging history to take the class – I had already just done a blog overhaul. If I had taken it while my blog was languishing, I think it would have worked better for me. Also, Susannah’s blog is awesome but it’s not my writing style, and her prompts didn’t interest me that much. I might have a better blog if I followed more of her advice, but I’m not interested in writing “as I sit with my coffee cup and peer out my window . . .” kind of blog posts. And, the class needs some updating to a certain degree. Every Friday she posts an interview with a popular blogger, but some of the interviews contain links to defunct blogs, some of the bloggers aren’t actually blogging any more, and the class, in that respect, might need some new content. However, I must say that the beginning bloggers really got a lot out of the class – blogs got up and running, people found their voice, and I enjoyed the Facebook interaction watching their blogs grow. I think I’ve just been blogging too long, and my fault entirely – I just wasn’t that open to change. Had I opened myself up a little more, I may have incorporated more of what she was saying here. But, I’m glad I took it, I just kind of wish I had taken it when she originally started it. And, I do miss getting her daily emails – it was a lovely way to start my morning because I do like her very much.

So, that’s it, caught up! Onward!

Basic CMYK

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