Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A weekend of Selfishness?

I get a whole weekend to myself this coming up weekend. Peg is going to visit friends in New Hampshire and I get to stay at home with the cat. Yay, me!

Every once in a while, I think I just need to take time off and cloister myself away. This seems to recharge my creative batteries... as long as I ignore that "should be working on" list (which, also for me, is very, VERY long.)

My should list includes: Images/Lowell Quilt Festival. I love going to the show and seeing other people's work. I love shopping. I even have a list of things I should get for the class I'm taking at A Quilter's Gathering in November (never too early to start prep!) Am I going? Probably not, because the times that I can hang out by myself in my apartment (with just Ed, who sleeps a lot) are rare and precious.

I should be marking and quilting three quilt tops: The mini Amish that my mother pieced (above), "Don't Worry, Be Scrappy" (to the right), and "Omiyage" (to be photographed.) Will I get them marked and/or started? Probably not.

I should cut out fabric to replace my pink Tencel jumper. I bought a sage green tencel at the same time, intending to have two dresses. (I wore the pink one as sleeveless dres, but I never got the green cut out, so now I can use the fabric to replace the pink one which got to be too worn and stained to be worn in public.

Of course, there's the ongoing struggle to update my jewelry web site and etsy store... maybe the less said about that the better!

...And the Chelmsford Quilter's Guild page....

I have a ton of research to be done for a variety of project, one of which is a Quest to find an ophthalmologist or even just a place which will sell me a new pair of glasses and takes my insurance. (Insurance supposedly pays for a free pair every two years, but the problem has been finding someone who takes it. My soon-to-be-former guy takes the insurance but not my particular policy. *sigh*)

What I will end up doing? If I want to be rested and refreshed after this weekend I'll probably go out for "supplies" (Diet Barq's, Uno's Potato Skins, KFC, Wheaties), and hunker down to watch Nero Wolfe episodes or "Pride and Prejudice" (with Colin Firth!) with breaks to do a bit of weeding outdoors, and maybe peek at email and Facebook (hoping not to get sucked in). If I get to any of the other projects, maybe I'll count that as a plus.

But I really should find a place to get a new pair of glasses...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In or Out of Focus?

I have too many irons in the fire. Too many things going on. Too many projects in too many areas of my life.

Every time I (finally) inch forward in on front, another bright, shiny project distracts me. I'm like a cat sitting under
a Christmas tree. Which ornament should I bat around first?

Well, I can report progress in a couple of areas. The vintage textile pendants I was making using resin are cured. There's some light clean up and polishing to do and only about 60% of them I feel are saleable, but, hey, I've been talking about this project since last FALL!

Not sure what I'll price them at. They were more work than the flying pigs, but I don't know that they will sell at a much higher price than that. Of course, the pigs had kumihimo necklaces and I'm only planning on using leather or satin cord for these, so maybe they should be priced the same. Hmm.

Ed had his thyroid levels taken last week and
we reduced the dosage of his Tapazole. He seems much less frantic, so I have good feelings about this dosage, but I'm not sure I could call him "stable" just yet. He's become a bit of a furry slug, so he may still be below normal (which is much better than way, way, WAY above normal.)

In quilting news, I put away the "Fan Dance" red and white quilt and started using my japanese fabrics to make a cat quilt. All cat blocks are done. All mice blocks are done. All that is left are snowball blocks and fish blocks. It's fun to work with this fabric, but I do feel guilty about putting away the other. (It just became "less than fun.") Additionally, the "Creepy/Cute Cat Quilt" is tied and I'm stitching the binding on.

I'm trying to clean my drafting board off so I can photograph the newest jewelry and put it on etsy. I also need to totally revamp the Piece by Piece web site. Poor thing has languished for almost 2 years and I'm not exactly sure where the images have gone.

And once I hunt down the various bits of info, photos and whatnot, I hope to have the Chelmsford Quilters' Guild site up to date. It's going to be a squeeze to get the pages ready for the September meeting, let alone the 2-3 new quilting project instructions I've been trying to add (*ahem* WRITE) in the past few years.

So, that's it for the projects at the "top of my pile." I'm not sure I won't find something even more fun and shiny if I dig down a bit, but I guess I just have to tell myself very firmly: "Focus, Lindsay. Focus!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In The Way

Since Peggy's stroke, I have slowly become somewhat of a zealot about handicap accessibility. I grumble at the "heavy" public restroom door (which Peg can't open with her one good hand.) I mutter when people park in the handicapped parking "just for a minute" while they wait for someone to do a "quick trip" into the store. I have even been known to *gasp* swear at people blocking the wheelchair ramps with their cars (totally oblivious, but still annoying.)

Usually, however, I keep this obsession with handicap accessibility to myself and sigh and work around these unwary, uninformed people.

Today, however, I am annoyed. And I am siting in front of my computer. And I noticed it's been some time since my last blog post.

I think my biggest gripe about accessibility is when the staff of a restaurant (or whatever) puts things in the way. I know putting more stuff out on the floor seems like it would result in more sales, but if you can't get between the display racks, who's going to buy it?

Restaurants are particularly bad when stacking unused high chairs or excess regular chairs in a hallway that's wide enough for a wheelchair but not much of anything else (yes, I'm talking about Uno's, but we have also had this problem in Chili's, On the Border, and many other places.)

And, much as I like their coffee, about half of the Starbucks in this area (eastern Mass, north of Boston) seem to "tuck" their new shipments or old pallets in the hallway blocking access to the restroom. I have problems getting in there, let alone Peggy in her wheelchair. This has happened so often, I suspect this behavior is rife within the entire chain.

Sometimes I manage to shove the offending stuff a bit to the side so Peg can get to the bathroom, but shouldn't these people be more aware of what they are doing? Shouldn't their parent companies be aware of this storage problem so that when they design new restaurants they KNOW this is a problem and can plan for it?

I know, I'm dreaming.

And I know that this will not change. We go to restaurants, etc. so infrequently that even if we complain (and in writing), the best we will get is an apology (and possibly a coupon) but things will not change.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hi, I'm back. I know it's been a while since I've blogged, but I thought I'd try it again.

I've been doing less jewelry these days and more quilting and other textiles, but I'm looking at trying to combine the two (like the spool earrings to the left, which will be up on Etsy as soon as I can get my act together to finish photographing them and writing ad copy!)

I also have a very interesting project "on the docket" involving vintage textiles and resin jewelry. Keep your fingers crossed, it could turn out very cool! (...or not at all...)

Last week I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival (not as a vendor OR an exhibitor) and took some classes. One was awesome, one was great, and one "did not float my boat." However, I learn
ed a few interesting things, one of which will enable me to incorporate my Kumihimo braids into my quilts.

So, I've decided to restart this blog with not only jewelry info, Peggy's status, and my quilting obsession (which seems to take over everything), but with pretty much anything that goes on around here.

So I'll just leave this current note with a picture of the awesome Libby Lehman's quilt (or at least a part of it since I couldn't photograph the whole thing since someone else was standing in front of it drooling, too.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

No Resolution

I know better than to make New Year's Resolutions.

I seldom remember them after a couple of months, and those that I do remember, and keep, end up better than I SHOULDN'T have kept them.

For instance, several years ago, I listed all my unfinished quilting projects and told myself that if I didn't finish any of the projects on the list, I couldn't start a new I ended up spending the entire year NOT quilting.

This year, however, I'm trying a new strategy. I do have a list of unfinished projects (not just quilting, but other needlework, and knitting.) I took the list and whittled it down to five ACTIVE projects.

These current projects are things that are "no brainers" to work on. I've left them out and put everything else away, so if I'm sitting by the TV with my hands idle, I can pick up the blue sock I'm finishing, or work on the beaded braid on the marudai. No pressure. No deadline.

I'll work on them until I'm done (or I'm bored with them), a little at a time, and either finish them or put them away and "replace" them with something else from the list.

And I don't have to commit a heavy dose of time to any one. For the Hexagon Stars quilt, I set up one day's worth of quilting (about 15 minutes of actual work time) in advance. I sew 12 half-hexagons to 12 small triangles for for 12 larger triangles. I take 4 od these triangles and sew them in pairs to form units, and finally, I sew a third triangle onto the triangle pairs to finish a half hexagon star. Then, I press them, set them up for the next day, and cut new half-hexagons and small triangles to pile up for the next day. Then move on to something else

I plan to have three active quilting projects, one knitting project (until it's done), and one jewelry project (probably two when then knitting is done.)

I'm also working on the "bit by bit" strategy for my reading. I have found that I've been reading several books and once and not finishing them. I have a TON on books on my wall that I've started, but not finished. Now I have a box of books that I plan to read and then decide to keep or give away, and I'm reading them ONE AT A TIME.

It's not a resolution, but we'll see how long I can keep it up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shiny, Quilty Jewelry

As you may have noticed from the blog, I've been working on quilting much more than I've been working on jewelry.

Part of this is due to the fact that I've been participating in my local quilt guild as web manager, but also part of it is due to the feeling that I am actually moving forward on many of my projects.

Have no fear, however! No matter how many projects I finish, I find I seem to start almost as many, so the project list doesn't get any shorter (although it does have different projects.)

This quilt is one of my "new-ish" quilting projects. It came from our box block exchange project last year. My only criteria for fabric choice was "no blue", because, silly-ly enough, I wanted a challenge in putting it together. Finally I decided on this chevron sashing, but is it too much? Does it distract from the blocks, or does it unify the whole thing? Anyone who has an opinion on it, please let me know!

I got a bit of a shock last week went one of my most consistent customers said "of course, I'll be up to look at the new jewelry at Thanksgiving."

And, of course, while there's some, there's not as much as I'd like, so I've been working on some new stuff (although probably not for her! Luckily, she didn't get to see the new Spring stuff when we did our fundraiser, so even though we've been slow at creating new pieces over the summer, there are pieces I'm sure she'll like.)

However, May 2010, my quilt guild is having a show, and they're allowing members to sell stuff on consignment. Well, I could never make my living out of quilting (I'm waaaaay too slow!) but I thought I'd develop some quilty jewelry. These will be pendants when they grow up, and they'll be put on kumihimo necklaces. I have some other ideas for earrings that will be so cute, I think I'll save them until after New Years.

I'm hoping with a couple of good nights sleep and some productive days, I should be able to start the photography for the web site and for the etsy shop both of which have suffered from my pre-occupation with quilting.

So sayonara for now!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Women's Work is Never Done

I had meant to write last week when the excellent talk by Gerald Roy called "Women's Work is Never Done" was presented at the monthly Quilt Guild meeting.

I thought the title of the talk was appropriate since the majority of the pieces discussed were quilt tops (as opposed to finished, It was fascinating, and I wish I could include here some of what was shown at the meeting, but I think that wouldn't be kosher (if you're a member of the Chelmsford Quilt Guild, and you've joined the private Yahoo! Group, Jeff uploaded the shots he took at the meeting. If you're not, you'll just have to go to one of Gerald Roy's talks in person and see.)

One of the most interesting things that came up during the talk were a couple of REASONS for quilt tops not being completed. One was that the maker deliberately kept the top undone to preserve it. Another was that she (the maker) felt she would be criticized for being too daring with the color, or design, and so put it away when she finished piecing.

I figure both of these are great excuses to use when I'm asked about the (now) 20 unfinished quilts I have going. And I was just starting to feel guilty about those, too.

Speaking of unfinished quilting projects, I have another new one. I like making the block of the month for my quilt guild, but sometimes I don't even put my name in so there's no way I will have a chance at having another UFO. Well, eagle-eyed Opal wouldn't let me get away with that this month, and, as luck would have it, I won 12 of them (the one pictured is the one I made...I didn't get it back.)

They came out darn cute, but soooo not me. I guess I'll have to let them sit in a box for a bit until either they become more "me-ish" or until I need a quilt for someone who is not me.

As for the jewelry end...

I haven't done much in the creation side. I've rather been taken over with the Guild's web site. However, I have now fixed Piece by Piece's web site so it no longer redirects to the Chelmsford Quilt Guild. Now all I have to do is start photographing the recent pieces and start listing again on etsy.