Thursday, March 26, 2009

Success? (!)

Well, so far so good! They countered our offer, and we accepted their counter. I know there is still a long way to go before this really happens, but this is the most important first step! I'm really excited about this place and think it will be great. Fingers crossed everything else goes well!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

House Hunting: The end?

We're putting in what we think is a strong bid on an apartment here in town that we really like. Fingers crossed for this one to stick! I'll let you know what happens.

Quilt Update #2

News! All of my fabrics are here and I just finished cutting the first one! Very, very exciting. Below are the patterned fabrics with their coordinating solids, though I think I'm still going to play around some with the pairings. The great news is that since I knew that monitors never display the right color and since I was buying fabric from two different places, I couldn't tell how their colors might even remotely match up, I bought four more solid colors than I really needed. That way, I had a lot of options and could mix and match if my first choices didn't pan out, color-wise. Good thing too, since several of them were WAY more orange or pink or purple than I had hoped. (Extras not shown in the pictures below).

Fabric is all here!

Fabric Pairings

So there they are! Yay! I got a comment that I should maybe use the orange on the left (unpaired, currently) in one of the pairings to balance out the orange and the pink. I will have to play around some more and consult the mother of the girl for whom this quilt is destined.


I have cut the first fabric (the octopus print) and so far, so good. I have to say, the directions on Oh, Fransson! are impeccable. I have only had a few experiences piecing a quilt before, and her tips solved many of the frustrations I usually ran into. Mostly because I am an impatient person and not as careful as I should be. But her tips (expecially the one about cutting ON the grain) helped to make this an experience to bring out the perfectionist in me and to help me revel in the feeling of perfectly straight lines. We'll see how long this perfection lasts :-)

The good thing is that it seems like mistakes multiply in quilting, so the better off you start, the better off it will all be in the end. Hopefully it works OK!

Oh, and I should get my sewing machine fixed tomorrow. That will make me much, much happier!

For Jen

I got this from my friend Jen's blog In bold are the things I have done. I hope you all copy and paste it so I can read your lists!

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Well, Rock Band)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (though I'm not really good at any arts, just crafts)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (Jeff can vouch for this one)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (really, just our ghetto cruise on the AK ferry, but still!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (The German ones)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (shadow cuts count?)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (currently doing so, too!)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (I quit just before this might have happened)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (not yet!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (only class action)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Cave Tubing in Belize

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quilt Update #1

Not too much to update. I've received the first fabrics I ordered and the coordinating solids should be here tomorrow (I hope they match! I really don't like fabric shopping on the internet, but I haven't found any stores that carry the specific fabric I am looking for in town). I ordered many different options, since it was only $4 a yard and I only need a 1/4 yard (so it was only a dollar to get several different colors to hedge my color bets).

I hope to get the fabric cut and prepared within the next couple days, and then I will be ready for sewing.

Sadly, I managed to break my sewing machine while cleaning it, so it's out of commission for a little while. It's really not broken, but I sure as hell can't get the piece I pulled out to go back in! I'm sure it will be very quick and obvious to the sewing machine guy who comes to JoAnn's every two weeks. He'll be there on Thursday, so I plan on stopping by. Also, I can't seem to get the walking foot I bought from him to work right, so hopefully he can help me with that too. Unfortunately, I don't have such high hopes for that one because I just don't see how it's going to work right with my machine.

Hmm... maybe if I really get into this, I will need to buy a sewing machine of my own! I'm using my mom's old workhorse, bought literally 40+ years ago, which still runs, well, it did until I broke it. It's solid metal, solid as a rock, but has pretty much zero "features" and is so old that I may not be able to get different feet for it (see above). But then again, I've never even used the four other stitches it DOES have, so why would I need another 70 (or 300, or 1,000)? We'll see what sewing machine repair guys says about the foot. Free and working is much better than a couple hundred dollars and unknown.

Hopefully I will have pictures of fabric choices and/or cut fabric to post shortly!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I am doing something I shouldn't. I simply don't have time. But dammit, I'm making time!

Oh, Fransson! is doing a quilt-along, and I am joining in. I always have to have some kind of crafty project going on to inspire me, and I've gotten back into quilting again in the last month. Granted, I've never actually fully made a quilt before, but I have pieced a comforter cover with my mom, and (started) hand quilting a pillow top. I've just never done it all together. But now with the quilt along, I can do it virtually with more than 200 other people (fun!) and with some excellent, excellent instructions from oh fransson (I love how that is not her name at all, but that's what everyone calls her online).

Even though I am way behind everyone else (I haven't even ordered all of my fabric yet), I have already learned so many great tips and tricks, especially ones to avoid all of the pitfalls that would prevent me from continuing on a project in the past (imperfect seam allowances, unsquare-squares, etc.). It also makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one who can't always sew in a straight line!

Without further ado, here is the quilt I will be making. I am making it for our neighbors' little girl, who is two and a half, so I wanted something girly and sweet, but not too gross, you know?

I will be using these fabrics:

To make this front:
And this back:

The first prints should come tomorrow, and then I will be ordering the coordinating solids. Yay!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Dichotomy

I started my internship in the schools this week as one of my last requirements for my MA in speech-language pathology (aside from that pesky little thesis, of course). As promised by all of my friends, I absolutely love it. I mean, so far. I'm still just shadowing and not doing any actual work, but it's still awesome.

This experience coming hard on the heels of essentially three months of utter and complete freedom to work on my thesis has made me realize some interesting things about myself (or perhaps, myselves?).

When I was working on the thesis, I was completely engrossed in theoretical conjectures, abstract thought and lots of mental gymnastics. I was also in a room by myself. During this time, I became much more like the stereotypical crazy academic--muttering to myself as I walked across campus, getting caught by sudden inspiration at mealtimes with friends, feverishly jotting down notes on napkins, envelopes and even a paper tablecloth. I became completely self-centered, and yet was making great progress in my development of my thoughts.

When I started at my internship, I was constantly interacting with others. Though my practice required me to rely on my theoretical background, I had to apply my knowledge immediately and did not have time to sit and ponder much of anything at all. Abstractness was the enemy, since I was dealing with kindergartners who had the attention span of a gnat and teenagers who didn't really understand the concept of "never" and "always." Theory doesn't really work so well then. So I wasn't really thinking as much, but I was also a lot more socially appropriate and interactive.

Crazy thing is, I was utterly blissful in both situations. Well, that's not entirely true. I was much more "tormented" in the first scenario. I would debate with myself over various issues, get so frustrated with insolvable quandaries, etc. Tortured genius stuff, except without the genius part. Maybe that's why I was so tortured?

Regardless, I still found research very satisfying, particularly when I would have those little a-ha moments that make it all worthwhile. Having no schedule also helped too.

But I find therapy itself amazingly fabulously wonderful. I feel exactly like I did the day of my first observation of an SLP (a friend), and the day that I decided my course for sure. I thought to myself, "They PAY you to do this?" It was so fun, great, and seemed relatively easy. I felt like this was absolutely my calling, something I was born to do that utilized many of my talents. Not to mention, I could actually HELP people!

Oops... digression narrowly averted.

Essentially, I am finding that I am two different people to some extent when I am engaged in these two different activities. At some point in my life and career, I will need to decide how much of each I want to pursue and what kind of career that would entail. Professorship? Clinical supervisor? Clinician? Clinician who does research? Hmm... well, at least I don't need to decide just yet. I need to finish this degree first!