Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category


35.1 Non-quilting art and scrapitude on MDSI weekend

May 26, 2014

I have been having a blast during this Memorial Day Sew In (#MDSI on twitter) weekend – aka Memorial Day weekend for quilting muggles.

It has been wonderful to have a balance of online and offline experiences this weekend, which just makes everything so much rounder & more in depth than one or the other – which usually happens.

I got a few things done around the house, but nothing major or specific to the holiday except for yesterday when I went crazy for a snake found in our yard – no sign of him today – thank goodness.

The long weekend time was well deserved off.

I spent time on Saturday getting ready to see my friend and then spontaneously we decided to go downtown to see some stuff!

The first thing was this strange 3D installation at the Art Center. There was this large wire structure and various arrows and numbers, but the colored blocks in this were all fabric. Solids, and I saw the selvage on a piece or two, but the fabric was wrapped around the wire. So 3D quilt type thing?? Not exactly.


And there was an interpretive set of pieces in the next room, one of which looked like feathers.



And there was a nice technique that I really liked in this watercolor/wax creation.



Which I wonder if it would translate to fabric dying? I like the pooling of darker colors at the bottom of the piece and the shiny way this works and reminds you of 3D pieces on a 2D space.

And then we went to this ceramics place where they make all the ceramics, and charge a fee for customers to come in and paint on the various types of ceramics and then you get to keep a personalized piece after they fire it!

So many choices at the ceramics shop! And examples to look at.


Some other pieces that were finished from other customers.

finihsed pieces

There are stamps in addition to stencils.


And I could take my own design (*cough* quilt block *cough*) and recreate it in pottery and always look at it for ever & ever. Now to decide on the design, I have a half off coupon which expires at the end of summer.

And I just love looking at the pieces, finished and not finished.


And after all this fun, we went back to my friend’s house and LynAnne finished a quilt top that just had a few more rows to sew together!


And I worked on applique pieces, sewing them down to the background. Currently (monday afternoon) I have 4 left to sew down out of 16. Not exceedingly exciting and I’ve shared it somewhere in the previous post.

Then Sunday was my 5K distance walk/run training / regular workout.

And more hand sewing & twitter.

Then this morning, we decided to go fishing and I at least caught one.


And this afternoon, I finally finished all the straight-line stitching on soft scrapitude and now have to fill in more on the FMQ.

scrapitude straight lines complete

I have yet to completely decide on the larger triangles, but I think I am doing vines in some of the ‘v-shapes’.  And I don’t do feathers often, but I do do pearls.

scrapitude pearls in boxes

I am trying to make myself find designs that are not just in the piecing. I like using the piecing for my ‘custom FMQ’, but branching out into the negative space is nice too. I have a lot of quilts that could benefit from some FMQ marathons.

And the other day, my friend opened up a small modern quilt fabric shop in the neighboring very small town, and I went to the dollar store afterwards and found this strange colored headband that reflects either pink or blue depending on the light. This is strange fabric and may have to find a place in one of my quilts one day.

Please excuse the strange top of head shot to follow.




20.1 A tiny bit of good in the world

September 30, 2011

I did a tiny bit of good in the world, and I got something nice too.

At work there was a craft table full of blankets, scarfs potholders, jewelery, and a portion of the proceeds of the sale go to Leukemia & Lymphoma support.

I didn’t make anything (didn’t know about it before hand really too much), but I did buy two items.

And since I decided I’m not a crocheter (anymore) that I will really like using these items this winter.

I now have a new hat & scarf combo, each bought separately.

I’ve never had a hat with so many holes before, so I am hoping I don’t decide to line it with some wild animal print soft fabric I bought at Hancock fabric.

Like this fabric

It is nice & soft and I haven’t known what to do with it.

But how does it look as a potential lining?

Hmm.  Maybe not.  Yes, my head is down looking at the floor.  One of the weirdest photos of myself, if I do say so.

In any event, lined or not, I feel good that I did a little bit of good today, if a little indirectly. 🙂


19.8 Flying around the earth

September 19, 2011

A long time ago in a college far far away, I wanted to work with NASA due to my love of space.

The planetarium job now long behind me, I don’t keep up on which planets are out when, and I do love looking up on a clear cloudless night.

I am comforted on my ride to work (every day in the dark, mind you) of the stars above me and the wonders of the universe, although I rarely get too deep into it anymore.

I am used to looking up, but what if I could look down?  From the ISS (international space station)?  I saw on Bad Astronomy today a link to this you tube video.

Those of you space-afiles like me, or just anyone who appreciates something beautiful, I am embedding the video onto my site today.


I love seeing all the lights from all the cities & towns!  And you can see the lightning from up above.



18.6 Testing Flickr Sets – Flower Walk

August 20, 2011
purple grape flowersDSC06001daffodillegsperfectdaffodil1perfectdaffodil2tulipside1
pinktreeflower3pinktreeflower4field of violetsfield of little purple flowers and swingfire pink and green
rocks and trees sceneorangeflowerwindmillpathredtulipsgrapeanddaffodilappletreepathpurpleflowersandposts

Flower Walk, a set on Flickr.

There should be nothing new here, but I wanted to test to see how sharing a flickr set worked. These flowers were between april 6 & may 3, so remember back to early spring.

Via Flickr:
Walkin around town


17.1 A/C troubles

July 10, 2011

I’d love to finish the podcast I started this morning, but the AC is out right now and this side of the house is really awful hot … just got a room ac for the other side of the house – and that also took up the time I was planning on sitting here.  Only over 100 today.  Tom busy, tues busy.  Sigh.


16.9 Motor Oil and Feet

July 5, 2011

Apparently early last week my quilt came into contact with some oily rags that were used in changing the oil in the truck.  The rags were moved as soon as I saw them, but apparently not soon enough.

I noticed this stain yesterday when I was using the floor as a design wall.  So after a few days, this stain is set in.  The picture below is after rubbing with talc powder to try to absorb some of the oil off the fabric.

As you can see, not awful, but still not gone.  Also not quilted yet, I have been rubbing the talc over the stain with a toothbrush from pin to pin.

This quilt is also 505 spray basted.  But needs to be washed.  To solve the problem I thought of thread basting this quilt so it can handle washing without losing the basting or rusting of the pins.

Thanks to a suggestion or two, I have some washing techniques, dawn detergent, orange detergent.

I also know that if I thread baste and ‘pretend bind’ using the backing as a temporary binding, I can handle getting this quilt wet … otherwise I was wondering if I had to have this quilted before washing.

I can’t get the thing washed yet today, but will try to do this week, maybe Sunday?  I still have to hand baste this before getting this wet, and try another go with the talc.

The picture above was taken yesterday, and the picture below is taken today.  So progress with talc removing some of the oil is helping.

There is quite a bit of powder still on this so it may be obscuring the full set of damage.

Oh, and did I say it smells like motor oil and ‘foot powder’ (the talc I’m using)?

On the bright side, I did get the middle of a top pieced, which lead me to how I got so upset at the whole motor oil to begin with.   Some of you may recognize these blocks:

It’s the strip twist blocks from the swap I did (back in December?).  I finished a few of the missing blocks with some of the scrap fabric swap  pieces and dug into my stash.  Isn’t it a beauty?

And here is the oil stain as I discovered it when laying these new blocks down.

See that?  Just above the red block on the left.  Pretty dark oil stain. How did I not notice this before?

So the hurricane quilt is doing better than it was yesterday when I first discovered the stain.  That picture looks pretty dark in comparison to how I see it now.

Too bad the motor oil took all my excitement for the placement of my strip twist blocks and completely crushed it.  And the excitement I felt after I drove a manual transmission for the first time in like 10 years.

Can’t have it all.  At least I didn’t get too  livid.

Although I do have to admit I was shaking pretty good for about a half hour as I was piecing the top together … just trying to really calm myself before taking any action.  Which helped a great deal.


10.12 Quiet

January 21, 2011

It’s been quiet around here lately.

Not the good quiet,

but the mind-numbing-annoying-playing-too-much-of-a-video-game-I-like-but don’t-really-want-to-play-now type of quiet.

and the I-can’t-get-to-the-computer-to-do-my-own-thing type of quiet.

and the I-really-can’t-stand-myself type of quiet.

and the I-finally-went-home-for-christmas-so-I-was-actually-away-from-the-computer type of quiet.

and the I-was-disapointed-by-the-state-of-the-family-house type of quiet.

and the I-am-feeling-smothered-by-someone-who-wants-my-full-attention-at-home type of quiet.

and the I-keep-feeling-like-I-am-stuck type of quiet.

and the I-keep-thinking-I-have-failed-consistently type of quiet.

and the people-keep-noticing-and-telling-me-the-things-they-don’t like-about my-speech/laugh type of quiet.

and the I-keep-thinking-of-my-mom-passing-away-because-of-her-birthday-and-deathday-being-so-close-to-now type of quiet.

and the I-haven’t-even-sewed-lately-to-help-preserve-my-sanity type of quiet.

Thank goodness, yesterday, I felt better, a little more loud.  Today, a tiny bit more.

Lately, I’ve been in a (metaphorical) library and I haven’t even found any good books to read here.


10.8 Thank you!

January 10, 2011

A large shout out and thank you to all my podcasting friends who are going to “go to work with me”. 

Including someone who I am very very glad is back at the microphone.  I think a large majority of the podcasting friends have episodes out this weekend.

But let’s not leave out all the listeners, who have been faithfully listening, commenting here and on Big Tent.

Nor let’s not leave out all the blog readers, who don’t listen who have either been faithfully following me.

And thanks also to the friends and family who listen and read.

And thanks to the friends and family who don’t.

And to the blog friends who at one time has pointed people to my blog, for whatever reason.

And thanks to the people who have e-mailed me, and gotten in touch with me!

And thanks to all the blogs I read that don’t know that I read them, you have been an incredible source of inspiration and motivation for me.

And thanks to the people who are putting me as a contact on Flickr.  I am loving getting to see your photos as I learn to browse flickr more and more!

And thanks to the people on flickr who make awesome projects that I have favorited. 

And thanks to the people who have hosted, and will host swaps that I have/will participate(d) in! 

And thanks to the people who put up music and sound effects on mevio’s music alley, and freesound.  It really makes my day to listen to this music as I contemplate how the music may fit with my own voice.

And thanks to the many people who have put up videos on youtube.  It has really helped me to learn my craft from a distance.

And thanks to the people who put up free block patterns, BOM’s, embroidery patterns, tutorials.

And thanks to the people who have completed the speed experiment.  If you can, try to get the experiment done today – the 10th.

Okay, so I won’t actually check until the next morning.



10.1 Apparently, popularity isn’t for me

January 2, 2011


I didn’t get finished on my quilt as you go.  Yet.

Been stalled because I was just short of scrap batting for the borders that I am dedicated to finishing.

I purposely bought a batting that I didn’t have a purpose for, that I PLANNED on cutting up and using for smaller projects and I STILL can’t cut it down for two small borders.

Does this ever happen to you?  “Can’t Cut it Syndrome”


And yesterday, I was reminded of “my” unpopularity.  Follow me, this is not a pity party at all.

Every year around the new year, just to be curious, I look up the ‘most popular baby names’ for the previous year.

NO REASON.  (Let’s get that straight)

And a baby name list for 2010 provides many names that I didn’t remember seeing when I was attending school.

So for curiosity sake, I had to realize what I already knew:

Darla isn’t a popular name. 😦

Currently 2284 on this website. 

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?


  1. No one ‘accidentally calls your name and refers to someone else.
    • Actually, this has happened in the last year, I have met … myself … actually not myself.
    • Which has lead to me turning around at work because, I’m still not used to knowing another ‘me’ (Darla).
  2. You develop a sense of self that isn’t tied to anyone else around you.
  3. There is a feeling of creativity that happens when you have a unique name, you tend to think of things uniquely (well actually not that often)
  4. Being popular isn’t always good.
  5. You never have to have a last initial behind your name in school because of someone else in your class.
  6. You can post your first name on people’s websites and people usually “know who you are” and aren’t normally confused with other people.


  1. You can’t find your name in premade licence plates / trinkets / mugs.
    • Actually this is very bad because you start pining around looking for this stuff as a kid, which makes you crave it all that much more.
    • You end up with one thing with your name on it (mug) that you can’t bear to throw out, even if you don’t ever use the mug anymore and it doesn’t fit with your decor.
  2. When you do actually hear derivations of your name, you are constantly correcting (or trying to correct) because you think, hey maybe they actually meant Darla and not Darlene.
    • Which has happened.  During a quilting class.  Sigh.
  3. You realize that you’re not popular.  In name sake.
    • So then you spend your entire new years day looking up other baby names, finding out what’s popular, what’s not.  Looking up names of friends and family, seeing how popular the names have been in history ….
  4. When you actually do meet the person with the same name, you are completely weirded out.
  5. When there is ONE character on a movie / television show that has your name, that is the only thing you can associate with.  So I get to have “Dear Darla, I hate your stinking guts.” by Alphalpha in my head.  Cute though, because they’re kids. And because he doesn’t hate her stinking guts.

Trouble is that once I get down a path, it takes me farther into the rabbit hole.

So thinking about names took up my entire day yesterday, and my computer time today took me down the ‘lets download too many fonts path’ to write up a blog post about names.

Which makes me wonder why I am not a graphic designer because Photoshop and me (except for the paths thing I never really figured out) have a pretty good time sometimes.


But at the same time, I HAVE noticed:

Many quilters have the same name!  Names that I haven’t heard much in other life. Some examples:

Deb, Debby, Robin, Robyn, Nan, Nann, Sandy, Sandi, Anne, Annie …

Has anyone else noticed this?


8.3 Whining to follow … read at your own risk

October 4, 2010

You’ve been warned, this is a post I should not be writing.  But it is my thoughts over the last few weeks.

And yes, it is whining thoughts, and no, not a plea to get people to comment – now.

So stop reading if you can’t stand whining, self pity, jealousy, or otherwise non quilting stuff.  Will be back later with more quilty goodness. Bye. 🙂 

I love getting the chance to connect with people on my blog, and my podcast.  I love the shout outs because as a listener I was just tickled pink when it happened to me. 

I’d be grocery shopping or heading to work and I would hear my name on a comment that I made on someone else’s blog and I would get all excited and have this warm feeling – that I was making a difference – that I was saying something positive that other people were liking.

Which made me push myself to get some episodes of my own podcast done.

I realize this podcast/blog is niche.  Very niche due to the ‘scientific nature’ – which as you have well seen, has been almost absent lately as I talk about ‘general ideas’ that apply to scientists and mathematicians.

I’ve been trying to consider my audience.  Knowing that an active part of my audience does not like/enjoy/know/care about the science or the math, trying to ‘stick to quilting’, quilting shows, quilting books, quilting artists, because that’s what they’ve vocally said they’ve wanted from me.

I do also know I have a niche group of people who have expressed their appreciation for the sciency side as well.  These folks are really appreciated.

I appreciate the time it takes to reach out and comment – I really do.  Not that I do a lot of it on my own.  But I DO read blogs, I do enjoy reading blogs. 

But always from my blog reader, and that makes it a tiny bit harder to comment because of the act of opening the blog to make the comment on.

And here’s the real whining.  I hear other podcasters get like 20 comments and comments each weekly episode.  And I love my 3-5 people who comment, I really really really really do.

But it makes it hard to want to keep going if I keep delivering things that people aren’t connecting with. 

But at the same time I champion the fact that my podcast/blog is so unique, so niche, that I am bringing new ideas, thoughts, ways to explore things to others.

Perhaps if I went to weekly episodes, I may get more comments, but with all the post production that I do – that I enjoy doing – there’d be no hours in a day for this.

I had a discussion with a ‘podcaster’ several months ago, and she didn’t understand why I constantly announce the things I am going to do.  So I stopped.  And we kept talking about being able to change, or not be able to change. 

I honestly believe with all my heart/head, that I will not be able to change the core self-esteem issues I have had since I was a very very little girl.

I remember the books on the warm fuzzie thoughts and thoughts about ‘being good enough’ all the way back from when I was 4 – 5.  I remember relating to the low self-esteem puppet Grover on Seseme Street.

And ultimately this is what my whining is about.  My lack of self-esteem, my lack of getting out there and ‘just doing what I do best’ because I have always had a doubt that whatever that best is, isn’t good enough.

And I also think I can’t stop announcing my self-esteem issues either.  Which is what this post is about.  Sigh.

I have another podcast idea that keeps floating back to me over and over, so I know it’s the time to do this idea next.  Because something in me can’t let go of this idea.

But its another idea/science podcast.  No tips, tricks, interviews (not that I would do those anyway), craft books, techniques … but a unique and genuine idea about quilting.

Anyway, I thought I’d share.  Stay tuned for another left brained quilting idea.

… oh and if any of the podcasters who have fallen off the face of the earth would like to come back … I would really appreciate it.  Really.  I miss my Jennifer/Annie/Toni/Marcelli/AnneMarie/Michelle podcasts.  That’s all for today.  Thanks.