Thursday, December 29, 2011


Christmas lights + zoo = amazing.

Sadly I don't think we saw any real animals...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The Arizona break has been exactly what I needed.  Warm weather, relaxing, continued dog drama...Also managed to mangle her ear in a rose bush resulting in emergency veterinary care (stitches, bandages, a cone).  She is coping surprisingly well, but we could have done without the whole charade.

Sadly, I did not bring my sewing machine, so I have been doing some knitting.  I did find a forgotten stash of batting at the house, so I will be able to finish some of the million quilt tops waiting in Lincoln. 

Little Angel Also with her "halo" also referred to as an Elizabethan Collar in our instruction manual. 

Fortunately the cone does not get in the way of Maybe and Also's loving relationship...

With all members of the family now 21, we had numerous booze themed gifts, including these beers matched to the personality of each recipient.  Classy.

Settlers of Catan is an epic board game.  With a novel length rule book, no one really knows how to play, so cheating abounds. 

The tree Christmas morning...

I did some creative wrapping.  This rodent-reindeer-vampire was for my brother...

He was attacked while unwrapping but should survive.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home Sweet Home

After only 22 hours in the car the dogs and I arrived in Arizona to spend the holidays with the entire family...I left my sewing machine in Nebraska, so binding quilts and knitting cowls will have to suffice until 2012.

For everyone who worries about who slept in their bed at a hotel, it might have been these two if you are in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Flagstaff looming in the distance...

Whenever Betsy (the GPS) announced an upcoming turn, Also got very agitated thinking "who is this bitch?"

The ever classy white Christmas tree.  Very fitting for a desert Christmas.

Holiday art courtesy of my Grandma, possibly the most festive human on earth. 

Check out the M with the ice skating elves holding hands...

Real flowers to compliment the fake tree.

Stockings and trees.

Tinsel tree.

Maybe and Also are so excited to spend approximately 23 hours per day on their couch...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Life is a balancing act.  Lately I have been adding twists and turns to the end of the semester drama by putting everything off until the very last moment.  Case in point: I woke up early this morning to finish up the paper that is due today and now I am writing this...

Yesterday someone said to me, "but you have to ask yourself how much time should you be quilting in graduate school?"  The implied answer to the question was something along the lines of "you probably shouldn't be quilting at all as you are on a scholarly journey of epic proportions."  In my sleep deprived, hungry, mildly bitchy state, I almost exclaimed, "I am studying effin' quiltmaking!  I should be making bajillions of of quilts!"  Instead I did a face scrunch, mini eye-roll, giggle, and I wandered off before I lost it.   

And that event provided me with my avoidance-of-homework mind suck of the evening...People have all kinds of hobbies.  Some don't really seem like hobbies, like watching TV.  People go to the gym.  People are in book clubs.  Are these activities ever put on the chopping block in the face of graduate school?  What is it about a craft-based activity that calls into question its legitimacy as a use of one's time?  Should graduate school be conceptualized as an activity that requires total focus for the duration?  My program has not required that investment of time or mental energy, so quilting seems like a better alternative to fill my time and occupy my mind than other more traditional graduate school activities: drinking, drinking, and whoa, I'm drunk!  (As a general rule, drinking and quilting don't mix. That rotary cutter is sharp...)

Anyway, I hate to use my blog as a platform of sorts to bitch and moan about life, but, in conclusion:  I AM A QUILTER. I SPEND A LOT OF TIME MAKING QUILTS.  AND I'M PROUD OF IT.  I am also a student, and somehow I do finish my work in that realm too...

Sunday, December 11, 2011


The dogs are just too cute.  They are struggling to adjust to the winter weather, so they have been spending even more time than usual lounging around in bed.  Our upcoming journey to the desert will be a welcome dose of warmth for dogs and humans alike.  

On the craft front, instead of finishing Christmas gifts, I have gotten sucked into a new knitting project.  Ravelry is so addicting...And on the homework front, I am taking procrastination to new levels.  What happened to that over-achieving perfectionist? 

The Fiber Fun Addicts had a holiday gathering today, complete with a gift exchange.  I received some awesome cards from the talented Julie...check out her blog!

Maybe and Also wondering "why don't you just write that paper already?"

Maybe and Also wondering "its cold, do we have to get out of bed?"

Also is such an intelligent little thing. She managed to wrap herself up in the flannel sheets.  Why can't she master lay down or shake?

Oops.  I dropped a bag of flour on the dogs today. 

Latest knitting project - natural dyed yarns!!!  I am so glad the dogs don't have cat-like instincts when it comes to yarn.  Also just likes to admire my handiwork. 
The cards from Julie obstructing the paper that I pretty much have no choice but to write.
Holiday attire.  Goodwill was out of ugly sweaters, so we did what anyone would do, rocked ugly 80s dresses.  Maybe is thinking "you aren't leaving the house in that, right?"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Is it really almost Christmas?

I am not prepared for the holidays.  Heck, I am not even prepared for the end of the semester.  But, my priorities are definitely straight, and I am making serious progress on the gift front.

So, I offer some small hints as to my productivity over the weekend:

PROJECT ONE: This might be a cliche Christmas tree...

PROJECT ONE: I am becoming a thread snob.

PROJECT TWO: my new favorite color scheme.

PROJECT TWO: What's a quilt without polka dots?

PROJECT THREE: Quilt me...

PROJECT THREE: Almost out of a favorite print.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fence Weaving: Concluding Remarks

The adventure in fence weaving is officially complete.  The weather forced me to get serious and finish it up.  As with most things, the last little bit felt like it took forever, but I forged on thanks to some encouragement from a neighbor, who while driving down the alley gave me a double thumbs up! 

The final result yesterday...

It snowed today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fence Weaving

Fence weaving - the act of weaving fabric strips into chain link fence.  Related to the concept of "yarn bombing" however it is less in yo face and more elementary school tangram-ish.

I like to have a plan.  This semester I took a class where there were no plans.  I rolled with it as best I could, and while I wouldn't necessarily like to repeat the experience, it has turned out pretty swell.  Prompted to dream up whatever we wanted, I chose log cabin blocks.  We were supposed to explore our idea using two non-loom techniques and weaving (okay, so maybe there was a little bit of a plan).  I did some knitting and some weaving, and somehow managed to avoid crocheting (I want to like crocheting, but I just hate it).

After the trip to Houston, I needed to present a proposal as to what I was going to make for my final project.  Running on limited sleep, patience, and time, I was lost.  I was in the backyard with the dogs, watching them like a helicopter mom because the fence is wimpy, the bunnies are so slow the dogs can catch them, and the squirrels are everywhere.  To top it off, on the other side of the fence is a playground, so between rodents and children, there are too many distractions for the dogs.  BINGO.  Weave the fence.  Create a visual barrier so the dogs won't kill any other living creature.

My proposal was less than convincing.  I hadn't even really convinced myself.  After a few weeks avoiding the project for fear that it would be a complete disaster, I finally gathered my materials and got down to it.  WOW.  I want more chain link fence.

The beginning.  Word to the wise, fence weaving is better suited to the warmer months.
One block done...

It glows!

More blocks done...must keep going.

Also yawned on Maybe's face and it was scary.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving: A Time for Crafts

As could be expected, I spent a lot of my Thanksgiving time off working on various crafty projects.  And when I wasn't doing that, I was eating.  It has been a glorious weekend.  

I swore that I was not going to participate in Black Friday activities.  As a general rule, I like to support local businesses, but even the best of us get sucked into capitalistic greed.  I went to Target at 9:10 on Friday morning.  It was not even busy.  I bought a black shirt.  It was not satisfying.  As the bargain filled weekend continued, tragedy struck on today when I ran out of black thread in the midst of my final project for class.  I headed to Joann's, one of my least favorite places, expecting the rush to be over.  WHOA.  I was totally wrong.  I had to park like three rows away from the front door.  There were hundreds of people in the store.  The cutting line wove throughout the entire store.  The check out line was everywhere.  I went to the thread section, where I discovered "Buy One, Get One Free."  How could I resist?  I nabbed 12 spools of thread and elbowed my way to the cash registers.  During the 25 minute wait, I discovered I could get an additional 25 percent off.  This was exciting for about three seconds until the child in front of me started screaming.  His parents were practicing the ignore method of dealing with him.  This continued for about 20 minutes until his dad totally lost it.  I am not sure if it was due to his psychotic child or the abundance of fleece in all the other patron's carts.  So even though I am kind of excited about the thread, I am trying not to be because shopping at Joann's is gross.  

On Thanksgiving morning there was a minor disaster because our Trader Joes Thanksgiving meal did not come with gravy.  After debating between buying a small bird to roast only for the drippings or buying jar gravy, we picked jar gravy.  MISTAKE.  Gross. Thankfully Winter Woodchuck was about as good as real gravy...

Whoa.  It looks so good...

Without being asked (or trained) the dogs spent the Thanksgiving meal sleeping on their bed.

Sneak peak of another project I started.  Will I ever finish it is another question.

I am in graduate school.  I am weaving nylon strips into this fence for a final project.  I don't know what to say. 
In an attempt to legitimize this project to myself, I spent many hours zig-zag stitching the edges of the nylon, even though it is ripstop nylon.  That's dedication.

The cheap ass thread.
Maybe modeling my new scarf.  Her good looks are so editorial.