Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Last Post of January. Yay!

Except for two days when I didn't have internet, I fulfilled my New Year's Resolution to post every day for a month. And I am so glad it's over. So, so, so very glad. There were days when I couldn't think of anything worth saying and thought about posting a one liner "See you tomorrow" type post. But that would have defeated the purpose of trying to get back in the blogging groove. I don't know that posting every day inspired me, in fact, I think it had the opposite effect there, but it did get me back in the routine. And that was half the battle. Posting every day meant the posts were generally shorter and less thought went into them. And if you are a regular reader, you saw that there were more quilting posts than anything else, mainly because that is what I've been doing lately.

Other than the regular stash busting and design wall linky posts, I am going to go back to my goal of posting three times a week. I plan on posting about my sewing table, and with spring planting not far off, I'll be planning my garden and cleaning out the pond (ugh). So there will finally be some variety on the blog again.

Hubby is off mending the fence of an elderly friend, but when he returns, he promised to help me as I start building my sewing table. Sometimes an extra hand in the shop is much appreciated. He often has better ideas how to put things together too, although I've got a pretty good idea how I want to do these.

Until next time,
MartiDIY

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Little Walking, A Little Quilting

Today was one of those days where I didn't sit down except for lunch. I don't know how I ever had time to work before. The day started with cutting out blocks for The Disappearing Pinwheel quilt with my neighbor, who is also in my quilt group. We cut out the big blocks and then put one pinwheel together and cut it up so we can show everyone what to do at the next meeting. Then we'll divide up into pairs and make the quilt in an assembly line. We broke for lunch and I made a template so we can check the completed 12 inch block before cutting it into thirds. When we made our block, we cut it with a 12 inch ruler, which of course is really 12-1/2 inch. We caught it after cutting the block into thirds and then had to re-cut some of the pieces.

After lunch we walked the neighborhood and handed out letters to encourage each neighbor to go to the next city council meeting. Our roads are terrible and all they do is fill potholes when what we need is to have the road replaced. The cul-de-sac at the end of our block is nothing but filled potholes. So maybe if the neighbors unite, the council will listen.

Buddy the cat was waiting when I got home again, with a still-twitching trophy in his mouth. He was meowing (sounds more like mwarr than meow with his mouth full) to get into the garage to eat his prey but I just told him that he was a good boy and left him outside. I don't know why he feels he has to eat varmits in the garage and leave their parts for me to clean up. I guess so it can't get away if it can still run when he puts it down. And it may have gotten away because I looked outside when he quit meowing and he was sitting alone by the back door.

Then I had to make yet another trip to WallyMart for fabric to finish this lap quilt. I made these four blocks for the quilt as you go demonstration yesterday, but I liked the way they turned out so I decided to use them in a lap quilt instead of practicing more free motion quilting. Since it was just going to be a practice quilt, I used fabric from my stash and WallyMart. I couldn't find anything to match the fabrics from my stash so decided to make a border from one of the WallyMart fabrics. I needed to go to the bigger nearby town anyway. But that store didn't have the fabric, so I'll have to go to the store in the smaller town tomorrow. You'd think all WallyMarts would have the same fabrics, but they don't.

This block is from the book Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel 1982.





I'll be linking to these blog parties: WIPS Be Gone at A Quilting Reader's Garden #10, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict #79, and Let's Book It at Vroomans Quilts #10

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Disappearing Quilt Blocks, Have You Made Them?

You've probably heard of the Disappearing Nine Patch, and Stack and Whack, but have you heard of the Disappearing Hourglass or any of the others at Missouri Star Quilt Company? This isn't a review or endorsement of Missouri Star Quilt Company by the way. Monday night at Quilt Guild, we had member led demonstrations of several different quilts that could be made quickly and easily by making one block and then either putting it into a quilt top before cutting it up, or just cutting the completed blocks. These were so neat!

After my demonstration of quilt as you go techniques today at Quilt Group, I wonder if any of these disappearing blocks could be done as a quilt as you go. It would be such a good way to make some quick quilts when we need to give out more quilts than we have made. That happens in winter when so many of our elderly end up in the hospital or nursing home. And the great thing about these quilts is that they look like they are really complicated when really, they are so easy.

Oh, and I have another quilting question for you. What rotary blades and cutter do you prefer? I have mainly used Olfa and Fiskar blades and never really paid attention to how long they each last. But I changed the blades before I started cutting the butterflies and quilt as you go samples, using a new Fiskars blade. It was getting dull after two days of cutting, but I kept it in for another three days of less intense cutting, but using a lot more pressure on it. After the third day, I found it wasn't cutting through in places and I had to either go back and hit those places again, or cut with scissors. I don't have a new Olfa blade to try right now, but I just bought a Gingher blade that the LQS owner assured me would outlast every other blade. I hope so, one blade was $13. Oh, and I'm also giving up on Fiskars rotary cutters. The screw won't stay tight. I like the Olfa with the automatic blade retraction handle.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wordpress vs. Blogspot Part 1 - the Comment Solution

Right after I started this blog, a couple of people asked me how it compared to Blogspot, aka Blogger.  It's actual name is Blogger, but because it is confusing to sort the Blogger service from the blogger people, I'm going to refer to it as Blogspot throughout this post.

I'm still learning about Wordpress, but there are some differences I've encountered. Whether one is better than the other is still hard to say. They both have their merits. Of all the blogs I visit, Blogspot is far more common, and I agree that it is easier to use, especially for someone new to blogging, and has more features. However, the features that wordpress does have are impressive.

Blogspot started in 1999, and was bought by Google in 2003, so it has a lot of might behind it.  Wordpress started in 2003 and is reported to be the most popular blogging system on the web.  That may be so in some genres, but as I said before, I don't see that in the type blogs I like to visit.

I switched to Wordpress for a couple of reasons, the main one being the email copy of comments.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I've got all the wing pieces done and my goal now is to complete 2 butterflies every day.  Meanwhile, I am still researching the various ways of doing quilt-as-you-go and making demo blocks for that.





Linking to Patchwork Times.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stash Report Week 4

I really hoped to end this week with a loss, but I ran out of fabric and had to buy just a little more, and, well, you know how that goes. Five yards later and I have fabric added to my stash that has no particular purpose, other than it's pretty and will work well with other colors.



I also bought some yarn and realized that I seem to be building a yarn stash.  And since I absolutely refuse to build and keep up with another stash, I'd better start using this.  Don't get excited knitters, I am only making hats on a round loom.  Baby steps.

I'll link up with Patchwork Times tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Trying Out Color Combinations

I agreed to demonstrate quilt as you go at our group next week, and that gave me an opportunity to try out some color combinations on test blocks I've been making today. For my next lap quilt for the group, I think I'll use the brown combination. It will make a good quilt for a man I think.

Along with these card trick blocks, the butterflies are still on the design board too. Thanks to leaders and enders, I think I have more than enough wing sections done. Now I need to come up with another leader and ender quilt.





Linking this to Freshly Pieced.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Diet Struggle

The other day I juiced an English cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, and ginger. It was really a mess without a juicer; I used the blender and then strained it.

Afterward, I swear it smelled just like a smashed green stink bug. It was hard to drink with that image in mind. Well, it was hard to drink anyway because it didn't taste very good. Hubby agreed. He said the look on my face was just like this:



Monday, January 19, 2015

Something on the Design Wall

Granted, it's not much of a design wall and not much on it.  I wanted to start a new leaders and enders quilt and thought I found one with this quilt pattern I found in an older book (1979).





I made the plastic templates, cut out a lot of pieces, and then tried it out.  That's when I found out it isn't a good pattern for the fairly mindless task of leaders and enders.  Piece A and B went together with no problem, but piece C had to be added just right or it didn't line up with the curve.  And that curve on piece D was too much work for leaders and enders.  Even paying close attention, my pieces A through D didn't fit the curve right.

That's when I decided this would be better suited to English paper piecing.  So I copied all the pieces over and over until I had enough to make a sheet of each, and then cut them out, sorted them into bags and then started stitching while we watched a movie Friday evening.  It worked, but there was a fold at the corner of point A that would make it hard to applique onto a block, but most of all, I just didn't want another paper piecing project.

So I did some slight redrafting of the pattern making just one template piece for A through D, and longer than actually needed, and one template piece for the combined A through D.  When the four pieces were put together, it was a simple matter to cut the right curve.  The only line that absolutely has to match up is D.



Then curved pieces D and F can go on later.


I still haven't decided how I am going to applique it to the block.  The pattern says to turn the edges but their photo looks like they did a tight zigzag around the edges and I don't care for that look.

I linked to Patchwork Times, Quilting is more than than housework, and A Quilting Chick.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

I have fiddled away most of my afternoon trying to get blogspot to accept an email comment, and almost forgot to get in some stitching.  Kathy at Kathy's Quilts challenged everyone in her Slow Stitching Sunday post  to take a picture of their hands while they were stitching.  Eeek!  I've got like the world's ugliest hands, but they are better than my face, so I did it.  I hope it doesn't break your monitor.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stash Report, Week 3

Finally, finally, finally, I have 0 in and something out.  It's been awhile since I could say that.  I'm still behind for the month and year though.

I intended to make a sheet facing today that would have used quite a bit, but I just didn't get around to it.  Maybe tomorrow.  At least I got all the Christmas decorations into the attic.  I've also been going through past stash buster reports and have made a spreadsheet that plugs in all my totals, so maybe this year I can see what kind of progress, or lack of, I've made.



I'll link up to Patchwork Times whenever she makes her post. How did you do this week?

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Love Long Weekends

Not only a long weekend ahead, but our weekend is going to be warm and sunny.  I plan on getting all the Christmas stuff off the garage floor and into the attic, do a little woodworking, and then a little quilting.  I started a new quilt yesterday - I know, I know, what was I thinking, that I thought would be a good leaders and enders, but looks like I'm going to do it with English paper piecing.  So it will be another quilt that will be in the works for years.

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Christmas Swap

I've been cleaning and organizing and realized I never posted about our quilt group Christmas swap.  We decided to exchange fabric instead of useless gifts, since we are quilters after all.  Not everyone wanted to participate, but those who did had a fun pizza lunch and a nice assortment of fabrics.  It's always interesting to see what fabrics other people like.



On another note, I'm hanging in there with the diet again. I didn't do so well over the weekend though. On Saturday, I didn't just fall off, I flung myself off the wagon. I never intended to, but when I tried to move a cookie tin, I found that Hubby had closed the lid on a a package of bread. When I opened the lid to release the plastic bag, I saw it contained one piece of mom's English toffee. I didn't even think about it before popping it in my mouth, and didn't regret it afterward either. Mom always makes us a batch of toffee for Christmas every year. One year she burned the toffee, but she gave it to us anyway because it is so expensive to make. But this year it was perfect and that was the last piece.

Later that evening, I had the munchies and ate a whole sleeve of Ritz crackers. By the time I went to bed, I was itching so bad I couldn't sleep. I finally got up at 3 a.m. to take a Benedryl. And will this teach me a lesson? I doubt it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stash Report Week 2

Without the internet reminder, I completely forgot about the stash report.  I don't know why as that is what I was working on when the internet went down.

I bought fabric last week, but didn't really use any.  I know that sounds vague, but i bought the interfacing to use for my design wall, and so it is hung, and therefore used, but it's not working well, so it won't be used long.  That's why I didn't add it as being used.



Linking this to Patchwork Times.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Internet Router Do You Use?

Internet is back but I need to buy a new router. When the technician comes out Tuesday, I want him to redo our whole set up as I can only get online when I am connected by a cable. Hubby can get on wirelessly in the office but nowhere else. ALL of our neighbors who use the same provider have a different dish and it's pointed a different direction. I think all of that is why we have been having problems over the last year.

If I don't have a router when he comes Tuesday, a neighbor told me that he will bring out a router that we will "rent" for $7 a month. That's $84 plus tax for a year, $168 for two, etc. I have no idea how much longer we will live here, but it's likely to be longer than a year and I'd rather not pay any more than I have to.

Also, the neighbor said when they put up her new dish, they bumped up her plan from 10 mbps to 15 mbps, which bumped her bill from $52 to $63. Worth it or not?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

My Internet Is Down

Posting from my phone so I apologize if it looks odd. Technician will be out here Tuesday so I hope to see you then, sooner if I can change providers before then.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Free or Frugal, Warm and Covered, Cat Bed Tutorial

We have had several days of really cold weather, at least for us.  Yes, Canadians, we are wimps; if it goes below freezing, we are cold.  And our pets aren't any more stoic than we.  Even though our cat is usually pretty cozy in the garage, it also has been into the mid thirties at night lately.  I used to have a pillow inside a Rubbermaid tub turned on its side, but I had to use it for something this summer.  I thought I could do better this winter.

At the store, I saw a dome tent bed that had thick foam all around it.  It would have been great, except for three things, it was expensive, it was too small for my twenty pound boy, and it wasn't cleanable.  At home I had a plastic tub, an extra pillow, and tools, so I made my own covered cat bed.





What is needed:
Plastic storage tub with snap on lid (mine is 18 gallon) Similar tubs sold at Home Depot for $9
Drill and 1/2 inch bit (or any size bit that will go through plastic and make a hole big enough for the jig saw blade)
Jig saw
Rasp or heavy sand paper
Pillow (Mine came from Walmart for $2 not long ago)
Blanket (optional)

Step One: Find a plastic tub that is big enough for your cat, allows room to stretch and move around, and allows the pillow to lay flat on the lid, but is not so small that your sleeping cat touches the sides of the cold tub. He needs an air pocket around him. Luckily, I had reorganized my Christmas ornaments and had just the right size tub.





Step Two: Measure your cat across the shoulders and mark an opening. I wanted the opening above the pillow to keep the pillow in and keep that area warmer. You can make a circle but a square is easier. Drill the four corners of the square, or just one in the line of your circle.





Step Three: Cut out the opening with the jig saw. The drilled holes in the corners make it easier for the jigsaw. I thought it might be hard to jig saw on plastic (I thought the saw might make the box move around too much), but it was really easy. Then sand the edges with the rasp or sandpaper, especially around the drilled holes.





Step Four: With the pillow on the lid, snap the tub on top of it.



My cat recognized his pillow and went right for it on the lid, but he wouldn't go all the way into the box while I was there even though I put a few treats in there. He still has a fear of being trapped from his feral days. But I hope he will go in tonight when it gets cold, especially since he knows his pillow is in there.

This will be warm enough for my cat, at least for now. I put the tub next to the office wall with the heater, and faced the opening to the wall and away from the garage doors. If we go below freezing for days or lost power, I would put a blanket or two across the top of the tub and that would keep it toasty.

And there you thought I already broke my resolution to post every day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sometimes Quilting Makes Me Laugh

Vicki from Field Trips in Fiber challenged us to post about our oldest UFO.  I knew which one it was; I just didn't know where it was. I was afraid it was in the attic, but first I searched every closet and under every bed. It is cold outside and I really didn't want to climb up in the cold and breezy attic, but by the time I had searched all over the house, I was determined to find it. And I did.

When I pulled it out the bag, I nearly died laughing.

It is a Jacob's Ladder pattern, and I actually used a pattern for it.   I checked out the same book again (why I kept checking out that book, I have no idea) that said the Courthouse Steps pattern was the easiest pattern for a beginner. I wanted to see how to put the blocks together. By then, I thought I knew everything I needed to know to make a quilt top. I was so very, very wrong. The second quilt they recommended for beginners was Jacob's Ladder. I think the one in the book was for a twin size, and I bought the amount of fabric based on their instructions. The instructions in the book didn't go into detail about how to join blocks together, such as matching seams. I know, I know, that should be obvious even to a non-quilter, but it wasn't to me. So not only were the blocks not square, they were often offset by a quarter inch. Still, I put a few rows together and pressed the seams open (no instructions on which way to press either). At that point, I either thought it looked fantastic, or I was just overly ambitious, but I decided to make it a king size. So I made more blocks, formed them into rows, and sewed these rows perpendicular to the previously completed rows to make it wider. I think it was then that I realized my rows weren't that straight, or flat, and the blocks had some serious overlap, and I bagged it until I knew more about quilting. And then I forgot about it.  I began it in February 2004, so that makes it my oldest UFO.

Eventually, I took a few quilting classes and learned the basics - things I thought I already knew and much, much more. And I continued to ignore the green and white mess in a bag in the closet. Until this year, that is when the desire to finish ALL my UFO's overcame my desire to forget about that quilt.

Obviously, it needs a major overhaul. No way am I going to put enough effort into this to complete a king size quilt. Plus, the fact that I only bought enough fabric to make a twin size and couldn't get any more now. I just hope I can salvage enough of it to make it a lap quilt for the Quilts for the Elderly project.

So here it is, the sad looking Jacob's Ladder. Contain yourself.

JacobsLadder


There was also a bag of four patch blocks, but not enough fabric to make any of the half square triangles. I must have lost count while I was making them. Maybe I can make something else out of them.

FourPatchBlocks

Creating a Convertible Sewing Room

One of my goals this year is to create a sewing room.  The problem is that none of our bedrooms are really big enough.  I used to have a desk and bookcase in a bedroom but not only was the space cramped, there was no place to put everything when a daughter came for a visit.  The desk was against a wall so working with a large quilt was difficult.  Still, I decided I would make that 7x10 foot space work.  It did annoy me that there was so little space for my sewing when the living room was unused and practically empty.  Hubby said to make the living room into my sewing room, but I didn't want that to be the first thing visitors see when they walk in the front door.  I suggested moving the dining table back in there and using the dining room as my sewing room.  He didn't like that idea at all.

Then, inspiration struck.  What if I could build a sewing table, cutting table, and side work table that folded up, nested inside each other, and could be moved out of the way when we needed a living room?

When it is a living room:


And when it is sewing room:



I already had the cabinets on the back wall.  They have housed everything from stereo and tv to china, and now they'll hold my stash, sewing machines, and office stuff.  I  had neatly folded fabric and lined it up on a couple of the shelves, in order by color.  It looked great.  Then, everyone decided to come here for Christmas and I stuffed every loose item, sewing related or not, into every crevice so now it looks like a hoarder's closet.  And in a way, that's exactly what it is, I don't why I have half that stuff.  Luckily, Institches with Bonnie is having a 15 minute organization challenge so I plan on getting that straightened out just as soon as I have a place to put it.

I also had the corner chair already.  It's a recliner that got kicked out of the family room due to lack of space.  Saturday, I bought the wood to make the sewing table; Sunday, we found the other two chairs on craigslist.  So it's finally beginning to come together.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Turkey Blockade

Just before Thanksgiving in our neighborhood, we started seeing a tom turkey and two hens.  They mainly hang out where the road goes through a wooded area, and it's also right there that someone just bought about twenty acres and has been clearing trees for his house and driveway.  That probably drove them from that wooded area to the road.  We see them in the distance walking up and down the road and into yards with trees, and I guess they go back to the trees by the creek in the evening.

Hubby sees them in the neighbor's yard and wants them to visit our yard.  He has put out corn, bought a turkey hen decoy, and calls them with a turkey call.  But they just won't cross the clearing into our yard.  We never have seen them up close but it looks like the tom is white and the hens are black.

One of my Christmas presents was a dash cam which is my new toy.  After seeing some of the neat things captured on video by other people, I said I wanted one, but I didn't think I would get one any time soon.  Friday, I took it out for the first time by myself and happened to see the turkeys on the side of the road in a fairly open area.  I wanted a good video of them (and there were no other cars on the road) so I pointed the car right at them as they were walking my way.  They seemed to be hurrying toward me, but then they slowed down so I began to drive off.  That's when the tom turned and walked in front of my car, and then he started circling the car.  He was so close to the car that I couldn't see him, so I rolled down the window to see where he was and he gobbled right under my window.  I took the camera off the windshield so I could hold it out the window but all I managed to video was my side mirror and then steering wheel.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

On my way back from town, I saw them again, still out in the open.  This time I slowed down to see what they would do, and once again the tom came to the front of my car.  I put it in reverse so I could go around them, and he chased me!  When I could see him off to the side, I drove on, and he not only chased me, but got ahead and in front of the car again!  Then he circled back and forth, finally puffed out all his feathers and strutted across the front of the car and over to his girls.

I don't know if he thought I was a threat to his girls, or if he wanted to add me to his flock.  But at least I got a good picture of him.  He's light gray, not white.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Stash Report, Week 1

It's been over a year since I joined the stash report at Patchwork Times.  I didn't think I was getting anything out of posting a report there, but I've noticed in the last year, and last six months especially, that I've gotten really sloppy with my stash.  So maybe posting there really did help me even if no one ever looked at my post.

I hadn't thought of posting a stash report until the last couple of days, and had to look back to see when I last bought fabric.  December 31, 2014.  I almost had to report fabric in on the very first report.  Whew!  That was close.

I measured and inventoried most of my fabric last year.  Listed on the report are all the fabrics which are folded on my shelves.  My goal this year is to use an average of five yards per month, so my stash is reduced by 60 yards by the end of the year.  But since I'm starting with a stash total of 265.09, what I'd really like to see by the end of December is a total under 260.

So here  we go, a fresh start for 2015.



Beware the Millies

Originally posted on Wordpress.

(This was in my draft folder on blogger. I don't know why I never published it; maybe subconsciously I knew I would need blog material in January.)

Millie is my mother's ninety-six year old neighbor. Yesterday afternoon, Millie came over to show Mom a letter she got in the mail. Even with the lights on, she was using a flashlight to read the letter and insisted that it was dark outside and she needed the flashlight to find her way home. After they got the letter sorted out (it was junk mail), Millie told Mom about the poor, confused, old man she met at the grocery store.

Millie was walking up and down one aisle and an older man (in the opinion of a ninety-six year old woman) asked her what she was looking for.

"Toilet tissue," said Millie.

"What brand is it?" asked the older man.

"It's a French name, Crepe something, I think," said Millie. (She was looking for Charmin.)

"I've never seen a Grape toilet paper," he said. Then he walked around to the next aisle.

Millie didn't try to correct him since he obviously couldn't hear and she continued looking for a few more minutes before giving up and going to the next aisle.

There, she saw the older man again and when they met he said "I don't see a purple toilet paper anywhere."

****

At the time I wrote this in June 2014, Millie was still driving, thus the title.  She drove very, very slowly because her vision was so bad, but she somehow managed to avoid being in an accident.  She may have caused some accidents, but she was never in one.  Her driver's license had been taken away years ago but that didn't stop her.  But a couple of months ago, she told mom that she really couldn't see well enough to drive and now she walks to the grocery store which is only a block away.  When I visited Mom in August, Millie brought food over (that's another story), and mentioned that she was 96 but she didn't know how much longer she had.  I hope she makes it to 100.  She'd like to have Willard Scott wish her a happy birthday - if he is still around.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My UFOs and a Plan to Finish Them

Originally posted on Wordpress.

Melissa from Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts host a monthly, or rather bi-monthly, linky party for the sole purpose of naming a UFO to finish and then showing the finish.  Just the thing I need to help me finish these long-neglected UFOs.

The UFO I plan to finish for January is one I call Showtime!  It is a tee-shirt quilt from my eldest daughter's tee-shirts.  Due to it's size and bulk, I sent it out to be quilted and now all I have left is the binding and label.

Here are the UFO Quilts I want to complete this year.

1.  Showtime!
I last showed it when the top, or flimsy, was completed. (When did quilters start calling them flimsies anyway?) I'd like to have it finished by next Thursday so I can take it to quilt group.

2. Baby Bow
I think it is ready to be quilted.

3. Gairdin Walk
It is also ready to be quilted.

4.  Trip Around the World
Still just a finished top at this point.

5.  FriendsWhoHaven'tMet

6. Depression Block
I think I still have to finish putting blocks together.

7. Christmas Among Friends
I can't believe these swap blocks date back to 2007. And they are still just blocks.

8. Denim Cathedral Window
I have a long way to go on this one, but all the denim circles are cut and it's a quilt as you go type quilt at least.

9. Star Travel
This one may not get done this year. It's in my travel kit.

10. Second Saturday Sampler
This was a block of the month from the local quilt store, with one block still unfinished.



11. Jacob's Ladder
So old that it predates my first blog post.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Today Starts The New Diet

I don't know about you, but I tend to pig out before starting a diet.  Like a last fling but with food, mainly desserts.  Before Thanksgiving, I had lost a respectable amount of weight and I'm pretty sure it's all back.

The last time I posted about this, I had just had a colonoscopy but I wasn't due to talk to the doctor until a couple of days before Christmas.  I figured he was going to lower the boom then and give me some literature about celiac disease, diverticulosis, and a diet to follow.  But when I got there, all he wanted to know is if I was taking the medication he prescribed before my colonoscopy for bile acid malabsorption and then he headed for the door.  "Wait," I said, "aren't we going to talk about the results of the colonoscopy and how to treat it?"  He looked surprised and said his nurse had already sent everything I needed to know to Patient Portal.  But he wanted to see me again in two months.  Fat chance.

So I came home and signed up for Patient Portal and finally got the scoop on my new diet.  Since I have inflammation of the large intestine, the first six weeks will be restricted to foods that heal the gut.  Lots of  fermented stuff like kim chi which I've heard of but never tasted.  I think I need to make a trip to Whole Foods.  I don't think our local grocery store is going to have a lot of this healthy food.

After six weeks, I hope I can continue with a normal paleo diet.  For now, there are a lot more things on the AVOID side of the list than on the CAN HAVE side.  On the plus side, it doesn't look like I'll be doing a lot of cooking inn the next few weeks, so more time to work on my new goals.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year My Friends!!!

I'm beginning 2015 with a few changes. As you can see, the biggest change for 2015 is blogging at wordpress. I also have a new blog name that I think relates better to my posts. I am still learning how it works, but wordpress seems to be a lot more user friendly than the last time I checked it out.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and Hanukkah. I was so happy to have all my family together, even though our time together was much too short. I hate to admit it, but after working non-stop in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and then the work of having company for a week, I'm kind of glad it's over. But I started missing them the minute they pulled out of the driveway on their way home.

December was a busy month for us. We began the month trying to finish a couple of kitchen projects which stretched into the week before Christmas. Then it was a rush trying to get all the construction clutter out of the house, bedrooms cleaned for Christmas guests, and putting up decorations. Both daughters, son-in-law, their little dog, and my mother stayed with us. The tree was finally decorated the day before they arrived. Talk about just making it under the wire.

I wasn't going to make any resolutions this year, but I have found it so difficult to make a blog post lately that I have decided to make just a few blog resolutions. I'm going to call them goals. The word goals sound more determined than resolutions, don't you think?

1. I am going to make a blog post every day for the month of January, even if it's just one sentence. Hopefully, that will get me back in the habit of posting and inspiration will follow.

2. I am going to list my unfinished projects on the sidebar with deadlines for finishing. Of course I have to find them first in whatever closet corner I hid them in the process of "decluttering" for Christmas. It's still clutter, just hidden clutter now.

3. I am going to start a new project every month and not leave it unfinished.

4. I am going to keep track of my projects so I can see what is worthwhile and what is a waste of time and money.

5. I am going to host a home improvement blog party for a month this spring and see what happens.

6. I am going to clear the clutter and finally hang pictures on my walls, and maybe even find those long lost gift cards.


Today Starts the New Diet

I don't know about you, but I tend to pig out before starting a diet. Like a last fling but with food, mainly desserts. Before Thanksgiving, I had lost a respectable amount of weight and I'm pretty sure it's all back.

The last time I posted about this, I had just had a colonoscopy but I wasn't due to talk to the doctor until a couple of days before Christmas.  I figured he was going to lower the boom then and give me some literature about celiac disease, diverticulosis, and a diet to follow.  But when I got there, all he wanted to know is if I was taking the medication he prescribed before my colonoscopy for bile acid malabsorption and then he headed for the door.  "Wait," I said, "aren't we going to talk about the results of the colonoscopy and how to treat it?"  He looked surprised and said his nurse had already sent everything I needed to know to Patient Portal.  But he wanted to see me again in two months.  Fat chance.

So I came home and signed up for Patient Portal and finally got the scoop on my new diet.  Since I have inflammation of the large intestine, the first six weeks will be restricted to foods that heal the gut.  Lots of  fermented stuff like kim chi which I've heard of but never tasted.  I think I need to make a trip to Whole Foods.  I don't think our local grocery store is going to have a lot of this healthy food.

After six weeks, I hope I can continue with a normal paleo diet.  For now, there are a lot more things on the AVOID side of the list than on the CAN HAVE side.  On the plus side, it doesn't look like I'll be doing a lot of cooking inn the next few weeks, so more time to work on my new goals.

Big Changes for 2015

Happy New Year! Well, I did it. I am moving to wordpress.

The new blog is called (click the name) Marti's DIY.

Since this blog has changed so much since I first began, I wanted a name that fit me and what I post about a little better.

I know a lot of you said not to do it, and I'll admit, for awhile I was willing to put up with the blogger problems rather than learn a new format. But that was eventually what convinced me to do it. I refuse to be that doddering old senior citizen who waits for someone else to program the tv or set the clock because I don't want to learn to do it. If I don't keep learning things now, I won't be able to do it in ten years.

That was only one reason though. Another motivation came today when I signed up for the Grow Your Blog Party . One of Vicki's suggestions is that bloggers to change from a "no reply blogger" status to one that sends an email to the blogger when you post a comment. And that wasn't possible for me with this blog. Oh I have it set right, but the email still bounces back to me.  I googled every way I could think of and I can't find a solution to the "bounce back email comment" here. I think that has also adversely affected the comments I do get. I'm sure those bloggers have wondered why there is a comment from me and no accompanying email. There are also times that I have gotten a question from someone and no way to reply because their email bounced also.

Something I discovered today after signing up with wordpress is that blogger makes it difficult for bloggers from other formats to post comments.  I wanted to test the bouncing email problem by posting a comment here while signed in with wordpress.  Even though I have my settings for anyone to comment with no word verification, it wouldn't let me post without first putting in my name, blog ID, and then filling in the Captcha blank, something I thought I had expressly permitted.

Don't get me wrong; blogger has a lot of good features and is extremely easy to use.  I know a lot of people who don't have problems with the comment emails, so it's something that has only changed for some people, me being one.  Hopefully, I will leave the problems behind now. I am going to leave up this blog, and I won't migrate the posts over to the new blog since I changed the blog name there. Since most of my photos here are marked with my blog name, it will be easier for searchers to find this blog by googling that name, and hopefully then seeing the link to the new blog. If that proves to be a problem, I'll deal with it later.

See you there!