Thursday, June 28, 2012

Living in Waterloo, Reading about Napoleon

The quilt's coming along just fine, thank you very much! I will refrain from putting pictures up though because it's a huge mess and I don't know how obvious the stitching would be ANYway, so you'll have to wait until it's done, which will be... a while. In the mean time, my mom and I took on another big project: curtains!

We decided the decor in the family room was way too dark, and since everything my parents bought or chose in the last fifteen years was spruce green, the fabric for the curtains WASN'T ALLOWED to be spruce green. And as a second to the motion, my mom said that every house she'd ever lived in had had gold curtains, so we weren't getting any more of those either.

Equipped only with what we didn't want, I brought her along while I chose a backing for Willie's quilt, and we checked out some of the fabrics. I had been thinking that we needed some bright red or something, so as to let light in, but contrast the green, I didn't really know. We looked at everything, and had narrowed it down to two when, at the very last minute, we saw this and both liked it.

 Of course, a few weeks passed. We wanted the curtains to be insulated, because with such a big window, even though the glass has UV protection, there was no getting away from the sun. What's more, all of the electronics are in there, so of course the room gets very warm indeed. That's not a good environment for quilting. At ALL. But I'd never made curtains before, so I had some ideas and implemented them, and they worked just as I thought they would. But then I was stumped, and I cried, and the sewing room is in the basement with no windows and it was just beautiful out, so I gave up and started researching peony care. Turns out it's best to cut the buds off on the first year, to let the plant preserve its energy for the next spring. But I probably won't be around to see it next spring, so I let it bloom goshdarnit. And then of course cut the three measly peonies off and kept them for as long as I could. I brought SO many ants into the house doing this.
 But they're gone now, and my birthday begonias died, and my carnations finally wilted as well. I need new indoor flowers. I'm thinking a little rose plant, since I quite enjoyed one I had before.

Oh right, the curtains! Well eventually I got over my anxieties about not having perfectly crisp curtains, put on some TED Talks, and finished them in a couple of days. They're done now! And I actually like that they're a little rumpled. They look... comfortable. Which is great, because this room is the one we use for loungin'!
Willie says it looks like the 70's in here now. I like the 70's. Oh yeah he's back!!! I feel a great relief of some undefinable stress, which may have had to do with watching LOST and thinking his plane was going to crash and he would be stuck on a magic island for years, while a faked version of his plane was found at the bottom of the ocean. You know, the usual fears.

I've had my offer of residence cancelled. Which means I don't know where I'm going to live, or when I'm going to leave for Vancouver, or how easy this is going to be, or anything. I don't know what my classes will be like, I don't know if I have an entrance scholarship, I don't know anything about anything and it's maybe getting to me. Must just calm down and enlist some people to help me out. People do this. It can be done.

In other news, I'm reading The Last Cavalier, the latest in Alexandre Dumas' chronicle of French history. It's fantastic, and I'm  into all things Napoleon now (mostly brandy). We'll see how I feel once I'm done. Really this is just inspiring me to read all the books I have that take place around this time, such as Persuasion, although I've already re-read that and it hardly mentions the darn thing, or the one featuring the economic crisis in England caused by Napoleon's return... is it Bleak House? Yeah, that'd be good. Or Vanity Fair would be best, except that I can't find it and I'm pretty sure Katie has it. Right? Yeah?

In all, a few weeks ago I was complaining that even though I had so much to look forward to, nothing was really good then. But now, things are great :) And they will continue in this vein for a little while, before the Inevitable Autumn, which is what I will be calling it from now on.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Every Lost Episode Ever.

*gun cocking noise*

"whoa whoa whoa"


"just put the gun down"


"I'll tell you whatever if you just put the gun down"


"You really don't want to do this"


"My friends are in the jungle with guns aimed at your face"


*shots ring out, several other guns emerge*

"who's the guy with the gun?"

*scene ends*

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I uh... I went a little crazy

 I meant to update a couple of days ago, but I've been doing nothing but work on this quilt since then, so I'll just put everything up in one big mess. This, of course, is the attached blocks, without the borders. I was already running out of room in the studio to spread this out.
 On the plus side, I found an excellent Willie-themed fabric for the backing. I tried to get one that was all cookies, but they were short a metre, so I had to go with whales n'stuff. I realize it's possibly more Sophie-themed because I have this travel mug that features a Haida design of orca and salmon called "Unity," but comparing the two makes the quilt a symbol of unity and that makes me feel sappy, so I just make fun of one particular salmon on this fabric that looks particularly surprised. It's that one right there. See it?
 Thanks to the cutting spree that I complained far too much about, the borders are already cut!
 Placing them down for this demonstrative photo was supposed to be the end of it. Seeing what it looked like was supposed to be enough. It wasn't. I attached the borders before I had a chance to get the memory card out of my camera. What's more, I pre-washed and assembled the quilt backing practically by accident in the middle of the night.
 So, what we have here is me in the middle of a beer. Also spreading the batting over the backing. This thing is so big that I can't even get into my bedroom.
Dante decided that it needed to be stepped on just a little bit right there. Everything's set up for basting now. In fact, if the quilt wasn't too big to fit into my quilting frame, I'd be done by now. But I'll have to quilt it in my hoop, which means a bunch of extra lines of basting. Did I explain what basting is? Should I? I'm sewing it together just enough that everything stays in one place while I stretch and sew everything for reals. It's like pinning it, but with fewer sharp points. Except for my needle, which is somewhere in there and I'm not exactly sure where.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life Lately

 Since quitting my job last week, which was a surprise even to me, I have finally had time to accomplish some things, aside from self-medicating and having lunches with people. First, my mom and I worked together to bring this couch upstairs! The staircase is narrow and winding, so we didn't get it done without some damage to the walls, but it turns out that the scrapes and dents that were already there must have been put there when the same couch was moved down there in the first place. So the damage was no worse than what was already there.
 I also put together this lamp. You can see some minor damage to the finish, which I disappointingly noticed when I took it out of the box. Also, there are supposed to be pre-drilled holes to screw in the holders for the electrical cord. There weren't. Not a problem, since the wood was soft enough that I could put it at the back where it would be even less noticeable than the suggested placement, but nevertheless I was unimpressed with the design. On the plus side, we have a way to display some Newfoundland knick-knacks that were sitting forgotten on a shelf somewhere.

 The bookcases that were originally in the room upstairs have been moved down to the studio. They're not all there yet, but now when I'm doing my pressing I get to look at some of my favourite possessions!

 This section is, of course, the most relevant. Although this is less than half of my quilting and crafting books (obvs, since there are only five). That Good Housekeeping Family Health and Medical Guuide? I bought that at a used bookstore as a joke, but it turns out it's not outdated enough to be funny.
 Oh, and I've finished most of the strips for the quilt-top, but I'm having a hard time staying motivated enough to get it done quickly.
 I always thought I hated getting flowers, because in my experience only your boyfriend gets you flowers, and he only does that when he's apologizing for something. Then I got over my distaste for anything traditional or overtly feminine and admitted that I do very much like having flowers around the house and that they're a perfectly fine gift. So I got some birthday begonias from my mom!
 And I installed a hook on the porch for some hanging begonias that are to cheer me up whenever I have to leave the house. I installed the hook poorly, but as long as it doesn't come out of the post completely, nobody will ever know.
 Going through my dad's books revealed some language readers that might be nice to take a look through. If not, they're still pretty.
And more flowers, all the better for being unexpected, from Willie's family :) Carnations for my special carnation mug!