Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sock it to Me

Before I get started let me tell you to be sure to check out the sister post here!
I like socks. Yep, just when you thought I couldn't get any weirder, I did. I have a particular appreciation for Old Navy's Sport Socks.They're thick and cushy on the bottom (very absorbent) and they're thin on the top which for some reason lets my feet be cooler faster. AND they have colors on the toe heel and ankle which makes pairing easy! They come out with new colors every so often and my collection is growing! I was cleaning my room before Luke got here which meant organizing my sock box. I was so mesmerised that I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures!

Kind of a cool color wheel I think!

All neat and tidy in my sock box!

For the record, I was thrilled about the title but a little wary I might be throwing something super offensive out there to be attatched to my name, and my blog! So I did a little research for myself and those other people who wonder what exactly "sock it to me" means. I still have no idea, but heres what I found: Missy Elliott & Da Brat have a song titled Sock it 2 Me (liking the 2) and theres a "hit" by Mitch Ryder titled "Sock it to Me, Baby!", it's the name of a cake, and according to this guy it was made famous by Judy Carne, and me...I know it from an all girls choral version of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Took Him Out to the Ball Game

Friday night after work I took an extra dose of allergy meds and headed out to the Fresno State Baseball game with my co-worker Sarah and our buddy J.
He was quite the excited kid, and was tickled to get to play photographer. He took pictures of the game.
Pictures of himself...
And pictures of the three of us!
I offered to help out on that one!

Sarah and I both had funnel cakes! We were celebrating her birthday, sort of, so it was an unofficial birthday cake!

J insisted that sunflower seeds were his thing...by his thing he meant putting a handfull in his mouth, chewing them to un recognisable pieces, and then spitting the whole mess into a cup. (Which I am VERY glad I thought to ask the sales lady for.) I even gave him a special seed eating demonstration and showed him how most people just eat the inside. He said "yah, I know..." and kept right on mutalating. I didn't feel so bad when I heard a dad a few seats down explaining a similar concept to his son. Is this where it's okay to just let go? I mean, I made sure he wasn't getting too high a dose of fiber by at least getting a "spit cup" right?

So, the game was close, but in the 8th inning the other team scored 5 and, well, we lost. The highlight of the night, however, came after the game. One of our other co-workers met us after the game with a ball and a sharpie so J could go get signatures from all the players. The players were thankfully very good models of sportmanlike conduct which was much appreciated, as this was J's reward for having good behavior, and J's smile lit up the whole area! He was so thrilled! What a great way to spend a Friday night!

Friday, March 27, 2009

She's Hot on My Trail!

Lets face it. I'll never be a mastermind criminal...I leave a trail as big as a highway. Poor Cindy, whether she wants to or not, she keeps discovering it...all over! A while ago I house-sat for them which was convenient because my grandparents were staying in my room. Somewhere in that time frame I lost my debit card. I have the bad habit of sticking cards in my back pocket so I really didn't know where I had lost it. I called the gas station, I scanned her guest bedroom. (Which surpasses the guest bedroom standards set by Anne Shirley) and didn't find it. I called in for a new card, and sure enough, when she was thoroughly tidying and moving furniture in an effective manner that Cindy has mastered and she found my card. Ugh. I felt so silly. Well...several weeks after staying at her house I realise the silver band I took from my mom's childhood jewelry stash was no longer on my finger. Something you'd think I'd notice right? Wrong. Apparently it had been missing since I stayed at Cindy's house. I'm notorious for taking rings off in my sleep and sure enough Cindy recently found my ring. In the same room. Along with a pair of socks I also apparently took off in my sleep. Cindy very kindly returned them to me at dinner last night.
Think I'm done? Oh no, it doesn't stop there. Guess what else? This morning I got a call reporting that she had found my iPod cover that I enjoy very much. Apparently other people preferred the cover too because I got quite a few comments on the sock I was using as a substitute. Thanks Cindy, for being such a great detective! Ill try to stop misplacing so much of my stuff!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sore Subject

Sooo yesterday I rode my bike from home, to school, to work, and back home again. I'm pretty proud. But now that all is said and done...

sitting is well...

a sore subject.

Their are two bones that for some reason mean I'm never allowed to sit on anyones lap for too long, and make hard chairs quite uncomfortable. So...I implore advice from all of you. Does anyone have some amazing bike seat they reccomend? Or a does this just go away after frequent biking? Or should I just start saving up for one of <these>.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Luke is Legit when he Lands some Liquor

(Except on his 21st birthday, he drank beer, but I was utilizing "L" words for alliterations!) Anyway, back to Luke's 21st birthday! It was quite the day. It started with me heading off to my science lab way too early leaving to sleep in. Unfortunately my Dad forgot it was his birthday and woke him up to give him some last minute instructions on the fence stuff before he left for work. Soooo Luke was already awake when I got back, AND working. I still made him breakfast anyway. Breakfast burrito with bacon, green onions, and salsa! Yum! Mine was mini, and Luke's was super sized! Then we started getting ready to head out. Wednesday was the day of the Shamrock Shindig, and Luke had very generously offered to give an introduction of golf to the students at my work! Golf did partially originate in Ireland so it was an appropriate outdoor activity. We stopped by my mom's class to pick up wooden spoons her class uses for cooking (golf clubs for my students.) Then off to Sam's Club to get contacts for me...Luke waited in the car during that part and made good progress on Eclipse,the third Twilight book.
The last thing we did before heading to my work/school was stop at Great Harvest. Our Great Harvest has, what I think are, the best sandwiches in town! Since I had my coupon that I found while tie-dying it was the perfect place to get lunch. Not to mention while we were in the store upon hearing that it was Luke's birthday Becky, one of the owners and a good friend of mine, gave Luke a giant cupcake! Talk about dessert! Then it was off to school.
Things got a little hectic at this point as they always do when you throw a big group of kids into the mix! (Unfortunately we cant post pictures of this part because of liability and all that jazz, but it was great!) While Luke was giving his lesson and playing the games outside, I was inside helping kids make potato cakes or whatever you want to call them. The kids thought they were fabulous and it was a kid friendly activity and I had several requests for the recipe...but alas I confess...I really just made the whole thing up! I had the kids peel potatoes, carrots, and handed the youngest kids cabbage wedges. Then they each got to take a turn dropping their pieces of ingredient into the Kitchen Aid shredding attachment. We added some oil, and a few eggs then I plopped it onto the griddle. Flip, Sprinkle on a little salt and they're practically hash browns. The kids were surprised they liked the veggies, and the parents were surprised their kids ate it.
Luke was outside. He came equipped with a picture of a golf course, a picture of Bobby Jones wearing knickers, his knickers to show them the real version (Luke forgot the argyle socks otherwise he would have worn the outfit),and a picture of St. Andrews (since we were talking about Ireland.) Then after the talking part the kids got to practice their golf swing with the wooden spoons and some golf ball sized wiffle balls I had previously purchased. Then later Luke used my club to hit a real ball and the kids ran when we said they could to be the first one to find it! What a great energy burning technique!? Who would have thought they'd have that much fun running after a ball?! When the whole "Shindig" was over Luke humored the students and played basketball with them. He showed off and "dunked" and the kids LOVED it and him!

After we left the school quite tuckered out, we stoped by home to meet up with my parents and then headed over to B.J.'s Restaurant and Brewhouse for a birthday dinner (and beverage.) B.J.'s is known for their beer sampler (and for their Birthday Pizookie) so it seemed to be an appropriate choice.

We had a cheeseburger pizza (ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomato, onion, and pickles-surprisingly good) and mediteranian-not as unique but still very good. Luke enjoyed his sampler...I can't remember which one he decided to go with though. When Pizookie time came around he really enjoyed that! Who can resist a warm giant cookie with ice cream? Not me! The rest of us ordered two others to share.
Mark and Cindy make amazing fused glass creations, and gave Luke this cool fused beer bottle shaped into dish form. Keep an eye out for more like it at their ETSY Store <HERE>.
I found this cool left handed pencil at a shop called Lefty's in San Francisco. Luke and I are both lefty's and I was sooooo excited about this pencil I thought Luke might like to give it a try too! Yes there's only one in the pack, I was already given grief by my family. So heres the explanation:
The other one is purple (my favorite color, not so much his), I didn't know if he would even like the pencil so I didn't get him his own pack, and I had to include the packaging to get all the background information about the neat item!
This next one, Luke isn't so sure about. Can you see the skeptical look on his face? Buuut....

He recognizes what it is now! This is one of the projects fom quilt camp that I didn't share. Cindy had some really cool left over golfball fabric from a project she was working on. I saw it in her scrap pile and quickly asked if I could have it! She said yes. Granted I had no idea what I was going to do with it at that point, but held onto it anyway. I took it to quilt camp just in case I was to become inspired. Sure enough I was! I thought it would be humorously clever to make the golf balls the border fabric, put them on top of a grass cuff, with a sky body! Now if only I had thought to find some tee fabric to make a mini cuff! Anyway, Happy Birthday Luke! It was so very good to celebrate with you!

Don't Fence Him In

No need for explaination right? We needed to replace a good section of fence.
eak+012.jpg" border=0>Convieniently Luke was here, and sort of interested in having some part time work/something to do while I was gone at school and work....sooo he got fence duty.

Sunday after church we all headed to Home Depot (ugh cant stand the place but hey it wasnt my money going to support them...)and got all the materials. Mostly I watched and moved the truck to the loading zone when they were ready.

Then Luke got started digging holes for fence posts. He became all to familiar with Fresno Hardpan and root filled dirt.
Once the holes were done, he was in business.

When my dad came home from work each evening he threw in his contribution or two cents until dinner time!

When Luke got the fence to this stage I realised my chance to get a picture of their cool garden space was dwindling. I asked Luke to sneak a quick picture for me. Check it out! Isnt that sweet looking?A nice way to avoid digging in all that hard pan if you ask me!

.jpg" border=0>It was a good thing I asked him to snap that picture because when I got home that day the fence was DONE! Yayee! Does he look a little tired?

Maybe a little but mostly I think he's glad to be done and happy with the results! I think it's pretty!

I learned while skimming the book he left for me (Golf:Naked The Bare Essentials Revealed by Greg Rowley, PGA) to read that his pose in the picture ;below is called a tri-pod. This book tells you everything you want to know and more about golfing right down to the picture poses. Haha!

Dying Almost Killed Me

What do you get when you mix 40 kids, 40 plain white undershirts, too many rubber bands, bottles of dye, and two over ambitious after school program workers? Tie Dye!!!! Yayeeewwwhhatwerewethinking?!

Two Fridays ago Friday the 13th to be exact (ominous? I think so.) My co-worker Miss Sarah rounded up materials very generously donated by Target and discounted by JoAnne's so that the students at our work could tie dye shirts with green in them to wear to the Shamrock Shindig we would be hosting the next Wednesday (yep, we know that Tuesday was St. Patrick's Day, but more kids come to our program on Wednesday so we held off!) Since I had all my previous Camp Keola and Pinedale Spirit Shirt tie-dying experience, I stayed inside to help the kids twist their shirts into different patterns and rubber band them all up. Then I sent them out to Miss Sarah who put the dye on where they pointed, (no...were not so crazy that we let the kids hold the dye) and then they came back in with their shirts dyed and bagged and ready to sit for 24 hours before being washed. When the kids tried to take their shirts I said "no, no, no, leave them here I think Miss Sarah is going to wash them all at once." Sooo the kids looked at me with their confused faces as their parents looked relieved and quickly encourage their children to indeed leave their shirts with us! Turned out Miss Sarah was house sitting and wasn't exactly able to take all those bags of dye loaded shirts home...soooo....Miss Jessica got the job! Yayeee! Oh, did I mention I was supposed to be heading out the door to pick up Luke in LA?

Yep! Luke was on his way to see me for his spring break! No time to argue I stuck those suckers into my trunk (luckily I was able to layer my Kids Day paper (still un-read) and some dirty towels still in my trunk from drying off my car after a car wash to protect the upholstery from any stray dye. Then I scooted off to LAX.

We interrupt this story for explanation:

Why am I carting all the way off to LA to pick up Luke? Even Sacramento has a main airport that's closer right? Well when Luke was purchasing his plane ticket, I was galavanting around San Francisco (on our Wicked Weekend) without my camera, and I had the clever idea that if he flew into LAX we could spend the weekend with my family in the LA area and then come home in time for school. How wrong was I, as soon as I got home I open my computer to put Luke's flight times into my calendar and realise that I have the CSET (a group of 3 very important test I have to take to get my teaching credential, and have already slept through once) the very next Saturday morning at 7am! EEEEEEEK!

And now back to our feature presentation:

So I pick Luke up from LAX, he crams his suitcase into my VW Beetles back seat, because my trunk is full of tie dye shirts, and we get right back on "the 5" for Fresno. We get home, I crash on the couch (Luke offered to take the couch since I had the test,but I was afraid that if I did I would fall into too deep of a sleep and wouldn't wake up in the morning.) And my mom AND Luke come out to make sure I wake up in time for my test. They take such good care of me. I take my test, manage to complete it and not fall asleep at my desk, and escape back home where Luke helps me rinse, wash, label with names, and fold ALL the tie dye shirts. What a man.
This is how my favorite ones turned out. At least the reward was some good color therapy? That and a reminder of how great Luke is! :D
Then we went for a nice bike ride and enjoyed the weather.

Wow. That was way longer than I meant it to be. The end.

Ps. When I finally took the towel and newspaper out of my car the special edition Kids Day Newspaper fell right open to the coupon page and I found the best buy one sandwich get one sandwich free at GREAT HARVEST (Fresno)! Good deal people! If you still have your paper go snag that coupon!

Pondering Production-All That Free Time

Yarn Harlot strikes again with words from Never Not Knitting! Page-A-Day Calendar.

She says:
"I swear, without a word of a lie, that the very next time someone tells me that they "wish they had all that free time to knit" I am going to look them dead in the eye and ask them what they watched on TV last night."

Yes, the Yarn Harlot is a little extreme, but also extremely relatable. It's not uncommon for me to talk to people about my hobbies and they ask "how do you have time to do that?" Well, I don't really, but I make time. I choose to designate my time to knitting, sewing, etc. If I want to watch TV or a movie, I count it as valuable knitting time too! I'm catching up on my pop culture and producing a product as well! What's that old adage? "Idle hands are the devil's work." (Bobby Jones' grandfather says that in my favorite movie of Luke's: Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius any of you with golfers in your life should definitely rent it! He's the Anne of Green Gables of Golfing!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pondering Production-Big Plans

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood....Make big plans, aim high in hope and work." -Daniel H. Burnham

Sometimes when working on a big project like a sweater or a quit block with lots of corners to match up, I think I have made plans that are too big, but when I'm finished the results always make me much more proud!

It reminds me of a poster I have seen in several classrooms:
Shoot for the moon. If you miss you'll land among the stars.

What has been your big plan? Your moon to shoot for? Were you glad you did it? Was it a moon that turned into a star?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Perusing Projects

I've pretty much covered most of Quilt Camp, or Quilting in the Pines, but before I quit I just thought I'd show off some of the projects other people were working on so you can get a better sense of what was going on! My mom and I got major work done on our 1930's quilts. She's doing the primary version of what I finished! You can see her blocks up on the white board behind us.
Tada! The borders are almost done and all the blocks are put together!

These are pieces one woman was putting together to make a scrappy quilt. Yes ladies and gentlemen, those are scraps, very little and a LOT of work! Be impressed!

Jennifer was very excited to be done with her batik quilt (not sure what that is click here). She's been working on it intermittently and is very glad to be done.

She dramatically posed for me and recited the poem Anne recites as she drifts down the river in a row boat only to find that it has a leak and that she has to be rescued by Gilbert Blythe. Yep! Jennifer is an Anne fan! Yesssss!Loved it!

Among other things she also completed this darling pin cushion and scrap bag! Too Cute!

Aunt Maggie finished the top for this bright, fun, and colorful monster quilt.

Last but most certainly not least is one of my favorites, done by Cindy Lou herself! I know these blocks drove her absolutely nuts, but isn't it fabulous! Each fabric pattern in the colored blocks comes on the same bolt of fabric, and is cut from that to make up all the little pieces. The patterns are divided by rulers printed into the fabric. I don't know that I'm doing it justice...but man, its phenomenal! There are two more blocks to come in Red and Navy blue. I think I did a very poor job of hiding my lust all weekend, and I know I kept eyeing it from my end of the table, which probably didn't help her frustration from slow progress and lots of little pieces, but I just HAD to share it with you because sometimes Cindy's work doesn't always get adequately shown off and this one...well yah you get the point, I think its "fab!" Haha!

My Friend is Famous!

Or at least well on her way! My friend Cindy at Live a Colorful Life has recently had a quilt pattern she created published with another one in the works! The allready published pattern is called Charm Parade and can be found for purchase (here). How cool is that! Not only is she published but two people at the quilt retreat created her quilt!
Here is Cindy (left) with the woman who made her quilt!
The other version of Cindy's quilt was entered as a Challenge Quilt. Which leads me to tell you that another event that goes on during the "Quilt Camp" weekend is the "Challenge Quilt" show. Each year Quilters Paradise chooses a challange fabric and each retreat attendee recieves a piece of this challenge fabric with their registration for the conference. The attendee can then choose to make their piece of fabric into a quilted master piece that will then recieve a number and go on the wall and at the end of the retreat each person votes for their favorite! Jennifer made a mini version of Cindy's quilt and didn't tell anyone so it was a fun suprise to see it there on the wall!
It's so fascinating to me how the quilt pattern can go from being so young and playful to sophisticated and pretty!

This is Dotty's

Aunt Maggie's Heart's

Jullie went a different direction with hearts! We liked how they made the scalloped border!

and Jennifer's other challange quilt! Somehow she mannaged to get two in! I love how the challange fabric just blends right in on this one!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Big Winner!

No, sorry, I'm not giving away any cool prizes...in fact...I was the one who won! Yep! I was coming into the main room late Sunday morning (because I had been up until 5:30 in the morning) and was thrilled to get to pull out my FINNISHED QUILT TOP! YAY! The 1930's block exchange quilt top is DONE! Sure it still needs backing and quilting and binding...but hey, this is a landmark, and I was thrilled to show everyone! Sooo I came in, and showed all my friends and people were excited for me and taking pictures. While I was just starting to get suspicious of all the people hanging around, they started to announce the Grand Prize Winner of the weekend. I was content and very happy just having my quilt done when all of a sudden I hear MY NAME! I was shocked! Can ya tell?!
Come to find out my name had been called while I was sleeping in. My group had said it would be sooo much better if I was there to react, they convinced them to re-stage the drawing when I got in! Well they sure got me!

I won all the material to make a quilt and the pattern and a nice little carry bag with the fabric lines name printed in it(for those of you who dont know, designer high quality quilt fabric is expensive...so all the material for a quilt is a BIG deal!) Talk about icing on the cake. I think I just sort of drifted through the rest of the day in la la land. To top it all off, this was our view driving home.