Thursday, January 31, 2008

One last fundraising plea

Oh no! Bernie has slipped to #5 in the rankings. Keep tabs on the badge rankings here! She needs to be #4 or higher to win the big grant. There are only 2.5 hours left (contest ends at 3 EST today). It's the number of donors that counts. If you haven't donated and can possibly spare $10, please CLICK HERE TO DONATE VIA DIRECT LINK!!!!

My Blogiversary was yesterday, so you could consider it a little birthday gift to me :)

Monday, January 28, 2008


A Tragic Demise
Dear friends, we're gathered together today to mourn the passing of Melinda's first pair of hand knit socks. Let's have a moment of silence.

The socks gave 5 years of noble service in the face of machine washing (and sometimes drying) and being stuffed into an assortment of boots, shoes, and clogs. While the Koigu remained colorful to the last, it finally succumbed to wear and tear. The socks asked that they be allowed to pass peacefully, with no extraordinary darning measures taken.

Farewell, pink socks.

Still Running
I have no idea how or why, really. I'm now on my third week, except that I'm still doing the first week of the couch potato program because, well, I'm pathetic. Today I managed to time it so that I was out running during the heavy late morning snowfall. The snow promptly melted off, so I didn't really get the fun Abominable Jogger effect that I was hoping for when I came home. Well, I was abominable in the since of sucking at jogging, but not in the snow covered way.

I'm going to try to advance to week 2 of the program on my next run, in large part because I'm sick of the music on the first podcast.

And a final note
I'm with Rudy on appropriate behavior in late January.
funny pictures
moar funny pictures

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Seeing spots

Look! Shiny pictures!

Here's a shirt I've been working on. (I haven't bought buttons yet). The pattern is made with Bernina's MyLabel software. It looks like a couple of my measurements are a bit off, because it bunches up at the back of my head. However, the bust and sleeves fit really well. Here's why:

It's 3-D. It allows for my mighty blessedness. Yay! I'll try for a modeling picture after I get buttons. Also, I'm supposed to put some ruffles on this, since nominally it's a sample for a demo I'm doing next month at the Quilting Loft. Hmm. Maybe around the collar and cuffs? I don't know if I can face ruffles running down my chest or around my butt.

Meanwhile, I'm slowly inching along on the Carolina Crossroads quilt. Here are a couple of my stars for Part 6. I've been insanely working a ton lately, plus I've turned my attention back to garment sewing, so this has been languishing. I've got to get back to it while I still know where everything is.

It's a notable anniversary for Trent and I. Today is the 10th anniversary of our first date.

A plea for a good cause

Bernie is currently in 2nd place, and stands a really good chance of winning the big prize and building a shelter. However, some of the other groups (all worthy causes, I know) are picking up steam. The contest runs through Jan. 31. It's the number of donors that counts. If you can spare $10, please please donate to Bernie's cause to help animals who otherwise wouldn't have a prayer. I'm lucky (and my sweet Chloe and Stella are, too) to live in a part of the country rich in well-funded animal rescue groups. Bernie's not, and the animals in her neck of the woods really need her.

And finally, leave a comment
My pal and reader Linda K informs me that she's been unable to leave comments. If you can leave a comment, please do so. If you can't, shoot me an email at mkmorrow (at symbol) yahoo dot com.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Sad lack of pictures

We had a busy weekend, but I have no photographic evidence. Saturday morning I did manage to motivate myself to do my third run of the week. (Special note to concerned friends and family: yes, I am wearing supportive undergarments, and yes, I am being very careful to avoid the ice.) Saturday afternoon Nancy and I went to Ballard and visited the Quilting Loft (a bit of fabric was purchased). Saturday night we met up with friends and went to Mesob for Ethiopian food. It was very, very yummy, and I ate too much. Sunday we went to Accordi-o-Rama at Town Hall. It was pretty darn cool. Accordion players, by and large, don't take themselves too seriously, and the show ended with a polka band, so what's not to love?

This morning I hauled myself out of bed in time to go for my morning waddle. I'm repeating week 1, on the grounds that I'm pathetic. It was really damn cold this morning. Ouch.

I've got lots of projects in progress at the moment, but most are in an unphotographable state, and the camera's batteries are dead besides. Crap. Maybe later.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Running is still hard.

I actually hauled myself out of bed this morning and out to do my couch potato "run" before work. Observations:
  • I vaguely feel that I've been invaded by a body snatcher. Who is this person getting up early to do something healthy? And where's my chocolate?
  • Dodging icy patches leftover from our wee little snowfall on Monday night added an extra bit of fun.
  • I hope I'm serving as an object lesson to the kids in that elementary school I trundle past. Kids, go out and play and exercise so you don't turn into that slow, pudgy lady.
  • I felt a tiny bit better today at the end than I did on Monday. Perhaps I just went slower in the running intervals, but I'll take it.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Help a good cause

I was reading Vickie Howell's blog, and she pointed the way to a very important and worthwhile contest/fund raising venture. As Vickie says,
My friend, artist Bernie Berlin and the legions of furry friends she continues to help, need your support. You may remember her organization A Place to Bark from last year's pattern for dog ears to benefit the the horribly mistreated pup, Noel (who now has a happy home, thanks to Bernie!) Well, this year she's trying to win a matching grant for 50k to build a shelter for abandoned and abused dogs and cats. Through a massive grass-roots campaign she's in the front-running to make it happen, but she's not there yet! Please take a moment to read about her effort--including the 500 pets she's saved, and what you can do to nurture this amazing woman's passion for rescuing animals by meeting this financial goal.
The way the contest works, Bernie needs as many INDIVIDUAL donors as she can get to stay in the running for the big $50K. The minimum donation is only $10. Visit Bernie's blog and click on the blue badge to donate (they take PayPal or credit).

A Place to Bark rescues dogs (and cats) from high-kill shelters in the south. Trent and I moved to Seattle from South Carolina 8 years ago, but the memory of visiting the county animal shelters there 9 or 10 years ago (when Trent ended up acquiring Rudy) is still burned in my brain. As Bernie points out in her video (available just above the big "donate" button), some of the shelters she gets dogs from have a 98% euthanasia rate. If she can win the big prize, she'll be able to build a real shelter and increase her spay and neuter programs.

So, please please please if you can spare $10 for a good cause, go donate.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Another bag, and a news flash from Obvious Man

I finished another messenger bag (I've lost count - #8? #9?), this time a rather late Christmas gift for Avril.

I had some help when I was cutting out the lining.

Running is hard.
Okay, this is probably Obvious Man territory, but wow, running is much harder than walking. In a spell of ambition combined with a little self-loathing, I decided I'd like to start running, and I decided to use the famous Couch Potato to 5K program, facilitated by the spiffy podcasts from Robert Ullrey. (Thanks to Rachel at Yarn-A-G0-Go for mentioning the podcasts.)

I don't exactly consider myself a couch potato. Yes, there's definitely a spuddish shape to me, but I do walk, sometimes for miles up and down hills. I can walk long enough to wear out Stella, so that seems reasonably fit to me. The first week of the program has you do 8 repeats of 60 seconds running/90 seconds walking. That didn't sound at all unreasonable.

Wow. I picked the flattest route available in my neighborhood. Maybe I just need to learn to jog slower, or maybe I'm more potatoey than I realized. Ouch. At the 6th jogging interval, Robert's podcast says something like "You should be feeling your work out, but you shouldn't be out of breath." Umm, okay, sure thing. I can breathe. This gasping is just like breathing.

It may take me more than the program's 9 weeks to get up to 5K. If you see a slow moving, gasping potato in your neighborhood, that's me.

ETA: I checked with the gmap pedometer, and I did manage to cover 2.2 miles in my 30 gasping minutes of walking and jogging (that includes the warm up and cool down), so I guess that's not too shameful.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

stash explosion

To satisfy my sibs
Since my siblings were kvetching in the comments on the last entry, here are two more Springfield stories.

On the visit to the F&M store, my niece, Camera Obscura's youngest, somehow managed to talk me into agreeing to make her a messenger bag. She also managed to talk her mom into paying for it, so at least I'm not the only one susceptible to her influence. A few years ago she sweet talked me into making her a felted purse. She's good, that one. She could be a very successful lobbyist. It's also worth noting that I was in there so long that my sisters, sister-in-law, and niece all gave up on me and went outside to wait in the car.

When Trent and I decided to walk the Galloway Greenway, we set out at about 3:30 in the afternoon. It doesn't get dark quite as early in Springfield as it does here, but nonetheless we were perhaps overly ambitious. When we left, I said that we might walk to the nature conservancy. My brother said it was way too far. A lifetime of being an obnoxious know-it-all younger sister meant I was by god going to walk that far. We did, but by the time we got there Trent had blisters, my feet hurt, and it was getting dark. We called home and asked for someone to come retrieve us (because Springfield, for its many virtues, doesn't have anything like a useful public transit system), and of course my brother was the only one who knew where to come get us. It was win-win: he got to feel superior because I was dumb enough to walk five miles without a way to get home, and I got to feel superior because I was right.

Fabric stash
The box of fabric I bought in Springfield arrived this week. Here's the contents:

On the right side of the front row you'll see the fabric my niece chose for her bag and its lining. The other fabric on that row is the beginning of a collection for the quilt Mom requested. Row 2 is quilt stash enhancement. The top row is garment or miscellaneous messenger bag fabric.

Meanwhile, my friend Karen is moving and wanted to clear out some of her fabric. She sent me a stuffed box:

Wowza. I guess I'd better get cracking with the quilt making.

I finished something! Nothing exciting, but still:

Top up socks from Mega Boot Stretch, and a scarf from Taos wool. (That's a cat tail in the upper left of the picture, by the way.)

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

What I did during the holidays

December was something of a blur. It was the end of an academic term (the last one during which I will be teaching college full time). We celebrated my birthday and our 8th wedding anniversary. My mother had to be hospitalized with major intestinal issues, so I got to do a lot of worrying long distance. She was released a few days before Christmas, so she was home, but still flattened, when we got to my hometown of Springfield, Missouri on Christmas day.

My parents have retired to the house where I grew up. It was a little freaky being back there, but it was also kind of nice. Trent liked Springfield, despite the sad unavailability of our preferred veggie sausages (Gardenburger breakfast sausage). They've built a delightful greenway (the Galloway Creek Greenway) that begins a couple of blocks from my parent's house, just across the street from my elementary and junior high school.

I was seriously worried about mom while she was hospitalized, and so I decided to make her a quilt for Christmas. It started out as a table runner, but I decided the blocks were too boring for that, and it would make a cool quilt. The block is a puss in the corner variation, and the finished quilt is a nice couch-nap size at about 68 x 78". Here it is pre-quilting, with cat assistance:

And here it is in its new home (corner turned down on purpose so you can see the backing):

I guess Mom really likes it, since she promptly asked me to make her another quilt.

Once I got home Missouri, I resumed construction of the Carolina Crossroads mystery quilt. Here are steps 4 and 5, completed:

Bonnie says we're going to start putting blocks together this week - I can't wait!

On the subject of quilts, here's one more note about Springfield: the FM store is like fabric heaven. Most quilting cotton is 3.99/yard. They had home dec weight silk, 54" wide, for $7.99/yard. I had to be forcibly pried out of there, and I found a way to go back the next day. My parents are shipping me a box full of fabric. I'll post new stash pictures once it arrives.

Trent and I also took a day trip to Branson, just so he could appreciate its tacky grandeur. Because he is a wonderful, wonderful husband, he actually pulled over when I spotted a quilt store. But he couldn't resist expressing his disapproval (he's been taking lessons from the disapproving rabbits):

I just couldn't resist.

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