K. Stonham's Journal|
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|Sunday, May 24th, 2015|
|Progress in inches
I shaghai'd Wonderful Husband into yardwork this morning, both in the kitchen garden and the beds out front. The last of the compost is dug in, a heck of a lot of weeds pulled, and the last of my tomatoes/peppers/aubergines/strawberries planted. The roses are mulched, and three out of four blueberry plants finally in their forever homes. The yard waste bin is full.
This afternoon, I got the colorful parts of the baby quilt cut and started sewing them. Pressing seams open is a new and interesting way of doing things. We'll see how it works out.
This evening, we finally played the new board game we picked up at Wondercon, Trekking the National Parks
. It was actually quite fun.
Tomorrow, baking and more sewing.
|Friday, May 22nd, 2015|
|I Can Quit Sewing Any Time I Want To
I finished the Simply Strippy
quilt tonight (okay, the binding isn't perfect
but it's not going anywhere either) and promptly started in on a baby quilt version of Science Fair
. Which is for an acquaintance (daughter of my mother's friend) my age who is having a surprise baby girl. Her first. The shower is on June 6th, so I want to be able to give this to my mother to give to Gina.
(I had originally bought the Science Fair pattern because Wonderful Husband liked it and I have nebulous thoughts about making one for him. This is a chance to test just how much I hate bias edges on a smaller version first. Shhh!)
|Monday, May 18th, 2015|
|50 in '15: #14-16
Jesus, has it really been two months since I read a new book? Falling off the wagon, here!
Title: The Littles
Author: John Peterson
Length: 80 pages( ReviewCollapse )
Title: The Littles to the Rescue
Author: John Peterson
Length: 94 pages( ReviewCollapse )
Title: The Littles and Their Amazing New Friend
Author: John Peterson
Length: 105 pages( ReviewCollapse )
|Thursday, May 14th, 2015|
|Never Too Old
Our recent wanderings in the enchanted lands of Disney, Dreamworks, and Ghibli took us through rewatching The Secret World of Arrietty. Which made me think of another childhood love along a similar theme: The Littles. So I pulled out my DVDs (the 2007 release, apparently, not the 2011 release so I don't have Liberty and the Littles ;_;) and watched a couple episodes.
WOW. It is SO NICE to revisit a childhood love and discover that is has not been visited by the suck fairy! Don't get me wrong, the animation isn't up to today's standards, and the stories are directed at a certain age group and therefore have relatively pointed morals. But the show doesn't make me cringe; it only makes me like it more.
So I poked at the bookshelf in Squiddle's room, which is where all the kids' books got put, and discovered I only had three of the fifteen-plus Littles books. And decided I clearly need to decide what book series I intend to hunt for at thrift and used book stores, because I need to get lists on my phone of, say, which Ruth Chew titles I have.
My driver's license says I'm too old to read and enjoy these books.
I call it a liar.
|Monday, May 11th, 2015|
|Quilting Taking Over My Life
Due to Squiddle not wanting to nap today until forced, my daily to-do list has exactly two things crossed off it. Did I write? Did I edit my homework? Did I use the exercise bike? Did I make lemonade from all those lemons I juiced? No. But I paid the bills, mortgage, and salted away the monthly money toward Squiddle's college education. And I got the next quilt basted.
For Mother's Day, I quilted a small quilt for my mother. It was a top I'd found at a thrift store and purchased specifically to practice my free-motion quilting on. She made the fatal mistake of saying in my presence that she liked the colors, so I quilted it with her in mind. It has her name, mine, Wonderful Husband's, and Squiddle's, along with the date of gifting, quilted in. It also has my handprint, WH's, and both of Squiddle's quilted in. I got it done, bound, and given on time.
Next in the queue was/is a strippy quilt from this pattern
, sized up to a twin bed size. It's for Squiddle, once he gets big enough to move to a larger bed. Mostly it's me going through my stash of blue fabrics for three projects at once (this, Piece and Quilt
's star blocks sewalong, and two "sweet sixteen" checkerboard blocks of each blue) and not even making a dent, grr. But this quilt is now basted together and ready to be quilted, as soon as a make a 3" radius half-circle template to mark the quilting pattern. Clamshells! In contrasting thread, because I'm feeling bold.
Also, apparently my mother was talking up her gift quilt today at work (yes, she's gone back to work part-time) because one of her coworkers wants to commission me to make a double bed sized quilt from her daughter's baby clothes. I need to canvas etsy and see what the going charge is for that size.
And, tomorrow night's the quilt guild meeting. Apparently I won the block lottery last month when, due to Squiddle, I had to leave the meeting obnoxiously early, so I have twentyish flag blocks to pick up. Wonderful Husband is thinking of finally getting his US citizenship, so maybe they'll go into a quilt for him to commemorate that?
Thursday we had overnight rain, just upwards of half an inch here in Anaheim. It's very unusual to get rain so late in the year! It drizzled a bit more on Friday, but then dried off. Fortunately.
Because Saturday, we went to the RenFaire! This is the first time in many years that I've not gone in garb, and it felt decidedly odd. I think it's much more fun to be "playing", and intend to return to that next year. But the weather, oh, the weather was perfect. Coolish and overcast. Wonderful Husband actually said that if the weather was like this more often for Faire, I'd be able to drag him there more often.
One of the fun things at RenFaire is playing costume bingo. Because there are certain cosplays you can always find: Jack Sparrow, hobbits &/or Gandalf, and, more recently, Game of Thrones. I suspect there were also Outlander cosplayers there this year, but that's sufficiently below my radar that I don't know what to look for. I saw a man in a blue/green great kilt, so I'm wondering if he was dressing from that show. I didn't see any Monty Python costumes this time, but! There was a Bill, Ted, and Rufus trio wandering around, along with their phone booth set up in the food court. ^_^ Plus we drove through San Dimas on the ways to and from Faire.
Sunday Wonderful Husband and I went to see Avengers 2. I liked it, but not as well as the first one. It felt more cramped. Though I do wonder if the musings on evolution and things not lasting forever were Joss Whedon trying to head off at the pass fans' grumblings about lineup changes....
|Thursday, April 30th, 2015|
|We're All Fine Here; How Are You?
Got rear-ended on the freeway earlier today. Squiddle and I are fine, the insurance concluded the accident was not my fault, waived the deductible, and I'm already booked in to get my rear bumper repaired. Interestingly, though it was only a bump, the insurance still has to replace Squiddle's car seat.
...And Squiddle has apparently been rooking strawberries out off the kitchen counter and snaffling them down.
'Scuse me while I get a damp washcloth and deal with his hands and face.
|Tuesday, April 28th, 2015|
Wonderful Husband has a peanut allergy. A lot of restaurants fry things in refined peanut oil, which theoretically
has the enzyme that he would be allergic to, removed. Yeah. That isn't something we've cared to test.
Wonderful Husband also has eczema. His dermatologist prescribed him a topical oil to see if it would help. The first time he used the oil, his arms turned red and itched like crazy. Last night, Wonderful Husband thought to check its ingredients list.
Refined peanut oil.*facepalm*
One, we're incredibly lucky his reaction wasn't worse. Two, the dermatologist is going to be receiving some stern words. And three, if medical-grade
refined peanut oil causes an allergic reaction like this, there's no way in hell we're ever eating at a place that uses food-grade refined peanut oil.
|Sunday, April 26th, 2015|
|Charity Walk Sunday
Wonderful Husband's workplace sponsored their workers in a March of Dimes walk this morning, which is why we got up at 6am on a Sunday morning. We took Squiddle with us (he walked a little bit, but mostly was in his stroller) on the 3.5 mile walk. By mile 2.5 we were swearing it was a lot longer than that! But we raised $100, which wasn't bad on one week's notice, and his employer matched it. And particularly that last mile, with the names and dates of the babies that some of the teams were walking in honor of, was sobering. I ended up feeling very, very grateful that my time in the hospital came to naught, and that Squiddle was full term.
|Friday, April 24th, 2015|
After getting the three-gallon fishtank set up on the stand where we keep the phone, it was discovered that since it is no longer in the center of the stand, Squiddle can now reach
the phone. Which makes interesting beepy noises and therefore must be played with! Since that's the only spot we have a convenient phone line drop in this half of the house, this just means the landline unit now lives atop the fishtank except for at feeding time.
In the tank are a couple of live plants, a peacock-colored male betta (named "Gamma" by Wonderful Husband), and two zebra danios (named "Zip" and "Zap" by me). Thus far nothing has died, and Squiddle finds fishie TV moderately entertaining. Not as entertaining as his Nana's fishtank, of course, but then my mother has a thirty-gallon tank with eleven fish. For some things, size matters.
|Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015|
Yesterday morning, at Squiddle's Kindergym class, we had an Active Live Shooter drill.
When I was a kid, we had fire drills and (since I live in California) earthquake drills. Not drills about what to do if another human being comes to your school with a gun in hand and wants to shoot everyone dead with it. My child is going to grow up with this a regular, accepted part of his life. I also remember when your party could accompany you to the gate at the airport. Squiddle is never going to know that except as something he'll encounter in old movies and novels and not understand. Because for him, it will have always been this way.
I hate this. I hate this facet of reality SO HARD. Current Mood: crying
|Tuesday, April 14th, 2015|
Wonderful Husband is out getting a new car. His Corolla, which he's had since he came over to the USA 11+ years ago, has ticked rather high in mileage, so it's time.
Amusingly, he's getting the same model of car (Honda Fit) that I drive. Though in a darker blue. I've threatened to one night, in the dead of night, sneak out to the garage and switch their parking spots. :)
Squiddle is on the tail end of his nap; I'll probably go get him up after I finish this blog entry. During the quiet, I've been doing my writing class homework and wondering if Wonderful Husband will be home in time for me to go to the quilt guild meeting tonight, of if I'm taking Squiddle with me and going just long enough to drop off my charity blocks (and pick up more) and drop off my block exchange blocks (and pick up instructions for next month's). I've also been considering taking one of the guild's workshops, but having someone else watch the Squiddle for eight hours will be more pain than it's worth. And I have plenty of tops already in progress and finished that I need to quilt.
The garden is coming along in fits and starts. I've cleared about a third of the longest bed and dug compost into it. Five tomato plants are in, I need to put another six on the other side, then mulch it. And the dandelions and mint are busy trying to re-establish themselves in the bed in the front of the house, which finally (after five years) looks like civilized people live here. But that all may well wait until Thursday. Stuff to do tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday morning. Busy busy!
|Monday, April 13th, 2015|
Two days of productivity followed by two days of little to no energy. Thus is balance maintained? Haven't even been able to write, so not submitting any pages to class this week.
Made chili for dinner tonight. I was surprised when the Squiddle ate whole the small bowlful I gave him as an experiment. Don't know why I was surprised, though - it's basically bean/tomato stew....
Feeling in need of something new and good to read, but the writers I follow in the fandoms I read seem to be on hiatus at the moment.
Oh, we watched the new episode of Steven Universe, and rather than focusing on the story of how his parents met, I ended up focusing on a side bit: "Waitaminnit! That girl Marty just slept with in Greg's van is named Vidalia? She looks a lot like Onion. And Vidalia is a type of onion. And Marty is tall and thin and has platinum hair like Onion's older brother, Sour Cream. Holy crap, did we just witness Sour Cream's conception? And this in a kids' show? OMG, I bet all his mom ever told Sour Cream was that he was conceived to music (Greg's sadly underattended concert). No wonder he wants to be a DJ. Headcanon accepted!"
|Saturday, April 11th, 2015|
|Compost and Quilts - both relevant to my interests
I was up at 7 this morning, and out the door by 7:11, heading to the city's annual compost giveaway. Last year it was at Angel Stadium, directly under the "A" in the parking lot. This year it was across the freeway, at the Honda Center, site of many concert experiences. And one hockey game. I was there, loaded up with free compost, and back home at 7:51 (proving myself wrong; I'd told Wonderful Husband I would be gone half an hour). Wonderful Husband was still sleeping (when he woke up later, he asked if I'd gone yet, so clearly I am a ninja), and Squiddle woke up about five minutes after I got home. Excellent timing!
Today was a being productive day - I did dishes and laundry and cleaned the rest of the stove and vacuumed the shed straw out of my car, then went to my quilt guild's show. I'm currently on my period, which usually is an energy suck, but for some reason this month it's a getting-stuff-done zone. No idea why. Wish it was always like this.
There were some really lovely pieces in the quilt show, but overall I think I'm at a level where I should enter/display my stuff next year. Not that my work is better, but it's on par. I was
amused at the silent auction table being completely made up of the somewhat tattered antique quilts I'd donated. I bought a couple things in the sale room, then headed home to have lunch before going to the Costume College packet stuffing.
Except I discovered the packet stuffing e-mail didn't include the actual address! Just "person's home, in this city." Not helpful. So for the first time in many years, I didn't go. Instead I stayed home and sewed quilt blocks, pulled weeds, and generally did homebody stuff that needed doing.
|Thursday, April 9th, 2015|
|Mostly fish stuff
After Squiddle's class this morning, he and I decamped down to my parents' place for a while, where I picked up two more plastic tubs (the city's compost giveaway is on Saturday; I need containers) and my sister's old three-gallon fishtank. My mother is revamping their 30-gallon tank (the last surviving fish, a plecostomus of 10+ years, died while they were in Mexico) and so has been making me want a tank of our own. That plus Squiddle really liked toothycat
's fish while we visited!
We went with Mom to Tong's Tropical Fish, and happily toured the aisles while she made up her mind what she wanted to add next to her tank. And I thought about what I want in my much littler one. After she made her purchase (five barbs), Squiddle and I went to the Midway City Feed Store, admired their bunnies and chicks, and bought a bale of straw for my garden. Then to home and washing the tank and gravel, setting it up, patiently filtering water, and getting it running.
I'm thinking I'll let it run empty for a few days, then go buy a couple plants and whatever water testing kits I need. Wait a few more days for the plants to settle in, then pick out a pretty betta. I'd like some tetras too, but they're happier in groups of 5+, and I think the tank is too small for more than one or two fish. Even little fish like tetras.
And on a different note, after I put Squiddle to bed this evening, I tore through the bathroom cabinet, purging without mercy. The Squiddle has grown tall enough and inquisitive enough that he's able to reach to the back of the counter, which means certain stuff (medications) needed to come OFF the counter yet remain adult-accessible. I found a surprising amount of nail care stuff, now all consolidated. When did we ever buy that many tweezers and emery boards??
|Wednesday, April 8th, 2015|
|Keeping up with the Mini-Me
So, Saturday Wonderful Husband and I went to see Kingsman: The Secret Service. Which has Colin Firth as a gentleman spy. Can't go wrong with that! The movie was serious in some ways, cheesy in others, and bad in only a few. I recommend it.
Sunday, Wonderful Husband, Squiddle, and I all dressed up in our Steven Universe togs, and jotted down the street to the Anaheim Convention Center for Wondercon!
We got a lot of comments loving our family cosplay, and especially the "tiny Steven!"
Overall, a good time was had. We managed to get into both the panels I found interesting on the schedule, and walked the whole dealer's room. Our wallets came away lighter, our hands heavier, with a couple volumes from Studio Foglio, and a board game called Trekking the National Parks
I've been keeping myself busy with Piece and Quilt
's star block sewalong, writing class has just started again (as have Squiddle's classes), and I've mailed off the gift quilt, so when the recipient gets it, then I can post about that.
For now, to bed. Early morning music class for the Squiddle!
|Tuesday, March 31st, 2015|
Quilt is done. Have washed it twice now and can still see the chalk marking lines. Will spray them with Shout tomorrow and wash it again and see if that works.
All three Steven Universe shirts done. Interestingly, the shirt with the double layer of fabric for the star (because it covers a logo that showed though just one layer) rippled a lot less in the satin stitching phase than the other two.
Mending pile of fraying cloth baby wipes and my new-to-me blouse, all done.
Time for more liquid, then bed.
|Thursday, March 26th, 2015|
|Steven Quartz Universe
Wonderful Husband has been watching his way through Steven Universe recently. The show is surpisingly good. And Wondercon is coming up next weekend. So last night I made a suggestion that I make the Squiddle a Steven costume. It's simple enough - sandals (check), denim shorts (check), red t-shirt with a yellow star on it. Only one item to make! Wonderful Husband thought that would be kind of fun, but pointed out that Squiddle doesn't have the hair for it (Steven's hair is dark and curly; Squiddle's is currently like mine, honey-colored and fine). I pointed out that Wonderful Husband does have the hair for it, and upped the ante by suggesting I could make them matching costumes.
So this morning Squiddle and I went to the thrift stores and found a couple plain red t-shirts in daddy and toddler sizes, as well as a yellow one to cut up to make the stars. And I will make Wonderful Husband go buy jeans or denim shorts for himself this weekend.
...If I am truly mean/ambitious, I will go to Michael's and buy a couple pink rhinestones, and then Halloween Club for some spirit gum and glue gems to both their bellybuttons.
Unfortunately there's really not a character for me in the show. I'd want to be Rose, but her costume is more intricate and would take wig styling, and I'm so not into that right now.
|Tuesday, March 24th, 2015|
I've been following enough Tumblr accounts that I finally got one myself. If anyone wants to follow it, it's under the same username that I use here and in a few other spots.
|Monday, March 23rd, 2015|
|Flail! Panic! Kermit arms!
All four of the classes I submitted to Costume College have been accepted! Which means I'll be teaching Basic Blackwork, Basic Hand Embroidery, Fringe Beaded Evening Bag, and How to Machine Quilt.
The middle two classes I've taught before. The blackwork class won't be too different in structure from the embroidery one. The machine quilting class, however, is going to require me learning how to do a powerpoint presentation.
I'm thinking I'll take the prep for each one at a time. First, to find the leftover packets from the last time I taught embroidery....