Quilting and Sewing Projects

So the thing I asked my mom for this holiday was a sewing machine. At the end of this past summer, fed up with the same clothes all the time, totally broke, but always into crafting, I decided to make myself a shirt. I think it was rather clever of me, as I used unopened bedsheets with an embroidered eyelet trim that my MIL had given me but I didn’t want (I’m not into frilly bedsheets, especially not for bed shared with Husband) to make a tie-dye fabric for my shirt. I incorporated the lace into the pattern, and I’m very happy with the result. The thing is, I hand-sewed the shirt, because we don’t have a sewing machine and if I coudn’t afford the $15-20 clothes at Target, I certainly couldn’t afford a sewing machine. It took a bit of a while but I didn’t mind, it was kind of relaxing. I finally finished it (I had left undone about an hour of work for two months) and I want to make more. I also had been looking into quilting, and I decided I’d really like to learn how to do that. In particular, I’m into the patchwork designs that make up the quilt top.

So for Christmas my mom got me a sewing a machine – or rather, she printed out details on the one she promises to get for me, as it didn’t make sense to lug a sewing machine from her home to the Midwest on the plane for me to lug it back to NYC on my plane home. She also got me a book on quilting, which I read through most of on the plane back. So I’m really excited about this! I’ve been thinking of different ideas and what I want to make first. It makes me happy just to think of all the things I can make – purses and bags, eyeglasses cases, table runners, place mats, napkins, pillows, quilts, oven mitts, curtains, ornaments, stuffed animals, long flowing skirts and dresses and shirts in tops in a Bohemian/hippie sort of style, baby quilts and wall-hangings for the newborns various people I know are having/recently had, and the list goes on. I can’t wait to get the machine and start getting acquainted with it! I promise I’ll share pictures here of my various projects.

Lists of 8 Meme

So I’m finally doing the lists of 8 meme that EcoGeoFemme over at The Happy Scientist tagged me for, a bit of a while back. Except I think I might split it into pieces, because I like to add comments…

8 passions

  1. Loving, giving, and taking care of people
  2. Babies
  3. Cats
  4. Figure skating
  5. New York City (and cities in general)
  6. Learning, reading, doing experiments!
  7. Crafts – sewing, knitting, soon to be quilting!
  8. Baking! I love to decorate cakes, make cookies and pies, and even make candy!

8 things I often say

  1. I love you. Mostly to Husband, but in recent years I’ve added it in to occasional conversations with other close friends and family.
  2. You have to take turns. I’m always saying this, or some variation on it, to the toddlers I take care of.
  3. Bye girls. Be good! I say this to my two kitty cats when I leave them in the morning. They usually are in the entry way watching me go.
  4. I just want to stay home all day. Ok, I don’t know exactly what counts as “often” but this is a sentiment I feel all the time.
  5. Do you want your juice? Again, to the toddlers.
  6. I’ll have a large tea with skim milk and sugar. My order at Dunkin Donuts, the local delis, or the carts on the side of the street. Sometimes I swap “tea” for “Earl Gray.” Mmmm, Earl Gray.
  7. Look how cute [Fluffy/Feisty] is right now! (Fluffy and Feisty are the pseudonyms for our cats.)
  8. I’m sleepy.

8 books I recently read
If you’re interested in what I’ve been reading, you can always check out my readings page where I list books I’ve read and sometimes comments or links to posts about them.

  1. His Dark Materials Trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; The Amber Spyglass), by Philip Pullman (OK, not that recent…but within the last 6 months)
  2. The Family Track: Keeping Your Faculties while You Mentor, Nurture, Teach, and Serve, by Constance Coiner and Diana Hume George
  3. The Ivy Chronicles, by Karen Quinn
  4. The Return of the King: Being the Third Part of The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  5. Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities, by Alexandra Robbins
  6. Complete Book of Quilting, by Maggi McCormick Gordon
  7. Mothers on the Fast Track: How a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers, by Mary Ann Mason
  8. Who’s Afraid of Marie Curie?: The Challenges Facing Women in Science and Technology, by Linley Erin Hall (currently reading this one)

8 songs that mean something to me
Just 8? I love music too much, picking only eight is hard. This is in no way a comprehensive list.

  1. If I Aint Got You, by Alicia Keys – This song makes me think of my Husband. In particular because we’re both so non-materialistic.
  2. Imperfectly, by Ani DiFrancoThis is just the most genius of a song. To me, it’s really empowering.

    We get a little further from perfection
    each year on the road
    I guess that’s what they call character
    I guess that’s just the way it goes
    better to be dusty than polished
    like some store window mannequin
    why don’t you touch me where I’m rusty
    let me stain your hands

  3. Icarus, by Ani DiFrancoThis one captures my outlook on the world so well.

    bad dreams like this roll in like a cold front
    thunderous thunder and lightning in tow
    and your tiny little life gets even smaller
    as you heed the heavens’ mighty show
    i don’t mean heaven like godlike
    cuz the animal i am knows very well
    that nature is our teacher and our mother
    and god is just another
    story that we tell

  4. Acoustic #3, by the Goo Goo Dolls – This one reminds me of my parents’ relationship – or it did, before my mom finally moved out about two years ago. The whole song speaks loads about how I felt growing up as a teenager.

    Your voice is small and fading
    And you’re hiding here alone
    And your mother loves your father
    Cuz she’s got nowhere to go
    And she wonders where these dreams go
    Cuz the world got in her way
    What’s the point in ever trying?
    Nothing’s changing anyway

  5. The Times They Are A Changin’, by Bob Dylan
  6. Let’s Stay Together, by Al GreenThis is what Husband and I used for our first dance at the wedding. We really got into it and he pretended to sing to me and it was fun!
  7. Galapagos, by The Smashing Pumpkins

    And rescue me from me and all that I believe
    I won’t deny the pain, I won’t deny the change
    And should I fall from grace here with you
    Will you leave me too?

  8. Einstein on the Beach, by Counting Crows

8 qualities I look for in a friend

  1. Compassionate
  2. Intellectual
  3. Fun
  4. Accepting/Nonjudgmental (not only of me but also of people who look/think/act differently, etc.)
  5. Independent
  6. Creative
  7. Understanding
  8. Liberal

8 people who’s blogs I enjoy and who may consider themselves tagged if they wish

  1. Rebecca at Adventures in Applied Math
  2. Jenny F. Scientist at A Natural Scientist
  3. Sciencewoman
  4. Jane at See Jane Compute
  5. Watershed
  6. ScienceMama at Mother of all Scientists
  7. Zoe at A Family Affair
  8. Nicole at Just Crazy Enough to Try

Cute kitty

So I’m doing really well – taking time to relax and recharge myself so I’ll be ready for a productive 2008.  We got home from our 4 day holiday trip on Wednesday night, and I’m quite glad, among other things, to be back with my kitties.  Fluffy has been particularly needy since I’ve been home – she’s spending lots of time curled up in my lap.  As I type this right now, she is in between my arms in front of the keypad, with her head resting near to my left wrist – so that as I type I jostle her constantly, but she doesn’t seem to mind.  She’s been lying with me all day, and she even got me up from my sleep with her meows outside my door.  I thought she wanted wet food, so I put some in a bowl and proceeded to the bathroom.  When I exited, I saw her sitting outside, waiting for me.  We walked to the kitchen together – and she hadn’t even touched the wet food!  Apparently she needed cuddles from me even more than she wanted wet food!  Considering the types of terrors she visits upon us when she wants wet food, I was pretty touched.  After I held her in my arms for a few moments, then she was ready to get down and eat the food, with me in the kitchen with her, of course.  I just marvel at this bond between myself and this cat, this lovely furry being whom I can’t exactly talk with, but who adores me despite our small interspecies communication.  And she’s so warm and fluffy, it’s always very cozy to hold her.  But the best part is seeing her look content upon resting on me.

Mmmmm….cats.  Definitely one of the pleasures of life.


Well, I’ve been pretty absent lately, haven’t I?  Things are cool…we finally got some cash for Husband’s work, and the semester is a day away from being over for me.  I’ve been having a mostly good time – chilling with the Husband, playing with the kiddies I sit for, walking through NYC on brisk winter days.  Tonight, I’m studying for my final tomorrow, and then I’m going to take most of the rest of the week off from school work.  I’m really looking forward to it!   My brother is visiting from Texas, where he’s at grad school, and he’ll be staying with Husband and I for a few days.  Then on Saturday we leave for our holiday trip.  So I may not get to write much more for a while, but I’m doing better now and I’m sure I’ll have things to say when I get back.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Cat Wisdom Wednesday

Ani DiFranco, from the song “As Is”:

cuz when i look around
i think this, this is good enough
and i try to laugh
at whatever life brings
cuz when i look down
i just miss all the good stuff
when i look up
i just trip over things

cuz i’ve got
no illusions about you
and guess what?
i never did
and when i say
when i say i’ll take it
i mean,
i mean as is
as is

More meh

Yawn. Husband is asleep – he’s been sleeping so poorly lately I’m just glad he’s asleep at all, even though he fell asleep at like 7 pm. I’m feeling stressed and down again. Things are a little better; there’s not so much going on, but I just feel meh. I have a cold – Husband and I got the same one but of course he’s all better and I’m still coughing so much it gives me a headache. I’m tired but I don’t feel like going to sleep – because I feel discontent and I wish to right that before bed. You know what I mean? I just feel so….eh.

I only have one more week of classes, so that’s great. And just one final. So I should be ok, really. But I’m nervous – I just want to take a break and play video games. I want the new game, Rockband, really strongly. I played it over Thanksgiving and then again last week at a friend’s house, and I really want our own copy, so that I can practice different things and spend time making my character look the way I want, and read the flavor text and just take my time with it and with trying to get better at the drums and vocals. I really like the drums, it’s very fun to play them, and that is one of the bigger additions over the already existing and quite popular Guitar Hero games. Husband wants Guitar Hero III as well. We don’t own any Guitar Hero games, and Rockband is expensive. But I think we will get it for Christmas – if not from someone else than we will buy it for ourselves as a treat. Husband is supposed to get two checks this week which will help us out a lot this month, and then he should be turning in another bill soon. So I think we can afford to treat ourselves to a new toy – we’ve just been so rundown and tired of the same food and things and no opportunities to go out, it will be really nice to be able to play Rockband together and have our own band go on a tour and try to gain new fans and make money. 😀